Runaway Zebras Allegedly Mistreated By Animal Trader Deserve Justice

Target: Tom Vilsack, Secretary of U.S. Department of Agriculture

Goal: Appropriately punish man accused of neglecting and recklessly caring for zebras.

Three on-the-loose zebras have drawn headlines in Maryland since August. The plight of these animals is much more than just a zany headline, though. At least one of the zebras died after being caught in an illegal snare trap allegedly set by the zebras’ caretaker, Jerry Lee Holly. The poor animal reportedly succumbed from dehydration and starvation. This tragedy could have been avoided if someone in authority would have taken needed action.

Holly calls himself an exotic animal trader. In fact, the three escaped zebras were part of a group of 40 that this man reportedly has on his property. The truly outrageous part of this story: the U.S. Department of Agriculture had allegedly cited Holly over 100 times in both Maryland and Florida for violations of the Animal Welfare Act. Despite these citations, nothing was apparently done, and Holly just kept collecting more animals to potentially put at risk. Now, both the escaped zebras and the animals still under Holly’s care are apparently in imminent danger.

Sign the petition below to demand the agency responsible for looking after the welfare of animals do its job.


Dear Secretary Vilsack,

This agency claims that individuals or groups guilty of “serious or chronic violations” of the Animal Welfare Act receive more severe penalties than the standard slap-on-the-wrist warning. Why, then, was a man cited for 100-plus violations of said act allowed to continue trading exotic animals unfettered? Why did it take the escape of three zebras (and the subsequent painful death of at least one) for Jerry Lee Holly to be charged with animal cruelty?

You must fix this broken system of enforcement. Please begin by giving Holly’s case a high-priority designation. He more than meets the criteria of severity, public safety concerns (some zebras are still on the loose), and extensive public interest. Help make this tragic set of circumstances an example for anyone who flagrantly and recklessly violates their duty of care to innocent living beings.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Pixabay 


  1. All animal abusers must have the mandatory death sentence implemented.A slow and agonising death for these evil cretins is essential.

  2. This guy needs to be in prison & all animals go to sanctuaries! Why isn’t the USDA doing its job for animals? Something is so wrong there

  3. Well if I was being mistreated I would definitely run away too…

    Isaiah 66:3 KJV

    “He who slaughters an ox is like one who kills a man; he who sacrifices a lamb, like one who breaks a dog’s neck; he who presents a grain offering, like one who offers pig’s blood; he who makes a memorial offering of frankincense, like one who blesses an idol. These have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations

    Proverbs 12:10 KJV

    Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.

    Esras 2 V61  Goodspeed Apocrypha

    And I will not grieve over the multitude of those who perish; for it is they who are now like a mist, and are similar to a flame and smoke — they are set on fire and burn hotly, and are extinguished.” Therefore there shall not be grief at their destruction, so much as joy over those to whom salvation is assured.” 

  4. I was shocked when I read this took place In Maryland. What’s he doing with Zebras in the first place. I thought this was in Africa somewhere. Exotic animals shouldn’t be owned by civilians in the first place. He obviously doesn’t know how to take care of them and he also doesn’t care. I hope they can find the other 2 zebras that ran away and can find a wildlife sanctuary for them to live out the rest of their lives in peace. We also need to crack down on people owning exotic animals in the first place. He should have been barred from owning animals way before this. It said he had faced fines in other states. Unfortunately stuff like this is going to continue to happen until we bar people from owning these kinds of animals in the first place.

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