Demand Legal Action Against Roadside Zoos


Target: United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack

Goal: Enforce regulations against inhumane roadside zoos

Unregulated roadside zoos have an often-deserved reputation for abuse and substandard care of their animals. Both the Farm at Walnut Creek and Lazy 5 Ranch House of North Carolina, owned by Henry Hampton, are no exception. Cited for repeated violations against the Animal Welfare Act—a federal set of laws that regulate the treatment of animals used for exhibition, research, transport, and by dealers—these attractions have nonetheless gone without penalty. We must demand that something be done and regulations are enforced.

Unethical and even abusive conditions are not uncommon with unregulated roadside exhibitions, yet there are laws meant to protect against the suffering of animals. But there is no point to these laws and regulations if they not enforced. Hampton has been cited multiple times for severe neglect of the exotic animals at both attractions, including unsheared sheep suffering from heat exhaustion, deer with open wounds and hernias, and a giraffe suffering untreated overgrown hooves. Nearly every visit by federal inspectors turned up problems or neglectful care of animals, some with problems that were allowed to go on for months. Inadequate housing and husbandry were also cited after a giraffe was entrapped in the bars of his cage and died. Yet, nothing has been done to shut down these zoos or penalize Hampton, and the animals on exhibit are left in the hands of an owner who does not take the proper steps to care for them.

It is the duty of the federal government to enforce regulations and protect exhibition animals from cruelty and neglect. Still, the problems and issues at Lazy 5 Ranch House and the Farm at Walnut Creek have gone unaddressed despite the numerous instances of citations and inspections that revealed neglectful and inhumane conditions. We cannot allow the continuation of such places. We cannot allow the USDA to overlook the suffering of animals that must rely on government intervention for protection. Demand the enforcement of regulations against these despicable roadside zoos.


Dear Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack,

Henry Hampton, owner of the Farm at Walnut Creek and Lazy 5 Ranch House, has been cited numerous times for inhumane conditions and neglect of his animal exhibits, yet his license has not been revoked, nor have his businesses been penalized. It is disheartening and disturbing that the regulations meant to address these very issues have not been enforced and animals continue to suffer for it. Though Hampton did make reported efforts to address some problems, federal inspections turned up evidence of continual bad conditions and animals suffering untreated wounds and lack of care.

I ask that you follow through on the numerous violations of the Animal Welfare Act present in this case, penalize the parks, and take all necessary steps to protect these animals from further mistreatment and neglect. Lax regulations should not become a norm, especially when the welfare of animals is at stake. There is no reason to allow this inhumane treatment to continue.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Roland H. via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. Sheila Jefferson says:

    Please end this inhumane treatment!

    Thank you!

  2. Sherry Goodyear says:

    I can’t believe these horrible roadside zoos are still allowed. They are always cruel to their animals.

    • No they are not “always”. The ones who are should be punished. Many are not but you don’t hear about them do you because they are not the ones you read about in the paper. Ignorant.

  3. One of the reasons the USA is hated in the World is their hypocritical attitude, it is one thing to tell other people what to do but you have to make sure that your own doorstep is clean first, you have to set an example to the rest of the World take a good look at your animal welfare laws they have been found lacking, the punishment that offenders receive shows a shocking attitude to these poor animals, look at how the animals are treated at your shocking factory farms enough said.

  4. what is the point of laws if they are broken and nobody cares, well I think this has gone on for long enough, I hate anybody who hurts any animal, so for pities sake use the law that is already in place to stop this barbaric practice, don’t let them get away with it any longer for the poor animals sake, do your job

  5. Franca Menegon says:

    Quelli che sono contro la sperimentazione animale ma usano i farmaci.
    Quelli che ammazzerebbero un bambino per salvare un roditore.
    Quelli che se il bambino fosse il loro…?
    Quelli che “se ci estinguessimmo sarebbe un mondo migliore!”
    Quelli che però non cominciano per primi.
    Quelli che sono vivi grazie alla ricerca e se ne lamentano.
    Quelli che “fermiamo la vivisezione per salvare gli animali!”.
    Quelli che poi portano il cane dal veterinario.
    Quelli che la chiamano “vivisezione”.
    Quelli che con limone e peperoncino passa tutto, anche il cancro.
    Quelli che sanno come sostituire i test sugli animali ma non te lo possono dire.
    Quelli che le scoperte scientifiche “non ci risultano…”.
    Quelli che hanno le idee chiarissime ma non sanno come spiegarle.
    Quelli che hanno cominciato a rompere i coglioni da piccoli, non hanno ancora finito e ancora non sanno perché lo fanno.
    Quelli lì.
    Dove ci porteranno?

    • alessandro marano says:

      quelli che come te dicono un sacco di cazzate……….e quelli che basta che il mondo ruoti tutto intorno alle proprie esigenze: figli madri e padri e il resto si fotta vero?..siete come i cinesi ma tanto l’essere umano è destinato a estinguersi con le proprie mani e spero prestissimo. Poi quando vuoi ti ribatto punto per punto le tue idiozie MARANO ALESSANDRO ROMA

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