Target: Administrator United States Department of Agriculture – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA – APHIS) Kevin Shea
Goal: Shut down Hollywild Animal Park for its long history of animal welfare violations.
Hollywild Animal Park in Wellford, South Carolina is still running despite its numerous violations and a recent fire that resulted in the deaths of 27 animals. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that an investigation into the park revealed piles of rotten carcasses, animals forced to live in unsafe enclosures, a lack of veterinary care, and other violations. The USDA inspection cited 15 violations overall, which include inadequate veterinary care for an antelope with an injured eye, primates that have never been given vaccines, and a wolf-dog hybrid that suffered from seizures and was later euthanized. The report states that “there is not a sufficient number of adequately trained employees at this facility” to be maintained at a safe, acceptable level. This is clearly evidenced by the appalling absence of medical attention and filthy, uncleaned environments for the enclosures. The inspector also noted that one stall had a dead newborn goat and others had boards missing or floors completely covered in feces and straw soaked with old urine.
David Meeks, Hollywild Animal Park’s executive director and owner, argues that the USDA inspection had simply arrived at a bad time. Supposedly, the inspection came right after a holiday fundraiser, so the animals were in the process of being transported back into their exhibits, and since there had been a downpour of nonstop rain, housekeeping fell behind. Meeks also contested that he did not believe a veterinarian is necessary if the animal is already close to death, such as the case with the wolf-dog hybrid. He does not think animals should endure the stress of vaccinations if they’re generally healthy, as in the case with the primates.
A follow-up inspection resulted in four more citations for a capuchin wearing a chain around her waist that caused discomfort, and failure to meet sanitation standards. Food and bedding supplies were not properly protected against mold; housing facilities were not stable; and animals were allegedly being housed with incompatible animals.
Please sign this petition to close Hollywild Animal Park and prevent the remaining animals from suffering clear acts of neglect.
Dear Kevin Shea,
Hollywild Animal Park is still operating even though it was given a large number of violations over the years for unsafe, unclean living conditions for its animals and a shocking lack of veterinary care. The animals housed at this zoo are obviously not being taken care of. David Meeks, the zoo’s owner and executive director, keeps trying to defend all the evidence of neglect. But how can he explain the carcasses in uncleaned stalls and injuries that could easily be treated by a vet?
It is the USDA’s job to ensure that the Animal Welfare Act protects these animals from enduring any more suffering. There is no excuse Meeks can come up with to explain every single violation the zoo has accumulated over the years. They have not improved their animals’ living conditions and it is frustrating that nothing is being done to stop this abuse. I am urging you to shut this zoo down once and for all.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Mariomassone via Wikipedia