According to a recent release from Kansas City Pet Project (KCPP), over 100 animals are now being cared for at KCPP after being rescued from a zoo in Iowa.
Yesterday, many animals ranging from black bears to hamsters were rescued from Cricket Hollow Zoo, a roadside zoo in Manchester, Iowa.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund, Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL), The Wild Animal Sanctuary (TWAS), and additional partnering organizations worked together to remove the animals in blustery conditions Monday and transported the animals to quarantine and triage facilities. Veterinarians were on the scene, and each animal received a medical evaluation. The animals will now receive the medical care that they urgently require.
This rescue represents a massive undertaking. The animals that were rescued from deplorable conditions included two black bears, three cavies, four skunks, three coyotes, multiple raccoons, a wallaby, and three baboons, as well as numerous rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, rats, fish, and birds. Among the birds are finches, parakeets, and pigeons.
KC Pet Project was one of 12 organizations that assisted and received animals from this rescue.
Staff from KC Pet Project drove to Manchester, Iowa and back yesterday and are now caring for the following animals in this case:
4 Parrot Fish
5 Oranda Goldfish
1 Telescope Goldfish (who is stunning)
12 “Regular” Goldfish
2 Leopard Geckos
Many of the fish are now available for adoption. Some of the pets will now go into foster homes and many will be available for adoption at a later date. KC Pet Project is in need of supplies and donations in order to care for our new arrivals. In-kind gifts of enclosures, tanks, and more can be dropped off at our three adoption centers or purchased from our Amazon Wish List at http://a.co/du8LOJQ. Petco gift cards are also greatly appreciated. Monetary donations may be given at http://donate.kcpetproject.org and will go to the care of our new pets.
On November 25, 2019, Iowa District Court Judge Monica Wittig ruled in favor of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, finding Cricket Hollow Zoo had chronically neglected the animals — but defendants Tom and Pamela Sellner swiftly filed a motion to stay the ruling pending appeal in an attempt to derail the animals’ rescue. Acting Chief Justice David S. Wiggins of the Iowa Supreme Court denied the motion to stay on December 4, 2019 — clearing the way for today’s rescue.
This lawsuit is the third filed by the Animal Legal Defense Fund against Cricket Hollow Zoo and has effectively shut the zoo down. In a previous lawsuit against Cricket Hollow Zoo, the Animal Legal Defense Fund set a critical legal precedent: that the Endangered Species Act applies to listed species in captivity, as well as those in the wild. That lawsuit, decided in 2016 by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa and affirmed by the Eighth Circuit in 2018, concerned the treatment of four tigers and three lemurs. An additional Animal Legal Defense Fund lawsuit filed in 2016 against Cricket Hollow Zoo resulted in the rescue of two African lionesses — Jonwah and Njjarra.
Cricket Hollow Zoo had its exhibitor’s license revoked by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in December 2017 after the Animal Legal Defense Fund sued the USDA for reissuing the license despite the numerous violations the government agency had issued against the roadside zoo. The Sellners appealed the decision and the revocation appeal is pending.