Animal programs

Local animal exhibitor charged with animal cruelty

Human law enforcement investigators at Lollypop Farm have charged a Wayne County animal exhibitor after confiscating hundreds of animals earlier this week.

Sally Reaves, executive director of World of Wildlife Educational Encounters in Marion, faces a misdemeanor charge for failing to provide proper food and drink.

Working with state and federal agencies, human investigators at Lollypop Farm say they have found nearly 800 animals, including mice, rats, ferrets and rabbits, living in what they call inhumane conditions.

“The conditions in which these animals were discovered were unsanitary and inhumane. Soiled 10-gallon terrariums were discovered, each with over 100 mice crammed in,” said Reno Di Domenico, vice president for human law enforcement at Lollypop Farm. He said the ammonia levels from the animal waste made it difficult for staff working with the animals, but they were able to remove it safely.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the United States Department of Agriculture are participating in the investigation. Some of the exotic animals were donated to the DEC.

Reaves was ordered to appear in Marion City Court on April 6. Lollypop Farm officials said if convicted, Reaves could face a $1,000 fine and/or up to a year in jail.

A statement on the World of Wildlife Educational Encounters website said they were “devastated by the recent seizure” of some of their animals who have acted “as animal ambassadors” in their wildlife programs over the years. years.

The statement claims that the animals seized by the DEC were removed due to an error in the licensing documents, not because of their living conditions.

The wildlife exhibitor said he was working ‘to get everything straightened out and our animals returned to us safely’.