Feds Crack Down on ‘Refuge’ After Death of Wolf-Dog Hybrid

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PETA Complaint Prompts Inspection, Citation, and Scathing Criticisms for Violations of Animal-Protection Law

August 28, 2014

David Perle 202-483-7382

Nicholasville, Ky. – Following a PETA complaint regarding the death of Cheyenne—one of three wolf-dog hybrids who escaped from the so-called Wolf Run Wildlife Refuge earlier this year—the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspected the unaccredited facility and cited it for its botched handling of Cheyenne’s escape.

According to the recently released June 19 inspection report, the USDA discovered that Cheyenne was shot and hit by immobilizing darts 14 times and that Wolf Run used two types of traps to try to catch her, with no positive results—measures that the USDA calls “not sufficient and/or appropriate.” The report underscores that the facility’s staff have no training in using immobilizing agents or capturing escaped animals and states that the “failure to handle the animal properly and in a timely manner … evolved into the death of the animal.”

“Wolf Run’s untrained staff put this animal through the pain of being shot with a dart gun 14 times and still didn’t prevent her death,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA’s motto reads, in part, that ‘animals are not ours to use for entertainment,’ and this shabby facility’s inept handling of this animal’s escape is one example of why.”

Following a previous PETA complaint—which included reports indicating that Wolf Run operators may have intentionally allowed Cheyenne to remain at large—the USDA cited Wolf Run for having unsecure enclosures that allowed the three animals to escape in the first place. The new report mandates that Wolf Run develop and maintain a plan to follow in the event that any of the animals escape and to train all employees and volunteers in proper animal handling.

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