PETA Threatens Beloved Family Owned Zoo

In the latest animal rights outrage, the misnamed People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is attacking two American businesses and using taxpayer money to remove animals from our lives.   In the first case, PETA is threatening to sue the family owned DeYoung Family Zoo in upper Michigan owned by Bud DeYoung and Carrie Cramer because these vegan extremists just don’t like how experienced animal owners are caring for their animals.

The DeYoung Zoo which opened in 1990 has many large natural habitat areas and was featured on the My Life is a Zoo television show on National Geographic recently.   The downside to being featured in the media is that it invites urban animal rights hysterics to believe that the DeYoungs need PETA’s keyboard warrior permission to care for their animals.  Surprising no one, a reporter from New York City was outraged when Carrie Cramer kissed a hyena on the show. How dare she! How unhygienic! I wonder if he stays up at night stressing over the millions of Americans who allow their dogs to sleep on their beds.

Fortunately the public has a vastly different opinion of animal care than the media and these out of touch activists.  Over 70,000 people a year visit the DeYoung zoo to interact with their big cats, bears, chimpanzee and a multitude of other animals. The zoo also successfully bred endangered Siberian tigers in the past, helping the species to avoid extinction. Today, Michigan has outlawed breeding.  The breed ban now contributes to the extinction of these beautiful big cats.


Bud DeYoung and Carrie Cramer with two of their beloved primates at DeYoung Family Zoo.

One of the most important things to Bud and Carrie [DeYoung] is educating the public, especially children, about their animals. They have several educational shows a day, and, in many instances, the public can even get up close and touch a baby animal.

“Our focus is on children, they are the future of the world of animals,” said Bud.

“We are this tiny little zoo in the middle of nowhere Michigan, but we feel by us reaching out to the few people that do come to us it’s a ripple effect, because we hope to inspire them to want to do what’s good for animals and pass that message on,” added Carrie.”

PETA is also threatening to sue the Missouri Primate Foundation in Missouri. The Missouri Primate Foundation is a 15 acre USDA licensed, charitable sanctuary for unwanted chimpanzees. Owner, Connie Casey takes in retired performing animals and animals that have lost their homes through exotic animal bans in other states. To raise money to care for all the animals, in the past the Casey’s ran a company called Chimparty in which the younger more social animals were used as actors on commercials, for ads such a series of Hallmark cards, or paid educational visits to nursing homes and schools. Activists who are against animals being used for entertainment were outraged and the business closed after numerous activist attacks.

In both cases, PETA recently sent out their typical threatening letters bullying these two organizations over ownership of their chimpanzees. Slandering their reputation and defaming the DeYoung Zoo by characterizing them as a “notorious roadside zoo,” PETA is threatening to sue them under the federal Endangered Species Act. Show me a zoo in America that you can’t get to by a road? Using the typical animal rights hypocrisy and talking out of both sides of their mouth, PETA claims that visitors are allowed to gawk at Louie the chimp yet at the same time he lacks an active stimulating life.   Get serious!

This is the same PETA who believes that people do not have the right to own pets and recently told a Virginia court that dogs are worthless and that stealing and killing a little girl’s dog was not “outrageous” conduct on their behalf. In their Notice of Intent to File Citizen Suit against the Missouri Primate Foundation,  PETA claims “the Chimpanzees are confined to cages that lack sufficient space, both horizontally and vertically, to allow them to express the physical behaviors of a chimpanzee.”  As if PETA would know. Nothing but a cult made up of largely urban vegans, PETA has no expertise in what chimpanzees need. PETA does not run a single animal sanctuary anywhere. PETA further offered to transport the chimps to a PETA approved Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) facility that does not allow the public to see the animals in their care.

In the case of the PETA stealing and killing of Maya the Chihuahua, the Judge ruled, “I believe reasonable people could find that taking another’s dog and killing [her]is outrageous and intolerable.”

Animal rights activists like PETA have long used government bureaucrats and taxpayer money to gain their way. This so-called Citizens Lawsuit is a cookie cutter version of PETA’s other lawsuits  in which they tried to cruelly force the Miami Aquarium to set free an Orca named Lolita who has legally lived in captivity being cared for daily by trained and experienced keepers since 1970. In 2015, PETA along with their animal extremist pals at the Animal Legal Defense Fund sued Miami’s Seaquarium “alleging the marine park violates the Endangered Species Act by keeping its lone orca whale in an unlawfully small and shallow tank without companionship and adequate protection from the sun.”  To force a tame and captive animal back into the wild after being cared for by humans for 46 years is a death sentence for the animal.   After all, look no further than the whale who starred in the “Free Willy” movies.   Keiko’s story is a powerful testament against releasing captive animals back into the wild.   Keiko died a horrific and unnecessary death due to animal rights ideology.    PETA was victorious in the Lolita case when the federal government agreed to list Lolita under the Endangered Species Act, giving PETA the right to  file endless lawsuits over Lolita’s care using American taxpayer dollars to do it.
The decision to include Lolita under the ESA listing is a victory for whale advocates in itself, because citizens now have a right to file lawsuits on the orca’s behalf.”

Stay tuned for Part 2 in this 2 part series on the latest fleecing of the taxpayer by animal liberationists.

You can donate to the DeYoung’s legal defense fund by clicking here

Katharine Dokken is a contributing writer for The Cavalry Group and the author of two new books, including The Art of Terror: Inside the Animal Rights Movement, available on Amazon. Follow Katharine and The Cavalry Group on Twitter: @KatharineDokken @TheCavalryGroup

Add Comment