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If ARFF was to pick one animal exhibitor in the State of Florida with the worst record of animal neglect, there would be many nominees but the distinction would have to go to Vanishing Species Wildlife, Inc.

For years, the Davie-based company has brought lion and tiger cubs, bears, snakes and other exotic animals to birthday parties, schools, fairs and other public events. And for years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) have documented many, many serious violations of federal and state regulations.

  • March 13, 2010: The Sun-Sentinel reported that Barbara Harrod, who operates Vanishing Species, “pleaded no contest in February to state charges that she kept animals in unsanitary conditions, used cages that were too small and engaged in other wildlife violations.” 
  • March 2010: Videos appeared on YouTube showing maggots covering food inside tiger and cougar cages at Vanishing Species (click here to view the disturbing videos).
  • February 2010: According to a USDA inspection report, a tiger was observed to be limping, but Vanishing Species “could not recall a date or provide a time range” when the animal was last seen by a veterinarian.
  • August 2009: A USDA inspector noted that, “several small exotic mammals and domestic pocket pets housed at this facility died from overheating” due to a broken air conditioner.
  • February 2009: Vanishing Species was fined $3,750 for multiple violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including lying about a serval who had died in her cage without receiving veterinary care, and failure to provide veterinary care to a sick tiger, who also died.
  • January 2009: A lion was found to have difficulty walking, a coatimundi was found with unusual hair loss and an open wound, and a cougar was found to be too skinny and with a large, open wound on his tail. Despite these obvious medical problems, Vanishing Species could not document that the animals had received any veterinary care. The USDA inspection also noted an “unusually high” mortality rate; at least 11 of Vanishing Species’ animals– two lions, two leopards, a cougar, a serval, a bobcat and four prairie dogs– had died during the previous year.
  • September 2007: USDA inspector notes that Vanishing Species was unable to show that a veterinarian had visited the property in the previous year.
  • August 2007: FWC inspectors found rotten food and “animals living in filth, living in their own urine, their own feces.”
  • July 2007: An enclosure for a cougar was found to be “infested with maggots.”
  • May 2007: USDA inspector notes, “throughout the facility there were hundreds of flies on the food, food receptacles and on the animals.”
  • February 2007: USDA inspector found an enclosure housing two tigers, “almost completely submerged” in water from rain the day before.

Enough is enough!
Please contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture and politely ask that it revoke the exhibitor license of Vanishing Species Wildlife, Inc. (license #58-C-0660) because of its long history of Animal Welfare Act violations.

Contact:

Dr. Elizabeth Goldentyer
Eastern Regional Director
USDA-APHIS-Animal Care
920 Main Campus Drive, Suite 200
Raleigh, NC 27606-5210
E-mail: aceast@aphis.usda.gov
Phone: (919) 855-7100
Fax: (919) 855-7123

Please also contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and urge them to revoke Vanishing Species’ state permit to exhibit wildlife.

Contact:

Colonel Jim Brown, Director
Division of Law Enforcement
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
620 South Meridian Street
Tallahassee FL 32399-1600
Phone: (850) 488-6251
Fax: (850) 921-6453
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3 Responses to “Florida’s worst wildlife exhibitor?”

  1. on 20 Mar 2010 at 1:13 pm Patricia Campbell

    This is an OUTRAGE!!! Why do they still have a license?

  2. on 20 Mar 2010 at 5:38 pm Kathryn Cook

    Is there a reason w/all these incidents cited above you cannot go in and take the license? I was born and raised in Miami Florida - you cannot tell me that the proper authorities cannot simply close these people down!

  3. on 23 Mar 2010 at 11:24 am Alexis

    I am doing a school paper on a company that I want to change and I saw this and picked the Vanishing Species company for sure! I can’t belive this!!! Please can you put more data up or email me with the data because I can not find any more records or what they do…I emailed them but they will not respond with any info…. :( Please can you help!

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