Target: Fairfax County, Virginia Law Enforcement
Goal: Prevent a former zoo director who drowned an injured wallaby from ever caring for any other zoo animal
Recently, a wallaby was wrongfully drowned at Reston Zoo in Fairfax County, Virginia. The wallaby had suffered from an injury and the zoo director thought she would be “euthanizing” the animal by drowning it. Action must be taken to ensure that Meghan Mogensen, former zoo director of Reston Zoo, never comes into contact with any zoo animal again.
Parmesan, the wallaby that was drowned, sustained an eye injury from hopping around his enclosure. Staff members of the zoo believed that he would not survive his injury but Mogensen’s father was the only individual that expressed interest in “euthanizing” the wallaby. Not long after, a former employee of the zoo found Parmesan’s wet body in a trash bag in a dumpster. The former employee also found his crate next to a spigot and a bucket of water. An autopsy revealed that Parmesan’s death showed signs that were consistent with drowning.
Mogensen was originally found guilty of two charges: animal cruelty and possession of an animal euthanasia drug without a license. She was able to appeal her case by pleading guilty to animal cruelty; the second charge against her was ultimately dropped. In addition, Mogensen was only sentenced to one month in jail. She is also banned from making decisions about the care or euthanasia of any animal if she serves as an animal caretaker or a manager of a zoo or sanctuary.
The punishment Mogensen received is unacceptable; this woman should not be allowed to ever work with animals again. The deal she was able to secure with prosecutors shows the terrifying reality that cases of animal cruelty are rarely taken seriously. Sign the petition below to demand justice for Parmesan and to urge Fairfax County Law Enforcement to prevent this woman from coming into contact with zoo animals.
Dear Fairfax County Law Enforcement,
I am appalled by the sentence Meghan Mogensen received for wrongfully drowning a wallaby. By pleading guilty to animal cruelty, Mogensen was able to reach a deal with prosecutors; the terms of this deal are greatly beneficial to her despite the crime she committed against Parmesan. Essentially, she received a small “slap on the wrist” for murdering a defenseless animal.
As a part of her deal with prosecutors, Mogensen is banned from making decisions about the care or euthanasia of any animal if she serves as an animal caretaker or a manager of a zoo or sanctuary. This is completely unacceptable. This woman should never be allowed to work with animals again given what she is capable of doing. Please take the action to place restrictions against Mogensen to prevent her from obtaining any position that allows her to come into contact with zoo animals.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: wwarby via Flickr