Target: Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio
Goal: Do not allow the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center to be closed over a neighbor’s lawsuit.
The Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center is currently being threatened with closure by a neighbor who is suing the organization over noise complaints. The conservation center has been located in Scottsdale, Arizona for twenty-two years, where it operates as a rehabilitation center for animals in need of veterinary help. These injured, abused, or abandoned animals are nursed back to health and eventually released back into the wild, while those unable to be released are provided with a safe permanent home. The center also works with the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, offering its facility as a holding place for the endangered Mexican gray wolf.
Dr. Seth Gortler moved in next to the conservation center in 2012 and is now suing the organization and its director, Linda Searles, because he has been disturbed by the noise of howling wolves and coyotes. The Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center had been operating for eighteen years in that location before Dr. Gortler ever bought his house next door, and had never received complaints about the unavoidable noise caused by giving sanctuary to wild animals. Other neighbors expected the noise and learned to adjust, recognizing that the conservation center provides a valuable service to vulnerable wildlife.
The Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center is run largely by volunteers and receives no funding other than donations. If the lawsuit succeeds, the conservation center will lose its special-use permit that allows it to have fundraising tours; without this necessary fundraising it is highly unlikely that the center will be able to stay open. Worst of all, many of the animals will have to be euthanized if the organization closes.
Dr. Gotler should have expected that there would be a large amount of noise from a facility that houses wild animals like wolves and coyotes before he made the decision to purchase a house next door, and his lawsuit cannot be allowed to pass. Sign the petition below to urge the Maricopa County sheriff to support the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center and demand that it stays open to continue its valuable work in saving threatened wildlife.
Dear Sherriff Arpaio,
The Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center is being threatened with closure due to a neighbor’s noise complaint, and this lawsuit cannot be allowed to succeed. The conservation center provides essential services for injured, abused, and abandoned wildlife, offering veterinary services to those in need of help and either releasing them back into the wild or providing a permanent sanctuary. They also work with the Arizona Fish and Game Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, offering their facility as a holding space for the endangered Mexican gray wolf.
Dr. Gotler is currently suing because of the noise of howling wolves and coyotes, an inevitable side effect of moving in next to a wildlife conservation center that he should have expected when purchasing his house in 2012. The center has been located in the same place for twenty-two years, and never received a complaint before.
The Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center is mostly run by volunteers and receives no funding other than donations. If the lawsuit passes they will lose their ability to fundraise and will most likely have to close down, meaning that many of the animals will have to be euthanized.
Please support the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center and its director, Linda Searles, and ensure that the lawsuit is rejected. I am urging you to take action to protect the conservation from being threatened with closure so that it can continue its essential work in saving threatened wildlife.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Tony Hisgett