Success: Animals Rescued from Roadside Zoo and Brought to Sanctuaries

Target: Stephen Wells, Executive Director, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Goal: Support the continued removal of animals from the allegedly abusive roadside Deer Haven Mini Zoo to be re-housed in sanctuaries.

Several animals—some of them endangered species—have been rescued from a roadside zoo and transferred to sanctuaries. Deer Haven Mini Zoo is an unaccredited roadside menagerie which has allegedly violated the Endangered Species Act and state laws against animal cruelty multiple times over the years, sparking action including petitions like this one at ForceChange, and intervention by the Animal Legal Defense Fund. The 14 animals rescued by the organization included two lemurs, a bobcat, and six arctic foxes, which were all relinquished by the owners of the zoo after the Animal Legal Defense Fund announced its intent to sue. Animal Legal Defense Fund is continuing to work with the Deer Haven owners to try and rescue more animals and allow them to live out their lives in sanctuaries.

Deer Haven Mini Zoo has a history of violating the Animal Welfare Act, as identified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. According to USDA inspection reports, animals were ill and kept in unsanitary and hazardous conditions, while people were reported to have even bitten or injured by some of the animals. As Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells states, “The animals from Deer Haven Mini Zoo suffered in cruel conditions for years. Thanks to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, these animals will now live out their lives at sanctuaries prepared to meet their unique physical and psychological needs.” Sign below to support this victory and to urge the organization to continue its efforts to save the animals from Deer Haven Mini Zoo.


Dear Executive Director Wells,

The Animal Legal Defense Fund’s work to save animals from the inhumane conditions in roadside zoos—and in particular, its continued efforts to rescue the animals from Maryland’s Deer Haven Mini Zoo—are extremely important. The rescue of 14 exotic and endangered animals from the reportedly illegal conditions of this roadside zoo, and their subsequent relocation to sanctuary, are a major victory.

As you stated yourself, these animals have “suffered in cruel conditions for years.” They deserve to live in safe and sanitary habitats where they are not exploited for profit. Thank you for ensuring that this will be the case for these 14 innocent creatures. I urge you and your organization to continue these vital efforts, and to ensure that all of the animals from Deer Haven Mini Zoo are given the same chance at a humane life.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Animal Legal Defense Fund


  1. Bravo! Thank you! Please never stop saving innocent lives! The voiceless can’t ask for help, we must see it and help them! Sanctuary for all!

  2. Karen Mckay says:

    Thank you. These vile people need to be stopped.

  3. Gabriela Torres says:

    Thank God!, and we thank you!

  4. The selfish the heartless the cruel humans must be punished and taught a lesson! !

  5. Director Wells on behalf of the animals Thank You for helping the animals, please continue your wonderful work

  6. Diana Reid says:

    Wonderful news! Thank you for your tireless work!!!!

  7. Barton Dixon says:

    Thank you Stephen Wells, Executive Director, Animal Legal Defense Fund and your organization, for all of your efforts to make this world a better place for exploited and helpless animals. You help and encourage the kindhearted humanity of this world by your efforts as well.

  8. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
    Hope that people can contribute a little to help the animals.
    I will!

  9. A follow-up to see the animals in their new homes would be great.

  10. Lisa Allred says:

    Signed & Shared❗️😠

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