Target: United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Goal: Shut down the Reston Zoo following its record of animal abuse and neglect
Roadside zoos are notorious for not always maintaining proper animal welfare standards. One northern Virginia zoo, the Reston Zoo of Vienna, has had a slew of violations. This place made headlines in 2012 when zoo director Megan Mogensen was arrested for drowning an injured wallaby. This isn’t the only animal rights issue the zoo has faced.
Exotic animals such as monkeys, zebras, and leopards can be found on site, but the enclosures are completely unfit for these or any other types of animals. The zoo grounds are dingy and unsanitary, and the structures separating the animals are not sturdy or professional. Northern Virginia has seen blizzards and extreme cold over the past few years, and the animals are not properly housed to protect them from extreme weather conditions. Most recently, a spider monkey was found injured and frostbitten, with no professional veterinary help given. Unidentified euthanasia has been found on-site, and employees at the zoo are not trained or certified to handle medical treatment or euthanasia of any kind. All of this adds another level of fright after the infamous drowning incident.
Shockingly, this zoo is still open for business. The zoo director may have been arrested and fined, but this is not enough. The Reston Zoo must be closed permanently, with the animals sent to proper sanctuaries. Please write to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and ask them to revoke the Reston Zoo’s license to operate.
Dear U.S. Department of Agriculture,
Your past inspections of the Reston Zoo, a small roadside zoo in Vienna, Virginia, have uncovered multiple animal rights violations. The zoo is unfit for housing animals, so I ask that you permanently remove their license to operate.
Last year, zoo director Megan Mogensen was convicted of animal cruelty when he held a wallaby underwater until it died. Before the drowning, the animal reportedly had a severely injured eye for which no treatment was sought. A monkey was also found with severe frostbite and injuries on his hands and feet, again for which no medical treatment was sought. The USDA also found euthanasia on the zoo grounds during a past inspection, even though the Reston Zoo is not licensed or trained to handle those kinds of materials. The zoo is cramped and dirty, with conditions completely unsuitable for animals.
It is sad to know that this business is still operating. I fear for the future welfare of the animals at this facility. This is why I beg you to re-evaluate the Reston Zoo and remove its license to operate for the sake of these animals.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: ellenm1 via Flickr