• Petitioned Dr. Chester A. Gipson

This petition was delivered to:

Deputy Administrator for Animal Care, USDA
Dr. Chester A. Gipson
West Regional Director for APHIS, USDA
Mr. Jeffrey Grode
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Oklahoma-05
Gov. Mary Fallin

Shut down G.W. Exotic Animal Park

    1. Amy Godwin
    2. Petition by

      Amy Godwin

      Houston, TX

Joe Schreibvogel operates a roadside zoo in Oklahoma with 1400 animals, including over 150 tigers, on sixteen acres, that has a history of serious animal abuse (see below).  He generates revenue by constantly breeding tiger cubs, ripping them from their mothers shortly after birth, and abusing them by carting them around from mall to mall, sick with diarrhea, charging people to pet them alongside a magic show he performs.  USDA rules prohibit using the cubs for this purpose after they reach 12 weeks old.  When he can no longer use them to make money, he “donates” (or by some reports sells) them, or brings them to his zoo. The fact is that real sanctuaries all around the country are able to support their rescue and animal care work without adding to the problem by breeding and without abusing animals to make money.  They do that by operating facilities that have excellent animal care that donors appreciate and want to support.  They also do that by being financially responsible and not taking in more animals than they can support.

  In most cases his animals will at best spend their entire lives in small, prison-like cells.  Current USDA regulations permit keeping an adult tiger in a cage smaller than a parking spot. Many of his cats are sent to places with a history of animal abuse violations.

Here are a list of the USDA citations and fines the park has had:

Instead of creating a sanctuary, Joe created a facility that in its early years, 2000 – 2004, was cited repeatedly by USDA for serious violations of the minimum standards of the Animal Welfare Act.  USDA has limited enforcement resources.  They can only take a few animal abusers to court, so they reserve that for only the most blatant cases.  Typically they will issue citations for years, giving the licensee every opportunity to correct the out of compliance conditions before they consider filing a lawsuit. After years of citations they finally sued Joe.  In April 2005 the agency filed a 20-page complaint against Joe with numerous charges, including the following:

* Failure to provide adequate veterinary care
* Failure to handle animals so that there was minimal risk of harm to the animal and to the public
* An incident in which a tiger escaped from his enclosure and attacked and seriously wounded a camel
* Transportation of 15 tigers and lions in a manner that allowed urine, feces, or both to contaminate the animals caged below
* Lack of potable water for 18 lions, 23 tigers, 15 bears, 20 cougars, three leopards, and a pig
* Lack of employees present to provide care to 80 large, dangerous cats
* Lack of knowledge by employees about how often the animals were fed
* Filthy, wet, unsafe, and dilapidated enclosures
* Failure to handle animals in a manner that does not cause trauma, behavioral stress, physical harm, or unnecessary discomfort
* Failure to provide animals with minimum space

In January 2006 he consented to a $25,000 fine and a probation period. Based on inspections since, hopefully conditions have improved.  But, for over five years before USDA forced changes, the animals Joe “rescued” were subjected to the horrible conditions USDA cited.

In September 2009 USDA issued a warning notice for alleged violations of the AWA handling requirements stemming from separate incidents that occurred in 2007 and 2008, one involving a customer injured by a lion cub.

On September 13, 2011 Schreibvogel was cited by USDA for failing to provide veterinary care to two animals.

On December 1, 2011 Schreibvogel was cited by USDA for improper handling related to an incident in September 2011 at GW Park where young boy was injured by a tiger cub.

23 CUBS DIED AT GW PARK

Schreibvogel is currently under investigation by USDA for the deaths of 23 tiger cubs and separately for other possible violations of the AWA.  The cubs died between April 2009 and May 2010 according to what Joe’s people reported to the FDA.  Any responsible facility would have done necropsies on the  initial deaths.  Joe finally did necropsies on one or two of the last cubs to die and called in FDA to test the formula.  The necropsies indicated curdled milk formula in the stomachs of the cubs.  So, Joe insists that the cubs were killed by “bad formula.”  But, the FDA testing of the samples Joe provided and of samples from the manufacturer found nothing wrong with the formula.  This formula must be stored, handled, mixed and administered properly.  Since FDA found nothing wrong with the formula itself, if the cubs did die from the formula, the most logical conclusion is that it was because Joe’s staff did not do one or more of these activities properly.

Please stop the abuse Schreibvogel is perpetrating on these animals and the disservice he is doing the public by claiming he is helping to preserve the species by breeding these animals. There have been more than enough citations and fines, and more than enough undercover research to prove that this man is incapable of properly caring for these animals. How many more animals will you allow to suffer? Please revoke Schreibvogel's permit and confiscate his animals now.

(Information provided by 911animalabuse and Howard Baskin JD, MBA)

Please check out these additional links for more information on G.W. Exotic:

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505263_162-57435200/alleged-abuse-at-gw-exotic-animal-park-seen-on-tape/

 http://newsok.com/allegations-leveled-against-oklahomas-g.w.-exotic-animal-park-by-humane-society-of-the-united-states/article/3676042

http://www.peta.org/features/gw-exotic-animal-trade.aspx

http://www.humanesociety.org/news/press_releases/2012/05/ok_exotics_investigation.html

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 500 signatures
    2. UK signatures

      Amy Godwin
      Petition Organizer

      I have spoken to tech support on the difficulties some of you from the UK have expressed and they have said that I have at least 30 signatures from people in the UK. They ask that if you are experiencing difficulty signing to please contact them through the help desk. Hope this helps! And hope any of you having difficulties will speak to the help desk and come back to sign my petition! Thanks!

    3. UK difficulties

      Amy Godwin
      Petition Organizer

      I have been made aware that there have been problems with supporters from the UK being able to sign. I have had people from many other countries sign, so I'm not quite sure what the issue is, but rest assured I am looking into the matter and hope to have it resolved soon! Please check back later if you are unable to sign at this time. Thank you very much.

    4. Reached 250 signatures
    5. Added links to investigations on the park.

      Amy Godwin
      Petition Organizer

      I have added a list of links at the bottom of the "About Petition" page that will give you more information on the investigations into the park. They are very enlightening articles and some pages include pictures and video. This might help some people who may be on the fence about signing, and for those who have signed already may strengthen their resolve to help spread the word and help promote my cause.

    6. Reached 50 signatures
    7. Revised Letter

      Amy Godwin
      Petition Organizer

      I have revised the petition letter so that it will be shorter and hopefully make more of an impact on the persons I am petitioning.

    8. Reached 5 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Maci Cozart LAKE DALLAS, TX
      • about 2 years ago

      I have seen the horrible condition these poor animals are living in.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Judith Gentry DAYTON, OH
      • over 2 years ago

      This is abominable; they need to end this cruelty immediately. It's obvious that this man cannot care for animals properly; get these poor animals to a true sanctuary.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Angela Bickford MONROEVILLE, PA
      • over 2 years ago

      This man clearly has a track record of incidents. To not shut this place down is truly a crime. These animals need to be saved.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • K Dahle CLEAR LAKE, MN
      • over 2 years ago

      This is abuse ** these animals should be free in the jungles ** its humans selfish needs to keep animals in cages for profit...***

      RETURN HIM TO THE JUNGLE ***

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Veronica Dickey MASSILLON, OH
      • over 2 years ago

      Joe is an unstable person who has a collection of creatures who he breeds and abuses for profit. We in Ohio already know what happens when an unstable person is allowed to mismanage so many large, dangerous animals and I hope Oklahoma does something soon, especially for the safety of both the public and the animals, before Oklahoma experiences its own Zanesville disaster.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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