Roadside zoos have lasted longer than a lot of the cottage industries, but even they have started to fall out of favor as kids and parents began to disfavor tiny cages and ramshackle operations. Even though these operations are going out of business and closing their doors to the public, most kept their animals and continued to ply their trade to school groups and private birthday parties. Some say they kept their animals out of love, while others say it was because there was nowhere for their animals to go.
So, when our Sanctuary received a call from PETA’s division of Captive Animal Law Enforcement concerning a female Black Bear (Dolly) and 3 foxes (Rowdy, Roxy & Scratch) who were sitting in cages somewhere in the dense woods of northern Michigan, we agreed to help. It turns out they were buttonholed in what was left of a small roadside zoo.
We had previously been contacted to rescue a male black bear named “Grizzy” from this same facility. The elderly couple that owned them told the USDA that Grizzy had a small sore on the top of his head that was getting better, but when the USDA inspected him themselves, they found that he had a large tumor like growth that had a giant hole going all the way down to his skull. The growth contained raw flesh that was open to insects, flies and parasites. Because of this medical issue, we had to wait to take action. The USDA was able to get Grizzy placed in a special medical facility for immediate medical attention. Afterwards, PETA was able to convince the old couple to let Dolly come to our facility along with the 3 foxes.
Now, Dolly and her fox pals are living in our facility and each seemed excited to explore their new enclosures. Dolly will be able to move to our 9,684 acre Refuge before long with a clean bill of health and the ability to roam the large habitat there. Roxie is missing her tail and both ears and this is likely due to them freezing in inadequate housing during a spell of sub-zero winter temps in Michigan. She is still as cute as ever and our Veterinarians have given her a clean bill of health! We are currently building a new Fox habitat just for Roxie and her family. Any day now they will be romping in a large grassy area complete with trees, water and features.
Nothing we do would be possible without support from the wonderful & philanthropic support we have received so far. But our journey is far from over. Please join our mission and help us rescue and home more of these amazing animals.
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