Fur-Ever Wild (license # 41-C-0125) is awful, in our opinion, to say the least, and we have found some very damning evidence suggesting that they do “pelt” their cats when the fur market is right.
Starting at page 7, this document contains their game farm activity reports from the last few years. These records show how many animals of each species die (i.e. were slaughtered) at the farm each year. According to these records, 2 bobcats were killed from 2013-14, and one lynx was purchased and slaughtered that same year. During virtually every previous year on record, a handful of bobcats, lynx, and even the occasional mountain lion were slaughtered and sold.
Continue in that same PDF and you’ll find a detailed 2012 court interview with Ms. Petter that contains everything you’d ever want to know about her operation. On page 29, Petter admits that every animal on her property is bred for fur. Even her horses are “sold for meat and taxidermy.” And although Petter often claims on Fur-Ever Wild’s Facebook page that only animals which die of “natural causes” are used for fur, this interview confirms that she instead waits until the winter, when the pelts are the nicest, then slaughters and skins the animals in her barn (animals which die of natural causes aren’t typically wanted by fur buyers).
At the time of this interview, Petter had 6 cougars, including one “breeder” male that was never on display to the public (some of the barns housing “breeder” animals and pelting operations are strictly off-limits to the public, for obvious reasons). The cougars apparently had 4 stillborn litters until Petter could figure out how to breed them properly.
Disturbingly, that interview also reveals that fur products (like fox faces, tails, etc.) are (or were) sold during Fur-Ever Wild’s family-friendly events, like their Halloween party or their Christmas light display. So you could bring your kids to view and pet cute baby wolves and foxes, then go and buy that species’ dismembered body parts on the same property.
How disgusting is that?
If that document wasn’t enough, this blog post connects a few more dots about the whole operation.
And this Facebook page has been keeping tabs on Fur-Ever Wild and contains links to other news articles/documents, as well as a photo of the horrific “bone pile” behind the petting zoo. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1180823271950332/
Deposition of Teresa Petter: Teresa Petter Deposition
Petter won’t say how many animals she has. But U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspection records from June 2015 note 136 animals, ranging from prairie dogs to pumas. Among them are 38 gray wolves, 18 red foxes and five bobcats.
According to the USDA, Fur-Ever Wild has had 15 instances of noncompliance since 2012, including one warning about exhibiting cougar cubs before vaccination. Other records pointed to animals’ lack of access to water.
News about Terri Petter’s Pets to Pelts program and other offenses: