Des Moines, Iowa, isn’t exactly known for its great strides in animal welfare. But there is a fight brewing there, thanks to a brave woman by the name of Rita Mason.
Mason started the online petition to end the practice of allowing Pella Wildlife Company, a so-called wildlife education program, to set up a portable “zoo” in the local Merle Hay Mall. Pella’s owner, Ron DeArmond, charges admission to “view” the “animal ambassadors”, and you can pay to pet wildlife, even to have birthday parties with the animals.
While housed in the mall, the animals have no natural light, no grass beneath their feet, no ability to exercise other than to pace around a cage.
DeArmond says that the people that are opposed to his “zoo” are, “animal rights activists who don’t understand wildlife education and management.” He told Mike Kilen of the Des Moines Register, “Animal rights people have got this idea that it’s ‘Kumbaya’ out there in the wild. It’s violent. It’s survival of the fittest, it’s like Obamacare in here. They get care and feeding and don’t have to do anything for it.”
So we see what kind of respect this man has for his own species.
And folks, if he’s letting people pay to pet, then we know he’s engaged in captive breeding.
Sadly, what this man and others like him do is not illegal. Many people are duped into believing that what people like this do is conservation. But he’s not releasing any of those animals, because captive bred animals have no concept of surviving in the wild. And, based on his own comments, we know he’s doing nothing to teach them how to survive out there.
But there’s one other thing that pisses me off about this guy- he’s making it sound like us “animal rights activists,” who are mostly women, are dumb and stupid, compared to him, the man who’s the business owner and educator.
Tell DeArmond that what he’s doing amounts to animal cruelty. Sign Rita Mason’s petition, and ask your friends to as well.
Share this blog post, and let’s swell that petition from 30,000 signatures to 100,000.
And please, NEVER financially support these types of programs. They aren’t helping animals. They’re exploiting them for profit. Period.