The Lazy 5 Ranch is a roadside zoo in Rowan County, North Carolina, known for its long-term neglect of animals in its care. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has repeatedly cited this facility for direct violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) that include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Repeatedly failing to provide veterinary care to animals in immediate and ongoing distress, resulting in unnecessary pain and suffering and risking further medical complications. For example, 14 unshorn sheep suffered heat distress (they were found lying on their sides and panting rapidly) after temperatures reached into the 90s.
- Giraffes with hooves so severely overgrown that they could not walk properly, a condition that has gone uncorrected for more than nine months despite the USDA’s recognition that this condition is painful and causes unnecessary suffering.
- Failing to ensure the daily observation of each animal and failing to notify a veterinarian of injuries or conditions that could lead to injury. In one instance, employees failed to inform a veterinarian that a deer was suffering discomfort because of a large raw wound, which had numerous flies on it, and that another deer had shredded plastic wrapped around his or her throat, head, and antlers.
Recent visitors to the Lazy 5 Ranch have also reported a dead animal left in public view, animals with injuries and wounds seemingly left untreated, and animals with insufficient shade and no apparent water source during the heat of the summer.
Clearly, the health and welfare of the animals at the Lazy 5 Ranch is not being ensured by the USDA, and while roadside zoos are periodically inspected by this agency, they are not exempt from state and local laws, which are generally stricter than minimal federal standards and provide animals with greater protection.
Please join PETA in urging Rowan County Animal Control to take immediate action to protect the animals at the Lazy 5 Ranch by initiating a formal investigation and charging the facility with cruelty to animals!