PRESS RELEASE - December 16, 2019
                            Cuomo Signs Bill Banning Wildlife Trafficking

ALBANY, N.Y. – Governor Cuomo signed into law a first-of-its-kind bill that bans the sale and possession with intent to sell of parts of any species threatened with extinction. The new law embraces the precautionary principle of protecting species before they reach the brink of extinction.

As the fourth largest illegal trade in the world, wildlife trafficking is driving our extinction crisis. One million species are currently at risk of extinction due to human activities, as indicated by a recent Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) report.

A statement follows from Rich Schrader, New York Political Director at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC):
“Signing this nation-leading bill into law catapults New York into a league of its own in the fight to protect our biodiversity. New York is now in a strong position to tackle the unsustainable nature of wildlife trade that is contributing to our extinction crisis. The inclusiveness of this bill reflects the urgency of protecting most – if not all – of the earth’s wildlife and sets a trailblazing precedent for other states to follow.”


Release Written By: MariaMichalos,, 646-889-1404

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.
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CONGRATS to our neighbor!

Massachusetts outlaws destructive wildlife killing contests

For Immediate Release: December 18, 2019

Regulation abolishes competitive killing of wild animals for prizes and entertainment

Boston, MA A coalition of leading wildlife protection organizations is applauding MassWildlife staff and the Massachusetts Fisheries and Wildlife Board for their vote today to ban wildlife killing contests in the Commonwealth.

The vote will bring an end to events like the ones recently held on Cape Cod and in Granby, in which participants competed to kill the largest, smallest, or the greatest number of animals for cash and prizes. Winners of wildlife killing contests often proudly post photos and videos on social media that show them posing with piles of dead animals, often before disposing of the animals in “carcass dumps” away from the public eye. When proposing this ban in July 2019, the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife noted growing outrage in Massachusetts about these cruel and unethical contests.

“Upon learning about these unsporting contests, Massachusetts citizens made it clear that they would not tolerate these killing competitions in their state, contacting MassWildlife by the hundreds to voice their opposition,” said Elizabeth Magner, Ph.D., animal advocacy specialist for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA). “The MSPCA is grateful that MassWildlife staff and the Fisheries and Wildlife Board treated this matter with the seriousness that it warrants, and for positioning Massachusetts as a national leader on this issue."  

“Wildlife killing contests are a bloodsport just like dogfighting and cockfighting, which have been outlawed nationwide,” said Katie Stennes, programs, and communications manager for Project Coyote. “We commend the Massachusetts Fisheries and Wildlife Board for relegating these ecologically and ethically indefensible events to the history books.”

“Wild animals play an important role in their ecosystem and our environment,” said Stephanie Harris, senior legislative affairs manager for the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “The forward-thinking, science-based regulations adopted by MassWildlife and the Fisheries and Wildlife Board to prohibit senseless killing contests and wanton waste are among the nation’s strongest.

“Participants of wildlife killing contests often use unsporting and cruel techniques -  such as calling devices that mimic the sound of prey or even pups in distress - so that they can lure shy coyotes and foxes to shoot at close range,” said Laura Hagen, Massachusetts state director for the Humane Society of the United States. “We thank MassWildlife for taking decisive action to ensure that the Commonwealth no longer supports such barbaric and wasteful killing of its treasured wildlife.”

Wildlife agencies and professionals across the country have expressed concerns about killing contests not only because they reflect badly on responsible sportsmen and sportswomen, but because they also contravene modern, science-based wildlife management principles. In 2018, more than 70 renowned conservation scientists issued a statement citing peer-reviewed science that refutes claims that indiscriminately killing coyotes permanently limits coyote populations, increases the number of deer or other game species for hunters, or reduces conflicts with humans, pets or livestock. In fact, by disrupting coyote pack structure, randomly shooting coyotes may increase their populations and lead to more conflicts. Nonlethal, preventive measures are most effective at reducing conflicts with wildlife.

Wildlife killing contests are also destructive to healthy ecosystems, within which all wildlife species play a crucial role. Coyotes and foxes in particular provide a range of ecosystem benefits, including controlling rabbit and rodent populations and restricting rodent- and tick-borne disease transmission.

In just the past five years, California, Vermont, New Mexico and Arizona have taken a stand against cruel, unsporting and wasteful wildlife killing contests. California banned the awarding of prizes for killing furbearing and nongame mammals in 2014; New Mexico and Vermont outlawed coyote killing contests in 2019 and 2018, respectively; and Arizona prohibited the events for predatory and furbearing species this year.
# # #

The New York State equivalent for these bills mandating an end to all wildlife killing contests is A03661/A07722 and S04074. The full text of the bill may be seen at as well as the voting record among legislators. The bill has made it to committee and still pending.

There are none so blind as those who refuse to see the truth. 

Our worst enemy.

As has been stated in my other previously written narratives for this blog, it has been stated that there are, unfortunately, two types of exotic animal owners in the industry.  There are those who are true to the purpose of keeping exotic animals and those who connive and cheat.

It’s comical to hear the latter accuse the former as the ones who are dividing the industry or are the ones causing greater restrictions on industry activity.  The reason for the difficulty in respecting such a statement is the fact that the former group isn’t involved or associated with the very government bodies threatening the industry; the latter is. 

Upon becoming familiar with the “who’s who” in the industry, it isn’t difficult to see the ones who actively challenge the State and Federal governments concerning unjust restrictions and other issues detrimental to our industry.  Needlesstosay, they are not the ones cooperating with the government and providing the wind behind its wings in passing more and more unconstitutional restrictions. 

The other side is plagued with con artists and their belligerent supporters and families.   They are closely associated with government departments for natural resources.  In New York State, this is the Department of Environmental Conservation, or “DEC”.

The whole purpose of the cons to associate themselves with the government is to reap favor and thus be considered above the law.  Such a practice assists such people in their businesses in that they will often be rewarded with free animals from the menageries of businesses the government destroys.  Cons are also not restricted as the rest of the industry is in that their animals do not have to be licensed the same way nor are activities involving them. 

The one thing clearly damaging to the industry is the cons' tendency to go along with “fake law” espoused by the state, especially here in New York State.  One example is the licensing of non-indigenous species by the Department.  It’s expected for a non-con to license with the state non-indigenous animals, yet the cons do not have to do so.  Yet, the cons tell others in the industry it’s illegal not to do so.  Such an indication to other industry members is highly inappropriate not only because it is a misrepresentation of the law but also the cons are not authorities in the industry and thus are stepping far past their own ethical and professional boundaries in remanding specific (often non-existent) restrictions on non-cons while they baldly carry on with business as if they are not subject to the same restrictions.

The most disheartening thing of all is the number of people who follow such morally bankrupt people as the cons and do so blindly.   In our society which we prize as progressive and educated, it is surprising to see the number of people who, without possession of facts or the will to carry on research, blindly follow the cons in the crimes and misconduct they perpetrate against the good members of the industry. 

This is why it is imperative for the good in the industry to continue and challenge the DEC and their minions at every step of the way in the most effective manner possible.  While doing so, they should not be surprised when they get far enough in enemy territory where they will remove the mask of the real enemy: the industry itself.  

Proud of My Friends & Followers

I have to say I am one of the luckiest people alive to have the friends and followers I have.  For the last several years, especially, I've noticed how decent everyone has been in the face of those not so good.

My friends and followers exist in stark contrast to those of my enemies and I'm very happy about that.  In the exotic animal industry, you have two types of people: those who are part of the shady practices which define the view of the industry from the outside, and those who just want to keep and enjoy their animals in the privacy of their own facility.

I truly feel that the company one keeps reflects greatly on a person.  The truth in this belief has been the most resounding when dealing with the shady characters in the exotic animal industry.

It's not uncommon to have the shady characters of the business take advantage of the other owners especially in terms of fraud.  This is the case with one of my pending cases, Leo v Thomas, in the Jefferson County Supreme Court.  Every single person on Thomas' side has been entirely belligerent, loud, nasty, insulting, hateful, dishonest and judgmental and has been so right off the bat - many times without anything said by me preceding such obnoxious behavior.  Every single person.

On the other hand, every one of my friends and followers (except you Gerry) has been polite, respectful, quiet and decent.  Of course, they are decent people.  They don't do what Thomas and his buddies do. They are entirely different people.

Here are some examples since July 2017 when I made the effort to oppose Thomas and his network of thieves.

The Uninvited
Thomas has several members of the NYSDEC on his side, the most hated public service and regulatory agency in the state of New York.  Lieutenant Billy Powell has lied over and over about my facility, my family, my business and my animals.  He has employed numerous unethical and unlawful tactics in trying to persuade neighbors and others to inflict loss upon my business. When I finally gained access to documents about my case, they sharply contradicted his accounts of everything.

Furthermore, my prosecution by the Department was started by Powell simply because we had an argument on the phone in November 2015.  This occurred after he nastily declined to agree to tell his officers to kindly leave their business cards next time they visit my facility when I'm not there.  I had requested such due to my elderly parents, who were present during the visit but were not able to remember much about their visit when trying to tell me about it upon my return.  Powell didn't even tell the truth about who called in the complaint and what the complaint entailed.  But, however, he stated everything was fine.  Thus, lying and entrapment began.

The DEC loves to do things behind another's back.  This is a tell-tale sign that the agency is up to no good which is its usual mode of operation.  Additionally, it's unethical for public servants to do so.  Although the staff are pretty bright intellectually, the Special Licenses Unit is full of experts on poor conduct and the crooked implementation of the licensing systems.

Joseph Therrien, and his supervisor, James Farquhar, have been assisting Thomas and his attorney.  It appears they are intending to circumvent the legal system by writing secret statements for Thomas so his attorney can slip them to the judge.

Likewise, Thomas' former Animal Care Inspector from the USDA, Andrea D'Ambrosia, encouraged him to take my animals under fraudulent pretenses and is even helping him obtain forged statements from witnesses in order to submit and help him win in Court. D'Ambrosia was so nasty during one of her last visits to my facility, I literally had to call the local PD to escort her off of the premises.  Talk about dangerous.  Several weeks later, she then sent over an investigator who showed up yelling and screaming in the driveway of my home bringing a bunch of sheriff deputies standing between my vehicle and I so I couldn't get away if I felt threatened enough to do so.  What lunatics!

And, then there's Thomas' attorney, Mikey Young.  The second appearance was spent watching him blow the Pampers off his ass as he was yelling for 5-10 minutes straight complaining about my overuse of the acronym "CPLR"  throughout my amended complaint and other trivial, ridiculous complaints.  Not too respectable or professional.  When asking for advice from other attorneys, they were disgusted and now refer to him as a "lawyer" always with the quotation marks.  They state he should be turned into the bar.

Then there are the sneaky things Young does such as purposely stalling and cause dilatory delays - a method the NYSDEC is well-versed in as well.  Saying he doesn't have papers when he does.  Saying he has never spoken to anyone at the DEC after he had already turned in several letters to the Court stating that he has.  Young also plays the DEC "card" in misrepresenting laws such as I can't have my badger back because, according to the DEC, I'm supposed to be licensed, when that is not true.  Of course, he had no answer when I mentioned in open court that his client never had such licensing while possessing the badger in New York.  All of these things (and much more) have helped to reduce the respect I use to have for lawyers and the judicial system.  Too much snobbery for my taste.

This lovely person has done so much more in trying to get me to abandon the enforcement of the law upon his client.  Upon my offering a sweet settlement to his client, he and his client did nothing but play games and lie.  If his client had turned over only two of the three animals, nothing would have been said by me, no charges, no nothing but my withdrawing the case and the matter resolved with no further public comment about the matter.  No one would have ever known he did, indeed, have my animals, even though he lied about them being deceased.  I would have said nothing to no one; not even my parents or close friends.  By now, he would have been completely void of any legal or any other kind of problem involving this matter.   As far as I would have been concerned, it never happened.   Now that's quite the settlement.  However, the fact that he wants to continue the conflict again shows the kind of person Thomas is.

The fact that Thomas and his attorney have been so egregious in exhibiting such behaviors is indicative of the kind of people they truly are.  Mr. Young vyed for a judgeship not too long ago but he lost.  The hair stands up on the back of my neck when I imagine him as a judge - not because he's not intelligent enough, but because of how he treats those he doesn't need or he acts like are beneath him in importance.  I think New York State is corrupt enough without having another judge like Young, especially when he can't even properly represent his client.

I was quite surprised how Young sacrificed a primo deal for his client by playing so many games and by failing to usher Thomas through the best settlement offer his client could ever have hoped for.  Of course, maybe I shouldn't complain.  After all, it's obvious he's stringing his client along for more money.  All it takes is this guy to treat others according to the rules of the Attorney's Professional Code of Conduct.  Sometimes I think he just can't sustain moral conduct, especially when it's gotten to the point in which it's hard to tell where his lips end and the DEC's ass begins.  Sometimes I think he's switched clients.  Maybe Thomas turned into the DEC?  of course, they really are the same beast.

Then you have the others which support Thomas who haven't even met me in person, much less know me.  Such lovely characters consist of boorish characters like Adam DeParolessa, Elise Able, my 800-lb neighbor who says he shoots all of the animals I released in the past (nice guy huh?) and who received advice from Billy Powell of the DEC to go ahead and shoot any animal at large which he thinks belongs to me.  Such action is in violation of the agricultural code.

In the not-so-distant past, I became aware that my other neighbor was documenting everything I did outside.  I'm treated like I have some meth lab or something of that nature in my backyard.  It's ridiculous!  I think these people have way too much time on their hands. 

Yet, with all of this surveillance that  Powell has on me, not once has he been able to find anything over the years - not once!  Well, ok, except my overwintering coyotes.  Oh, then there's the failure to throw Virginia opossums out into the cold while they were still recovering from bacterial infections. Oh, and sending in paperwork late and also, having chipmunks in my possession without exhibiting them although they are an unprotected, thus unregulated, species.   Jeez, I wonder if I really do have a legal operation here!

What makes this situation almost hysterical is that while Billy Powell is obsessing over my every move, licensees only several miles from me are violating laws like they are going out of style.  I volunteered for one who had illegal possession of seven red-tailed hawks, a thirteen-year raccoon kept since a baby, houses 70+ raccoons in her foyer through which the entire family walks numerous times every day to get in and out of the house, a buck which continually got loose and chasing neighbors, and so on.  Powell has knowledge of this yet lets it continue because to him, it's much more important to watch my every move to see if I well, you know, do something he can possibly twist and turn and use against me since he has so little to use against me to begin with.  I'm already being held responsible for other people's foxes running around.  I think he's overestimating my ability in being able to control other people's animals.

It's almost like a keystone cops filmstrip or an Abbott & Costello skit where the joke is on the cop who, in obsessing over some benign phenomenon, ignores something substantial occurring right under his nose.  No wonder the public doesn't take the DEC (especially its law enforcement division) seriously.  There are a huge rash of violations which occur repeatedly by the same licensees every day, every week, every month, year by year, and yet, that's ok with the NYSDEC.

The Unbalanced
Other "upstanding" advocates fighting for Thomas' perceived "right" of industry shmucks to steal animals are Ronnie Strack of Ohio and Mikey Frasier of Tennesse.  These guys are quite unbalanced psychologically.  Ronnie masquerades around either under a facebook profile name of Rob Case or he does so as a government-employed sniper at Yellowstone National Park and credits himself with the leadership of an elite group of biologists turned snipers who are solely responsible for the successful introduction of wolves into the Park.  Not true!  Boy did the biologists I spoke with directly at Yellowstone get a guffaw at Ronnie's, 'er Rob's, imaginary life.  This interesting psychopot has a plethora of stories when I first met him online.  Maybe he's catfishing?  I think so.

Frazier is like a butt blister waiting to burst upon impact (i.e. a nuisance).  He hit the roof when I nicely disagreed with him in the past.  He became so abruptly angry and started rifling insults at me.  What a baby!  ... a grown man who can't even handle congenial opposition from another.  I even said he had a decent argument but that I just thought he was being a little too hard on wildlife rehabilitators.  Obviously, not all is operating smoothly upstairs with this guy!  But, it speaks volumes to who he goes after and who he helps with bullying online.  He reflects well upon me, but not Thomas and Stacey. 

Bad never sides with good; it always sides with someone or something just as bad, if not worse.  It also stands to reason why good people shouldn't understand why bad people do the things they do and vice versa.  I use to pound my head against the wall when I couldn't understand irrational people like these guys until I realized that I didn't understand their ways because it was so far away from the right thing that I'm not supposed to understand irrational arguments and behavior.

Other characters with personality disorders who also support Thomas and who have shown their true colors gullibly believing unsubstantiated information Thomas gives him (all of which is not true) is Jeff Taylor and a few others.  Thank God, if they felt they had to choose sides, it wasn't mine.  I have to say Taylor is one of the first to look at a judge's order and then claim my accusations are false.  Not too swift.  Obviously, he is believing what he wants to believe.  And boy, what a nasty nasty guy!   However, that's his problem, not mine.

Yet, not one person on my side has ever done any of these things.  Not a one.  I'm the one who has faced formal accusations from the Department yet I am the one with sound arguments and proof of how Thomas is lying, therefore, leading me to success in obtaining a court mandate for the return of my animals.  I am not the one playing games or tricks nor am I the one entrapping other people.  I have no secrets because I don't need to hide anything. I'm legal 100%.  Well, unless I end up doing this civilian resistance thing and put up a lonely giraffe in my backyard.  That's beside the point though.

Not one person can say that about any one of my enemies.  This is an illustration of an obvious battle between good and bad.  Although I'm the only one in the group of people I have mentioned in this post who has been prosecuted by the department, I am the only one who isn't employing unethical and unlawful means in order to get what I want and hurt others.  That's the other side's strategy and again, it speaks volumes to the quality of their characters.

Crooked authorities and their patsies are the people who are against me but support Tyler Thomas and Nicholas Stacey.  These two have been allowed to illegally possess, acquire, transport and detain animals both in New York, from New York, and into Texas and are still breaking conservation laws to this day. Thomas' false claim that all of my animals perished within a year of each other isn't seen at all as a problem with the USDA or DEC.  Do you think they'd have the same attitude if I had claimed such a thing happened to any animals I had in my custody?  Of course not.

I haven't even touched upon the duo's violation of federal laws like the Animal Welfare Act, the  Lacey Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, not to mention possible provisions of Tyler's CBW license which I've been told will not be renewed, per USFWS.

Again, not one person associated with me has done any of this stuff at all.  They haven't even peeped a vulgar word against Tyler Thomas and Nicholas Stacey and their minions and DEC patsies (well, except for you Gerry).  That's amazing!  And it makes me incredibly proud of who I am and those who feel comfortable associating with me.  It's an astoundingly favorable reflection upon me as those who associate with Thomas and Stacey reflect upon them horribly and rightfully so.  Many times the most subtle characteristics of conflict are the most telling in determining who is right and who is wrong; that is, if you are open enough to see it.

It is far too much of a trend for me to think it's just coincidental that the followers and friends of a person, especially in the exotic animal industry, are not reflective of the person him or herself.  I thank you, my friends and followers, for your kindness, support, compassion, and decency.  I cannot tell you how much it means to me and how good you are compared to some of the worst people I've ever met in my life in the world of Tyler and Nick (although I hear Nick isn't so bad).  I'm so incredibly lucky!

Is Possession Really 3/4 of the Law?

If you possess or own exotic animals, you may have heard, even repeatedly, how possession of the animals equates to ownership.  This is far from true.  

There are several reasons why even exotic animal owners have been known to adopt such a farse.  

First, long-term possession of animals not typically kept as pets, such as dogs and cats, came into existence primarily as a result of wild animals, which were in rehabilitation but could not be released back into the wild due to some debilitating disorder or anomaly preventing a safe release for themselves and/or the public. Many states allow the use of such animals for educational reasons under a license or permit system.  In New York State, the license is called the "License to Collect & Possess".  

Wild animals, or wildlife, that is, animals existing in a wild state, are owned by the people of the state; hence, they are considered "state-owned".  In New York, the NYSDEC loves to remind the public how wildlife isn't ours, they belong to them [the state].  In reality, the animals belong to the people of the state who have then been forced to entrust the animals to the often irresponsible authority commonly referred to as the state's natural resource agency, in New York State, it is the Department of Environmental Conservation. 

Animals owned by the people of the state fulfill a common interest among the populace.  Because the animals live at large and wander from property to property, they are transient and cannot be considered as any one real property owner's personal property, even if a family of a wild animal species, such as groundhogs, for instance, set up living quarters on the land of a private individual.  Those animals are still considered communally owned and thus entrusted to the state for regulation and management. 

When exotic animals came along, there was really no category for them, especially legally and socially.  They seemed to be part of both worlds in that they were domesticated like cats and dogs yet were just as rare in captivity as the state's wildlife was and is.  Unfortunately the states, in extending their authority without going through any democratic process, combined privately-owned exotic animals with state-owned wild animals simply due to their eccentricities.  Hence, without any laws in place, the state of New York, in particular, made privately owned animals mandated to be licensed exactly as the animals born and raised in the wild were while in captivity.  

Society, even private owners of exotics, became used to such a system to the point where they do not question this licensing system in New York State.  But they should.  With the state equating personal property, which exotic animals typically are considered, with state-owned property, abuses are sure to occur and they have been, courtesy of the DEC.  

The second reason is how the state equates possession with ownership.  They virtually do not decipher between the two which is an abuse of process in and of itself.  I was surprised when talking with a staff attorney from the DEC that he didn't consider a difference between the two.  An attorney.  These are the experts who handle conflicts of personal vs. communal property and the fights which ensue involving both.  Needless to say, this was concerning to me at the time, and still is.   This revealed to me that there was a much deeper rooted problem in the belief system of the NYSDEC and possibly the state at large, in what contrives personal property in the animal industry and what does not.  In fact, the most recent proposed rulemaking endeavor sponsored by the DEC in September 2019 in which all exotic animals are declared as "dangerous" thus needing an additional license and approval from the most ill-equipped agency to do so, is the apex of the misunderstanding between state and privately owned property.  

The third reason may be the fact that it isn't uncommon for exotic animals to be traded, donated or loaned to different facilities by other facilities.  Private facilities may do so with AZA- or ZAA-accredited facilities and so forth.   This is particularly true for endangered species.  Because the free-flowing movement and transfer of animals without the exchange of money or other forms of payment occurs to the extent it does, it makes the concept of private ownership seem to have more of a fluid nature than permanent.  

Regardless of how or why an individual thinks of a wild or exotic animal, ownership is vastly different than possession.  It is no different than owning a cattle ranch and owning the cattle.  Likewise, it is no different than owning a dog or cat; even if one prefers to treat the exotic animal as a pet.  

Personal property is protected by the Constitution of the state as well as the nation; yet, many do not recognize this, even many exotic animal owners.  Until animals are stripped of the label "personal property" and are granted personhood or some type of similar legal status, animals will always be property if they are legally and adequately acquired.  No matter what law or regulation the government passes, it cannot remove the rights animal owners have in how they choose to enjoy the use of their property.  Hence, laws dictating mandates against using exotic animals as pets or needing licensure due to a perceived "danger" when there is none, are, in my opinion, unconstitutional and baseless.  

The act of assuming title over the personal property of another individual is referred to as the legal construct of "conversion" and it's illegal.  In New York state, another legal concept, "bailment", is also appropriate for use in the unlawful attainment of exotic animals from their true owner.  Other states have similar statutes such as Texas.  In fact, in Texas, it is also called  "conversion".  Both exemplary and compensatory damages may be indicated in cases involving conversion especially if there is sufficient evidence to support a cause of action for fraud.  Many times, when animals are involved, both concepts go hand in hand.  

It isn't clear as to what property can be considered promised to another by a simple change in its possession.   However, animals aren't property which changes title simply depending on who possesses it at any given moment.  

Exotic animal owners need to support their private interests in the animals they both possess but don't own outright and those which they do.  By failing to assert the rights to the enjoyment of their own personal property or other animal owners' rights and liberties to do so gives the regulatory structure already in place and meant to protect the public a weak foundation.   By doing so, it ensures the opportunity government players, such as the Special Licenses Unit staff in the NYSDEC, will gain in usurping our four-legged and feathered companions which inspire the exotic animal industry as much as they do.  By losing such inspiration, sometimes forever, causes a degradation in the quality of life this state "allows" the public who have interests that differ from those of common sources.   Owners and caregivers simply cannot allow this to happen.

Written by Carrie Leo - exotic animal owner and caregiver.

How the NYSDEC Steals Animals from their Owners

How the NYSDEC & Their Minions Steal Animals from their Owners

In May and July of 2016, I thought the NYSDEC did the worst they could ever do to my business and I by first seizing and killing a pack of healthy adult coyotes I was rehabilitating then waiting for a couple of months to charge me for the very activities they had licensed me to do.  Boy, was I wrong, when in July/August 2017, I had found out how they colluded with another licensee who I trusted to board three of my animals while I was recovering from surgery for several months.

The other licensee, Tyler Thomas of Fragile Planet Wildlife Center, had been working with Joe Therrien and Paul Stringer, two staff members of the NYSDEC.  Additionally, James Farquhar and law enforcement officers such as William Powell of Region 8, were also in on the theft as they encouraged Thomas to take the animals with no intention of returning them misrepresenting the laws by stating that it would be illegal to return them to me as I supposedly wasn't licensed to have them.

However, I was adequately licensed and the department knew it.  I had my License to Collect & Possess which, at that time, had not been revoked.  Therrien and his pals knew better than anyone else that the license remains valid during the course during which the department is preparing for an enforcement hearing which is what was occurring at that time.  Within a week of obtaining an attorney for fighting the tickets charged to me by Powell and Kevin Thomas of the law enforcement division, the general counsel was granted right off the bat two months of adjournments to prepare for taking my license away via administrative court hearing or, as Jim McCulley, another person targetted by the Department resulting in fifteen years of litigation, calls them, "kangaroo hearings".   At every turn, the DEC was committing inappropriate acts against me such as judge shopping and making false inflammatory statements about my business, the care for my animals, and I to local authorities and colleagues, neighbors, etc. 

In late November 2017, Thomas of Fragile Planet Wildlife Center had submitted a verified answer to my summons.  The answer contained a statement explaining how he had received encouragement from the Special  Licenses Unit of the DEC to take my animals without the intent of ever returning them.  This is illegal.

Fairly recently, it also came to my attention that Thomas' attorney had been in contact with the Department of Environmental Conservation staff such as Joe Therrien and James Farquhar.  The topic was, of course, how to use any licensing information against me so I would not get my animals back.  Can a public agency do this?  Well, I didn't think so, when in August 2017 I had requested an update on the status of my licensing by the Special Licensing Unit as well as any information they have about my fisher, one of the animals Thomas stole and took out of state.  Thomas wanted me and the Court to believe the animal had perished, which was untrue. Of course, the Special Licenses Unit said they couldn't talk to me about anything to do with the fisher because they were aware of the case filed against Thomas and it's department policy not to discuss such things.  However, they were doing so with Thomas and his attorney on multiple occasions.

In September 2019, the DEC pushed through proposed rulemaking declaring every exotic animal to be "dangerous" without submitting any proof, assessments, evidence, theories, nothing.  Of course, the animal specifically mentioned was North American badgers.   Coincidentally, I was on the verge of getting one from Thomas as part of a settlement and, as he was stalling in sending the animal, the regulation would start its enforcement phase in January 2020 according to his attorney.  It was clear to me that the department was still working together with Thomas and his attorney in trying to prevent me from receiving any animals from Thomas.

Thinking back on how the DEC staff members Therrien, Farquhar, Stringer, Powell, etc. snuck around doing and saying things behind my back without the courage to take the adult manner of talking to another adult  if any of them saw a problem, I wondered how many other people fell victim to this kind of unlawful collusion and misrepresentation of the laws and didn't realize it.  Just when I think the state cannot get any worse or corrupt, it seems to dazzle its public again by showing a whole new low in its behavior and contempt of the public and those who challenge their violations of the law and ethical standards.

Commissioner Seggos stated the proposed rulemaking in September 2019 was going to be adopted because there were "some bad characters breaking the rules".  Somehow I doubt he was talking about the favorited licensees who have extensive non-compliant histories with the department but always manage to have their licensing stay intact.  It just stands to "reason" that he was talking about those who, although remaining compliant with their licensing provisions, failed to follow the Department's unspoken rules, one of them being never to challenge the actions of the department staff.   Now that's dangerous.

What this blog is about . . .

Welcome to our new blog!

There is a war.   It's not fought with guns and ammunition.  It has never made the primetime news or the headlines.  Some have never even heard of it.  But it exists.

The controversy over whether non-traditional animals should be kept in captivity is an extraordinarily hot topic.  It is so hot that one is expected to sit with one extreme or the other and if she doesn't side with either, she will be sure to get run over.

There is no happy medium between the two extremes except the "no-man's-land" where many animals end up and an occasional undeserving person.  The tug of war between exotic animal owners and animal rights activists has taken its toll on the industry of wildlife and exotic animals and many lives have been lost; in many different ways and severities.

Every day it seems the essential rights of animal owners are violated within the realm of both state and federal licensing systems.   Eventual cruelty is bestowed upon children with dreams of owning animals that look and sound different than animals they befriended and loved while growing up.   Now the child inside the creator can laugh with a hyena, count the rosettes on a jaguar, and howl with the wolves as if the creator is part of the pack.  These are animals that have their own magic.   Children grow up and are taught so long as they work very hard and bestow the Golden Rule upon everyone they meet, nothing can go wrong. 

But it does.

It does so in an increasing frequency throughout every year that passes.   Before creators realize it, their hard-earned assets and even the very existence of their businesses can be gone in a blink of an eye.  The end product of hatred and intolerance is a massacre of legitimate businesses offering a different kind of education and a different kind of magic.  By this point, the creators who, by adulthood, see the fruits of their labor over many years experience its tragic loss in a fraction of the time it took to acquire it.

Government agencies, such as the Department of Environmental Conservation, have staff who seem to work overtime in philosophizing how their self-love is indicative of their greatness - a value and belief existing solely within their own minds.  Covert plans resulting in the destruction of fragile creations not so easily attained occur daily throughout this nation.   It wouldn't be surprising if a disproportionate amount of the events resulting in such loss occurs in New York State as it is plagued with the most laws, rules, regulations and, unfortunately, attorneys.  Claustrophobic mandates arbitrarily (and sometimes secretly) forced upon those who do not conform personally to the staff ensure the loss of freedom and ignorance of public needs and quality of life by all facets of the government.  It's hard to believe the duty-driven generation of our grandparents was far more free and happy then we are here now, in New York State.   Hence, the perpetual exodus from the empire.

Now think of it all being taken away so abruptly and secretly, by the complainers.  Imagine watching the bulldozing of the dreams which served as the foundation for ambition and inspiration of the creators to give charity to the community around them.  These are the same feelings that led the creators to demonstrate to others happiness can only intensify when one understands that just because something is uncommon, doesn't mean it's bad.  Creators teach others that it's okay to laugh with a hyena, count the jaguar's rosettes and howl with the wolves until they are silenced by greed, hatred, and ignorance by the same people who swore dedication to behave in the opposite fashion.  The creators are being destroyed by the complainers.

This is a blog open for discussion regarding the legal status of domesticated exotic animals in captivity and protecting the rights and liberties of the public, especially exotic animal owners.  It encourages all to reach into the child inside and remember what it was like to think of the most passionate dream they've ever had and how it felt to finally attain it on their own merits.

Please come aboard and read the vast array of opinions and experiences concerning the views of those who have taken up the movement to improve New York State's treatment of exotic animal owners and wildlife rehabilitators.   This blog will explain licensing systems as they are understood by the blogger and the faults, loopholes, and abuse of such systems by the authorities who have been instrumental in converting our communities into authoritarian entities.  It is clearly their own belief, logic, and comfort which is important enough to be imposed upon others and held far above the needs and diverse lifestyles of the public.  The public is good enough to pay for government agencies but not good enough to be included in the benefits they shower on only a few.

This must change.