Dear Sirs and Madames:
Your failure to provide Mr. Shepperson's private zoo license of 4 of the 6 chimpanzees is of great concern to me for the following reasons:
1. The State and Federal Government (USDA) have approved these 6 Chimpanzees to remain on the land.
2. Your lack of compliance with state and Federal mandates is disturbing from a consitutional, civil liberties and discriminatory standpoint.
3. These animals are not Pets; nor are they 'dangerous'. The USDA and local Animal Control have written reports that support this statement. Also, the chimpanzees have been securely locked behind a virtual fortress with no access to ingress/egress even in based on human error. The USDA official confirms this and will go on the record recommending that the family stay together.
4. These animals are a family - to move them would be tantamount to separating 6 toddler-level intelligent beings and removing them from all contact. Mr. Shepperson never has maintained the intention of owning these animals as pets nor would he.
5.Mr. Shepperson had no choice but re-home the four chimps that remain unlicensed by the county (they were on a loan from a group that abandoned them; accordingly, he could not obtain the proper ownership papers. Instead, he appropriately obtained the licensure required to keep the 4 chimps along with his existing 2 from the USDA and the State.
6. The idea of Euthanisia: I am concerned as a citizen that the County government is overreaching the State and Federal laws without the appropriate authority to do so. The county has no authority to euthanize a USDA permitted animal as long as it is not deemed dangerous and has no communicable diseases, is in mortal condition, et al. That decision also rests, if viable, with the local animal control under the Sheriff's Deputy office per County code. Mr.Taylor acting as Assistant County Administrator is bringing attention to this cause by speaking without authortiy. It is an embarassment to the County as well as emotionally distressing on the Sheppersons. The euthanasia comments are not based in fact but in an effort to bully the Sheppersons into getting the chimps out the county. An official representing the county should never act recklessly without regard to a citizen to their detriment both emotionally and fiscally.
7. Because of the threats of euthanasia Mr.Shepperson has spent thousands of dollars on his attorney bills and countless days and nights of emotional distress.
8. Please stop this discriminatory behavior against a private zoo owner who only uses the zoo for charitable causes and educational purposes.
9. Please comply with the Commonwealth of Virginia Codes and Federal Regulations that have already approved the licensure of the chimps. Countys' can exhibit upto floor preemption but cannot go beyond the scope of the State nor Federal Laws. This behavior is tantamount to forming a miliia state when you are in fact a well-budgeted and respected County.
10. Please allow Mr. Shepperson to license the four remaining rescued Chiimpanzees and stay in the private zoo enclosure that exceeds USDA standards for safety of human and chimp; to move them to a sanctuary is cruel and beyond the scope of the county's authority.
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This petition closed about 2 years ago
Please sign this petition to keep a healthy family of chimpanzees in a private zoo together. Also, if you are interested in the civil liberties and freedoms of citizens under federal and state...
Please sign this petition to keep a healthy family of chimpanzees in a private zoo together. Also, if you are interested in the civil liberties and freedoms of citizens under federal and state protection, please sign this petition. The Hanover County Administration refuses to acknowledge the rights of the owner arbitrarily and discriminatorily, Finally, to euthanize a USDA protected animal would be unlawful under the current circumstances. This has been put forth as an option only to deprive Mr.Shepperson of his civil liberties and also to cause him great emotional distress whether intentionally or negligently, The defamatory statements by certain county officials are also actionable in having caused actual damages.