Cricket Hollow Zoo

Cricket Hollow Zoo owners ordered to pay $70,000 or serve jail time for violating court order

The owners of Manchester’s Cricket Hollow Zoo have been ordered to pay $70,000 or serve five months in jail for violating court orders regarding the relocation of animals at their roadside attraction.

The ruling this week in the contempt-of-court case against Pamela and Thomas Sellner comes three days after the Iowa Supreme Court declined to review a lower court decision in the case that led to zoo’s closure in 2019.

In that case, a group of Iowans assisted by animal rights advocates sued the Sellners, alleging numerous violations of Iowa’s animal neglect laws. A judge ruled in their favor and effectively ordered the zoo closed with many of the animals to be relocated to wildlife sanctuaries in other states.

READ MORE from the Iowa Capital Dispatch

Court of Appeals upholds judge's decision closing Cricket Hollow Zoo for 'deplorable conditions'

Deputy Editor, Iowa Capital Dispatch

The Iowa Court of Appeals has ruled the owners of Manchester’s Cricket Hollow Zoo were not denied a fair trial by a judge who closed the attraction after citing the “deplorable” conditions she observed there.

The two owners of the Cricket Hollow, Pamela and Thomas Sellner of Manchester, had appealed a 2019 court ruling declaring the zoo to be a public nuisance. In briefs filed with the court, attorneys for the Sellners argued that the trial judge, Monica Zrinyi Wittig, “took an advocacy role” on the side of the animal rights groups that helped a group of Iowans sue to close the zoo by “criticizing and arguing with” the Sellners and their witnesses.

In their appeal, the Sellners cited comments made to their attorney by Judge Wittig shortly after all of the parties visited the zoo on the first day of trial.

CLICK HERE to read entire article on Iowa Capital Dispatch web site.

Hearing under way to determine if Cricket Hollow owners should be held in contempt of judge's order

Owners of the troubled – and now closed – Cricket Hollow Zoo are again in court.

This time the owners of the roadside zoo near Manchester are facing charges they disobeyed the district court's December 2019 order that required them to turn over hundreds of animals for relocation by animal rescue personnel.

The trial of Pamela and Thomas Sellner on contempt charges began Wednesday (1/6/21) and is expected to conclude Tuesday in Iowa District Court in Delaware County. The case was filed a year ago, Jan. 8, 2020.

Ten years after Animal Welfare Act violations surfaced, USDA reaches 'consent decision' to revoke Cricket Hollow Zoo license

More than 10 years after Animal Welfare Act (AWA) violations began surfacing, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reached a 'consent decision' Friday (April 10) to permanently revoke the Cricket Hollow Zoo license.

The order filed last Friday in Washington, D.C. came four months to the day when workers removed nearly 100 animals from the facility after a Delaware County District Court ordered the troubled roadside zoo closed.

Workers remove hundreds of animals from troubled Cricket Hollow Zoo; nearly 200 others 'missing'

Approximately 100 animals were removed Monday (12/9) from the troubled Cricket Hollow Zoo near Manchester, but workers are still searching for some 200 others that were not found during the court-ordered animal rescue operation.

The roadside zoo owned by Pamela and Thomas Sellner was found in violation of Iowa animal cruelty standards by a Delaware County District Court judge November 24 and the judge ordered removal of the 300 exotic animals from the facility. The Sellners asked the Iowa Supreme Court to stay the removal order, but the high court denied the request December 4.

Cricket Hollow Zoo owners file appeal with Iowa Supreme Court; seek halt to remove of animals

The Iowa Supreme Court has been asked (11/27) to halt the removal of exotic animals from Cricket Hollow Zoo while hearing an appeal of the district court decision that found treatment of animals at the roadside zoo violated Iowa's animal cruelty standards.

Appeal of the Delaware County District Court decision and stay of the removal order was filed by Pamela and Tom Sellner, owners of troubled roadside zoo near Manchester.

In the appeal, the Sellners claim the judge was not "an impartial decision maker," and that the judge "took an advocacy role on the side of the Petitioners. . ."

CLICK HERE for further information on the zoo and the district court decision of Nov. 25.

Judge orders removal of 300 remaining animals from Cricket Hollow Zoo in decade-long legal battle

An Iowa District Court judge Monday (11/25) ordered the removal of the remaining 300 animals confined at Cricket Hollow Zoo, apparently ending a nearly decade-long legal battle over cruel treatment and neglect of endangered and exotic animals at the troubled roadside zoo near Manchester.

In the most recent lawsuit brought by four Iowa residents and the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) in 2018, the roadside zoo owned by Pamela and Thomas Sellner was found to violate Iowa's animal cruelty standards.

Lawsuit seeks permanent shutdown of troubled Cricket Hollow Zoo near Manchester

A trial seeking permanent closure of the troubled Cricket Hollow Zoo near Manchester is under way.

The lawsuit was filed by four state residents after years of seeking enforcement of state and federal animal treatment standards at the roadside zoo run by Pamela and Tom Sellner.

The trial in Delaware County District Court began last week (10/17) and after a tour of the zoo Judge Monica Wittig termed conditions at the facility "deplorable," according to a report in the Dubuque Telegraph-Herald newspaper.

Cricket Hollow Zoo owners facing another legal challenge over alleged mistreatment of animals

Cricket Hollow Zoo is facing another legal challenge from the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) over alleged mistreatment of animals remaining at its rural Manchester "animal park."

The roadside zoo was forced to give up its endangers lemurs and lions after a federal court ruling a year ago, and now ALDF has filed suit against zoo owners Pam and Tom Sellner in Iowa District Court alleging "persistent neglect of its animals," and "flagrant disregard for federal and state animal protection laws. . ."

U.S. appellate court upholds decision to remove lemurs, tigers from troubled Cricket Hollow Zoo

The federal district court decision ordering the removal of lemurs and tigers from the troubled Cricket Hollow Zoo near Manchester, Iowa, last October was upheld today (4/11) by the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The federal appellate court in St. Louis ruled that Lisa Kuehl, Tracey Kuehl, Nancy A. Harvey, John T. Braumann and the non-profit animal rights group, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), had legal standing to file the lawsuit to stop the mistreatment of the animals under the Endangered Species Act.

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