Animal protection advocate Shari Kosel from Lead alerts me to what sounds like an appalling little business coming to Deadwood. On January 21, 2015, the Deadwood Planning and Zoning Commission approved a permit for Fur-Ever Wild Deadwood, a Minnesota-based company that will offer customers the chance to play with wolf pups ($20 for 20 minutes).
Kosel explains the Fur-Ever Wild (and I’m feeling like “Wild” needs to be in quote marks) business model:
Wild wolves are bred in their Minnesota facility. Once the pups are a few days old, they are pulled from their mothers, before their eyes open. According to their Facebook page, “Fur-Ever Wild -Deadwood, is the second location to Fur-Ever Wild. At the Deadwood location we offer education and up close encounters with wolf pups.”
When the wolf pups are too old to be used in their petting zoos, they will be transported back to Minnesota and killed for their fur [Shari Kosel, Change.org petition, 2015.04.28].
Separate pups from their mother, use them as props for novelty entertainment for six months, then kill and skin them. I wonder if Fur-Ever “Wild” will have signs or brochures explaining to its customers the fate these wolves will face once the petting is done.
The original Minnesota Fur-Ever “Wild” raises cougars, bobcats, otters, beavers, lynx, fishers, martens, and badgers for fur. Neighbors say the facility violates a township ordinance against keeping exotic animals and lowers surrounding property values with its smell and risk.
To prevent this nuisance from coming to Deadwood, Kosel says she will submit the online signatures she gathers to the Deadwood Planning & Zoning Commission May 6th to support her request that they rescind the wolf pen’s permit. Kosel also plans to ask State Veterinarian Dustin Oedekoven and the Animal Industry Board to deny Fur-Ever “Wild” its state permit.