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Dangerous and illegal wolf encounters offered at Rustic Retreat Deer Park

Dangerous and illegal wolf-hybrid encounters are offered at Rustic Retreat Deer Park in Elkhart Lake, WI.

Rustic Retreat Deer Park is owned by Tom and Veronica Mueller. The roadside zoo offers scheduled animal “play time” tours and also offers on-site vacation rentals that include access to the animals.

Wolves are powerful predators and wolf petting interactions jeopardize the safety of the public and the animals.

In 1994, a wolf chewed off the arm of a 2-year-old boy at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Manitowoc, WI. Both of the wolves in the enclosure were euthanized for rabies testing.

In 2015, a wolf bit a child’s fingers at the Menominee Park Zoo in Oshkosh, WI. Authorities euthanized the animal.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources regulations indicate that wolves and wolf-dogs over three months old are not allowed to be used in petting interactions. DNR regulations also state that any facility that offers petting encounters with animals must be licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Rustic Retreat Deer Park is not licensed by the USDA and is operating in violation of both state and federal law. In addition, the facility only recently applied for a permit to operate in their township and the permit was denied.

We need your help reporting this illegal activity.

Email a tip to the USDA:

Submit a tip to the DNR:

Information needed for the complaint:

Rustic Retreat Deer Park

Tom Mueller

N9463 Co Rd H

Elkhart Lake, WI 53020


Thank you for being a voice for the animals.


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