In May 2020, Tiger Creek Animal Sanctuary, Tyler, Texas, purchased two foxes they named Whisky and Tango from veterinarian Dr. Aaron Stachmus in Norman, Oklahoma, and had the foxes flown to Texas. News sources indicate Stachmus was under investigation by the city at the time because he was keeping the exotic animals illegally and he did not have the required state permits. U.S. Department of Agriculture records indicate that Stachmus never obtained a federally required dealer’s license. Stachmus apparently filled out his own Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) for the May 2020 transaction.
In May 2021, more than 350 animals were seized from Stachmus’ property due to squalid and neglectful conditions. Court records indicate the animals were deprived of food, water and veterinary care, and some of the animals were so hungry they were eating tree bark. Several of the animals died and others were in need of immediate medical attention. Stachmus was charged with 18 counts of animal cruelty and his veterinary license is under review by the Oklahoma Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.
We have several questions about Tiger Creek Animal Sanctuary’s acquisition of Whisky and Tango.
Is it ethical for a purported “sanctuary” to raise donations under the false guise of animal rescue when the donations are instead being used to purchase animals and fund animal abusers?
Is it ethical or even legal for a veterinarian to fill out a CVI for the interstate travel of their own animals?
Did Tiger Creek Animal Sanctuary offer transportation and placement for any of the animals that were rescued from Stachmus’ property in 2021, or is it only convenient to “rescue” exotic animals when they can pick out and purchase the cute little babies that they want?
We’re tired of these roadside zoos that think they can hide their unethical behavior under the guise of a “sanctuary.” Purchasing exotic animals from dealers is not rescuing them and it only serves to perpetuate the cycle of animal neglect and exploitation.