A judge has ruled that Tim Stark of Indiana’s Wildlife In Need is permanently BANNED from acquiring, owning or exhibiting animals. Stark has also been ordered to return all funds that he has misappropriated from his nonprofit.
The judge denied all of Stark’s motions and found the state’s arguments to be factual.
According to court documents, Stark made millions through his cub petting operation Tiger Baby Play Time, charging people to play with infant cubs he took from their mothers and adding on a $20 fee if they wanted pictures.
Stark defrauded the public by leading them to believe the money they were paying the nonprofit would be used for conservation. Instead, the money was used to pay Stark’s personal bills, to purchase more animals, and to fund a 2019 failed zoo venture in Oklahoma that resulted in the death of 15-20 animals during transportation, documents say.
For years Stark was accused of horrific animal neglect, with more than 120 violations of the Animal Welfare Act on his record. He was known for declawing tigers which causes permanent lifelong damage to the animals.
At a March 2020 inspection of the facility, located in Charlestown, IN, USDA officials found it was “filthy” and enclosures were not “constructed to any codes,” and lacked “proper shelter and heat” for animal safety. The animals were removed from the property based on a court order.
All of the animals that were removed from Stark's possession have been granted placement with the Indiana Zoological Society who is responsible for finding them permanent homes.
After more than 20 years of animal neglect, abuse and exploitation, Tim Stark will never be able to hurt another animal again.
Full court documents: