USDA cites Lazy 5 Ranch in Mooresville with dozens of animal welfare violations

MOORESVILLE, N.C. — The federal government has cited a Mooresville exotic animal park with dozens of violations for failing to properly care for several of its animals.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced they filed an administrative complaint in September against the owner of Lazy 5 Ranch Henry Hampton.

In the complaint, the USDA cited Hampton with more than 50 violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

The complaint included 13 violations for the Lazy 5 Ranch in Mooresville and 44 violations for another exotic zoo Hampton owns in Ohio.

"If we have things from the USDA that we need to look at, then will look at," Lazy 5 Ranch spokeswoman Sarah Rogers said.


  • Failing to give animals proper veterinary care
  • Keep acquisition and disposition records
  • Failing to have an employee or attendant present during times of public contact with the animals
  • Failing to comply with the minimum standard of care for animals including giraffes with overgrown hooves and a Sika Deer with multiple wounds on its body

Federal officials said in a statement Hampton and the Lazy 5 Ranch failed to provide healthcare for animals such as giraffes with overgrown hooves and a Sika Deer with multiple wounds on its body.

Additionally, they said the ranch failed to provide necessary healthcare "for a pregnant camel whose breathing was audible and labored, that had swelling in the facial area and feet, and that had reddened enlarged blood vessels in her left eye."

"They are considering the fact that we did not have our veterinarian write a statement that he did care for the animals, and they are considering that inadequate care," Rogers said.

The USDA said the violations regarding public contact with the animals involved visitors feeding the ranch's animals from their cars, with food the ranch sells.

The federal complaint was made public after the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) group filed a Freedom of Information Act request. It was released on Oct. 1.

The complaint filed with Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Purdue is waiting for a determination.

The ranch said it won't change its drive-through attraction.


"Again and again, Henry Hampton has denied sick animals veterinary care and left them to suffer without help, and his mile-long rap sheet of animal welfare issues reflects that. PETA thanks authorities for finally taking action to hold Hampton accountable for years of Animal Welfare Act violations, and is calling on kind people to stay far away from his abusive operations."

- Foundation Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders

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