Exotic Auctions
Home to the Forgotten Ones
Animals' Angels
PO Box 1056 
Westminster, MD 21158
June 1, 2016 
Mt. Hope and Lebanon Valley Auctions Exposed in Latest Animals' Angels Investigations

Livestock auctions can sell more than cows, horses, pigs and poultry. They may hold "Alternative Bird and Animal" auctions as well, in which they sell "exotic" creatures such as camels, zebras, wildebeest, tortoises, gazelle, antelope, and peacocks. Some of these animals are sold to animal farms/petting zoos to be used as tourist draws, while others are sold to commercial hunting preserves that offer "canned shoots."

camel at Mt. Hope auction

peacocks unable to move at all, their beautiful tails stuffed through the make-shift holes of their confinement at Mt. Hope

Animal Angels recently attended two of these "Exotic Auctions" and confirmed that these animals are typically treated with the same disdain and lack of consideration as in any other type of livestock auction.

Mount Hope, Ohio holds exotic auctions several times a year. It is a well-attended auction, lasting three days. 

To read our full report on this recent investigation into the
 Mt. Hope Auction, please go here

Our compilation report detailing past investigations into 
Mt. Hope can be found here. 

birds kept in home-made cages, stacked on top of each other at Mt. Hope

Our investigators arrived first thing in the morning and immediately inspected the locations where each type of animal was kept, the type of cage or other containment used, and whether or not the animals were provided with adequate food, water and room to move.

Most of the animals were kept in completely inappropriate confinements. All wild animals need places to hide from prying eyes - even if they are on display in order to be sold. Our investigators witnessed a clearly terrified Arctic Fox, constantly trying to hide from the many humans crowding the cage to stare at it. There was no place for the fox to gain any respite from the auction visitors.

Arctic Fox frightened and unable to hide at Mt. Hope

Hedgehogs were kept in small plastic tubs with tiny air-holes in the sides. It was questionable as to whether there was enough airflow for these small creatures.

hedgehogs in completely inappropriate boxes at Mt. Hope

It was the second day of the sale and by then many of the hundreds of birds being offered for auction had no water left. Beautiful peacocks were confined in cages so narrow that they could not move at all. Some desperately did try to move, venting their anxiety and fear by attacking their confinement - frantically clawing at the wire cages.

peacocks completely unable to move in their cages, stacked on top of each other at Mt. Hope

There were also many chickens for sale at Mt. Hope, and the conditions of their confinement were deplorable. Indeed, some were packed together so closely and under such traumatic circumstances, that they were engaging in cannibalistic behavior.

kept in overcrowded and stressful conditions, birds are showing cannibalistic tendencies

In the large animal barn, the zebras, camels, and wildebeests were kept in pens. Although some were visibly frightened, many of the spectators attempted to pet them as if they were tame. An African Gazelle was suffering from a badly cut ear and was continuously shaking her head, presumably due to pain or discomfort. 

Gazelle with badly cut ear, no vet in sight at Mt. Hope

In addition to the living creatures for sale, the Mt. Hope auction had an area where they were hawking hundreds of pelts, stuffed animals, and mounted animal heads, also known as "trophies." These included a full-size black bear and a bobcat. Also available were such items as purses made of alligator skin and wallets of snake skin. Investigators were disgusted at this clear exploitation of wild animals merely to turn a profit. 

coyote and other pelts available for sale at Mt. Hope

trophy heads available at Mt. Hope auction

Our investigators took a look at the parking lot, and found that trucks belonging to commercial operations from across the country were present. It was clear that many of the animals at the sale - both exotic and domesticated - were destined for "canned hunts."

African Gazelle at Mt. Hope, its fate remains uncertain

Our investigators also attended the exotic animal auction held in Lebanon Valley, PA.

To read our full report on this recent investigation into the Lebanon Valley Auction, please go here

Conditions were even worse here, indicating an obvious lack of concern and diligence among the auction workers for the animals in their care. A complete disregard for the well-being of the animals was also demonstrated by several of the purchasers of these creatures.

camels awaiting their fate

In a tent behind the auction building, several flatbed trailers were parked, each with hundreds of home-made cages, small boxes, plastic jugs, and other wildly inappropriate confinement material piled high, holding chickens, turkeys, geese, guinea pigs, and rabbits.

African Drake in damaged cage

Several of the cardboard boxes were completely closed, with no air-holes at all. No water or food was available for the majority of the animals. Some of the boxes were scattered on the floor, having fallen their living contents in tow from where they had been piled up too high in unstable heaps.

birds in completely closed boxes and others in ill-suited cages, stacked in unstable heaps awaiting sale at Lebanon Valley

not fit for a bird or any other living creature

In the auction barn itself, llamas, alpacas, miniature ponies, and goats were for sale. Our investigators noted that the miniature ponies in particular looked quite neglected, with filthy, lice-infested coats, and severely overgrown hooves.

the state of a poor miniature horse's hooves for sale at Lebanon Valley

Animals Angels' investigation of these exotic animal auctions revealed multiple areas of concerns, regarding the handling and keeping of the small animals, and the conditions of the larger animals. 

can you see the animals stuck in these closed boxes, stacked high awaiting sale at Lebanon Valley?

In addition, there is little to no regulatory oversight at these sales. Anyone, regardless of intent or ability, can walk away with one of these animals. The fate of many of these  exotic animals is sealed the minute they are sold, as they will be the next victim of another ruthless individual paying a hunting preserve thousands of dollars to kill a water buffalo, a bison or a gazelle.  

zebra and camels at Mt. Hope

The less "exotic" animals have it no better. Anyone who purchases a bird, rabbit or other small animal can simply carry it by its wing, leg, or ears, and toss it into the trunk of a car. We have seen chickens yanked from their cages even while their feet were still stuck in the wire floor. Many purchasers of these animals demonstrate no sympathy or consideration for them of any kind.

animals piled high with no concern for their well-being at Lebanon Valley

The pelt and trophy sales condone, if not outright encourage, individuals to kill wild animals in large numbers simply to make a quick buck.

fox and beaver pelts along with stuffed trophies for sale at the Mt. Hope Auction

Animals' Angels intends to increase awareness about this deplorable practice. We will work to create change by reaching out to auction management and strongly urging significant improvements in the handling and confinement of the animals. However, we will not rest there. We intend to continue pushing for laws, both locally and federally, that will strictly regulate these sales or, ideally, end these auctions altogether. 

To learn more about our investigation at the Mt. Hope Auction, please go here

Our investigative report on the Lebanon Valley Auction 
can be found here. 

What Can YOU Do?

By making a donation to Animals' Angels today, YOU can make change happen!

Our current mission on behalf of the animals is of an urgent nature, and includes drafting a comprehensive care guide for auction management. While it may take us some time as we work to bring these auctions to an end, we can at least recommend safe handling procedures and auction protocols to the organizers of these auctions to protect the animals in their care now.

baby pig for sale to just anyone at Lebanon Valley auction

Until the day that all animals are treated humanely, we at AA will continue to expose the offenders and advocate for change. No longer will the animals at these so-called "exotic" auctions be overlooked or neglected. They need our help -- they deserve our help -- and we will do everything in our power to ensure their protection.

With your assistance, we can protect these poor, long-suffering animals. 

Won't you please donate today?  

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