Thursday, October 18, 2012

Hope Is Alive After the Zanesville Tragedy

One year ago, on the Terry Thompson’s farm located outside Zanesville, Ohio, 56 exotic animals were released from their cages by their owner, who later committed suicide that evening in his own home.

The following day, the world learned that the authorities, wanting to protect their local community, killed 49 animals -- 18 tigers, 17 lions, 6 black bears, 2 grizzly bears, 3 mountain lions, 2 wolves and a baboon. On that day, the animal world was shocked into grief and outrage.

Today, many animal welfare and rescue organizations will memorialize the tragedy that took place in Ohio just one year ago on their Facebook pages and blogs. Some will capitalize on this event as a political action day against private ownership of exotics animals, while others may simply mourn the loss of 49 beautiful animals that needless died because of the selfishness of one man who would rather see his animals dead than to relocate them to really great homes.

At In-Sync Exotics, we want people to know that the 49 massacred animals, and all captive animals inhumanely killed over the years, will not be forgotten. Their silent cries, carried by the winds of time, will be heard and remembered—starting tomorrow night at our 1st Annual Exotic Animal Awareness Candle Light Vigil.

Friday evening we are hosting a special candle light vigil to honor those animals that died before their time. We are holding this event after October 18th because we want people to know that there is hope following a horrific tragedy—hope that something like this never happens again; hope, that people will be more willing to place their animals into new homes if and when they’re no longer able to provide a safe and loving environment; and hope that the next generation will love and respect all animal life—understanding that captive animals are not disposal life forms that can be thrown away when they are no longer serve a purpose.

We ask you to bring a candle to honor an exotic or domestic animal that is or was very special to you. The vigil is a healing ritual with no adherence to any religion or creed, just a simple lighting of the candles to bring us together as we remember the animals that are no more. 

Like most tragedies, there are usually warning signs of impending disaster. Tomorrow night, we will ask our friends to be more vigilant and report any type of animal abuse they may see or hear about to the appropriate authorities, so that something like what happened in Ohio never happens again. Many animal abuse/deaths can be avoided if people are more willing to take a stand against animal cruelty and speak up for the abused. Often times we have a tendency to expect others to report crimes against animals because we are afraid of getting involved. Then when something terrible takes place, we are left with a profound feeling of regret and shame because we chose not to speak out for the lives that were lost.

No animal cry for help should be left unanswered. Let us come together and make that commitment that no more animals, within our hearing or visual range, will be left to fend for themselves against those who wish to do them great harm. Let us speak out for those who cannot speak against the injustices that may be going on right in our own neighborhoods. Let us be the light that makes a difference in the life of an animal who is in pain, looking at us for help and salvation. We may not be able to save all the animals around the globe, but we certainly can save those animals living in pain and suffering within our own communities. After all, isn’t that what In-Sync Exotics is all about? And aren’t we all part of In-Sync Exotics’ family that provides a loving and safe haven to God’s most beautiful creatures by putting their needs first—above all else? Yes, we can make a difference—one animal at a time!

We hope that you will be able to attend tomorrow’s candle light vigil. Please bring your friends and family so we can all come together as one animal-loving community to remember those lives tragically lost over the years; to celebrate success stories of animals that were thankfully saved from terrible situations; and to make a commitment to be a light in the world for others to follow.

Here are the details of our vigil:

Event:  1st Annual Exotic Animal Awareness Candle Light Vigil
Date: Friday, October 19, 2012
Time: 7:00 pm - 8:00pm
Location: In-Sync Exotics

What to bring: Candles, family & friends. Tomorrow’s vigil may be emotional for many, so having tissues close at hand is advisable.
If you cannot attend our event but would like to support our cause, please visit our Facebook page and post your thoughts on our wall or to own your wall. We also welcome comments made to this blog posting, so you can share your thoughts, prayers, and/or wishes on how we can make a difference in this world and perhaps avoid another Zanesville tragedy in the future. Thank you!

Vicky Keahey
President & CEO
In-Sync Exotics

Here's an article you might find interesting to read as it was written from a different prospective, as described by a former animal caretaker for the Thompson's farm:  Year later, effects of exotic-animal tragedy still felt.

1 comment:

  1. Words cannot express the sadness I feel for the loss of those beautiful animals as well as the outrage because of one man's selfish act.