The USZA’s All New Outreach Program

This program is designed to bring what other organizations call the least professional in the exotic or alternative animal industry up to the professional level, by going to the facility as a group outing and working with the facility to become one of the more perfect and professionals in the industry. Whether is it buy helping build, clean, educate or just give that helping hand that seems to be such a forbiddin thing in the animal industry.

The USZA feels that the industry as a whole will never survive without uniting the people of the industry to show the law makers we can take care of and educate our own in the business. Part of this problem over the years is you can not get into a club unless your part of the club. It is the USZA’s opinion we will never get this done without getting out there and working with the less educated and less fortunate facilities, private owners and breeders to offer that hand up they need and have been denied for so many years.

Our outreach program can offer you help in many ways

→ Marketing

→ Protocols

→ Proper caging

→ Safe lockouts

→ On site work shops (to help build, clean etc)

→  Employee training

→ Diets

We are here to help you!

The Out Reach Program is Moving to Panama!

Part of our mission is to educate, reach out to others and help them become the professionals they want to be. Help us raise $1500.00 toward our teach a vet program. Bringing in a vet from Panama for 2 weeks into the United States so he can learn hands on from other vets and professionals about how to properly care for exotics in his own country. He will than be able to return to Panama and use his knowledge to help others in his country care for Exotic Animals.

If you care to help make our outreach programs please make a donation to the USZA and mark it outreach. Mail to 25803 N County Rd Wynnewood Oklahoma 73098. PUT A DONATION BUTTON HERE

Volunteers Help D-D Animal Rescue Fix Deficiencies

The sounds of chickens clucking, dogs barking and a rooster crowing were joined by the clamor of hammers clunking and saws buzzing this morning as volunteers worked on improvements to cages and other facilities at D&D Farm Animal Rescue in North Columbia.

Dozens of volunteers showed up to help correct 15 violations identified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If the violations aren’t corrected by Sunday, the agency has said it will confiscate the animals.

Joe Schreibvogel, president of the U.S. Zoological Association, said that most likely would mean a death sentence for the tigers, lions, cougars, bobcats and other exotic creatures housed at the sanctuary.

Similar facilities are full, he said, and many have already closed down because of a lack of funding.

“The next step would be to euthanize them, but I’m not going to let that happen,” he said.

During routine inspections, the USDA identified violations such as unclean water tanks, excessive pests such as flies, and the lack of written dietary or veterinary plans for animals. Those problems typically are fixed the day of the inspection, D-D Farm co-owner Dale Tolentino said.

On its most recent visit two days ago, USDA inspectors found larger violations, such as fences that were too short and an enclosure that had an improper flooring material, and gave the sanctuary the Sunday deadline.
D – D Farms Rescue

Making all of the improvements to meet the deadline would have been almost impossible for Tolentino and his wife, Deb, he said. “They set us up to fail,” Tolentino said. “Shame on them.”

But with the help of Schreibvogel and the roughly 30 volunteers he marshaled, Tolentino said he thinks the work will get done by the deadline.

“Because of Joe we’ll get it done, but only because of the help of a lot of good people who have volunteered their time,” Tolentino said.

Schreibvogel said many of the violations are for cosmetic things, such as painting enclosures or clearing debris from the property. Some of the directives, such as building taller fences, are for human safety. None of the violations, Schreibvogel said, seemed to point to the animals being at risk. “I have not seen a sick animal yet,” he said. “They look good. As far I can tell, they seem to be fed and cared for.”

Tolentino agreed, saying the animals are all happy and healthy.

The happiness of several of the large cats seemed clear today. Aslan, a full-grown Barbary lion — a breed at risk of becoming extinct — nuzzled his head against the fence like a housecat as volunteer Dana White crouched down in front of the enclosure.

The thought of losing the animals because of the violations is heartbreaking, Tolentino said. He and Deb have operated the facility for 20 years.

“The animals deserve it,” he said of starting the sanctuary. “They’ve been starved by people and abused by people, and … all we’re trying to do, like any person who loves animals, is give them some dignity and a safe place to live. That’s what the sanctuary is.”

by: Catherine Martin, Columbia Daily Tribune

Animal Farm Makes Fixes Awaits USDA Visit

With the help of about 90 volunteers, D&D Farm Animal Rescue in North Columbia completed work by yesterday’s deadline to rectify 15 violations cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

If the violations weren’t corrected in time, the animals could have been taken away and possibly euthanized. The USDA could come out at any time in the next few days to do a follow-up inspection, D&D co-owner Deb Tolentino said.

The swarm of volunteers who showed up to help reminded Tolentino of the final moments of the film “It’s a Wonderful Life,” Tolentino said with a swell of emotion. “I couldn’t believe the community that came out of the woodwork to help us,” she said. “It was fabulous.”

The USDA cited a need to improve the structure of enclosures, replace rusty parts and add more outdoor shelters at D&D, which houses tigers, lions, cougars and other exotic animals. The sanctuary had been correcting smaller USDA violations for about a year for issues including unclean water bowls or excessive pests such as flies. Typically, those could be fixed the day of the inspection, Dale Tolentino said.

For the new, larger issues, the USDA gave D&D only a few days to correct the problems. Meeting that deadline would not have been possible without volunteer help, Deb Tolentino said.

“I’m proud of Columbia. They just did so good,” she said. “We thank them with all of our hearts.”

One of the biggest helping hands came from Joe Schreibvogel, president of the U.S. Zoological Association, who brought about 30 volunteers Friday. All the violations had been corrected by the time the group left Friday when it began to rain, with the exception of heightening the cage for male lion Aslan, which was done yesterday.

Schreibvogel said there are some issues the sanctuary still needs to work on, such as caging and cosmetic problems, with the underlying issue being having too many animals for the amount of staff. But none of the violations, he said, puts the animals’ health at risk.

Schreibvogel, who is from Oklahoma, said he plans to visit the sanctuary every six months to make sure it’s complying.

“I think they’ve got a future as long as they’re willing to keep moving forward with progress and not let themselves get in the position they were in” he said.

More volunteers would be helpful, Schreibvogel said. He also would like to see the farm find foster homes for some of the domestic dogs and cats that live on the property and in the house. Those interested in volunteering can call 446-0648.

by: Catherine Martin, Columbia Daily Tribune

USZA Rallies Together To Help Fellow Exotic Animal Owners

COLUMBIA – Volunteers and workers for D-D Farm in Columbia made changes to the facility Friday to avoid being shutdown on Sunday. The USDA has threatened to close the farm and take away the animals. The animal sanctuary, located off of Creasy Springs Road, has violations that include inadequate enclosures for lions and tigers, as well as issues with sanitation and veterinarian care. There are more than 15 violations that the farm must fix in order to stay open.

D & D Farms

Owners Dale and Debbie Tolentino have owned and run D-D Farm for more than 20 years and fear its closure could mean the animals will get euthanized. The owners said the changes are uncalled for and unexpected, arguing the USDA told them the farm passed inspection in November.

The farm has approximately 120 different animals such as lions, cougars, horses, dogs and bobcats just to name a few. It is a sanctuary that rescues animals from abuse and/or abandonment.

Joe Schreibvogel, president for the United States Zoological Association, brought a crew up to Columbia to help the farm make the changes. The workers will only be in town Friday and are working through the rain until dark to get as much done as possible. Schreibvogel said he is confident the farm will make the appropriate changes and will not have to close come Sunday.

The owners said the changes the farm is making will cost around $30,000, money it doesn’t have. The couple said the community, volunteers and Schreibvogel’s crew are helping make the improvements a possibility. If the USDA decides to close the farm, Schreibvogel plans to transfer the animals to the G.W. Exotic Animal Farm in Oklahoma City so they won’t be killed.

For more information on D-D Farms or to find out how you can help → click here.