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PETA Investigation Reveals Horrific Conditions at Pseudo-Sanctuary

Felony Charges Filed Against Amarillo Wildlife Refuge for Illegal Wildlife Trafficking

UPDATE: On January 18, 2006, Carmel "Charlie" Azzopardi, owner of the Amarillo Wildlife Refuge (AWR), was indicted by a federal grand jury on three felony counts and one misdemeanor count of illegal trafficking of endangered animals, including clouded leopards and tigers.

Instead of providing animals with sanctuary, Azzopardi regards the animals at AWR as nothing more than commodities to be bought, sold, borrowed, and traded. In fact, Azzopardi has regularly advertised animals for sale in The Animal Finders' Guide, a trade magazine for the exotic-animal industry.

Azzopardi claims to operate a refuge for rescued animals, but he actually operates within the shabby and often shady world of animal brokers and the cruel animal-training business. He trades and sells exotic animals and adds to the problem of big-cat overpopulation and private ownership of exotic animals by breeding more babies. He uses those young animals in dangerous public photo shoots that various businesses, including the Westgate Mall in Amarillo, allow him to set up on their properties. A PETA investigator volunteered and worked at AWR from June until August 2003 and visited the facility numerous times thereafter. She documented the abuse, neglect, and exploitation of the wild animals imprisoned at AWR as well as the wretched conditions in which they were forced to live and die. The animals at AWR were often denied the most basic necessities: wholesome and ample food, water, veterinary care, and clean cages.

Click here to help animals at AWR and other despicable places that profit from using—and abusing—animals in entertainment acts.

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