Hauppauge, New York — A Long Island town said a business that allows customers to hold, feed and sell sloths is defying a court order to shut them down.
The owner claims to abide by the law.
Sloth Encounters Long Island Hauppauge now sells kangaroos and other exotic species, as well as arboreal mammals.
“We’re a pet store. That’s it. I’m not a petting zoo. I followed the rules of the law. Anyone who’s been to this store loves it,” Sloth Encounters Animal said expert Larry Wallach.
Wallach says his business is no different than any other pet store, offering prospective buyers a $50 hands-on education session.
“I have nothing to do with puppies and cats. I don’t want to fill my house with animals, make money and people get hurt for not doing the right thing,” Wallach said.
But critics say he is abusing the system in defiance of a court order to stop the wildlife exhibit.
“This is just his latest attempt to circumvent the law,” said Humane Long Island founder John DiLeonard.
Humane Long Island led a prosecution to close sloth encounters for zoning violations.
“These are rainforest animals,” says DiLeonardo. “Sloths and kangaroos are not pets, they are not props, and they are cruel to keep in garages, backyards and bathrooms.”
Wallach says he scrutinizes all potential buyers and insists the sloths are well-raised and legal.
“It’s considered an exotic pet and is legal in New York state,” Wallach said.
However, the sale of wild animals is prohibited in the town of Islip. “They are determined to ignore the law and do whatever they want,” the company said in a statement, seeking a contempt order against the company.
Wallach insists sloths are not wild animals and vows to fight what he calls selective enforcement.
Sloth Encounters volunteers include retired science teachers.
“Nothing cruel is going on here. The animals are loved. He hugs and kisses them. I think it’s a cool place,” says Steve Mindlin. said.
The lawsuit prompted a new bill to expand the definition of wild animals to include sloths and ban their sale, which had just passed the state Senate. Wallach points to 21 other states where it’s legal to sell sloths as pets.
The bill’s proponent, Senator Monica Martinez, issued the following statement:
“The purpose of this bill is to protect the health and safety of New Yorkers. This bill establishes clear definitions of wild and exotic animals and identifies wild and exotic animals that may not be imported, possessed, or possessed. “We are further identifying the orders and families of snails,” said Martinez, who is owned or sold as pets in New York State, including sloths, kangaroos, hyenas and armadillos. “The sale of all wild and exotic animals is not prohibited. The temperament and behavior of wild and exotic animals are unpredictable. No. These animals require certain conditions and environments in order to be sold.” is far from it. You will be held accountable under the law. ”
https://www.cbsnews.com/newyork/news/battle-over-legality-of-exotic-pet-store-sloth-encounters-continues-on-long-island/ The battle over legality of exotic pet store ‘Sloth Encounters’ continues on Long Island