Teresa Petter displays wolf pups in a petting zoo and later skins them for their fur


Activists Move to Sue Operator of a Gray Wolf Fur Farm

An animal rights group argues a Minnesota woman is violating the Endangered Species Act by raising and skinning the protected predators.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund has threatened to sue a private wildlife operation in Minnesota, alleging that its owner kills and skins federally protected gray wolves and sells the pelts for profit.

On Wednesday, ALDF sent a notice of intent to file suit against Teresa Petter, owner of Fur-Ever Wild, whose website describes it as “a working agricultural farm that celebrates our traditional connections to the land and mother nature.”

Fur-Ever Wild, located on 100 acres in Eureka Township, Minnesota, charges visitors to get up close not only with wolves but also , bobcats, otters, beavers, lynx, fishers, martens, and badgers.

ALDF will take Fur-Ever Wild to court in 60 days unless Petter agrees not to kill and skin gray wolves, which are listed under the federal Endangered Species Act as threatened in Minnesota.

The Endangered Species Act prohibits the taking of any endangered or threatened species, defining “take” to mean “harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect.” The law, which applies equally to wild and captive animals, allows private parties to file suit to enforce its provisions.

“Fur-Ever Wild’s wildlife exhibition and fur-harvesting business exploits wolf pups by first using them as an attraction in the company’s petting zoo, then later skinning them for their fur,” Jennifer Robbins, an attorney representing ALDF, wrote in the notice.

“There is broad public support to stop their continual taking of wolves that visitors pay to see…and for whom they donate money or materials believing they are supporting the maintenance of this threatened species,” she wrote in the notice, which was also sent to the Interior Department, which enforces the ESA.

“We got involved in the summer of 2015 after activists notified us of her operations,” said ALDF staff attorney Christopher Berry. “Evidence that we submitted shows that she has skinned wolves in the past.”

Petter has denied killing wolves. In May, she told The Associated Press that the animals were not used for fur unless they “die naturally.”

Reached by phone, Petter told TakePart, “I am not commenting.” When asked why, she replied, “Because someone already burned down one of our buildings.” Asked if the alleged arson was related to the skinning of wolves, Petter said, “Have a nice day” and hung up.

Public records indicate that Fur-Ever Wild has indeed slaughtered wolves for their pelts.

Several license applications Fur-Ever Wild filed with the state “depict the calculated breeding program of protected wolves as the company aimed to acquire a wolf population that could generate consistent replacements for those animals to be killed and skinned for fur,” according to the ALDF notice.

During 2014–15, for example, Fur-Ever Wild said that 19 wolves were born and listed 19 wolves under a heading called “Number of deaths (butchered for consumption).” The previous year, it said 34 wolves were born and 24 died.

It would be “an impossible scenario if they are claimed to have expired from natural causes,” ALDF alleged.

In 2012, Petter filed a lawsuit against Eureka Township contesting a 2005 ordinance against keeping exotic animals unless they are raised for fur.

In a deposition during the suit, which was later withdrawn, Petter said that the wolves were bred and killed for their pelts.

“Have you pelted anything in the past two months?” Petter was asked.
“I pelted two wolves last night,” she replied. “And there is another two going tonight…then the rest of them go. There will be 25 within the next two weeks.”

Petter said she pelted the wolves in the winter, when their fur is considered “prime.” She also claimed to breed wolves that are much larger than those found in the wild.

“You breed for bloodlines,” Petter said. “You breed for fur quality. It takes years to get to that.”

Said Berry: “She was trying to prove that her operation was agricultural and therefore not subject to the local exotic animal ordinance.”

Petter’s legal woes extend beyond the threatened ALDF lawsuit. Earlier this year, neighbors who complained of odors and noise from the farm sued the township for approving Petter’s operation. A district court ruled against the plaintiffs, but that decision was overturned by the Minnesota Court of Appeals. It is now up to the district court to determine which animals can stay and which must go.

In August, Petter said she would close a second facility that opened on Memorial Day in Deadwood, South Dakota, after that town placed several restrictions on its operations.

18 thoughts on “Teresa Petter displays wolf pups in a petting zoo and later skins them for their fur”

  1. She is totally evil and all of the above is true. there are people on facebook, at her community page, that think she is wonderful and feel sorry for her. To me..using the children to tame the wolf pups..so the wolves are like a dog.I just wonder how she kills them..it would be easy they are so trusting,,poison them?/ strangle or hang them or pretend to be petting them from behind and slit their throats?/ how does she betray their trust..bitch!

  2. Oh my; you can’t eat wolves! The system is far to weak; the fact that she is not in prison being a solid testament. That is like skinning a perfectly healthy family dog, perhaps worse due to their numbers.

    1. Well, after further research, it seems she is claiming she is an Agriculture Community, making her zoning legal, and the animals in that case wouldn’t be considered exotic. Part of the blame lies with our government (Congress, USDA) for allowing the loophole. Normally the reasoning is to generate income in some way; the US Gov. does a lot of immoral and unethical nonsense to make money.

      Change would require a massive shift in public opinion; but since most don’t even know the roots of the problem…

  3. Pingback: Teresa Petter displays wolf pups in a petting zoo and later skins them for their fur | We wander for distraction but we travel for fulfillment.

  4. A no good piece of you know what. She needs to be skinned and see how she likes it. Put her in prison and throw away the key forever and in solitary.

  5. I love how no one does any investigating any more they just believe the toxic shit that is put out there by the media. Like how they say they have badgers and beavers and I have been there a couple times and haven’t seen hide nore hair of either pulse they only have around 60 acres by the realiors sale of there place. And finally I bet the adlf has killed more wolves than these guys could ever dream considering they have a missing 204 total wolves by the rumors of the wolf dog assotiation.

    1. Where are your facts that refute these claims? What, you don’t have any actual evidence, other than ‘you haven’t seen any’? No actual research, huh? At lease who ever posted this ‘toxic xhit’ actually bothered to research the subject, regardless if they are wrong or right.

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