This is the Place addresses animal neglect reports

Posted at 9:24 PM, Jul 25, 2013

SALT LAKE CITY -- This is the Place Heritage Park received two scathing reports from a federal inspector outlining neglect of animals that led to sickness and, in one case, death.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is in charge of inspecting agencies like zoos and other animal parks for proper treatment of warm-blooded animals in their care.

This is the Place is especially known for it's petting zoo, allowing visitors to get up close to farm animals.

The inspector, a veterinarian named Judy Davis, visited in April and May and said that significant health violations were present and uncorrected from one month to the next.

Among the violations: improper separation of animals who may pose a risk to each other.

The report said: "The lamb named Patches was knocked around by Olive."

Olive is an adult goat and the "knocking around" led to the death of the already sick and frail lamb, according to the report and to caretakers at the Park.

Livery manager Alex Stromberg told Fox 13 his staff is sensitive to all animal deaths. He says it took a while to address all of the inspectors concerns, especially because some of them required hiring new employees.

"That one took a little bit of time and I'm happy to say that's something we have corrected and that's been a huge relief to me," Stromberg said.

Stromberg also said the zoo has arranged for an expert from Utah's Hogle Zoo to conduct regular "mock inspections" and they have stopped the most controversial policy pointed out by the federal inspector: euthanasia by gunshot.

"We did practice that for a little while but we don't do that anymore and the euthanasia policy is upon our vet and he's the one who makes the call from now on," Stromberg said.