‘To be honest with you I’m devastated’ Owner of exotic animal farm explains why the state took her animals

[anvplayer video=”5096313″ station=”998131″]

MARION, N.Y. (WHEC) — News10NBC Wednesday spoke to the owner of the exotic animal farm in Wayne County where the state removed alligators, wolves, foxes and hundreds of rats.

The World of Wildlife Educational Encounters (WOWEE) is on a back road in the Town of Marion.

The owner, Sally Reaves wasn’t at the farm when I got there this morning, but we connected on the phone this afternoon.

"To be honest with you I’m devastated," Reaves said. "I’ve never had anything like this happen. And my concern is obviously for my animals."

The DEC shared a photo of the bobcat it removed. They also took two alligators, wolves, opossum and foxes.

Tuesday, we were in the room at Lollypop Farm full of mice, rats, ferrets and guinea pigs that were taken from the farm.

Reaves said she sells hundreds of the rats.

The humane society said there were high levels of ammonia where they were living and the rats were packed into aquariums.

"For instance we have six or seven mice in a tank," Humane Society VP Reno DiDomenico said pointing to a 10-gallon aquarium at Lollypop Farm Tuesday. "Imagine the sizes of a rat and you had 100 of them inside here."

"They were crowded, they were. I agree with that," Reaves said. "But every single one of my animals is healthy."

Reaves said the DEC took her exotic animals because of paperwork issues not because they were mistreated. She says when she renewed her licenses, the state didn’t have all of them.

The Humane Society said some of the rodents were dehydrated but generally okay.

Brean: "Sally, are you concerned that you’re going to get charged with something?"

Sally Reaves, WOWEE owner: "I have no idea, to be honest. I don’t know where this is going."

Brean: "Sally, do you think you’re going to get your animals back?"

Reaves: "I would certainly hope so."

Reaves has run WOWEE for decades. She’s meeting with the DEC on Thursday. The Humane Society said it’s a criminal investigation.

Lollypop Farm is still accepting donations to help take care of the small animals that were seized. Their needs include Timothy hay, small mammal foods such as rodent block and guinea pig pellets, towels, sheets, Wegmans gift cards for fruits and vegetables, tissue boxes and toilet paper tubes.

Click here for more information about how to help.