PETOSKY, Mich. — Michigan wildlife officials charged a woman for taking care of wildlife without a permit then seized six animals from her refuge and killed them.
Department of Natural Resources Lt. Jim Gorno said Kei Ju Farm owner Julie Hall was first warned about a year ago, the Petoskey New reported.
“What happens is the wildlife is raised, sometimes if you let it go, they become a nuisance or even a disease issue here. Last fall, or a year and a half ago, there was a tamed whitetail buck that was in the Petoskey area that was causing issues,” Gorno said. “When it gets to mating season, it can be very dangerous to people and other animals. This buck was found and had to be euthanized because it was a danger to the public.”
Kei Ju Farm, known in the community for its work rehabilitating wild animals, was a refuge to goats, chickens, alpacas, donkeys, horses and other wild animals.
The agency got another complaint earlier this year and on Thursday, wildlife officials returned to the farm. They seized and killed six of the animals, the Petoskey News reported. Because the animals could not be released, they had to be killed. The animals included a small deer that was taken in, in the fall at around two weeks old; Sassy, a half-blind raccoon with Down syndrome; and Po, a one-legged crow a child had brought in.
“That’s why the DNR is in place, we have places for these animals. We just can’t rehab every animal that we get a call on. I understand that Julie took in everything. But what happens is, she has to call us and say she has it,” Gorno said. “We just don’t want everybody to do it and not be inspected because then you’re going to have facilities that aren’t good for these animals.”
Hall was arrested and charged with holding animals in captivity without a permit, a misdemeanor, the Petoskey News reported.
“We put out press releases every spring saying, do not pick up wildlife, do not keep wildlife, do not take wildlife out of the wild,” Gorno said. “It’s illegal and it’s not good for wildlife. Most of the time it’s almost a death sentence for these animals, because a lot of them can’t be re-released after they are raised or taken by humans.”
Hall said she was on a waiting list for the permit. She is unsure what will happen now.