Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center

Animal Abuse at SW Wildlife Conservation Center Zoo in Scottsdale, AZ

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Published: 23 June 2021

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The Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center (SWCC), falsely claims to be a “Conservation Center” and an “animal sanctuary,” when it is in fact one of the smallest, cramped zoos in the world. It smushes hundreds of wild, non-desert animals onto only 5 acres of space in the extreme heat of Arizona.  Its animals are kept in tiny cages that provide minimal or no shade. The contradictions of SWCC’s claims with the actualities are startling.

Is SWCC a “Zoo” or a “Conservation Center?”

While the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center claims to be a conservation center, it is not, but instead is a for-profit business that showcases caged wild animals for entertainment (making it a zoo). As unarguable poof that it is a zoo, according to their own official application records with the Game and Fish department, they literally are a zoo which simply named itself “Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center.”

This excerpt taken directly from public records.  It shows that SWCC is in fact 100% a “Zoo” which simply named itself “Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center.”  SWCC’s name is fraudulent and deceiving.  

Not only is SWCC a zoo, the owner Linda Searles keeps over 300 wild animals on a few acres of land in her backyard on a residential tract of land in the extremely hot Arizona Sonoran desert.  It is inhumane to leave pets outdoors during the extremely hot Arizona summers, but this zoo does exactly that with hundreds of non-native long-haired animals all day, every day.  

To maintain their phony image as a conservation center and amass large corporate donations, SWCC Zoo does occasionally treat injured wild animals on occasion.  However, they do not release healthy animals back into the wild nor give them adequately large enclosures as legitimate wildlife conservations are supposed to do.  Instead, they keep the animals they nurse back to health permanently enclosed in small metal cages with minimal shade, on their tiny tract of land.  This allows SWCC Zoo to pay minimal rent and charge a higher premium to visitors an entry fee to see the imprisoned animals, earning additional income on top of their corporate donations.  

There are many companies and individuals who encourage and monetarily support the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center thinking they are supporting a real and legitimate “conservation center” when in fact, they are actually supporting a small cruel and unethical animal prison and for-profit business enterprise.  

Animal Abuse at Southwest Wildlife “Conservation Center” Zoo:

As seen in the picture which immediately follows, one of the obviously inhumane and unusual forms of “entertainment” for paying visitors at SWCC zoo shows an SWCC staff member throw a single carrot into a cage with multiple animals in it.  This way, tourists get to watch the animals fight, growl and bite each other over the carrot and laugh with glee and snap photos of the scene.  

One Yelp! reviewer found this scene so entertaining, she posted it to advertise SWCC, finding this sort of cruelty is quite amusing.  Others have “up-voted.”  Its hard for any civilized human being to accept other people provoking animals to fight over food as a form of “entertainment.”  

Above picture is an actual photo of SWCC taken from SWCC’s Yelp! page (with added annotations at the bottom.)  An SWCC Zoo staff member provokes its caged animals to fight over food as a form of  guest entertainment.  This is just one of many examples of animal cruelty on full display to paying visitors at the SWCC Zoo.

SWCC Zoo compared to other nearby conservation centers

SW Wildlife Conservation Center repeatedly states in news story interviews that they are “The largest” wildlife rescue center in Arizona.  They have also claimed that they are “the only wildlife sanctuary and conservation center in the Southwest” a statement which is an outright lie.  

In reality, here is a partial list of legitimate animal conservation centers in Arizona and the Southwestern United States:

–a 1,800- acre animal conservation center:  keepersofthewild.org

–a 400-acre animal conservation center:  animalsanctuary.org

–a 160 acre animal conservation center:  wildlifewaystation.org

–a 35,000+ acre animal conservation center:  bestfriends.org

–a 2,000 acre, $2.2 million sanctuary on the Arizona-Nevada border 

All of the above centers hundreds of times larger than SWCC Zoo, and provide ample space for animals to roam freely and heal without the induced stress of a barrage of human visitors and small metal cages.  Furthermore, these legitimate conservation centers are in more northern locations which are significantly cooler than SWCC Zoo, located in the Scottsdale desert, on a cramped piece of property, on a hot, a tiny 5-acre parcel in a residential backyard.  

Zoochosis (animal psychosis and insanity)  on display at SWCC

All of Linda Searles’ Animals at SWCC Scottsdale are closely confined, lack privacy, and have zero opportunity for mental stimulation or physical exercise. These conditions often result in abnormal and self-destructive behavior, known as “zoochosis” which is a kind of animal insanity seen exclusively in caged animals in zoos — hence the name “zoochosis.:

Many of the animals at Southwest wildlife Conservation Center have been improperly kept in small, hot cages for such a long time, they also suffer from zoochosis (a type of insanity in caged wild animals). Animals with zoochosis are permanently mentally damaged and can no longer function normally.  These animals become a danger to themselves because of the poor conditions under which they are being held captive.  

A textbook, real-life example of zoochosis occurring in animals at SWCC can be seen in the embedded video which follows.  Watching this video makes it clear that the employees know nothing about animal behavior, and have no idea what zoochosis is because they laugh and gush at a mentally ill wildcat who constantly paces and ignores the introduction of infant kittens she is being introduced to.  That wildcat shown here is pacing because it has been affected with zoochosis from being in a small, extremely hot cage.  This wildcat has permanently gone insane with zoochosis because of its imprisonment at the SWCC Zoo:  

The repetitive, compulsive pacing shown in the video above, is shown in one of many animals at SWCC Zoo who have been driven insane by their small, hot cages in the middle of the Arizona desert.  The above footage is taken directly at SWCC.

The animals at SWCC Zoo are unable to escape from their small cages and suffer in the unforgiving hot weather of the Scottsdale desert, or socialize with each other so they just keep compulsively pacing back and forth, similar to the way a mentally ill psychiatric patient might sit and rock back and forth in an insane asylum.  

Other SWCC Zoo-imprisoned animals simply stare blankly at the outside world all day long, and hopelessly gnaw and dig at their metal cages.  The obvious pain of these animals’ hours long 1,000 yard blank stare through the holes in their wire cages is absolutely haunting to those who understand the desperation and sadness behind it.  

For example, wolves, coyotes and other wild animals walk 10-15 miles per day in the wild where they hunt play and socialize and mate together in packs their entire lives.  They are not able to do any of those things in their tiny, hot cages that they are all crammed into at the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center Zoo.  Because the cages are so small, the wild animals who have a natural instinct to cower away from humans and loud noises have nowhere to hide.  This is because hidden animals aren’t good for paying tourists, the SWCC Zoo makes sure to make the cages small so they can be seen.  

Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center’s “Dinner With Wolves

These animals at SWCC Zoo scream and bark and howl and cry day and night which is non-typical behavior.  

Most upsettingly, vocal individuals such as Richelle Fatheree Mayor Jim Lane, and Steve Chucri and Linda Searles openly support cruel animal imprisonment the SWCC Zoo and refer to crying, howling wolves in their youtube videos as “beautiful singing” and “Amazing”   In fact, SW wildlife’s owner sells tickets for an annually recurring “Dinner With Wolves” where for a mere $250 per person, you can eat a gourmet catered dinner while these caged animals watch you “just feet away” and cry for their freedom.  Does that sound entertaining and enjoyable to you?  Dinner with Wolves also has corporate sponsors which give money to support this “entertainment.”  Backup links to SWCC’s financial backers may be found by clicking here.  

>>> It might be a good idea to post your thoughts about these businesses supporting animal cruelty on your social media webpages.  

Keeping non-native, cold-weather animals caged in the LETHAL Arizona heat:

Even more startling is the fact that at SWCC Zoo arctic wolves, arctic foxes, jaguars and even bears are permanently kept outdoors exposing them to the extreme heat of the Sonoran Desert with minimal/no shade provided to them. It is a clear and obvious act of animal cruelty that the SWCC Zoo has been able to get away with under the disguise of being a “conservation center.”  

Animals at SWCC Zoo are all crammed into a small, hot outdoor enclosures, many with seemingly little or no shade or privacy.  Thick-haired wolves, wildcats and bears are not native to Arizona and would obviously be very uncomfortable in the Arizona heat which routinely exceeds 110F all Summer long.  

It is considered animal abuse to leave your pet dog or cat outside all day in the scorching Arizona heat, yet SWCC Zoo does exactly that with around 300 animals all day every day.  

The owner of The Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center Zoo has refused to relocate the animals to cooler, larger, actual wildlife conservation centers in cooler regions of Arizona. The Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center Zoo prefers to keep its animals close to Scottsdale so it can lure nearby idiotic hotel tourists to visit and donate money, plus pay admission fees.  

The question is: what happens to these beautiful animals all day long, as the tourists stop staring at them and take a picture for their Facebook page?  Answer:  THE ANIMALS ARE STUCK THERE, IN THE HEAT AND IN THE CAGES

Other abuse investigations into SW Wildlife Conservation Center Zoo

RipoffReport.com is a website which investigates, complaints, scams, abuse and fraud.  According to a referenced news article on the Ripoffreport.com, Item #8,  the owners, both Linda Searles and her public relations supporter Richelle Fatheree stated in a new interview that if the county attempted to shut down the zoo she would euthanize all of their animals rather than give them to a legitimate animal sanctuary.  Does that sound unbelievable to you?  Just click on the highlighted link above and see the quotes yourself! Linda Searles and Richelle Fatheree technically have the right to do whatever they want with their animals, but openly threatening to “euthanize” them unless they get their way shows a profound lack of empathy and ethics, and that they do not hold these poor animals’ well-being in high regard. 

In other words, Linda Searles and Richelle Fatheree would rather euthanize the hundreds of animals at SWCC Zoo rather than move them to any another wildlife sanctuary in Arizona or another state!  Does that sound like people who should be in charge of hundreds of wild animals?  Does this sound like a zoo that anyone should support with their patronage?
Simply outrageous!!

Despite that, dozens of news articles about the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center Zoo show that this cruel facility has the very vocal support of Rep Steve Chucri and Mayor Jim Lane, both of whom hold elected, public offices in Scottsdale Arizona.  Great job electing these animal cruelty supporters, Arizona.  

For the many charitable organizations that have donated to SWCC zoo, but rather than denying the truth, it would be wiser to denounce the animal cruelty occurring at SWCC Zoo and withdraw their support.  

People who care about Animal Rights need to speak against and boycott the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center Zoo altogether in an effort to close down the zoo and save/improve the lives of the over 300 animals enclosed on this tint, hot 5 acre residential backyard space. 

Share your thoughts online on this zoo using the link below:

Yelp:  www.yelp.com/biz/southwest-wildlife-conservation-center-scottsdale

Obviously, don’t patronize this phony conservation center.  Additionally, here is a list of businesses and individuals (plus their contact information) who financially support this cruel zoo, in case you wish to tell them how you feel about imprisoned wild animals being kept in a life-threatening climate for the purposes of 1) display, 2) entertainment, 4) fundraising and 5) tourism.  

Animal cruelty Business and Corporate Sponsors:  

1) Dynamite water Holly Bruns and Damon Bruns, Owner/Manager  Address: 46135 N 43RD AVE, NEW RIVER, 85087

2)  RCG technology consultants Jay Robertson, Ron Robertson  Address: 43520 N 16TH ST, NEW RIVER, 85087

3)  California pools and landscape Jeremy smith, President  Address: 1660 S Alma School Rd # 122 85210

4)  Desert inet Jeff Hardesty CEO  Address: 12724 N 99TH PL, SCOTTSDALE, 85260

5)  360 physical therapy Tresha Baldwin  Address:  6308 N CATTLETRACK RD, SCOTTSDALE, 85250  NOTE: Picture in street view is incorrect, but address IS correct

6)  My sister’s closetTHE LARGEST DONOR TO THIS CRUEL ZOO is CEO and Founder of Ann Siner.  Ann “Sinner” refers to herself in her own linkedIn Profile as “a pillar in the community” (see excerpt below).  She loves animals so much that she has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep them imprisoned in cages 24/7/365 in the unimaginable Arizona heat at Southwest Wildlife conservation center.  Address:  5730 E JOSHUA TREE LN, PARADISE VALLEY, 85253

7)  My sister’s atticTHE LARGEST DONOR TO THIS CRUEL ZOO is CEO and Founder Ann Siner.  Ann “Sinner” refers to herself in her own linkedIn Profile as “a pillar in the community(see excerpt below).  She loves animals so much that she has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep animals imprisoned in cages 24/7/365 in the unimaginable Arizona heat at Southwest Wildlife conservation center.  Address:  6136 N MOCKINGBIRD LN, PARADISE VALLEY, 85253 

8)  Aravapia running owned by Jamil Coury and Nick Coury.  Address:  1731 E LAS PALMARITAS DR, PHOENIX, 85020  NOTE: Picture in street view is incorrect, but address IS correct

9)  Tour monkey adventures for women  Liz Moran, Owner  Address: 7914 W CLARENDON AVE, PHOENIX, 85033  (MARYVALE)  NOTE: Picture in street view is incorrect, but address IS correct

10)  The Nina Mason Pulliam Trust THE SECOND LARGEST DONOR TO THIS CRUEL ZOO has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to SWCC.  Nina-Mason Pulliam must be rolling over in her grave at the idiots who are giving away her money to the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center.  

===================================================================

Individual sponsors of cruel animal zoos:  (Members of the Board of the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center, according to its website)  

Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center paid staff:  

Board of Directors, Chair

Anne Ruddy  Address:  8770 N ARROYA GRANDE DR, PHOENIX, 85028

Vice Chair

Christine Kovach  Address:  9525 N 131ST ST, SCOTTSDALE, 85259  NOTE: Picture in street view is incorrect, but address IS correct

Secretary

Linda Moore  Address:  8711 E Pinnacle Peak Rd, Scottsdale, Arizona, 85255

Treasurer

Mark Finke  Address:  6255 E ARROYO RD, CAVE CREEK, 85331

Board Members

Damon Bruns  Address:   46135 N 43RD AVE, NEW RIVER, 85087

Mark DiBrito  Address: 4546 E EVERETT DR, PHOENIX, 85032

Paul Diefenderfer  Address:  700 W AZALEA DR, CHANDLER, 85248

Sam Coppersmith  Address:  3138 N 53rd Pl, Phoenix, AZ 85018  NOTE: Picture in street view is incorrect, but address IS correct

DeniseDunning-Ricketts

Stephanie Whitlow  Address:  4364 E SELENA DR, PHOENIX, 85050

Linda Searles owner of Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center

“Executive Director/Research” (I wonder what kind of “research” she conducts on these animals?)  Address: 8711 E Pinnacle Peak Rd, Scottsdale, Arizona, 85255

Director of Planning and Development

Mike Nolan

Animal Care

Kim Carr, Animal Care Manager UNLICENSED  Address: 8007 E GRANADA RD, SCOTTSDALE, 85257

Lynne Stone, Animal Care Specialist UNLICENSED

Gray Wirtanen, Animal Care Specialist UNLICENSED  Address: 425 E FILLMORE ST, TEMPE, 85281

Chelsea Lee-Wilkins, Animal Care Specialist UNLICENSED

Hillary Cummens, Animal Care Specialist UNLICENSED  Address:   6018 E DOLOMORA PL, CAVE CREEK, 85331

Clinic Manager/Veterinary Technician

James O’Brien  

Address:  13300 E VIA LINDA 1060, SCOTTSDALE, 85259

Veterinary Technician

Khymberly Lewus  

Address:  28903 N 205TH DR, WITTMANN, 85361

Education

Robyn Moul, “Education Specialist   

Address: 2521 E RIDGE CREEK RD, PHOENIX, 85024

Jamie Haas, “Education Assistant

Events and Volunteer Coordinator

Robin Wilson  

Address:  16420 N THOMPSON PEAK PKWY 2020, SCOTTSDALE, 85260

Administration

Ruth Kaplan  

Address:  16206 E WINDSTONE TR, SCOTTSDALE, 85262

Kris Wheaton

Marketing Coordinator

Jim Mitchell  Address:  13758 W ELM ST, SURPRISE, 85374

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