Petition filed to shut down Sloth Encounters over alleged mistreatment of wild animals

Animal advocacy group Humane Long Island says a video shows the owner of Sloth Encounters, Larry Wallach, exploiting exotic animals.

News 12 Staff

Aug 9, 2022, 11:44 AM

Updated 616 days ago

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A petition to shut down the Sloth Encounters in Hauppauge where you can feed, pet, and hold sloths is expected be given to the Islip town board and supervisor this afternoon.  
The petition with 800 signatures was initiated by Humane Long Island who says the exhibit is in violation of Islip's town codes and says the business does not have the proper permits.  
Humane Long Island has also given News 12 a video that they claim shows owner Larry Wallach, the animal expertise of Sloth Encounters, treating wild animals poorly. 
Wallach says the videos that were taken from his Facebook has been manipulated to make him appear as if he is abusing the animals.  
News 12 was allowed inside the Sloth Encounter where Wallach says the animals are well cared for and all the permits are in place.  
“If we were not allowed to operate the door would be locked. We have all permits, we're good with the USDA, we have a petting zoo permit from the health department from Suffolk County,” sys Wallach.  
However, John DiLeonardo, of Humane Long Island, disagrees and is asking the Town of Islip to shut the Sloth Encounter down. 
The town says the owners have until Aug. 29 to respond to the violations that have been issued or they will be issued an appearance ticket.  


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