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Image of the Virginia AG Seal

Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

 

For media inquiries only, contact:  
Charlotte Gomer, Press Secretary
Phone: (804)786-1022 
Mobile: (804) 512-2552
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

OWNER OF “ROADSIDE ZOO” AND NEPHEW INDICTED ON ANIMAL CRUELTY CHARGES

~ Keith A. Wilson, owner of Wilson’s Wild Animal Park, and his nephew Christian A. Dall’Acqua have both been charged with 46 counts of animal cruelty following an investigation by AG Herring’s Animal Law Unit ~

RICHMOND (November 13, 2019) – Following an investigation over the summer by Attorney General Mark Herring’s Animal Law Unit, Keith A. Wilson, the owner of Wilson’s Wild Animal Park, and his nephew Christian Dall’Acqua have both been indicted on 46 counts of animal cruelty by a grand jury in Frederick County. In August, Attorney General Herring’s Animal Law Unit secured custody of 119 animals that were seized from the “roadside zoo” after a judge issued an order finding that Wilson “cruelly treated, neglected, or deprived the animal[s] of adequate care”.

 

The animals were seized during execution of a search warrant on August 15 and 16 at Wilson’s Wild Animal Park. The seized animals included lions, tigers, bears, camels, goats, water buffalo, and more. The animals are currently in the care of animal control agencies and exotic and agricultural animal rescue partner organizations.

 

During a 12 hour seizure hearing held on August 29 in Frederick County General District Court, animal welfare experts testified as to the inadequate conditions and cruelty at Wilson’s Wild Animal Park and photo and video evidence was entered showing inadequate conditions of animals and facilities.

 

The case is being handled by Senior Assistant Attorney General K. Michelle Welch, the head of Attorney General Herring’s Animal Law Unit, who was appointed special prosecutor for the case, and Assistant Attorney General Kelci Block.

 

Criminal indictments are only charges and not evidence of guilt. Wilson and Dell’Acqua are presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.

 

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