I’ll not comment on animal neglect allegations levied at 7-year MLB veteran Shea Hillenbrand in this blog’s comment section except to say I sincerely hope they aren’t true. For now, it does appear Shea and Jessica Hillenbrand’s Marley Farms (“The Shea Hillenbrand Heavy Petting Zoo”. CSTB, 1/1/08) has fallen upon very tough times…and I’ve had to resist the temptation to write “The Petting Zoo Is Sinking” on the chalkboard. From the East Valley Tribune :
Hard economic times and dwindling revenue caused the bank to target the 25-acre property and 135-stall horse facility for foreclosure on Dec. 23, but that foreclosure was delayed, said Chad Harris, owner of Mesa-based Hotseat Media that launched a marketing campaign in November in an attempt to save Marley Farms.
Marley Farms also provided a therapeutic learning experience for children by allowing them to interact with the rescued and neglected animals from around the United States that were given a second chance at a normal life on the farm.
“I’ve had numerous kids come up to me since I started this,” Hillenbrand said in a statement, “and tell me that if it weren’t for Marley Farms, they wouldn’t still be here; they wouldn’t be alive. We’ve got something real special here.”
Marley Farms not only was known for being home to an array of rescued animals that included a camel, a zonkey (half zebra/half donkey), a kangaroo, an 800-pound pig and a three-legged goat, but for its fundraising events that benefitted numerous nonprofit organizations, and helping disadvantaged youths through its Against All Odds program.