01.06.12

Shea Hillenbrand Bought A Zoo (And Now It’s Closing)

Posted in Baseball, Going To The Zoo at 7:42 pm by

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.

2 Responses to “Shea Hillenbrand Bought A Zoo (And Now It’s Closing)”

  1. No Excuses says:

    “Hard economic times and dwindling revenue”

    He ran his “revenue” off! There was no reason for this to happen.

  2. Heather Peace says:

    The whole thing is just unfortunate and extremely heartbreaking. Especially for Jessica Hillenbrand who put her whole heart into providing a amazing place for the animals she rescued and loves so dearly. There are some wonderful people stepping up to find new homes and foster care situations for the animals (Jodi). I know I am now the permanent home for two Marley tortoises who I have lovingly named, Tamale and Tortilla Tortoise and I have more animals coming in today. Again, the whole thing is awful and seems so unnecessary. You don’t build something like this just to watch it die. There is more going on here than just a bad financial situation and I just hope Jessica and her beloved animals get through this and find the love and peace they deserve.

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