Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

May 31, 2023
Otter and Others in Stockton closed and animals seized

Earlier this month, animals from the popular Otters and Others Zoo and Conservation in Stockton were seized after an investigation by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

The owner faces a charge of unlawful importation and possession of wildlife, a class B misdemeanor, according to Division of Wildlife Resources officials.

Otters and Others is located at 350 W. Silver Avenue in Stockton.

Conservation officers with the DWR began investigating the zoo in November 2022 after reports from concerned residents were received.

“The residents wanted to know if this facility was properly permitted, and there were concerns for the care of the animals,” said Faith Jolley, public information officer at the Division of Wildlife Resources.

When officers began investigating, they found the zoo had a red kangaroo, two capybaras, a two-toed sloth, and two red foxes. They told DWR officers that they had tried to take possession of several otters but hadn’t yet been able to.

After the initial investigation began, the owner of the facility contacted the DWR in an attempt to obtain a registration of approval to legally keep the animals, according to Jolley. Prior to this, they had no registration for the animals. 

DWR officers delivered the letter of denial for the certificates of registration to the owner on May 5, citing their reasoning being concerns of the public and concern for the welfare of the animals, including their health, according to Jolley. Along with the certification, the owner was told they could keep the animals in their possession until they could be relocated to an accredited facility that could offer them the care they needed. In addition, the owner was informed that they would be able to appeal the denial request within 30 days if they chose to do so.

After the visit by DWR officers, the owners of the facility kept their zoo open.

DWR officers were again contacted on May 10, by a member of the public stating that a red fox in the facility had bitten a guest.

“The visitor was bitten on the hand, but fortunately the bite wasn’t too serious,” Jolley said.

It was later discovered that the fox had been taken from the wild in a different state before being transported to Utah to the facility.

DWR officers responded to the zoo on May 12 with a search warrant. While there, they seized the animals at the facility.

The animals were safely relocated to approved facilities, but the red fox had to be put down, according to Jolley. Before the fox was put down, it was tested for several diseases, but the results have not yet come back.

Charges have been referred to the Tooele County Attorney’s Office.


One thought on “Otter and Others in Stockton closed and animals seized

  1. Otters and Others is disgusting. It is not clean and a few days after we went Division of Wildlife Resources showed up with a search warrant and confiscated her exotic animals for multiple reasons, the most recent at the time was a child was bitten by an unvaccinated red fox. Due to the owner not properly caring for the animals, the fox had to be euthanized as it was not vaccinated for rabies. The owner Kristin Rasmussen was charged with animal cruelty shortly before she began hoarding the animals for Otters and Others. Google Kristin Rasmussen and you will see her history of abuse of animals. Kristin does not have her “zoo” because she cares about animals, it is all about the money.

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