Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Exotic animal owner busted for grow op

Chris Morabito may find out what it's like to be one of his animals if convicted of possession and drug production after his arrest on Sunday.

Police found over 385 marijuana plants, along with a number of exotic animals, at the site of his proposed animal refuge.

Full story:

Marijuana bust was walk on the wild side

Photo of Sharon Morabito and Oliver, Niagara This Week

Morabito, along with his wife Sharon and two daughters, sought the City of Thorold's approval in 2005 to open an "exotic animal sanctuary" under the name TEARS (The Exotic Animal Rescue Society) for "Canadian travelers, school groups, special interest groups, special need associations, senior tours as well as several charity fundraisers."

The Morabito's had been known to take their rescued animals, often dressed in costumes, to air shows, parades, birthday parties and local businesses to raise money for their zoo (registered as The Exotic Animal Refuge Sanctuary until they lost their charitable status in 2007).

The animals were also used for "TV commercials, movies and special promotions," according to documents distributed by the Morabitos at the council meeting. Prior to starting TEARS, the Morabitos owned an exotic animal pet shop called Kris' Reptiles, where they sold constrictors, prairie dogs and primates, among others.

In 2007, Thorold City council, after hearing deputations from Morabito's family and friends, and a number of animal protection groups (including myself), agreed with the recommendation of the Regional Municipality of Niagara Planning Department and rejected the Morabito's application.

It is not known what will happen to the animals.


Anonymous said...

Everyone has a right to freedom of speech but you must speak and write the truth or you could get in alot of trouble.

Daniel K. Vegan said...

Dear Anonymous,
You're right. Everyone should write and speak the truth or they could be charged with libel or slander. Are you implying that I have written a lie? I have personally confronted Chris Morabito on all the points mentioned in this article. Even he didn't accuse me of lying. So what exactly do you think is not true?