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Privately-owned Franksville zoo asks for donations: 'All of our income is gone'

NOW: Privately-owned Franksville zoo asks for donations: ’All of our income is gone’

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FRANKSVILLE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A privately-owned zoo in Racine County is asking for donations after the owners say, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, they've been stripped of all of their income.

Jo-Don Farms has been in southeastern Wisconsin for more than four decades. But now Vice President Alexaundria Meyer said the zoo is currently only surviving off donations.

"We started in 1975 and made a promise to every animal here that we will do everything we can to make their lives better. Most of the animals here came as a rescue. It's hard to keep that promise when most -- actually all -- of our income is gone," Meyer said.

The zoo had to lay off all of its staff and currently only has volunteers maintaining the zoo and farm, and taking care of the animals.

Jo-Don Farms usually opens to the public on May 1, but Gov. Tony Evers' order prevents the zoo from being able to open until at least May 26. Right now, Meyer said she hopes to open up on June 1.

All year long, the zoo typically offers many off-site jobs, including pony and camel rides at birthday parties, wedding receptions and other events.

"With COVID-19, we've lost about $50,000 worth of our work between off-site jobs and... not being able to open for one of our six months here," Meyer said.

She has applied for Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP loans, and also created a GoFundMe page to help keep the lights on at the zoo.

"Our utilities will be shut off unlike a residential (home.) If you're commercial, they will turn you off," Meyer said.

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Tammy 31 days ago
My heart is breaking. I take my grandkids every year for the past 6 yrs. The animals are NOT abused. Shame on the woman that said they are. My husband and I will be donating what we can. We have to stick together! ❤
CharlesBuddaBoye 35 days ago
I love this little zoo I think a great place to bring your family.
I bring my kids every season and tell everyone about it.
You guys keep doing the great work your doing.
On June 1st you better believe me and my family will be there.
PamAvery 35 days ago
Being a volunteer at jo-don I see how well the animals are treated, fed and cared for. It is trying times for all farmers, zoos, as well as local businesses. I’m proud to support our community!
Susan PamAvery 32 days ago
Thank you for all you do!
SuzieEdstrom 35 days ago
This "ZOO" is pure animal abuse. Those poor animals were shown in cages that are too small, their fur looked mangy. COME ON PEOPLE! They need to donate those animals to real zoos and habitats NOW! Go find real jobs! You're exploiting and torturing animals! HOW CAN CBS58 post this as NEWS?! YOU SHOULD BE REPORTING ON THE ANIMAL ABUSE!
Then don't donate. Simple
ShaiHulud SuzieEdstrom 32 days ago
If you're so concerned with the cage size and welfare of the animals then donate to help them with vet care and for building materials for new enclosures.
SuzieEdstrom 35 days ago
This "ZOO" is pure animal abuse. Those poor animals were shown in cages that are too small, their fur looked mangy. COME ON PEOPLE! They need to donate those animals to real zoos and habitats NOW! Go find real jobs! You're exploiting and torturing animals! HOW CAN CBS58 post this as NEWS?! YOU SHOULD BE REPORTING ON THE ANIMAL ABUSE!
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