Press Releases

Dear Friends,

As some of you are aware, our Sunday morning pony ride and petting zoo at the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market on Main Street was the target of protestors from April through September of this year.  The protestors accused us of the crime of animal abuse, claiming that we mistreated our animals and that our Santa Monica pony ride and petting zoo should be shut down.  

The Santa Monica Police Department’s Animal Control Unit investigated our operation at the Farmers’ Market on May 4th, 11th and 18th in response to complaints of animal abuse from these protestors and found no evidence of animal abuse.  The lead protestor was advised in writing by Santa Monica city officials on May 9th and 23rd that the police found no evidence of animal abuse, but the protestors did not stop accusing us of animal abuse.

Sgt. Mike Graham, an officer with the SMPD who used to be the supervisor of the SMPD’s Animal Control Unit and who also used to own his own horses, inspected our operation in Santa Monica on Sunday, July 13, 2014 and personally told the lead protestor that there was no animal abuse.  Despite being told repeatedly by the authorities that there was no animal abuse, the protestors did not stop protesting at the Farmers’ Market accusing us of animal abuse until the Santa Monica City Council voted in September to end the pony ride and petting zoo when our contract expires next May because of the controversy surrounding these protests.

In response to these false accusations of animal abuse, we decided to file a lawsuit to clear our names and to seek justice against the individuals who misled the public and falsely accused us of mistreating our animals.  We are saddened by these developments, because we love providing the children of Santa Monica with a chance to ride a pony or be inches away from animals they might otherwise only see on television or on the Internet.  We are very concerned that if the Santa Monica City Council does not change its mind before next May, we might have to sell many of the animals because most of our income from pony rides and petting zoos that is used to take care of these animals comes from the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market.

We did not want this fight, but we have no choice if we want to clear our names.  Our lawsuit was filed on November 10, 2014.  If you would like to see the press release from our attorney that went out to members of the media, click here.  

If you have any concerns about this and want to speak with us, don’t hesitate to ask.

Please keep us in your thoughts.


Tawni and Jason

To read the full press release please click here
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