25 More Animals Rescued From Ice Cream Store’s Roadside Zoo

Just over two years ago we celebrated a major win when Ricky the bear was moved to a sanctuary after being exploited for nearly two decades as a living attraction at Jim Mack’s Ice Cream in Pennsylvania. Now, 25 more animals who had remained behind there, have been rescued.

In 2015, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), with the support of four concerned residents who were named as plaintiffs, filed a public nuisance lawsuit  in York County, ultimately seeking to have Ricky moved to a sanctuary and bar her owner, James H. McDaniel, Jr., from getting another bear in her place.

In a settlement reached between McDaniel and the law firm BakerHostetler, which filed the lawsuit, McDaniel agreed to release Ricky and her advocates agreed to drop the lawsuit.

While Ricky started over in an entirely new life, more animals remained behind. Over the summer people started reporting more issues to the ALDF, and raised concerns that the conditions they were living in were inhumane and inadequate.

Matthew Liebman, director of litigation for the ALDF, explained that as part of the settlement reached involving Ricky, McDaniel was barred from obtaining any new animals and from owning any more exotic species, and he violated the terms by adding peacocks to his collection. McDaniel was given the option to let the animals go, or get sued again for breaching the settlement and animal cruelty.

He opted to let them go and now those who have been advocating on their behalf are celebrating with the permanent removal of 25 animals who were moved to new homes within the state over the weekend.

Jim_Mack.credit-Jason_Putsche_09Credit: Jason Putsche

Two alpacas, a llama and two emus were taken to their new permanent home at Chenoa Manor, a sanctuary in Avondale.

Jim_Mack.credit-Jason_Putsche_01Credit: Jason Putsche

Jim_Mack.credit-Jason_Putsche_06Credit: Jason Putsche

Four peacocks were taken to their new permanent home at the Indraloka Sanctuary in Mehoopany.

Jim_Mack.credit-Jason_Putsche_10Credit: Jason Putsche

Seven rabbits, five chickens, three goats and a goose were taken in by the York SPCA, where they will be available for adoption.

Jim_Mack.credit-Jason_Putsche_11Credit: Jason Putsche

Liebman said they’re excited to have gotten the same outcome for these animals as they did for Ricky, who he added is now thriving at her new home home at the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado, which just included a spread about her in its latest newsletter.

Thanks to everyone who spoke up for these animals, and the legal efforts to intervene on their behalf, Jim Mack’s Ice Cream will now never have animals again.  Liebman believes we’re now experiencing a cultural shift away from seeing animals as mere spectacles for entertainment, and that society is evolving to recognize them as sentient individuals deserving of rights, so hopefully we’ll continue to see more facilities like this one close their doors and shift to business models that don’t involve exploiting them.

For more on how to support legal efforts to protect captive animals who need help, check out the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

Photo credit: Jason Putsche


Marie W
Marie W4 months ago


sharon b
sharon b8 months ago

Another victory in the fight against the cruel exploitation of animals

Cathy B
Cathy B9 months ago

Abolish all road side zoos. Customers are enticed to stop to view the animals which are kept in appalling conditions. RIP Tony the tiger.

Richard B
Past Member 10 months ago

That's good. Thank you.

K M10 months ago

I'm happy for all the animals. Roadside "zoos" like that should be banned. Thank you for letting us know and thank you to all those that made it possible.

Carole R
Carole R10 months ago

Very good news.

Judy t
Judy t10 months ago

Another roadside zoo closed down for good now let's rescue the other animals that are trapped at these filthy one stop roadside attractions who suffer at the hands of owners who use them for profit only. Poor Tony the tiger never made it to freedom. It is the 21st century and these freak animal attractions are decades old and out-of-date with our changing modern times for the ethical humane treatment for animals. Ricky the bear is now healthy and thriving beautifully in her new environment. Ben the bear who had lived in a concrete small iron bar cage eating dog food and scraps thrown by tourists at a roadside attraction in NC now looks absolutely stunning since his rescue and is now living a happy and safe life at PAWS Sanctuary in CA. Ban all roadside zoos!

donald Baumgartner
donald Baumgartner10 months ago

Good News !!!!

Lesa D
Lesa DiIorio10 months ago

REMARKABLE rescue!!! thank you, ALDF & all supporters!!!

thank you, Alicia...

Paola S
Past Member 10 months ago

thanks for sharing