LONG ISLAND - Invites on social media for so-called sloth parties boast opportunities for those who attend to "carry them around, take pictures, and get lit."
Humane Long Island protested outside Tuesday night’s Islip Town Board meeting calling for immediate change. This comes after the nonprofit filed a motion to intervene in Suffolk Supreme Court arguing Larry Wallach, owner of Sloth Encounters in Hauppauge, is failing to comply with court orders to close.
"I think it’s atrocious," said John Di Leonardo who is the executive director of Humane Long Island. "This is just one more reason Islip needs to shut them down and stop dragging their feet at sloth's pace. This is a bad guy who doesn’t care about the law, your children, or your safety."
In the motion filed, undercover investigators were told to park off the property and enter Sloth Encounters through the back door to visit the animals.
Now Humane Long Island claims Wallach is taking them on the road to unlicensed pot parties where sloths allegedly "got high."
Wallach who spoke to FOX 5 over the phone says he’s allowed to travel with the animals and was misled about the party adding when he realized what was going on, he left in a matter of minutes. As for his business, Wallach claims to be in complete compliance and says he’s waiting for a permit to reopen his store.
"The sloths are in great condition, people love them," he said.
But the Town of Islip says the permit was denied and marijuana retail sales as well as lounges in the town are illegal.
"Yesterday during the town board hearings a number of speakers came up and made some serious accusations so we’re compiling all of those comments and sending them to the district attorney," said Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter.
Wallach is due back in court on September 20 for illegal possession of wild animals in Islip. It’s a prior charge unrelated to this latest investigation. He insists the business isn’t open. As for Humane Long Island, they vow to continue their fight to get the animals in a better-suited environment.