State

Dec 17, 2013 12:34 PM by David Randall

Colorado reindeer owner fires back against cruelty charges

DILLON, Colo. (AP) - Animal rights activists are urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to deny a rancher a reindeer license renewal after one of his reindeer broke free at a Colorado mall while the man was playing Santa.

Reindeer owner Bill Lee's reindeer exhibitor license is set to expire on Friday. The escaped reindeer was captured on Dec. 6, a day after it broke free.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals cite Lee's guilty plea to animal cruelty charges last year after more than 100 animals were seized from Lee's ranch.

According to the Summit Daily, Lee said the animal rights debate has gotten pretty bad when activists are picking on Santa for one of his reindeer "getting a little spooky and getting loose."

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