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TMCNet:  Spy claim made at animal park

[January 14, 2011]

Spy claim made at animal park

Jan 13, 2011 (Pauls Valley Daily Democrat - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- PAULS VALLEY, Oklahoma -- Garvin County authorities are continuing an investigation into a Wynnewood area animal park's claim a former employee was planted as a spy for a national animal rights group.

The claim is coming from Joe Schreibvogel of the G.W. Exotic Animal Park, who is accusing the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals group, better known as PETA, of placing a spy at the park to access information from its computers without his knowledge.

Garvin County Sheriff Larry Rhodes confirmed Wednesday his deputies are indeed investigating the claim.

"Joe (Schreibvogel) is claiming this person was planted by PETA; that he was a spy," Rhodes said.

"He's saying this person accessed computers at the park for the purpose of notifying PETA of any possible violations," he said.

"We're investigating if he accessed the computers illegally and if a crime occurred. We're looking at the possibility of computer act violations and accessing the computers with unlawful intent." According to Rhodes, the unnamed employee worked at the park located near Wynnewood for four years. That employee has since left the park.

The sheriff said the investigation has so far involved the collection of statements from at least three individuals associated with the area park with more possibly to come.

Once the investigation is completed a determination will be made on if any formal criminal charges will be filed.

The Associated Press reported that PETA spokeswoman Jane Dollinger has said information the group has about the animal park was obtained legally.

To see more of the Pauls Valley Daily Democrat or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://paulsvalleydailydemocrat.com/. Copyright (c) 2011, Pauls Valley Daily Democrat, Okla. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. For more information about the content services offered by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services (MCT), visit www.mctinfoservices.com.

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