I am writing in response to a Sept. 11 letter to the editor by C.B. Mills, “Many animal sanctuaries do a lot of good, not harm.”

I have been to DEW Haven on a few occasions, and the conditions I found there were substandard: dirty water, foul odors, cramped living quarters.

Some of the large predators were overweight from being fed beef, which has a high fat content and is not something reputable zoos would use as food.

The fact that they breed their big cats is also deeply concerning, and again is not something a reputable animal sanctuary would do.

It is true that animal sanctuaries are needed for the welfare of captive wild animals that cannot be released into their natural environment.

But based on what I saw at DEW, and documented evidence from interns and others who have been there, this is not a legitimate sanctuary but rather a breeding roadside zoo.

Nicole Graffam