Written by PETA
Relief is in sight for Tony, a tiger who has lived in a cage in the parking lot of the Tiger Truck Stop, a gas station in Louisiana, for more than a decade. An East Baton Rouge District Court granted the Animal Legal Defense Fund's request for a permanent injunction against the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, preventing the agency from renewing the annual permit that allows the Tiger Truck Stop to display Tony. When the current permit expires in December, Tony will have to be moved—hopefully to a sanctuary—which PETA has been urging the station's owner to do for many years.
And the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has revoked the license of exhibitor Jamie Palazzo, who hauled tigers and other wild cats around in the country to fairs and shopping malls. PETA has filed many complaints against Palazzo's "Great Cat Adventures" for allowing the public to hold and have their photo taken with large, dangerous tigers. USDA inspectors repeatedly cited Palazzo's outfit for this violation, noting, "The cat being exhibited was too big, fast, and dangerous to be exhibited in a manner that allowed the public to be close to the juvenile [cat] without a sufficient barrier ..." and "Cubs this large are too dangerous for direct public contact."
Tigers belong in the jungle, not crammed into transport trucks and small cages. Roadside zoos and traveling shows only stay in business because people buy tickets. Don't ever pay to have your photo taken with a tiger cub, and don't patronize a roadside zoo.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
"For over 100 years, the Shriners have sponsored this World Famous event with proceeds going to a great cause—helping less fortunate children in your community." That quote was lifted from the Shrine Circus website.
But a Shriner in Fort Worth, Texas, was determined to let Animal Connection Texas members who were protesting the Moslah Shrine Circus know that "we [Shriners] don't use one penny of this [circus revenue] for our kids." Watch as he makes this point over and over.
Surprised? We're not—after all, in addition to recounting numerous tiger and elephant attacks (both animal-on-trainer and vice versa), PETA's lengthy factsheet on the Shrine Circus notes that various articles from The New York Times, the Edmonton Sun, and other newspapers have raised concerns about Shriners' misrepresentations about funds coming in and going out.
So if, as the representative in the video insists, the Shriners don't use money from circus performances featuring beaten elephants and whipped tigers to help children, what is all that money being spent on?
Written by Christine Becknell
It's so hot in the city, you'd think I'd be making another batch of lemonade—but I've got a hankering for some Internet Soup. It's been a while since the last batch, so dig in!
Oof! I don't know about you, but I'm full after all that soup—and guac. This Special K needs a siesta. Until next time …
Written by Karin Bennett
Thanks go out to all the vigilant animal defenders who contacted us about a recent episode of MTV's The Hills, which showed a caged tiger pacing in a parking lot outside of Les Deux, a Los Angeles nightclub. During the show, Kristin Cavallari squealed that she wanted to touch the big cat. Had she done so, she might have been headed to the emergency room instead of the dance floor.
Back in May, we were alerted to this dreadful situation by an anonymous tipster, and we wrote to Les Deux. We pointed out that while tigers in the wild roam for miles as they hunt and raise their young, imprisoned animals can only pace back and forth as they go crazy from their unnatural confines. Their lives are filled with frustration, anxiety, and fear.
We're glad to report that PETA heard back from Lonnie Moore, who assured us that Les Deux will never again feature such a display, and added, "I am embarrassed and disappointed it ever happened in the first place." Plus, the Dolce Group, owner of Les Deux, has placed a statement on its Web site reading, "Dolce Group has enacted a policy that prohibits the exhibition of exotic animals at all of our businesses. The recent episode of The Hills which features a tiger at Les Deux was filmed prior to enacting an official policy. We have assured PETA that this will never happen again."
This is a perfect example of why it's so important to reach out to and enlighten others about animal issues. Please take a minute to thank Moore for his compassion. Then take a moment to learn about other ways you can help animals.
This just in: First daughter Malia Obama regularly reminds her dad about the plight of tigers, a species on the verge of extinction yet still exploited for human entertainment. It happens so frequently that first lady Michelle Obama told a group of kids visiting the White House that the family talks about tigers at least once a week and said, "I think, the Obama household, we're trying to save the tigers."
Let's hope that the Obamas make a stand for tigers right here at home by speaking out against the use of these magnificent animals in circuses. The first family would be appalled to know that their favorite animal is being whipped, crammed into cages in which they can barely move, and forced to jump through hoops and hop on their hind legs under the constant threat of punishment. Word to Malia: "Ringling hurts tigers!"
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
After an elephant who was being used in a Shrine-sponsored circus killed an animal groom in Pennsylvania recently, people asked how such a thing could happen. Circus spokespeople claimed that the elephant had been spooked by a live electrical wire.
Hmm. The same question arose when Tilly, an orca living in a cramped tank at SeaWorld, attacked and killed a trainer. SeaWorld said all sorts of things, such as that maybe Tilly was just playing! Now, check out this mind-boggling video from China, and it's abundantly clear: To captive animals, some humans are hated, and some are just food. As for the hated, who can blame the animals? Chains, sharp metal bullhooks, whips, small cages, loss of freedom—it's a dangerous mix.
We watched this frightened toddler walk a tightrope over a pit filled with stressed-out tigers and steeled ourselves for the worst.
Captivity doesn't make a wild animal's natural instincts disappear. Is it any surprise, then, when animals who have been beaten, battered, and broken respond accordingly?
Via Perez Hilton
While we're still irked at Animal Planet for the upcoming series about Mike Tyson and pigeon racing, we have to give the network credit for having the good judgment to air the award-winning documentary The Tiger Next Door, which explores the seedy underworld of people who own, breed, and peddle exotic animals.
The movie features Dennis Hill, an Indiana man who once kept dozens of tigers, leopards, bears, and other wild animals confined to filthy, ramshackle cages and pens on his rural property outside Indianapolis.
After years of citations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for violations of the Animal Welfare Act—including failing to provide animals with proper shelter, sanitation, feeding, and watering—the agency filed charges against Hill, and his federal license was revoked. The state of Indiana ordered him to relinquish all but three of the big cats. The Tiger Next Door chronicles Hill's years of buying, breeding, and selling big cats as well as "the curious, ethically murky world" of those who keep exotic pets.
Last week, authorities from at least eight agencies, including the Marion County Humane Society, seized dozens of animals—including big cats, dogs, horses, reptiles, a monkey, and many others—from Barbara Hoffman, who was keeping the animals in several trailers on a property in Texas. Hoffman and her business partner were then apparently placed under arrest on charges of cruelty to animals.
According to the county sheriff, Hoffman never requested or applied for a permit and failed to register the animals with the city. They reportedly kept 10 exotic cats—six tigers, one cougar, two black panthers, and a spotted leopard, several of whom weigh around 700 pounds—in 18-square-foot transport cages inside three trailers that allegedly reeked of ammonia and urine.
Hoffman and her late husband have a long history of abusing and neglecting animals. The couple, who for years used exotic cats and other animals to perform in traveling circuses, regularly failed to comply with the minimum standards of the Animal Welfare Act and collected U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) citations for repeatedly not providing animals with sufficient space, regular veterinary care, or adequate nutrition. PETA filed numerous complaints against the Hoffmans with the USDA—including one in 2007 alleging that their tigers were abused and malnourished and one in 2005 when concerned observers saw exotic cats allegedly left in dark, poorly ventilated cages in scorching daytime and freezing nighttime temperatures. Back in 2004, while performing with a circus in Washington State, a bobcat and at least 10 domestic cats died in the Hoffman's travel trailer when a fire broke out in the arena that housed the trailer.
Hoffman's initial hearing is set for later this week, and we're hoping that the Marion County District Attorney will prosecute Hoffman aggressively, ensuring that she pays for the many animals who allegedly suffered at her hands. We'll keep you updated.
Written by Logan Scherer
Well, sort of. I'll explain.
About 170 audience members at Pagel's Dinner Circus—OK, wait, I must point out how ridiculous that is. I'm all for Dinner and a Movie, but "Dinner and a Circus"? But I digress. During one of the circus's performances this week, 170 horrified audience members witnessed tiger "trainer" Christian Walliser get mauled by three Bengal tigers.
Circus owner Stefan Pagels stated that, because "the show must go on" and because "the tigers did nothing wrong," the animals will not be killed as so many others are when they fight back or run amok. While his claim that the tigers were "playing" with the fallen trainer is ridiculous (hello?), we do agree that the tigers, who are and will always be wild animals, did no wrong. They're huge, strong, powerful animals, and whether in a jungle where they belong or abused in a circus, tigers retain their instincts to hunt, flee, or defend themselves if threatened.
Whether they're being held captive in a barren pit, forced to labor for lazy humans, put on display, or used in photo ops with the public, the only certainty with wild animals who are exploited by humans is that one day, they will fight back.
Today, I sing the praises of the Internet. Not for e-mail—which is handy, yes—but all that Viagra spam irks me. (Hello? It's called "Veggie Viagra"). Or online games (like I need another addiction. The real reason I love the Internet so much is because now my "cosmic justice file" has grown exponentially and now comes with an international flavor.
Let's have a looksie at some of my faves, shall we?
Now, tell which of the above is your favorite example of cosmic justice.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.