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Circus Signs Go Missing—Police Go After 84-Year-Old PETA Member

Written by Michelle Kretzer | July 22, 2014

Arthritis, crippling injuries, and chronic pain often come with age. I’m speaking, of course, about elephants who are forced to perform in circuses. The painful tricks and hours spent standing in chains on concrete floors destroy their legs and feet.

Row of chained elephants inside circus tent

PETA member Marilyn Flynn, now 84, has been working to protect senior elephants and other animals who are abused in circuses for more than 25 years. She can often be found organizing protests or writing letters to newspapers. And according to the circus that had her arrested on a complaint, she might also be found taking down circus signs.

Someone in tiny Peconic, New York, called police to report that Marilyn was removing Cole Bros. Circus advertisements from Main Road. When police visited her at her home in neighboring Cutchogue, they allegedly found Cole Bros. signs.

“I’m certain that if the sponsors of the circus told their children and grandchildren how the elephants came to be in the circus, they’d have nightmares,” Marilyn wrote in a letter to her local newspaper. “These animals have been stolen from their mothers at a very young age … and mistreated in the course of their training to do silly tricks, and worse, rise on their hind legs, putting all their massive weight on their joints.”

Police reluctantly took the endearing woman to jail and quickly released her. Marilyn will soon present her case before a judge, who should recognize that whoever took the signs down did so for the greater good.

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  • SHEILA ALEXANDER says:

    Marilyn I salute you. You are a woman with balls. You stand for what you know is right, and I admire and love you for it.

  • Lisa says:

    This great lady is just fighting for what is right!!!!! I honor her for doing this, more people should know of the horrific pain and suffering that these precious animals have to endure on a daily basis, these people of the circus are just evil and only thinking about their wallets instead of the welfare of these most blessed animals!!!! They need to pay for their crimes and should never be able to own another animal for the rest of their lives!!!!! We as humans have no right to use animals as slaves and no animal should ever have to be tortured like these elephants have been and are still enduring!!!!!

  • respect for that lady … you go girl x

  • R Ertman says:

    The signs are not the only thing missing, how about common sense.

  • Barbara kesler says:

    Law enforcement should be embarrassed for arresting this woman. They arrest someone for allegedly swiping signs that are advertising the real crimes being committed by this horrible circus.

  • Haleigh says:

    Thank you for your bravery, Marilyn! Maybe we should try putting up a flyers about the cruelty of circuses next to circus advertisements to get some attention.

  • Sue Melnyk says:

    Thanks Marilyn…..we all need to take responsibility to stop this awful abuse of animals. So very obsolete in this day and age to still have cruel circuses.

  • Tex says:

    Thanks Marilyn….. 1,000,000 Karma points! Speak for the voiceless….

  • Virginia Greenwood-Warner says:

    Marilyn Flynn – you are a hero lady!!!!! Thank you sooo much for trying to help these ellies.

  • Jenna Miles says:

    I don’t care if she did take down those signs, if she did she was right to.

  • NIKA salehi says:

    I Agree with the brave woman who took down your signs. You have no right too treat animals like that and keep them in a circus.

  • Larry L. Miller says:

    Apparently police cretins never heard of the constitutional right to free speech.

  • eddy says:

    thanks Marilyn…..You are a STAR!!!!

    • Anya Thakur says:

      Dear Marilyn Flynn,

      Through the efforts of inspiring animal rights advocates like you, I hope one day there can be a world where this appalling cruelty towards our fellow creatures which we share the Earth with will be a thing of the past. What you have done is very admirable and I sincerely hope others will follow your lead and that you win your case and continue fighting for animal welfare and campaigning against the outrageous abuse of our peers.

      Sincerely your fellow animal rights advocate