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Fur Protester Delivers Big Dose of Inspiration

Written by PETA | March 5, 2010

Back in the 1950s, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to move to the back of the bus in the segregated South. After learning of Parks’ arrest, an African-American resident in Montgomery declared, “They’ve messed with the wrong one now.”

Let’s fast-forward to Virginia Beach, Virginia, 2009: Longtime PETA member and ardent animal defender Sheila Rybak was arrested outside a fur store where she’d been peacefully protesting. She was accused of causing an illegal ruckus by Maria Folch, who had “happened by” this off-road site in a full-length mink coat.


Sheila Rybak with PETA president, Ingrid E. Newkirk.
Sheila Rybak


Unfortunately for Folch, Rybak doesn’t take any injustice lying down. After Folch failed to show up at the first court hearing, Rybak sued for malicious prosecution. Makes sense right? Protests aren’t illegal, and Rybak was only trying to spread the word about the hideously cruel fur industry.

Earlier this week, a jury found in Rybak’s favor, and the court has ordered the defendant to pay $12,500 in damages. Here’s the kicker: Rybak has declared that if Folch will hand over her full-length mink coat for use in PETA anti-fur displays and events, she’ll call it even!

Talk about inspiring. What do you think?

Written by Karin Bennett

Commenting is closed.
  • Maru Vigo says:

    Sheila is a champion for animals and in order to be one we must be brave enough to face the abusers directly and speak up for voiceless creatures. How wrong Folch was when she believed that anything could stop Sheila in her task to make this world a more just and compassionate place for animals! Felicitaciones Sheila!

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Congrats on your admirable courage and tenacity Sheila. Inspirational story indeed.

  • T says:

    Yay! I wish all fur would stay on the animal it belongs to.

  • Gary Shogren says:

    Kudos. The fur industry has got to go. Keep protesting and standing up for these poor animals and just maybe we will finally see the end of this atrocity in the very near future.

  • Kathleen says:

    When I hear things like this it makes me remember that their are still good people in the world…on a side note the fur store not to far from me is officially out of buisness! I guess people are starting to finally see what the fur industry really is thanks to PETA and people like Sheila Rybak! For all you animal abusers out there you better watch out…we will not stop till every cage is EMPTY!!!!!

  • Andre Inglis says:

    That is inspiring. I love the fact that she asked for the coat. I wonder if the lady took her deal? 3 you PETA!!

  • Marissa says:

    Good for her! that makes me so proud!