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Ringling’s K9 Act Isn’t Fooling Anyone

Written by PETA | April 3, 2009 / CC
Circus dogs

Not content with forcing just elephants, tigers, and other exotic animals to perform cheap tricks, Ringling’s mobile animal hell has added dogs to its list of prisoners. During a recent appearance on The Early Show, goons from Ringling’s new magic act, called “Zing Zang Zoom,” dragged along a few sad-looking pups to perform ridiculous tricks in the frikken snow. One terrified pooch shivered as he was hoisted up on a small platform about 30 feet in the air and reluctantly jumped onto a small pillow. In the circus, whether you’re an elephant, a dog, or a dove, it’s perform or else.

While it’s supposed to impress us that these dogs are rescues, the truth is that there’s more ugliness to the illusions of “Zing Zang Zoom” than just garish costumes. PETA receives complaints from all over the country about dogs in circuses. Many are starved for attention, left in crates until show time. Others are starved, in the most literal of terms, and fed only when they perform properly. We’ve heard reports that dogs were forced to perform when injured and that pimps “trainers” made dogs walk on their hind legs, even when not performing, causing them to develop arthritis and other problems with their legs.

Congratulations, Ringling—you’ve managed to take a giant step backward for caninekind. No worries though. Soon, you’ll be as washed up as this guy.

Written by Missy Lane

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  • Leni says:

    I decided to take my son to the circus for the first time. Although he had a great time I ledt just a little bit diturbed. As I watched in disappointment as people lined up to ride the elephant I just kept wondering how anyone thought this was ok? I may watch too much animal planet but these elephants looked so depressed and so sad. Just emotionally beaten. The trainers had these metal pokers that they kept digging into their skin it almost made me vomit. I loved the nonanimal acts but I couldn’t help but feel helpless and sadness for these animals. Even my 3 year old asked “mom why is the elephant so sad?” I didn’t know what to say other than that it probably misses it’s family I know I would. I wish there was an animal free circus now that would be entertaining!

  • Emily says:

    That is just sick.

  • Giorgio71 says:

    What Eden said is right…many people are just clueless…they go to see what they believe is just a show…they don’t even think about the condition of the animals or about the fact those poor animals are forced and tortured to get them to do those unbelievably stupid and totally non funny tricks.. Just last week a friend of a friend told me she took her 4 years old child to the circus and he had so much fun..I was shocked…I have tried to explain that it can’t not be fun or educational watching a lion forced to jump into a fire ring or an elephant standing on his 2 legs…and that those animals should be the life they are supposed to live…which IS NOT IN A CAGE CHAINED!!!! I asked her aren’t you worried the only thing your child will learn is that is it normal beat an animal or force him to do something totally unnatural? she was just not able to give me an answer….what a shame.. I’ll never never stop spreading the word about circuses and animal rightsbecause this is the only way I can respect myself.. STOP GOING TO THOSE HORRIBLE “SHOWS”!!!!!!!!

  • SPotlight says:

    makes me sad because i love the circus. I have never been to one dont worry but love the idea of the circus life. But in all my dreams of the circus not one revolves around the animals. I dont even think of them. They are not an important part and there could be beautiful humane circuses. When they exist ill see one.

  • Miranda says:

    This is just horrible. why would anyone wanna treat a poor animal like this. They’re helpless and have no choice but to do what there “trainers” say or else. Thats ridiculous uncalled for. How can we set aside and let this be legal? People need entertainment this bad? and who ever made it ok to torture an animal and call it entertainment? People need to get a life.

  • vegan4life says:

    ABUSE is ABUSE no two ways about it. I will continue to inform unknowing people as long as I live because education is key. It’s 2009 and this C is still going on. Everyone needs to spread the word about the TRUTH ASAP.

  • Rex's Mom says:

    I just read a letter from someone writing to the “Voice of the People” column in the newspaper complaining that when the circus was over thousands of people were exiting at the same time and the escalators weren’t working because of saftey reasons. It is very sad that thousands of people are still attending this torture show! This has got to end!

  • LovesAnimals says:

    Is that a Dachshund in the group? Forcing a Dachshund to jump any length is an act of animal cruelty. Why isn’t PETA and the ASPCA doing something about them forcing Dachshunds to jump? It’s a death sentence for them. Please everyone email that horrible circus regarding these Dachshunds.

  • Your Ticket, Their Pain! says:

    The other day in NYC a man with his children told me he went to Ringling and saw the “trainer” Sadist! whip the tiger many times in the ring during the show because the tiger wasn’t doing silly tricks on command. I can only imagine what he did behind the scenes to the poor trapped tiger since he had no trouble whipping the animal in front of the paying customers! Like John says CIRCUSES TEACH CHILDREN NOTHING FACTUAL ABOUT WILD LIFE OR DOMESTIC ANIMALS. INSTEAD IT TAKES WILD AND DOMESTIC ANIMALS AND FORCES THEM TO DO PAINFUL CONFUSING STRANGE AND SILLY THINGS AGAINST THEIR VERY NATURE FOR OUR “ENTERTAINMENT”. IT TEACHES CHILDREN THAT ANIMALS ARE PLAY THINGS THAT WE CAN MAKE DO AS WE PLEASE. People need to wake up and create a new humane and meaningful tradition!

  • Tamra says:

    absolutely repulsive. how long will it take to educate the rest of public so that they will no longer frequent this $$!!!!!!!!

  • melissa says:

    man they are luckly that they dont come to my town anymore.

  • Eden says:

    The most important thing we can do educate everyone we can about circus abuse. Many many people are just clueless. How can they be so clueless well I must make a confession that I am so ashamed of now but at the time I was “clueless”. About 40 years ago I was a bullfighting aficiando. Can you believe that. I attended several bullfights in Tijuana Mexico. It seems inconceivable to me now but I do not recall even thinking about the horrible suffering of the bull. It was all about the “courage” and “skill” of the bullfighter. I suppose I believed that the bulls would be slaughtered anyway so this gave them an “opportunity” to have at least a chance against the bullfighter. Again it is painful for me to acknowledge my ignorance. But I believe there is a purpose to our lives and there is a reason for everything that happens. Because of my complete insensitivity and even at that time I thought of myself as an animal lover just mostly cats and dogs I can understand that people who attend circuses just don’t see. I also have experienced the “Aha” moment when I explain the horrors of circus life for all the animals to someone. Also thanks to PETA I now know so much more about the abuse and cruelty inherent in circuses I am especially impassioned about the plight of elephants. But no animal should have hisher dignity taken away in such a brutal way. I take every opportunity that comes my way to educate people in the supermarket line at the bank at the library they are always shocked and say that they “had no idea”. When I tell them that many many circus elephants have tuberculosis and that it can be transmitted from elephants to humans they are really wideeyed with shock again they “had no idea”. I believe the only way we are going to get animals out of the circus is by grassroots efforts. Thanks for reading.

  • John says:

    It is simple people. Stop going to cruel circuses and they will cease to exist!

  • Gina says:

    This is disgusting cruel and unfair for all animals. Hopefully Ringling will pay some day.

  • SparkyGump says:

    Disgusting. Keep the pressure on those thugs.

  • Alicia Norrigan says:

    The last Ringling Brothers circus I attended was over 20 years ago and it made me as sadleft me as disturbed and I felt as uneasy as the first one I saw as a young child. The saying “time changes everything” is certainly not applicable when referring to Ringling Brothers. I continue to boycott RB and thankfully our friends do as well. They too pass on the horrid information about Ringling Brothers and their treatment of the animals under their so called “care.” Unfortunately we have a few pitiful holdouts within our distant familybut we are making progress and encouraging them to educate their children about such “unfairhurtful and wrong behavior” that is committed by Ringling Brothers. We will not encourage and patronize the cruelty which Ringling Brother’s promotes regularly and has for DECADES. I will not shut my mouth or close my eyes when it comes to revealing the despicable tactics RB uses. Shameshame shame on you. Alicia Norrigan