Runaway Reindeer Leaves Santa Behind

Published by Jennifer O'Connor.

PETA has asked Dillon, Colorado, Mayor Ronald J. Holland to put any future plans to use live animals in city displays or events on the naughty list after a reindeer being used in the town’s annual lighting celebration panicked and took off. The reindeer was on the loose all night and most of the next day before being recaptured.


Instead of sending the frightened animal home to rest and recuperate, Laughing Valley Ranch owner Bill Lee will continue traveling from event to event and will be keeping the animal on a tighter leash.

Santa belongs at the mall. Reindeer do not. Reindeer are not domesticated and easily become stressed when hauled around and put on public display and used for photo ops. Reindeer don’t enjoy being petted, harnessed, or forced to “pull” sleighs. These large, strong animals tend to be skittish and unpredictable—and being in close contact with thousands of noisy shoppers, bright lights, and shrieking children is an entirely unsuitable environment for a reindeer or any animal.

Please send a polite e-mail to Mayor Holland and ask for a “no-animals” policy for Dillon’s public events. And if you ever hear of or see live animals being used at events in your community, contact event organizers and urge them to reconsider.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind