Animal Allies to Rally Against Circus Cruelty at Shrine Potentate’s Home

For Immediate Release:
March 27, 2023

David Perle 202-483-7382

Flint, Texas – On Wednesday, PETA supporters armed with signs proclaiming, “John Threadgill Supports Animal Abuse,” will converge outside the Flint home of the Sharon Shrine potentate, where they’ll continue to challenge the Sharon Shriners to modernize by keeping tormented animals out of their shows, just as Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is doing.

When:    Wednesday, March 29, 5:30 p.m.

The Sharon Shrine Circus is among the last remaining shows that still use wild animals, who are confined to small crates, kept in shackles, and deprived of any semblance of a natural or happy life. The Sharon Shriners routinely partner with notoriously cruel exhibitors, including Carson & Barnes Circus, which has been cited for more than 100 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act and whose head trainer was caught on video violently attacking elephants with bullhooks—weapons resembling a fireplace poker with a sharp hook on one end.

“Cruelty takes center stage at any circus where vulnerable animals are forced to perform demeaning tricks in front of noisy crowds,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on Sharon Shriners to end these horrifying animal acts, as numerous other Shrines have already done.”

This action is the latest in PETA’s campaign to end the Sharon Shrine’s animal exploitation. The campaign has included a disruption outside the Shrine in which animal allies posed as circus performers in fez hats and “chained” and “beat” giant inflatable crying elephants. To date, more than 60,000 PETA supporters have contacted the Sharon Shriners urging them to stop using animals in their circuses.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview.

For more information, please visit, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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Media Response Team.


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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