Gov. Wolf Asked to Ensure Cruelty Charges in Sportsmen’s Club Bear-Neglect Case

Medical Experts Say Dillan, Rescued Six Months Ago, Endured Years of Pain; PETA Petitions for His Abusers to Be Held Accountable

For Immediate Release:
July 20, 2020

David Perle 202-483-7382

Millmont, Pa.

This morning, PETA sent Gov. Tom Wolf a letter asking him to use his authority to ensure that cruelty and neglect charges are filed against all those at the Union County Sportsmen’s Club responsible for causing long-term pain and suffering through their wanton neglect of Dillan, an Asiatic black bear who was rescued from the roadside zoo six months ago today.

This new PETA video reveals Dillan’s condition when he arrived at The Wild Animal Sanctuary (TWAS) in Colorado: He suffered from morbid obesity and painful, life-threatening dental disease. During emergency dental surgery in February, 12 of his teeth had to be extracted, and the abscess in one tooth was so severe that it was draining pus through a hole that it had bored through the bear’s gums. On the day of his surgery, Dillan weighed 857 pounds—2.5 times the weight of an average male Asiatic black bear. The U.S. Department of Agriculture repeatedly cited the roadside zoo for Dillan’s dental issues, obesity, and continuous abnormal rocking (which typically indicates extreme distress) starting in July 2017—but the facility failed to help him. PETA offered to arrange for and cover the costs of his transport to a reputable sanctuary for treatment, but—again—club officials ignored his plight.

“The Union County Sportsmen’s Club knowingly and willfully allowed this bear to suffer in agony for years, and that is against the law in the state of Pennsylvania,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel for Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA is asking Governor Wolf to make sure that Dillan’s abusers are charged and, if convicted, and prohibited from ever owning another animal again.”

TWAS Executive Director Pat Craig stated that in his 40 years of rescuing captive wildlife, Dillan’s dental disease was the most severe and advanced that he has ever seen and that he was, by far, the most obese bear of the more than 300 the organization has rescued. Happily, Dillan now enjoys roaming, eating fresh fruits and vegetables, and spending time with his new best friend—another rescued bear named Lily.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit

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