Gov. Wolf the Focus of New Ad Seeking Cruelty Charges in Sportsmen’s Club Bear-Neglect Case

PETA Ups the Ante to Hold Dillan the Bear’s Abusers Accountable for Causing Him Years of Suffering

For Immediate Release:
September 16, 2020

David Perle 202-483-7382

Harrisburg, Pa.

As part of its campaign in behalf of Dillan, the Asiatic black bear who suffered for years at the Union County Sportsmen’s Club before he was rescued earlier this year, PETA has just placed a giant billboard near Gov. Tom Wolf’s mansion calling on him to ensure that cruelty-to-animals charges are filed against Dillan’s abusers.

A new PETA video reveals that Dillan was suffering from morbid obesity and painful, life-threatening dental disease when he arrived at The Wild Animal Sanctuary (TWAS) in Colorado in January from the Union County Sportsmen’s Club. Since July 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture had repeatedly cited the roadside zoo for Dillan’s dental issues, obesity, and continuous abnormal rocking (which typically indicates extreme physical and/or psychological distress)—but the facility took no meaningful action. PETA had also repeatedly offered to arrange for and cover the costs of his transport to a reputable sanctuary, but—again—club officials ignored his plight. After PETA’s months-long campaign, Dillan was finally rescued and is now thriving at his new sanctuary home.

“The Union County Sportsmen’s Club let this bear suffer for years, and unless Pennsylvania has somehow opted out of obeying and enforcing state laws, that conduct is a violation,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel for Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA is calling on Governor Wolf to ask why Dillan’s abusers have not yet been charged and to make sure that it happens.”

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.

The billboard is located next to the Sunoco gas station at the intersection of S. 17th and Derry streets in Harrisburg.

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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