Jailed Bear Hunt Protester to Receive PETA’s ‘Hero to Animals Award’

Dr. William Crain Serves 15-Day Sentence for Civil Disobedience as Hunts Expected to End

For Immediate Release:
January 4, 2018

Audrey Shircliff 202-483-7382

Newton, N.J.

PETA is sending a Hero to Animals Award to the home of Dr. William Crain, the college professor and PETA member who is currently serving a 15-day jail sentence in Newton for civil disobedience during a protest against New Jersey’s black bear hunt.

Crain first started speaking out against the bear hunts when they were being proposed in 1997. He has participated in protests against them every year since they began in 2003, leading to eight arrests for civil disobedience. Last year was his first jail term, and he expects this year to be his last, as New Jersey Gov.-elect Phil Murphy—who will be sworn in the day before Crain’s release—has pledged to place a moratorium on the hunts.

“Bears, like us, have feelings, social lives, and individual personalities,” says Crain. “And, like us, each bear wants to live. Our society must show far greater compassion and respect for other living beings.”

“Dr. Crain is a hero to animals for putting his own personal freedom on the line to speak out against the slaughter of New Jersey’s black bears,” says PETA Senior Vice President of Communications Lisa Lange. “Kind people everywhere are celebrating the coming end of this cruel hunt, and it’s thanks to the tireless efforts of kind protesters like him.”

Crain is a child development specialist and professor of psychology at the City College of New York, where he has taught for 47 years. In addition to protesting New Jersey’s bear hunts, he and his wife, pediatrician Dr. Ellen Crain, founded Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary in Dutchess County, New York, where they offer a lifelong home for 100 goats, sheep, chickens, turkeys, pigs, and other animals rescued from slaughter.

Crain will receive a framed certificate from PETA, whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” and whose campaign against the bear hunts included helping to organize protests and encouraging its members and supporters to urge Gov. Chris Christie to end the hunts.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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