Local Resident and Venue Net Thank-You For Canceling Cole Bros. Circus

Circus Loses Its Sponsor in West Deptford, Thanks to PETA and Local Activist

For Immediate Release:
July 28, 2015

John Di Leonardo 202-483-7382

West Deptford, N.J. – When West Deptford resident Joan Conn learned that the notoriously cruel Cole Bros. Circus had her hometown in its sights, she rushed an urgent request for help to Long Island Orchestrating for Nature (LION) and PETA. Armed with information for local venue West Deptford Lions Club—a former host of Cole Bros.—she brought organizers up to speed, explaining that constant confinement and forced performances make life under the big top hell on Earth for animals. Thanks to Conn’s diligent efforts, the West Deptford Lions voted to cancel the planned appearance and no longer host Cole Bros. For their compassion, PETA is sending delicious elephant-shaped vegan cookies to Conn and the West Deptford Lions.

“Deprivation, chains, and the constant threat of violence are daily realities for the animals used in the Cole Bros. Circus,” says PETA Foundation Deputy Director Brittany Peet. “PETA hopes this determined resident’s compassion will inspire others to reach out to their communities for the sake of animals who are still dragged from city to city.”

Cole Bros. has repeatedly failed to meet minimum standards of care for the animals it imprisons. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has repeatedly cited the circus for denying adequate veterinary care to animals, including elephants who have shown extreme weight loss, as well as failing to provide animals with adequate living space. In 2011, Cole Bros. and its owner, John Pugh, pleaded guilty to violating the Endangered Species Act by illegally selling two Asian elephants and were sentenced to probation and ordered to pay more than $150,000 in fines. LION and PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—have collaborated to get several other circuses canceled, including the Piccadilly Circus in West Hempstead, New York, in 2013 and Cole Bros. in Islip, New York, this past May.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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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