Mayor Bennett Nabs Big Thanks From PETA for Rejecting Neglectful Zoo

Box of Vegan Cookies Sent in Appreciation After City Agrees Never to Hire Exhibitor With Horrific Record of Animal Deaths

For Immediate Release:
August 5, 2016

David Perle 202-483-7382

Palos Hills, Ill. – A box of delicious vegan cookies is on its way from PETA to Palos Hills Mayor Gerald R. Bennett after he agreed not to hire notorious traveling zoo Woody’s Menagerie—which was featured at the city’s Friendship Festival in July—for any future events. The mayor’s decision comes after PETA sent a letter detailing Woody’s extensive record of federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) violations—including repeatedly denying veterinary care to animals, several of whom later died—which led the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to file a lawsuit against the zoo in 2015.

“Mayor Bennett’s compassionate decision reflects a public that takes the welfare of wild animals seriously,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA urges cities across the country to reject this ramshackle zoo that either can’t or won’t provide animals with the most basic care.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that half of all USDA inspections conducted at Woody’s since 2004 have found violations. These 22 violations include failure to provide a 4-month-old lion cub who had bowed legs and showed signs of nutritional deficiencies with an adequate diet as well as failure to provide a visibly ailing goat who was confined to a transport trailer for nine days with adequate veterinary care before he died of pneumonia resulting from an infection. Woody’s also reportedly failed to seek veterinary care for a young male lion with treatable conditions, instead opting to shoot him and sell his body to a local weightlifter.

Additionally, the traveling zoo failed to maintain complete disposition records indicating why numerous previously documented bears and lions were no longer in its possession—instead, the records listed only the word “slaughter.”

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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