Nye County Court Orders Tiger Owner to Remove Big Cats From Nevada Property

PETA Complaints About Karl Mitchell's Cruelty to Tigers, Danger to Community Prompt Official Action

For Immediate Release:
November 20, 2014

David Perle 202-483-7382

Pahrump, Nev. – The district court in Nye County has officially ordered convicted criminal and notorious tiger abuser Karl Mitchell (Big Cat Encounters, Inc.) to remove the big cats he has been illegally keeping on the Pahrump property of Ray Mielzynski. The order comes as the result of Nye County’s civil nuisance abatement lawsuit against Mitchell, which came after PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—compiled and submitted to the county evidence of Mitchell’s illegal activities and cruelty to animals.

“It’s official: Karl Mitchell can no longer illegally exhibit and terrorize big cats in Nye County,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “As has been the case for years, PETA stands ready to transfer these tigers to a reputable sanctuary where they’ll finally have room to roam, fresh food, and the appropriate care that they’ve been denied for so long.”

PETA initiated the legal wrangling in 2011 by filing a code complaint because Mitchell was keeping the big cats illegally. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has levied more than $100,000 in fines against Mitchell for violating the federal Animal Welfare Act. His violations include denying animals adequate veterinary care, adequate living conditions, and palatable food and water and cruelly withholding water as a training technique. The USDA permanently revoked Mitchell’s exhibitor’s license more than a decade ago—yet Mitchell has continued to exhibit tigers illegally.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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