PETA Calls Feds, State On Darnell Dockett’s Reported Tiger Purchase

Endangered Animal Belongs in a Sanctuary, Not a Football Player’s Home, Says Group

For Immediate Release:
August 1, 2013

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Phoenix — PETA has just sent letters to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the Arizona Game and Fish Department urging them to investigate Arizona Cardinals defensive end Darnell Dockett’s reported purchase of a tiger cub. The group points out that Dockett may have transported the animal from Florida to Arizona—an action that is prohibited by the federal Endangered Species Act, the Captive Wildlife Safety Act, and Arizona wildlife laws that prohibit the possession of tigers and other wildlife without a permit.

If Dockett is found in violation of these laws, appropriate enforcement action against him may include felony charges, imprisonment, and confiscation of the tiger.

“Tigers are endangered, they’re dangerous, and it’s illegal—and cruel—to buy them and keep them as ‘pets’ in Arizona,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Delcianna Winders. “PETA is calling on the authorities to make sure that any tiger Darnell Dockett may have bought ends up at an accredited sanctuary—not in a cage in a football player’s backyard.”

Tigers are wide-ranging animals with enormous home territories, and confining them to tiny cages in private homes deprives them of everything that is natural and important to them. When the cute cubs become mature—and frustrated—predators, the situation becomes dangerous: In the U.S. alone, incidents with big cats have resulted in at least 21 human deaths, injuries to hundreds of humans, and the deaths of dozens of big cats. Many big cats bought by private owners end up at live-animal auctions, where they risk being sold to canned-hunting ranches. PETA supports the pending Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act, which would address these problems by prohibiting the private possession and breeding of big cats.

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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