PETA Statement: Dade City’s Wild Things Former President’s Guilty Plea in Sexual Misconduct Trial

For Immediate Release:
February 5, 2018

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Pasco County, Fla. – Below, please find a statement from PETA Foundation Director of Litigation Caitlin Hawks regarding the guilty plea by Randy Stearns, former president of Dade City’s Wild Things, to two counts of misdemeanor sexual misconduct for exposing his genitals “under circumstances in which he … [knew] that [such] conduct [was] likely to cause affront or alarm” stemming from a 2016 indictment in Missouri:

Legal woes are mounting for Randy Stearns and the notorious Dade City’s Wild Things operated by his parents. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is suing them over alleged fraudulent fundraising, the USDA has sued the roadside zoo over numerous animal-welfare violations, and a PETA lawsuit filed against Stearns, his mother, and the roadside zoo over alleged cruelty to endangered tigers has already prompted a motion to hold them in contempt for shipping 19 tigers across the country, during which time three newborn cubs died. PETA is calling on the Stearnses to end their cruel tiger cub “encounters” and retire the animals at the facility to reputable sanctuaries.

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment,” and more information about Dade City’s Wild Things is available here.

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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