PETA Statement: Dade City’s Wild Things Owner Hit With Felony Charges

For Immediate Release:
August 27, 2019

David Perle 202-483-7382

Tampa, Fla. – Below, please find a statement from PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet in response to the arrest of Dade City’s Wild Things (DCWT) owner and operator Kathryn Stearns on three felony charges for alleged crimes relating to the solicitation of charitable contributions:

Stearns’ arrest is one more nail in the coffin for Dade City’s Wild Things, and PETA expects more nails soon: The PETA complaint that led to these charges also sparked a state lawsuit against this sleazy operation, and a PETA lawsuit looms over its cruel tiger cub encounter program. With legal woes mounting, what is needed is to get the animals in this terrible place sent to reputable sanctuaries.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview that fosters violence toward other animals. PETA has documented rampant abuse by DCWT, including that endangered tiger cubs who had been prematurely separated from their mothers were roughly handled, repeatedly forced into public contact, denied appropriate veterinary care, and held in virtually barren enclosures. More information about the roadside zoo is available here.

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