PETA Statement: State Seizes Big Cats From Law-Breaking Tiger Keeper

For Immediate Release:
October 5, 2015

Lakisha Ridley 202-483-7382

PETA Foundation Counsel Rachel Mathews has released a statement in response to Ohio officials’ seizure of five tigers from the private property of Marion County resident Mike Stapleton:

More than a year after PETA tipped off authorities about the dilapidated cages that Mike Stapleton used to confine tigers illegally, the Ohio Department of Agriculture is doing the right thing by seizing the five tigers. PETA hopes to see the animals placed at a reputable sanctuary. This animal exploiter spent two years fighting Ohio’s exotic-animal laws instead of complying with them, and Marion County will be far safer without his ramshackle backyard menagerie.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—first alerted officials to Stapleton’s noncompliance with Ohio law in April 2014. For more information, please visit

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