Pettigrew Feed & Hardware Cancels Elephant Rides

PETA Sends Store Thanks and Vegan Brownies for Agreeing Not to Host Longtime Elephant Abuser

For Immediate Release:
July 28, 2017

David Perle 202-483-7382

Ravenna, Ohio – After learning that notorious animal abuser Hugo Liebel planned to offer elephant rides outside Pettigrew Feed & Hardware this week, PETA notified the Ravenna store of his long history of endangering the public and forcing an elephant named Nosey to give rides despite showing signs of arthritis. Within hours, company President Lonnie Pettigrew canceled Liebel’s appearance, telling PETA that he was “appalled” by Liebel’s history of abuse. In thanks, the organization is sending the company kudos and a box of delicious vegan brownies.

“Like most kind people, the folks at Pettigrew Feed & Hardware were horrified at the thought of an ailing elephant being forced to give rides, and they acted quickly to cancel Hugo Liebel’s abusive act,” says PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Rachel Mathews. “PETA encourages everyone to support businesses that reject animal abuse and to stay away from those that exploit wild animals for profit.”

As noted by PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—Liebel’s history includes nearly 200 citations for violating the federal Animal Welfare Act, including chaining Nosey so tightly that she could barely move and repeatedly denying her adequate veterinary care. Video footage from last summer shows her standing alone in a hot parking lot, confined to a cramped, electrified enclosure without shelter, food, or water—and she’s often seen continuously rocking back and forth, a sign of suffering and distress that isn’t observed in the wild.

After reviewing 20 years’ worth of federal documents related to Nosey—as well as a decade’s worth of photographs—an independent veterinarian and elephant expert called her case “the worst, most prolonged, documented example of an uncorrected case of suffering and abuse in an elephant I have ever reviewed.”

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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