Sportsmen’s Club Must Pay Up to Settle Animal Welfare Citations Following PETA Exposé

Club Can Never Possess Bears or Bobcats Again: PETA Will Still Push for Criminal Charges, Ban on Keeping Any Animals at All

For Immediate Release:
November 17, 2020

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Lewisburg, Pa. – The Union County Sportsmen’s Club—the roadside zoo at the center of a PETA campaign seeking cruelty charges over the outrageous neglect of Dillan the bear—must pay $1,700 to settle a litany of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) citations, including those relating to Dillan’s rotted teeth, morbid obesity, and constant (and no doubt stress- and pain-related) rocking behavior clear to anyone who saw the bear, who was kept for years in a small, concrete-floored pen at the club.

The settlement specifically prohibits the club from ever again possessing bears or bobcats. If it fails to comply, it could ultimately lose its federal license to exhibit any animals. Meanwhile, PETA has provided authorities with documentation taken by concerned citizens at the Sportsmen’s Club showing an obese raccoon, a bird enclosure containing an excessive accumulation of feces, enclosures that lacked necessary perching for birds, and a bird with a severely overgrown beak.

“No bear will endure years of misery and wanton neglect at the Union County Sportsmen’s Club ever again,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel for Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “The USDA has taken an important step in the right direction, and PETA will keep pushing for this bear’s abusers to be held accountable and stopped from hurting any other animal.”

Dillan was rescued from the club in January, following a vigorous PETA campaign. He had spent nearly every waking moment at the facility swaying and bobbing his head (a recognized way of trying to cope with physical pain and/or mental anguish)—a behavior that immediately stopped once he arrived at The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado. Twelve of his teeth were extracted as a result of years of painful dental disease, and he was so obese that he weighed more than two and a half times that of an average male Asiatic black bear—but with appropriate care, he’s now enjoying life in a multi-acre, naturalistic habitat with three other Asiatic black bears.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram.

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“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