U.S. Gov. Says Bear at Sportsmen’s Club Is in Significant Pain

Inspection Report Shows That Club Is Failing to Meet Absolute Minimum Care Requirements in Violation of Federal Law

For Immediate Release:
November 18, 2019

David Perle 202-483-7382

Millmont, Pa. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has inspected the Union County Sportsmen’s Club and reports that Dillan—the obese Asiatic black bear at the center of a PETA campaign seeking his retirement to a reputable sanctuary—is being denied adequate veterinary care, including for his likely painful and severe dental issues, in violation of the federal Animal Welfare Act’s minimum standards of care to prevent the inhumane treatment of animals.

According to the just-released October 16 USDA inspection report, Dillan’s teeth have continued to worsen, with multiple broken and discolored teeth and at least one evident leaking abscess. The report notes that the “severity and chronic nature of these dental issues are likely to have caused the bear a significant amount of pain over a long period of time and the condition of the teeth have continued to deteriorate since first documented in 2017.”

The report also notes Dillan’s morbid obesity and limited mobility—conditions shared by a geriatric bobcat at the facility—as well as his abnormal rocking behavior, which is often an indicator of pain or psychological distress. The report concludes that the club has made “no plans to pursue any diagnostics or treatment to diagnose or alleviate any discomfort the animals might be experiencing.”

“For at least two years, the Union County Sportsmen’s Club has failed to stop this bear’s teeth from rotting away in his mouth or ease his pain,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “The club keeps the animals in concrete-floored cages, condemning them to suffer with no real life—a total indictment of the facility’s management.”

Last month, PETA ran hundreds of radio ads, a television ad, and a newspaper ad, which ran for three weeks, calling for Dillan to be retired to a reputable sanctuary. A billboard reading, “Dillan Is Suffering,” is also up south of Liverpool. The group has repeatedly reached out to the facility to offer to cover all costs of transferring the animals—but the club has declined.

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.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you are agreeing to our collection, storage, use, and disclosure of your personal info in accordance with our privacy policy as well as to receiving e-mails from us.

 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