Written by Jennifer OConnor
Never doubt the
power of your pocketbook: The Piccadilly Circus, which is currently touring
California, is canceling performances left and right, reportedly because of low
ticket sales. PETA's complaint to California officials about the circus's cruel
kangaroo boxing show – which authorities in the state consider illegal – may
also have played a role in the cancelations.
The boxing kangaroo
act entails antagonizing a costumed kangaroo named Rocky into defending himself
against his handler and audience members in a boxing ring. At least two
kangaroos previously used in this act have died—one from a bacterial disease
that can result from severe crowding, poor hygiene, poor diet, and stressful
Help us keep up the pressure: If Piccadilly
Circus is coming to your town, click here for help speaking out against them—and please
don't buy a ticket.
Written by PETA
Update: PETA has filed a complaint with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission regarding Rocky's suffering, and the agency has confirmed that it has opened an investigation into the matter. We have not received word from the commission on their findings yet, but members of the boxing community are weighing in on the matter – UFC welterweight Thiago Alves is spreading the word on Twitter. Please join him in pushing for Rocky's rescue.
Please thank the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for pursuing an investigation and let the commission know that you find the act cruel and objectionable. Call the commission at 1-888-404-3922 or submit a comment here.
It's hard to believe that anyone would haul around a diapered, distressed kangaroo and force him to box, but exhibitor Javier Martinez, who is currently traveling with the Piccadilly Circus, is doing just that. PETA has sent a complaint to the Florida State Boxing Commission (FSBC) and the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation urging them to intervene to stop the illegal "Rocky Show Circus," which is traveling throughout Florida. Boxing matches must be licensed by the FSBC, and there is no evidence that Martinez has complied.
Martinez, who dresses up a kangaroo named Rocky and taunts him into fighting back, has been repeatedly cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including failure to provide adequate veterinary care and safe animal enclosures. Rocky is clearly stressed and has charged people during photo shoots, chewed on his own arm, and attempted to flee the ring during the act.
At least two kangaroos used in Martinez's boxing act have died while touring with a circus, including one who died while traveling with UniverSoul Circus from complications of a deadly bacterial disease called "lumpy jaw," which can result from severe crowding, poor hygiene, poor diet, and stressful conditions.
Please only attend innovative, exciting circuses that don’t exploit animals, like Cirque du Soleil. Here’s a complete list.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
Underfed and tied to a shed 24/7, Rocky wasn't really living—just existing. Rocky was only a puppy, yet his owner never let him inside the home and allegedly beat him in an effort to try to turn him into a better "guard dog". After witnessing the abuse that Rocky was forced to endure, a concerned area resident set to work trying to find help for the adorable and resilient dog.
After placing phone call after phone call to various agencies and animal shelters in the area to no avail, the resident finally turned to PETA. We immediately coordinated with folks at the local SCPA, who persisted in Rocky's behalf and eventually convinced his owner to surrender him into the shelter's care.
Now, a few weeks later, we are delighted to see this picture of a blissful, thriving, recently adopted Rocky:
The story of the dog who is left outside to languish is one that our cruelty caseworkers hear all too often. Dogs are highly social and loyal companions. They crave lots of love, attention, and exercise, and they always want to be around their human family. Staking them out in lonely yards as cheap "alarm systems" is nothing short of a cruel betrayal of an animal's unlimited love and devotion to his or her guardian—it is simply not the way things are meant to be.
If you know people who aren't doing right by their dog, please talk to them and educate them about the animal's many needs. Offer to walk their dog. Bring toys! Show them how to do things right. And please, never let mistreated animals endure abuse or neglect. Always speak up and file a report with local law enforcement officials. Without you, these animals would have no voice.
Written by Logan Scherer
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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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.