Each year the Cole Bros. Circus travels thousands of miles across the eastern U.S. with a menagerie of animals including elephants and tigers. The circus has a horrible history of animal abuse and neglect, and of violating federal laws intended to protect animals.
Cole Bros. Circus charged with violating the Animal Welfare Act. In April 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that the Cole Bros. Circus and its president, John Pugh, had agreed to pay $15,000 to settle charges that it "willfully violated" the Animal Welfare Act. The charges cited multiple alleged violations:
• failure to provide adequate veterinary care to animals; specifically, one elephant was found to be severely underweight.
• failure to handle an elephant during public exhibition in a way that assured the safety of the animal and the public.