CompassionWorks International is dedicated to creating a more compassionate world for all beings by furthering the emancipation of animals enslaved within systems of oppression. We facilitate strategic, community-based education and awareness-raising efforts in the U.S. and beyond.
Started 9 petitions
Send Betty to Sanctuary Now!
Fifty year old elephant Betty has lived a lifetime of suffering. Captured from her home in Thailand at the age of just three years old, she was sold into the George Carden International Circus in 1986 where she has been forced to perform cruel circus tricks and to give rides ever since. The Carden family continues to force Betty to perform despite the fact that she is chronically lame. She does not bend her left front ankle, which is evident when she walks or give rides. Betty also continually drags her trunk along the ground as she walks. It appears that she is using her trunk as a crutch to remain balanced or to hold her upright. Her impairment could pose a serious public health hazard should her lameness result in a fall while she was performing or giving rides. In performance after performance, CompassionWorks International has found Betty exhibiting these clear signs of suffering, yet the Carden family and the USDA do nothing to help her. Presently the Carden family has rented Betty out to Garden Bros Circus, where she is provoked to give rides and do tricks by Larry Carden. Garden Bros performs up to three times per day, which means that Betty is giving up to three hours of rides and three performances per day. Afterward, she is loaded on a truck and driven hundreds of miles only to do it all again. Another Carden family elephant named Jenny lived a similar life of performance and tricks despite having health issues, and the USDA did nothing to help her. Jenny died. Isn’t it time the USDA DID THEIR JOB and took action for animals used and abused in traveling circuses? Please join CWI in calling on the USDA to do their job: confiscate Betty and transfer her to a Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries-certified sanctuary where she can live out the remainder of her days without the stress and pain of circus performance.
Circus World: Stop Using Animal Acts!
Circus World, located in Baraboo, Wisconsin, is a both a museum housing circus paraphernalia and a place where circus acts continue to perform. Sadly, amongst those performances are acts that include elephants and tigers. On July 13, 2018, CompassionWorks International visited Circus World to perform a welfare check on the animals contained there, and we were saddened by what we found. The main circus performance, which occurs twice per day during the summer, featured an act using three elephants: Lisa, Tracy, and Becky. Lisa and Tracy were also forced to give rides. Review of the video footage we collected by elephant experts revealed that Lisa and Tracy are both experiencing pronounced gait issues. They appear to be significantly compromised on their right sides, including knee and hip as well as wrist and elbow, and have a limited range of motion in both of their right shoulders. Walking, or at least giving rides, is demonstrably painful to both of Lisa and Tracy. CWI has since filed a complaint with the USDA on behalf of Lisa and Tracy for violations of the Animal Welfare Act, and have requested that the USDA immediately remove Tracy and Lisa from circus life. We also call upon Circus World to let the use and abuse of animals in circus entertainment become a part of the past where it belongs. Going forward, we ask Circus World to only hire willing human performers to entertain its audiences and to cut ties with notorious animal abusers Carson and Barnes, who "own" Lisa, Tracy, and Becky. Thank you for supporting our efforts to end circus cruelty.
We demand justice for Jasper!
On May 6th, a black bear known as Jasper was shot by a Washoe County Sheriff’s Office deputy in an attempt to scare her and her cubs away. Yet instead of using a rubber bullet as the deputy reportedly intended to, he/she used a live bullet. Jasper sustained injuries for which she was being treated, but she succumbed to the shot and died at 7:15am on May 7th. We demand an investigation into 1. whether any action against Jasper and her cubs was actually necessary, and, if it was, 2. why non-lethal means (like air horns) were not used as a first response, and 3. we request to be provided with an explanation as to whether the Nevada Department of Wildlife was engaged given that the bears were allegedly frequenting the area and finally, 4. we expect a thorough review as to how any deputy cannot distinguish between a live round and a rubber bullet. Washoe County Sheriff's Office needs to answer for the completely unnecessary death of Jasper, take appropriate action with the deputy who cannot distinguish between lethal and non-lethal ammunition, work collaboratively with local groups concerned with bear populations in the area to enhance public education efforts regarding bears, and develop a plan of action for how situations like this can be avoided in the future to be shared with the public. Jasper deserved better!
Gulfport, MS: Prevent Cruel Dolphin Captivity!
Around the world, people are coming to understand that dolphin captivity is animal cruelty. The dolphin is an extremely intelligent mammal, regarded by scientists as being very close in brain aptitude levels to humans, and is both self-aware and highly emotional. They live in complex social structures with family members often staying together throughout their lives. In every way, they are completely unsuited to captivity and life imprisonment in a tank. Around the world, dolphin captivity is in decline. In India, dolphins have been categorized as "non-human persons" and holding dolphins in captivity as menial "entertainment" has been forbidden. Greece, Croatia, Cyprus, Hungary, Slovenia, Costa Rica, Chile, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland all have banned the keeping of dolphins in captivity. While just last week, in March 2017, the Vancouver Aquarium unanimously voted to ban the display of all cetaceans. With increasing pressure put on dolphin exhibits by activists and the declining attendance at SeaWorld due to the world waking up regarding the inherent cruelty of marine mammal captivity, there is no sensical reason for the proposed Gulfport Aquarium to include dolphins in its plans. Hasn't Gulfport, where dolphins naturally live in the waters off the coast, learned its lesson after the disastrous situation it found itself in with captive cetaceans after Hurricane Katrina? It is a travesty that in today's day and age the City of Gulfport, Mississippi is considering including jailed dolphins as part of the proposed Gulfport Aquarium facility. With countries and aquaria around the world turning their back on the unnecessary cruelty of dolphin captivity, Gulfport is surprisingly and intentionally heading down a slippery path of investing in a doomed future based on an antiquated and backward mentality. Help put an end to the horrible suffering of dolphins famously documented in the film The Cove and demand that the proposed Gulfport Aquarium be dolphin-free.
End Exotic Animal Acts at the 3 County Fair!
The annual 3 County Fair held in Northampton, Massachusetts has made the disappointing and inhumane decision to include an exotic animal act as part of its offerings for the 2016 season. While including tigers might seem like an exciting addition to a line-up of family entertainment, the sad reality is that exotic animal training involves abuse and cruelty. Though we can't know which performance Bruno Blaszak is planning for the 3 County Fair, it is clear from his website (http://www.brunostigers.com) that he forces his tigers to perform tricks that are not a part of their normal or natural behavior. Photos reveal that he subjects them to fire (of which tigers are naturally afraid), forces them to balance on high wires, and to perform other menial and degrading tricks under the threat of violence. Tigers suffer when forced to perform in traveling entertainment: Though tigers are solitary and fiercely protective of their home range, they are frequently forced to live and perform in groups. Though tigers are semi-nocturnal, they are often made to perform and travel during the day. Though tigers are love water and are extremely adept at swimming, they are denied any access to pools of water. Though tigers develop close maternal bonds, baby tigers are torn from their mothers for the purposes of training. Though tigers are able to leap more than 30 feet, the circus and other related industries that use tigers often keep them confined to small cages barely big enough for them to pace back and forth in. This intensive confinement frequently leads to psychological and emotional distress. While Mr. Blasak states on his page that his goal is to "preserve" tigers, forcing them to lead unnatural lives traveling and performing tricks does NOT promote preservation or conservation. It promotes the cruel and harmful concept that "man dominates beast", which is what is leading to the destruction of these beautiful animals in the wild. Please join CompassionWorks International and Western Mass Animal Rights Advocates in asking the 3 County Fair to NEVER AGAIN make use of exotic animals as part of its performances. And if you are in the area, please participate in the peaceful demonstrations of the Fair that will take place this year. The time to end tiger acts and other types of institutionalized animal cruelties is now. Be their voice.
Shriners International: End the Use of Exotic Animals in your Circuses!
People around the world have woken up to a simple fact: the use of exotic animals in traveling entertainment is archaic and cruel. That is why numerous circuses, including Ringling Bros, have closed and hundreds of bans have been enacted in countries, states, counties, cities, and venues eliminating the practice of using animals in circuses. The Shriners will tell you that their circuses support children suffering from illness. However, the numerous "Shrine Circuses" that take place around the country only serve to support the operations of the individual Shrine chapters. The monies are used to "keep their lights on," not to provide funding to children in need. Most Shrine Circuses continue to make use of animals. The Shriners hire circuses which rent animals for their performances. For instance, Jordan World Circus, which often performs as a Shrine Circus, rents their elephant act from the Carden family. The Shriners COULD opt to host circuses without animals, yet they choose animal cruelty as a fundraising ploy. The tigers, elephants, and other exotic animals used by these circuses are forced to travel continuously trapped in tiny cages and boxcars, beaten with bullhooks and whipped, and denied the opportunity to live any semblance of a natural life. All of this happens not for the benefit of children, but to pay for the operational costs of individual Shrine chapters. It is time that the Shriners did the right thing and instituted an organizational policy that no being should need to suffer for the enjoyment of another, no matter what the cause. Join us in asking Shriners International to ban the use of exotic animals in their circuses.
Please help to rescue an abused elephant named Nosey
Nosey the elephant needs our help. She is showing signs of arthritis, but still forced to stay on the road giving rides to people despite evidence that she's suffering! A veterinarian even says that Nosey "is unnecessarily suffering, permanently disabled, crippled, and is knowingly being maimed." Please tell the USDA to act to rescue Nosey from her abuse life of captivity and urge your members of Congress to pressure the USDA to do its job! The USDA has cited Nosey's owner, Hugo Liebel, for nearly 200 animal-welfare violations, and he was ordered to pay a $7,500 penalty following nearly three dozen charges of violations of the Animal Welfare Act. Most of the charges related to Nosey, including repeatedly chaining her so tightly that she could barely move and denying her necessary veterinary care. So why is Nosey still used for elephant rides and taken to fairs and flea markets? This cruel captivity including chaining and a tough life performing for humans' entertainment is known to result in arthritis in captive elephants. As the authority with power to pull Nosey off the road, the USDA should act to help this elephant but they ignored her history of lameness. Our representatives in Congress can help to make this happen if you act as a constituent to say animal welfare issues such as this are important to you. People like me have worked hard to protest and organize other online and offline events for Nosey here in Florida where she is generally used for these fairs and other events. But we need more help since the USDA is accountable to members of the public around the country and your member of Congress will care most about what you think as someone who has the power to vote animal-friendly politicians into office! If you care about elephants, please sign my petition to help Nosey.
Stop Hosting Safari Club International Thrill Killers!
The LAS VEGAS CONVENTION AND VISITORS AUTHORITY, defying belief, has opted to host Safari Club International, a large group of trophy hunters. They plan to continue with the 2018 conference, which features guns and killing, even after the tragic massacre that occurred in Las Vegas in October 2017. Here are some of the topics regularly covered at the convention.: Planning and Designing Your Trophy Room How Can You Kill Those Beautiful Animals? Words and Stories We Must Speak to Preserve Hunting Hope For African Hunting Trophy Preparation Encouraging Women to Pull a Trigger Field Dressing and Gutless Gutting Hunting The World Hunting Giant Bull Elk in the Southwest Bone Splitting - Complete Arrow Penetration Set - Ups Safari Club International members are people who do not view life as precious. They show their "appreciation" for animals by murdering them, gutting them, and hanging their empty carcasses on their walls in some twisted display of machismo In light of the current tragedy, shame on the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority for hosting this event and putting profit ahead of morality. We encourage you to share with all of your friends and family that the LVCVA are actively supporting the murder of elephants, big cats, and other animals by hosting this conference. Please speak now and let LVCVA know how you feel about their support of indescribable animal cruelty! And refuse to visit Las Vegas until which time they turn their backs on the SCI and "entertainment killing"!
End the Use of Wild Animal Acts at The Big E!
The Big E, a 17-day event held in West Springfield, MA, is the largest fair in the northeast and the 6th largest fair in the nation. It began as a simple agricultural fair back in 1917 and is now regarded by organizers as a "New England extravaganza". Yet the current incarnation of the fair has exploded far beyond agriculture and New England heritage. In fact, The Big E uses wild animals acts for entertainment and such exhibits are not just inhumane, but some are even dangerous to humans. Elephants, camels, zebras, kangaroos, and lemurs are featured in the R.W. Commerford & Sons Petting Zoo. This constantly traveling zoo contains a wide diversity of wild animals in very unnatural, cramped, and often unhealthy, conditions. Elephants, under the threat of punishment and prodded with a sharp metal instrument called a bullhook, are forced to stand around for hours for photos with Big E visitors. The Big E contracts R.W. Commerford & Sons despite the fact that Commerford has been involved in three dangerous incidents involving the elephant Minnie, who has attacked and critically injured her handlers, including while children were riding on her. This same company has been cited by the USDA more than 50 times for violations of the minimal animal care standards required by the Animal Welfare Act. In addition to the petting zoo, The Big E will feature a bear trailer, which contains four full-grown bears shut in cages. In the wild, bears usually roam 20-50 miles each day, yet when confined at The Big E, these animals have but feet to roam back and forth. This is inhumane and far from educational. Camels will also be exploited in Camel Kingdom, which is run by the notorious ex-Ringling animal handler Ryan Henning. While Henning claims this is an "educational" exhibit, the camels are forced to perform and give rides under threat of a whip. There is nothing "normal" or "natural" about this experience. Please join us in letting The Big E know that wild animals have no place at an agricultural fair focused on the beauty and diversity of New England and that wild animals belong in the wild, not forced to perform or trapped in cages by those whose sole purpose is to profit off of them.