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Cancel Cole Bros. Circus at Eisenhower Park

This petition had 633 supporters

Cole Bros. Circus, a dreadfully cruel circus, is coming to town. They have multiple Animal Welfare Act (AWA) violations, are currently on USDA probation for violation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and their owner, John Pugh, is currently on criminal probation for violation of the Endangered Species Act.

Among their many violations, Cole Bros. Circus has been cited for failure to provide adequate housing for their animals, physical abuse of elephants and other animals, and endangering the public by leaving an elephant unattended when six children and an adult were riding her.
Some violations for public safety include:

May 4, 2010: The USDA cited Allen Bros. Circus, which was performing as Cole Bros., for failure to demonstrate adequate experience and knowledge of the proper handling of dangerous wild or exotic animals and failure to have dangerous animals under the direct control and supervision of a knowledgeable and experienced animal handler. The inspector wrote, "This puts the individual, public, and the animal’s safety at risk." The circus was also cited for failure to provide a travel itinerary as well as for failure to notify the USDA of a change in its business operations—specifically that it was now exhibiting tigers. The USDA inspector noted that Allen Bros. Circus appeared to be circumventing the license revocation of another exhibitor.

April 27, 2010: An elephant named Viola, who had been leased from Carson & Barnes to perform with Cole Bros., escaped in Lynchburg, Virginia. She bolted from handlers and ran directly past a line of people waiting to buy tickets, sending some running toward the parking lot. Viola injured her shoulder and broke a toenail when she slid in the mud and fell into a ravine. She was on the loose for approximately 30 minutes before being recaptured. The circus claimed that the elephant had been spooked by a rabbit.

August 25, 2005: An Asian elephant named Jewel, owned by Cole Bros. and touring with Wambold’s Circus Menagerie, suddenly wrapped her trunk around a woman’s wrist and yanked her as she reached out toward the elephant from a crowd of people feeding the animal at the county fair in Mt. Pleasant Township, Pennsylvania. The woman was treated at an emergency room for a sprain and possibly torn ligaments.

More of these violations can be seen here:


Due to their USDA probation, Cole Bros. is currently prohibited from owning their own animals. To get around this, they lease animals and trainers from Carson and Barnes, whose head elephant trainer, Tim Frisco, is notorious beating elephants. An undercover video of elephant training has Tim Frisco screaming "Sink that hook into 'em...when you hear that screaming then you know you got their attention... Right here in the barn. You can't do that on the road. I'm not going to touch her in front of 1,000 people... She's gonna ****ing do what I want and that's just the ****ing way it is...."
You can view this video here: WARNING: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE:

Please cancel your planned showing of Cole Bros. at Eisenhower Park and do not allow them to return. Eisenhower Park is a public space paid for by our tax dollars. This money should not be going to the support of animal abuse and an enterprise convicted of criminal misconduct.

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