Stop the use of live tiger cubs as mascots
This petition had 69,279 supporters
At Massillon Washington High School in Ohio, football passions run deep. And team traditions are held as sacred, even when they prove to be cruel. Every football season, Massillon pays to bring in a new live tiger cub as its mascot. At least 45 cubs have been used since 1970, paraded before screaming crowds, then sent off to live in questionable, sometimes deplorable, conditions -- all in the name of school spirit.
It is time to end a tradition that encourages the breeding and abuse of exotic animals. A tiger belongs in the wild, not a stadium or a cage. We are asking the Ohio Department of Agriculture to remove the permit that allows the Massillon Tiger Booster Club to lease the tiger cubs.
The cubs, dubbed “Obie” for their short time at the high school, are held in small pens in front of deafening crowds -- tigers’ hearing is three times stronger than people’s, and the noise causes them to defecate uncontrollably in their tiny enclosures. At the end of the football season, some are sent to certified sanctuaries. But the school doesn’t track where they go, and several “Obies” have been found in roadside zoos.
Massillon Washington High School officials say they cannot help where the tigers end up -- they can only take care of the animal while they have it. But their hands are not tied -- they have a choice not to use live tiger cubs and fund exotic animal breeders. Since they have refused to make the right choice, the Ohio Department of Agriculture must intervene.
When Massillon Washington High School started the live mascot tradition in 1970, attitudes about the use and treatment of animals were very different. We now understand so much more about the needs of animals and the dangers of the exotic animal trade. While they may only lease the tigers, they are funding the breeding of highly endangered wild animals.
Please join us in calling for the Ohio Department of Agriculture to remove the permit that allows the Massillon Tiger Booster Club to lease the tiger cubs.
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