Letter: Circus animal abuse hasn't been substantiated
I would like to clarify recent letters on animals in the circus.
Edna Dugas' letter (July 12) asked why we did not accept Allen Harris's "donation" in lieu of hosting a circus. Unfortunately, she misrepresented Mr. Harris's offer. He stated to us that his intention was to deliver a good faith contribution of $5,000 contingent upon our agreement to work with him to pass legislation to ban exotic animals in Dalton. Interestingly enough, he stated in his email that was he had no problem with the Zerbini Family Circus, but the Lions Club never had an agreement with him. Since he claimed he wanted to support the Lions, he was sent a circus sponsor letter sponsoring children's attendance but we received no response.
America is about "freedom of choice" and the Lions will not be pressured into accepting any offer such as above. It was an attempt at political strong-arming masquerading as philanthropy.
Cathleen Groves' and Scott Plantier's letters show that they have bought into the national animal rights extremist organizations' misinformation. Much of this is old, outdated and doctored, and none of it has ever stood up in a court of law. These national groups raise millions yearly in the guise of helping animals — which they do not. Instead, they spend it on political lobbying trying to outlaw everything from pet store sales to eggs to performing animals. PETA is against all pet ownership and in 2011 killed over 95 percent of the animals given to them to "rescue."
Making statements that animals are beaten proves how little they know. If you abuse any animal they will not work with you. It is a violation of the bond of mutual respect and trust that trainers and animals share. Animals in the circus are cared for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Have any of these letter writers ever attended a circus? When and where has any of them seen any animal abused in the circus, in person, and not off some website? All animals are a very important part of our lives. They provide us with food, clothing and companionship. If you want to help animals, give to the Berkshire Humane Society where you know your money will help the animals we all love.
This years the Lions Club received many favorable comments from those attending the circus. The children were in awe — enjoying every minute. Could be we have introduced a new generation to America's oldest performing art, the circus.
This year's circus was a huge success with all five shows very well-attended. All town inspections found the circus in compliance with no problems. A special thank you to all who funded the family circus program. This year, not six, but 10 agencies were provided tickets.
We look forward to bringing this true family attraction back to Dalton in 2018.
Dan McGinnis Sr.,
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