As someone who suffered serious burns and still bears the scars, I know the Shriners do some terrific work for children. But it’s hard to understand how an organization devoted to good works can support animal cruelty (“Circus swings into Aberdeen today,” March 28).
Elephants in circuses are controlled with bullhooks — heavy batons with a sharp metal hook on the end. Tigers are whipped into submission. When not performing, these naturally free-roaming animals live in chains or in cages in which they can barely move. If the Shriners are to uphold any measure of ethical integrity, they must stop hiring animal circuses.
The Shriners do not operate their own circus; instead Shrine temples either hire an existing circus, or put together a collection of animal exhibitors, many of whom have deplorable records of animal care. Since 1997, there have been at least 10 incidents in which animals used by exhibitors hired by the Shriners have seriously endangered — or killed — people.
Why would the Shriners or any kind parent support this cruelty? Caring area residents should ask the Yelduz Shriners to book a safe, cruelty-free fundraiser.