Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Circus Dogs

We are of mixed feelings here at Happy Dog Land about circuses. There have been many reports over the years regarding mistreatment of circus animals, and we are not completely convinced that many traditional circus animals are enjoying their fate.

However, we may make an exception here. The Big Apple Circus, apparently, does not use exotic animals (no elephants, etc.). Instead, this circus adopts homeless domestic animals and then trains them to become circus performers. Even more importantly, these dogs live with their trainer as pets.

One detail, however, was particularly striking:

Mr. Anastasini is adamant about taking care of the dogs after they retire. They still long to perform, he says, so he often runs them through their old acts to keep them happy. One of his goals is to build a shelter to rehabilitate problem animals and return them to their owners or give them to others. And where does Mr. Anastasini take the animals during their three-month stay in New York? Central Park, of course. “A lot of people think I’m a dog walker,” he said.

Now that's a circus we can get behind...

1 comment:

  1. Don't let a few bad apple spoil the fruit. The word MANY animals not enjoying their 'fate' implies MOST are mistreated. I think there are some bad situations and poor choices, but lets not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    I personally have seen some very well run circus with seemingly happy animals, exotics included.