JOSEPH CLARK/SPECIAL TO SUN NEWS
Animal rights activists line Bagley Road in Olmsted Township last weekend to protest performances by Carson and Barnes Circus. The Olmsted Falls Kiwanis Club sponsored the circus as a fundraiser.
By Joe Clark, Sun News
July 18, 2012, 12:05 PM
OLMSTED TWP. Carson and Barnes Circus presented four performances at Olmsted Falls Middle School last weekend, despite protests by animal welfare activists.
The circus was a fundraiser for the Kiwanis Club of Olmsted Falls’ scholarship fund, which benefits college-bound high school seniors. Demonstrators objected to the circus’s use of performing animals, which they say face poor living conditions and abuse during training.
“I’m here to help educate the public about animal abuse that occurs at circuses that use them,” said protestor Kate Zirkle. She was one of 30-40 people who demonstrated during the weekend. At any given time, 15-25 activists stood with signs by the entrance to the Middle School parking lot.
“It goes beyond abuse,” said Amy Wagar, a protestor from Aurora and volunteer with the Cleveland Animal Rights Alliance. “People say ‘I don’t know if they are whipping (elephants),’ and they do, but even if they didn’t, taking them out of nature and their families is wrong.”
Representatives from Carson and Barnes denied animals were mistreated.
“It’s sad that there are people out there with some signs who really don’t understand what they’re talking about,” said Kristin Parra, office manager with Carson and Barnes. “We welcome anyone to come out and see our animals for themselves. We give them the best care and invite anyone to come out and look at them.”
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