Sign our petition! "Shriners International: Stop hosting cruel circuses"
Shriners do not operate their own traveling circus. Instead,
local Shrine temples hire existing circuses or put together
a collection of acts to perform. In Florida, Circus Hollywood and the Royal Hanneford
Circus commonly perform under the "Shrine
Florida-based Circus Hollywood frequently performs as a "Shrine Circus." In
2012, Circus Hollywood included high-wire acts, clowns and acrobats.
Unfortunately, the circus also featured two elephants and an
exotic animal petting zoo (giraffes, zebras and other animals).
two elephants— an African elephant named "Shannon"
and an Asian elephant named "Cora" — are owned
by Bill and Cindy Morris. During a Shrine circus in 2003 in
Maine, Bill Morris was filmed cruelly using a bullhook on Cora, causing the elephant to cry out (view the video here). According to Bill Morris, Cora (in photo at right) is 51 years old, which would make her one of the oldest performing elephants in the United States. But ARFF believes Cora is actually much older, perhaps over 60. She may be the oldest elephant still traveling and performing with a circus in the country.
The Royal Hanneford Circus is a Sarasota-based circus that also
performs in Florida under the "Shrine Circus" name.
most circuses, Hanneford contracts with different performers
each year. In recent years, the Royal Hanneford Circus has included elephants,
tigers and a depressing act in which muzzled and leashed bears
are forced to ride bicycles and balance on balls. USDA inspectors
have repeatedly cited the Royal Hanneford Circus for poor veterinary
from the Royal Hanneford Circus website.
its 2011 tour, the circus teamed-up with an elephant trainer
named Tim Frisco. Mr. Frisco is infamous for undercover video footage that captured him beating elephants with bullhooks and shocking them with electric prods. In the video, Frisco is heard instructing other elephant trainers to, “Hurt ‘em! Make ‘em scream! … Sink that hook into ‘em … When you hear that screaming, then you know you got their attention!” The disturbing video is widely available online.
Danger. In February 1999, an elephant with the Royal Hanneford
Circus left the ring and ran into the audience during a performance
in Poughkeepsie, New York. Several spectators were injured as
they tried to get away from the elephant.
the Shriners help children?
The Shriners Hospitals for Children, a separate organization from the Shrine temples, do good work, providing
medical care to needy patients across the country—but
less than 2 percent of the hospitals' budgets come from money
raised by Shrine temples. An investigation by the New York
Times found that much of the money raised by temples is
used not to help children but to pay for trips, parties and
than 57 percent of the $32 million the Shriners raised in 2005
through circuses, bingo games, raffles and a variety of sales
went to costs of the fraternity, including keeping temple liquor
cabinets full and offering expenses-paid trips to Shrine meetings
and other events."
- "In Shriner Spending, a Blurry Line of Giving;"
New York Times, March 19, 2007
small print on Shrine circus tickets make it clear that
proceeds from the circus fund temple activities, not the hospitals
(tickets are not considered charitable contributions).
The following Shrine temples in Florida sponsor animal circuses.
Please contact the Potentate, or chief executive, at a temple
near you and urge him to replace circuses with non-animal fundraisers,
such as golf tournaments, car shows, festivals, or an animal-free
here to download a list of animal-free circuses).
Dan Dyle, Potentate
3650 RCA Blvd.
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410
Phone: (561) 627-2100
Fax: (561) 627-2103
Potentate's personal e-mail: email@example.com
Troy Cail, Potentate
2010 Hanson Street
Fort Myers, FL 33901
Phone: (239) 334-2226
Fax: (239) 334-4010
Potentate's personal e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Rudd, Potentate
2300 Pembroke Drive
Orlando, FL 32810
Phone: (407) 660-8811
Fax: (407) 660-9028
Potentate's personal e-mail: email@example.com
time has come to end the circus at UCF.
It is no longer fun and games at the circus, and the people
are aware of it.
The contract must not be renewed."
- editorial, Central Florida Future (UCF campus newspaper),
April 14, 2008
Richard Leger, Potentate
4050 Dana Shores Drive
Tampa, FL 33634
Phone: (866) 353-4978 or (813) 884-8381
Fax: (813) 884-7412
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Potentate's personal e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dennis Green, Potentate
3800 St. Johns Bluff Road
Jacksonville, FL 32245
Phone: (904) 642-5200
Online comment form.
Ocala Shrine Club
Tom Hubbard, President
PO Box 830035
Ocala, FL 34483
Phone: (352) 694-1515
Fax: (352) 694-6899
Charles Levan, Potentate
600 North Beneva Road
Sarasota, FL 34232
Phone: (941) 366-4449
Fax: (941) 366-8578
Potentate's personal e-mail: email@example.com
Scott Hair, Potentate
PO Box 16115
Panama City, FL 32405
Phone: (850) 769-8303
Fax: (850) 763-9617
Potentate's personal e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
*The Shaddai Shriners sponsor the Cole Bros. Circus each fall.