Shrine Circuses are Animal Cruelty.
Unfortunately, many Shrine chapters continue to rely on animal abusing circuses to raise money to keep their chapters going. Approximately 150 Shrine circuses take place across the country every year. While many people believe that the circuses, which are promoted as fundraisers, are raising money to care for children at Shriners Hospitals, the funds are frequently used by Shrine chapters to keep the lights on in their clubhouses (temples) and not provided directly to care for ill children.
The Shrine chapters could opt to hold a circus without animals or to choose a different style of fundraiser, but instead they choose to risk the health and well-being of animals forced to perform in the circus, as well as the members of their own community, by continuing with the out-dated and uninspired animal abusing circuses.
Another common Shrine circus misunderstanding involves the ownership of the circus and/or the
animals. In fact, the circus acts are not owned by the Shriners, but are privately owned circuses
contracted to operate as a "Shrine Circus". Typically, the circuses used are Carden International
Circus, Jordan World Circus, Tarzan Zerbini Circus, and Royal Hanneford Circus. In some instances,
the contracted circuses own the animals that perform in their shows, like Carden which presently
owns 5 elephants and other animals, and in other instances the animals are rented from another
animal exhibitor, as is the case with Jordan World Circus, which rents its elephant, dog, horse, camel,
and tiger acts.
To learn more about violations and dangerous incidents involving those circuses please click here.
We encourage everyone who cares about ending circus cruelty to take an active interest in their local Shrine chapter and to reach out to them regarding your concerns about their use of animal acts. Anyone able to do so should get involved with your local Shriners and help them to evolve so that they continue to provide support to sick children via their Shrine hospitals. If they are unwilling to evolve, please peacefully protest every animal-abusing circus performance that they put on and work to create local law prohibiting the exhibition and performance of traveling exotic animals. We are available to help and support your efforts.
To find your local chapter along with contact information, please see the interactive map below.
We also ask you to sign our petition, which demands Shriners International set a policy against the use of animal acts in their chapters' fundraising circuses. For up-to-date information on protests, please visit our Protest Dates page. To let us know of any updates to any information on this page or to report a Shrine Circus set to perform in your area, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ending Shrine circuses would play a pivotal role in ending circus cruelty forever.