Shut Down Cruel Sheep Rides


Target: Mayor Joy Sherwin of Burbank, Ohio

Goal: Stop teaching children how to violently mount and ride terrified sheep as a form of competition

A school in Burbank, Ohio offers young children “mutton busting” lessons, or instruction on how to ride sheep. The naturally sensitive and easily frightened sheep are chased by frenzied kids, who tug at the sheep’s ears, fur, and tails in an attempt to mount the petrified animals and remain saddled as long as possible. As a result of this sport, sheep sustain bruises and rashes from the aggressive encounters, which serve as nothing but cheap entertainment.

The lessons and “knowledge” offered by this mutton busting school are fueled by nothing but ignorance. According to the Akron Beacon Journal, the school educates students using fun facts like “sheep cannot feel pain.” Not only do these poor animals suffer, they are being subject to humiliation that does not satisfy any real needs, only sadistic amusement. Animal welfare group PETA describes the harsh incident in detail, saying, “Terrified, the sheep desperately try to escape the children, whom they view as predators, but their tails and ears are yanked at and their halters are violently tugged, chafing and bruising their flesh.”

This overt exploitation is anything but painless. As the children strive to outdo one another amidst a cheering crowd of parents and teachers, two very startling things become evident: Innocent creatures are being happily mistreated, and the next generation of children is systematically being desensitized to this horrific abuse.

Sign the petition below to spare these sheep from further agony and embarrassment, and help end the vicious cycle of animal abuse and human ignorance.


Dear Mayor Sherwin,

A school in Creek Bend Ranch, Burbank is offering cruel “mutton busting” lessons to young children. This activity involves the violent mounting and riding of frantic sheep, often leading to anxiety and physical injuries in these helpless animals. Mutton busting is not a necessity; it is a senseless competition held for trivial amusement.

Teachers at the mutton busting school provide students with false information, telling them that “sheep cannot feel pain.” As enthusiastic children chase and forcibly climb onto the sheep, grasping ears, tails, and fur in both hands while digging their heels into the sheep’s bodies, it becomes quite clear that these animals can feel pain. The rough handling often results in bruised, chafed, and extremely traumatized sheep. All the while, the torment is applauded by competing children, clueless instructors, and misguided parents.

This cycle of ignorance must stop immediately. Events like mutton busting desensitize children to animal abuse and overshadow the impact that animals have on our daily lives. As we subject our sources of food, clothing, and companionship to inhumane and humiliating acts such as this, we unknowingly shape the next generation into heartless, intolerant beings. Please put an end to sheep riding schools in your state and prioritize animal welfare over mere entertainment.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Emergency Brake from Your mom’s house via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. Tanya Ross says:

    Stop this cruelty animals have feelings too!!

  2. What in the world do they think they’re doing? A living animal is not like the coin-operated toys outside supermarkets. Sheep are not meant to be ridden – my goodness, i agree absolutely with you, Debra ~ the sheep not only have to undergo bleeding and mauling to be sheared [which they actually like to have done — in a humane fashion, naturally] – and they are actually exceedingly cooperative with their caretakers/shepherds. BUT they are NOT some type of carnival toy! Leave the animals alone, and go to Walmart or some supermarket and feed your coins into the rattling cars for your thrills. But leave the animals alone: teach your parents to grow a bit of a backbone, and don’t you dare let someone convince you that it’s “FUN” or acceptable to do wrong. God gave you a conscience. It’s best — always best — to listen and act according to the directive. You, of any and all ages, know the difference between right and wrong! It’s no excuse to choose to do wrong, just because ‘wrong’ is available.

  3. Rose HIlliard says:

    All this supposed “school” is doing is teaching impressionable children that dominating and abusing animals is “fun” and ok to do while making them into little “bullies”. This officially endorsed behavior unfortunately has far reaching effects – none of which are good in a civilized society.

  4. la joie que les parents ont quand t ils regardent leurs enfants joué avec mes frères moutons et tout simplement PSYCHOTIQUE;

  5. Cat Jefferson says:

    Who is the idiot that tells these kids that sheep don’t feel pain? ALL living vertebrates feel pain. Hell even insects feel pain! That jerk should be fired!

  6. What kind of parent teaches their children to be cruel to a living creature? I am shocked!!
    Those parents needs serious therapy.
    Can you imagine what else they teach those children,how will they grow up…They will think violence and cruelty is normal it will lead to much lager problems.
    Anyone that can harm an animal is seriously sick but to teach it to your of spring,I have no words.
    Those teachers needs to be suspended and those children needs to be taken away from parents that promotes cruelty. A parent that thinks its ok to teach children such values are not whorty of being a parent

  7. Despina M. Andrelus says:

    “A righteous man regards the life of animals” – PROVERBS 12:10; “If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion & pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men” – ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI; “I hope to make people realize how totally helpless animals are, how dependent on us, trusting as a child must that we will be kind and take care of their needs…(They) are an obligation put on us, a responsibility we have no rights to neglect, nor to violate by cruelty….” – JAMES HARRIOT; “The greatness of a nation & its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” – MAHATMA GANDHI

  8. Signed and shared. But before you send off the petition please change the wording – sheep have wool not fur! Lets not appear ignorant when dealing with authorities.

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