End High School’s Annual Tiger Cub Purchase


Target: Bill Brown, President of the Massillon Tigers Football Booster’s Club

Goal: End the yearly tradition of buying a tiger cub to serve as a high school team mascot

The Tigers football team at Massillon Washington High School has a yearly tradition of buying a new, live tiger cub as a mascot each football season. The cub is displayed at loud football events and then given away at the end of the season. The high school must stop this tradition and realize that buying and replacing a new tiger cub every year is unnecessary and irresponsible.

Residents of the Ohio town claim it is a popular tradition that has been part of the community since the 1970s. The tiger cub, named Obie every year, is carried around in a cage at loud events including football games and parades. He is a big attraction and the school has used tiger cubs for more than 40 years. At the end of the season, the cub is given away to various places, specifically Stump Hill Farm in Massillon. However, not all the cubs end up at the farm. Other locations include roadside zoos and private animal sanctuaries that must pay for the cost of feeding and caring for the tigers.

Stump Hill Farm does house some of the former “Obies.” Massillon residents claim the habitats are nice and the tigers are loved, however, the farm has been cited by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) numerous times. These violations included unsafe handing and unsafe caging of dangerous animals, failure to provide veterinary care and housing tigers in unsanitary enclosures filled with feces.

A tiger cub does not belong in a cage just because it is an established local tradition. Residents that support this inhumane tradition need to realize that their beloved “Obies” do not all retire to reputable sanctuaries or accredited zoos. By signing the petition below, you will help urge the President of the Tigers Football Booster’s Club to end the tradition of using a tiger cub as a mascot.


Dear Bill Brown President of the Massillon Tigers Football Booster’s Club,

I realize the tradition of buying a new tiger cub every football season has been a part of Massillon since the 1970s, and it appears they are loved, however, tiger cubs do not belong in a cage to be paraded around town.

Not only is it irresponsible to buy a tiger cub every year, it sets a bad example for the children of Massillon because they will grow up to believe that it is acceptable to exploit exotic animals for human entertainment. Additionally, not all of your former mascots end up in reputable sanctuaries, and even if they do, the sanctuaries are left with the burden to spend as much as $10,000 per year to care for one tiger.

I am urging you to carefully examine the long-term effects of this tradition and hopefully realize that a live tiger cub should not be a mascot for a football team. Please take actions to end this exploitative and inhumane tradition.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Creative Commons via Flikr

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  1. And what happens to the cub after it grows up and after the game?????? Do these knuckleheads ever use their prefrontal cortexes???? Anyway there are so many better causes to spend money on!!!!

  2. A very bad example for the education of any high school students. Where are these administrators’ beany brains????

  3. Heather Brophy says:


  4. Schools must be BAN from keeping animals in Captivity. This is not the way I want my child to be influenced by the school how to treat defenceless Animals. Instead the schools need to teach their children to be more kind & compassionate towards the voiceless and to help out at any given time if they see any living being in a helpless situation. PLease STOP & BAN the schools having animals in cages.

  5. what kind of things does this school teach? animal cruelty? the children should know that animals are beings and not things. What kind of parents send their kids to this school? what kind of “teachers” work in there? As a Professor I found them disgusting, they have absolutly nothing to teach, if they cannot show respect to life.

  6. Isn’t it the job of our teaching establishments to teach responsibility, compassion and general good personhood? This disturbingly cruel practice shows that the power of the jock in American life. Sort this backward and indefensible ritual out immediately. Teach some respect. Animals are NOT toys and they are NOT disposable. Shame on all involved, including parents.

  7. Sydney M says:

    How would any parent feel about having their child taken away, only to be exploited for selfish reasons … and then end up God only knows where (?). What kind of a school is this? Educators have a responsibility to educate our kids about more than just the 3 R’s … they should also be teaching them about compassion ~ empathy and respect for other humans ~ as well as animals. Our children need to learn about personal responsibility, conservation and protection of our environment and wild animal kingdom. Taking a helpless cub away from it’s mother for the sole purpose of exploitation is UNCONSCIONABLE !!!!!!!!!!

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