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