Success: Zookeeper Finally Charged With Animal Cruelty

Target: Kate MacDonald, CEO of Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA)

Goal: Applaud efforts to investigate allegedly abusive animal trainer.

The animal rights group PETA released undercover footage of the animal trainer, Michael Hackenberger, viciously beating and whipping a tiger until he defecated in fear. One can also hear Hackenberger during the video reportedly stating that he enjoys “hitting him in the face and the paws [because] it stings more.” Thanks to PETA’s footage, public outcry, the investigation done by the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA), and petitions like this one on ForceChange, Hackenberger is finally being charged for his alleged abuse toward animals.

Upon the release of the video, OSPCA investigated the Bowmanville Zoo, which Hackenberger owns. The footage and the investigation was enough to charge Hackenberger with five counts of cruelty to animals. Hackenberger denies the abuse but has since stepped down as the director of the Bowmanville Zoo.

OSPCA is continuing to monitor the animals at the Bowmanville Zoo and is planning on doing another investigation soon. Sign this petition and thank OSPCA for all their hard work.


Dear Ms. MacDonald,

Your organization, OSPCA, led an investigation into the animal trainer and zoo owner Michael Hackenberger. Thanks to your investigation and the footage from PETA, Hackenberger is now charged with five counts of animal cruelty.

Hackenberger denies the abuse but has since stepped down from his position as director of the Bowmanville Zoo. This is great news for the animals there. Hopefully they will not have to withstand another second of abuse in the future.

Thank you for all the hard work you and your organization has put into making sure Hackenberger is charged for his alleged abuse.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: J. Patrick Fischer

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One Comment

  1. Amar Taggarh says:

    He should be beaten like he beats his animals. See how he reacts to the abuse that he dishes out. This scumbag needs to be taught a real lesson. Unfortunately Canada has archaic animal cruelty laws and he will most likely get a slap on the wrist.

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