Target: Cottage Grove Rodeo
Goal: Eliminate “animal scramble,” a chaotic event where children chase terrified rabbits around an arena, from the rodeo
The Cottage Grove Rodeo hosts what it calls an ‘animal scramble’ every year. The event is a tradition at the rodeo, and young children are the main participants. The objective of the race is for these eager children to run as fast as they can to the center of the rodeo arena to snatch up the animals that are waiting there. If they happen to snag one, they are allowed to keep it. While this practice may seem like a good way to give away pets to happy young children, it may not be the best way of doing so.
A video was recently released taken by a member of Red Barn Rabbit Rescue, which depicts this year’s animal scramble in action. Staff members unload rabbits from a trailer in the center of the arena, and can be seen flinging away rabbits that attempt to hide under the trailer. Having a mass of children running around and tripping everywhere is traumatizing for the rabbits, and can also result in injuries. Kids can step on or mishandle them in their attempts to catch the animals, which can result in injuries.
Members of the Rabbit Rescue group along with the Humane Society are advocating for the elimination of this event; however, they seem to have received no responses from rodeo members. It is important to at least make this event more humane for the animals, if it cannot be eliminated completely. Animals could still be given out in a sort of raffle, which would be less terrifying for them, and also less chaotic for the kids.
It is important to rethink these events so animals aren’t being put in harmful situations for meaningless entertainment. Sign this petition if you agree that the animal scramble should be stopped, for the welfare of the animals forced to endure this chaotic event.
Dear Cottage Grove Rodeo,
Recently, a video was released depicting your ‘animal scramble’ event. The entire process looks completely chaotic, and does not seem to benefit the welfare of the rabbits that are up for grabs by the children eager to claim them as prizes and new pets. While I think it’s great that you’re trying to give away these animals to good homes and make the children excited and happy to win them, I can’t help but think that there is a better way to do so.
I ask you to please reconsider this event. If it is not possible for you to eliminate it completely, then at least change it. A raffle could be held instead, which would be less traumatizing for the rabbits that are in danger of being stepped on, fallen on, or injured at any minute. It is unfair to put these animals in dangerous situations where they may be hurt.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: David Monniaux