Stop Live Animals from Being Given as Prizes

Target: Arizona legislature

Goal: Prevent organizations from giving away live animals as prizes

In Arizona, as well as many other states, it is currently legal to give away a live animal as a prize for winning a game or contest. Fish, rabbits, turtles, and other small creatures are handed to children and adults for throwing a ball through a hoop or successfully bobbing for apples. The animals are intended to excite the winners as well as encourage others to attend the fair or carnival.

While a bunny or small turtle seems like a great contest prize, there is a dark side to delivering animals as rewards. To begin, the animals often are not well cared-for. They are stored in tiny cages, boxes, and water bowls until they are shoved into the arms of a game winner. The animals do not have adequate food and water, and many are quite sickly. Animals received at fairs often perish a few days or weeks after returning to the winner’s household.

Furthermore, many times these creatures are not wanted. Children bring home fish, rabbits, turtles, and birds that parents cannot or will not care for. The creatures are then abandoned out in the harsh Arizona desert or simply flushed down the toilet.

These animals deserve better. They should not have to suffer and perish to drive up attendance at fairs and carnivals. Thankfully, Arizona State Representative John Kavanagh has a plan to stop this cruel practice. He recently proposed a bill that, if passed, would make it illegal to give an animal as a prize. If the bill does become law, violators will be forced to spend up to 30 days in jail and pay a $500 fine.

Urge Arizona’s legislature to support this bill and end the practice of giving animals as prizes.


Dear Arizona Legislature,

Representative Kavanagh recently proposed a bill that, if passed, would end the practice of giving away live animals as prizes at state fairs and carnivals. I urge you to support the this bill.

While receiving an animal as a prize seems innocuous, the practice is actually quite cruel. The animals, usually fish, turtles, and rabbits, are kept in tiny, unsanitary conditions with little food and water. They are small and sickly and, when finally given away, usually perish very quickly.

Furthermore, many people who attend carnivals in your state do not want an animal as a prize. They do not have the time or money to care for another living creature. Because of this, many people release the animals they receive into the harsh Arizona desert or simply flush them down the toilet.

These animals deserve better. They should not have to suffer and die just to drive up attendance at fairs and carnivals. Please support Representative Kavanagh’s bill and forbid the gifting of animals in your state.

Thank you.


[You Name Here]

Photo credit: The Chairman 8 via Flickr

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  1. Giving away live animals has been a terrible idea for a long time. I was an animal-lover even as a child. I can remember being thrilled when I ‘won’ a rabbit at a kids’ bowling competition. This was 50+ years ago, and of course no one gave us any care instructions. So I kept her in a pet carrier in my bedroom! And was devastated when she died after a few weeks. My naivete cost that creature her life. There’s no excuse for perpetuating this ignorant practice.

  2. to get an animal,as a reward,on the fair,for example,when you played,and you won,it is disguisting.
    it is the same,as you win a child.
    animals are living creatures.
    they are not to win,not to buy,animals belong to themselvels.
    unfortunetly,people misstreat the poor animals to much.
    not all people,there many people who are real animallovers.
    but animal must not be paid as reward.
    they suffer to much.

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