Don’t Let Ponies Die of Heatstroke at Allegedly Abusive Petting Zoo

Target: Anthony-Paul Diaz, Executive Officer of LA Department of Recreation and Parks

Goal: Cancel contract for pony ride facility accused of mistreating and exposing animals to unsafe conditions.

A popular Los Angeles attraction is once again facing intense criticism for its treatment of the animals under its care. The Griffith Park Pony Rides & Petting Zoo routinely hosts parties and other events where ponies, for the price of five dollars, are forced to carry as much as 110 pounds on their backs day in and day out. Recently, the ponies reportedly performed these grueling jobs in 90-plus degree heat, prompting another round of rallying cries for action at the frequently protested facility.

The city conducted an investigation into the business after advocates alleged that they witnessed mistreatment of the ponies by employees. After the investigation concluded, officials actually extended the contract of this business. For its part, the business took no responsibility and in fact played the victim by complaining about how the protests were hurting their bottom line.

Now, these young animals are apparently being exploited in plain sight and exposed to dangerous conditions that could kill them. Sign the petition below to demand these careless officials take a second look at their priorities and their supposed commitment to animal welfare.


Dear Mr. Diaz,

Trouble breathing, disorientation, seizures, kidney failure, brain swelling, and death: these are just some of the effects an animal’s body endures when exposed to extreme heat. Unlike humans, most animals cannot escape inside to an air-conditioned shelter to elude the effects of climate change. They are left defenseless. And at the Griffith Park Pony Rides & Petting Zoo, they are seemingly being put directly in the line of fire with the express approval of this organization.

You may have disregarded previous reports of suspected cruelty and thus enabled any potential abuse to continue. You cannot ignore, however, the very real images of small animals apparently carrying heavy loads for hours at a time in 90-plus degree heat. Protesters will soon again gather to call for a cancellation of the life-endangering contracts granted to this supposedly “fun” attraction.

Please send a message that fun does not come at the expense of a suffering and dying animal. Do the right thing this time and help save these living beings’ lives.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Magda Ehlers

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