Free Punxsutawney Phil From Role as Captive Weather Man

Target: Tom Dunkel, President of Punxsutawney Groundhog Club

Goal: Stop stressing out groundhogs and depriving them of critical natural stimulation.

Every year, the nation “celebrates” groundhogs: animals that are legally killed any other time of year because they’re considered nuisances for daring to build their homes. These celebrations involve loud public exhibitions for animals that are by their nature sensitive and easily frightened. For the most famous groundhog of them all, Punxsutawney Phil, the trauma is not relegated to one day.

Most Americans have only seen this groundhog when he makes his yearly appearance to “predict” the weather. Yet residents of the Pennsylvania town he calls home can see him daily at a local library: where he remains on display year-round. Not only is he exposed to constant stress, but he seemingly cannot even participate in the natural activities that are vital for his well-being, such as hibernation.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has long denounced this apparently cruel practice and has even recently offered a human representative or a robot to take Phil’s place and carry out the yearly tradition. Sign the petition below to urge the organization responsible for Phil’s “care” to honor PETA’s request to send him to a sanctuary.


Dear Mr. Dunkel,

As someone whose fame and business are derived from groundhogs, you are likely very familiar with these animals. As such, you seemingly know the stress and the physical harm that is visited upon them when they are forced out of their naturally reclusive habitats. It’s little wonder that they’re usually scared by their “shadows” on Groundhog Day. Moreover, you probably know how they cannot thrive when they are denied basic needs like hibernation.

Punxsutawney Phil has brought smiles to the masses, and now it is past time for him to enjoy a life of peaceful retirement. PETA has requested that you allow this animal and his mate to live out their lives in a natural habitat sanctuary, and they have proposed humane alternatives to the famous ceremony that takes place annually. If you truly care about the animals behind the holiday, honor this request and make Groundhog Day a true celebration, not an ode to callous cruelty.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Chris Flook


  1. Manitou Calmstorm says:

    He’s not abused so this petition is worthless, For crying out loud.

  2. Carol Jane Brandt says:

    Doesn’t sound like any way I’d want to live. 🤷

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