PETA Statement re Mizpah Shrine Fire

For Immediate Release:
January 27, 2024

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Grant County, Ind. – Please see the following statement from PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Welfare Debbie Metzler in response to reports that a trailer hauling animals for Mizpah Shrine Circus caught fire this morning.

The Shriners have been repeatedly warned that it’s already terrifying for these animals to be crammed into trailers, hauled hundreds of miles, and forced to perform tricks that baffled and distress them, but now, being trapped in a fire and likely inhaling toxic smoke has added to their trauma. PETA is calling on the Mizpah Shrine to have a heart, understand that times have changed, and follow the lead of Ringling Bros. and UniverSoul circuses by dropping animal acts altogether.


PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—points out that Every Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.

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