Saturday, April 18, 2015

Video: Shrine Circus Met With Protests... Again

Posted By on Sat, Apr 18, 2015 at 8:56 AM

The Shrine Circus, which traditionally travels through Southern Idaho each summer with stops in Boise, Twin Falls, Idaho Falls and Pocatello, brings more than a parade of animals—it also courts a fair amount of controversy.

KHQ-TV reports at the circus' latest stop in Spokane, Wash., this week, protesters said that many of the animals had been trained with bullhooks and live a life of fear and suffering.

"It's a horrible life," Lesley Johnson told KHQ-TV. "I feel so deeply for them."

But a circus spokesman insists they take "magnificent care" of the animals had no plans of getting rid of their star attractions.

Spokane, North Idaho News

It was a year ago when Boise Weekly met a group of Wood River Valley students at Hailey's Sage School who convinced the Ketchum City Council to approve an ordinance—the first of its kind for Idaho—banning exotic circus animals from performing in Ketchum.

"Quite often, the abuse happens behind the curtain and no one can film it. You can rarely get the evidence," 13-year-old Will Griffith told BW. "And if you try to call the police to report abuse, quite often, the circus is out of town by then."

In June of last year, a handful of protesters met the Shrine Circus when it came to Boise's CenturyLink Arena with signs that read, "Their pain, your shame," and "Elephants are abused."

"Lots of people don't know what goes on behind closed doors," protest organizer Lorraine Guptill, a Mountain Home store owner, told BW prior to the demonstration. "Every year we have a lot of people who say they're sorry they went in and they're never coming back."

  • Pin It

Tags: , ,

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Idaho Humane Society Comes to Agreement with Idaho Veterinary Medical Association

Posted By on Sun, Apr 5, 2015 at 1:12 PM

Last spring, when the Idaho Humane Society kicked off fundraising for a new complex off Overland Road, the Idaho Veterinary Medical Association grew uncomfortable. The new complex would include medical facilities, a teaching hospital and a veterinary student dormitory, as well as walking paths, a man-made lake, a wildlife rescue facility, a memorial garden, a beach and even an amphitheater. The price tag is around $11.5 million.

IVMA members raised concerns that the Humane Society's plan would go beyond offering veterinary services to low-income clients only, and went so far as to take their concerns to the Idaho Legislature. The organization drafted a bill for the current legislative session that would require charity animal groups to focus on veterinary services for low-income families only, but the IVMA and the Humane Society reached an agreement before the bill was brought to the floor. 

Effective in May, the Idaho Humane Society will begin means-testing its clientele to direct its services to low-income clients.

According to a news release from Strategies 360, the agreement has no impact on shelter animal care, pet adoption or spaying and neutering services offered to the general public. Veterinary medical services and surgeries will only be offered to clients who qualify for means-testing.

"We are very pleased we have been able to come to an agreement with the IHS of Boise," said IVMA Board Chairman Dr. Robert Pierce, representing some 600 veterinarians statewide. "This agreement clearly shows the dedication of both sides to define and recognize that we operate in two different arenas with two different areas of focus—and that we need each other."

  • Pin It

Tags: , ,

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Video: North Idaho Wolf People Sanctuary Pushes Back Against Suspension

Posted By on Sun, Mar 15, 2015 at 8:36 AM

  • Wolf People logo
KXLY-TV (Couer d'Alene, Idaho-Spokane, Wash.) reports Wolf People, a wolf sanctuary in Cocolalla, Idaho (about 12 miles outside of Sandpoint), is pushing back against an Idaho Fish and Game decision to suspend its exhibition license.  

Wolf People is run by an advocacy organization that equates "prejudice against wolves to the struggle of the human civil rights war." On its website, Wolf People insists it's open for business.
"Some of you have asked, and despite outrageous claims by a local wolf hating group, Wolf People has not been shut down by [their] efforts, or anyone else's," the organization wrote at

Wolf People claims to have 23 wolves, some of which accompany staff to its visitor center and store each day, as well as on visits to schools and local campgrounds. The wolves are never released back to the forest and "spend their entire lives living comfortably in captivity," writes the organization.

The wolves may live in captivity, but they are still wild animals. A Coeur d'Alene woman learned this the hard way when she toured Wolf People in November 2013. Mary Neary told KXLY-TV staff led her and her tour group into various enclosures, normally restricted to trainers, which is where one of the wolves stuck his nose through a fence, grabbed her coat and bit her on the wrist. She says she ultimately took the coat off and let the wolf take off with it; she required a rabies vaccination for the bites on her arm.

KXLY-TV reports that Wolf People has every intention of working with Idaho Fish and Game to remain in compliance.

  • Pin It

Tags: , , ,

© 2019 Boise Weekly

Website powered by Foundation