Stop the yearly tiger cub "lease" by Ohio's Massillon Washington High School

  • by: Amanda Whelan
  • recipient: Ohio Department of Agriculture's (ODA), Erica Hawkins, Communications, The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Update Fall 2017: Massillon Ohio will not stop. It's like a localized illness within the community. TWO tiny cubs as well as a solo tiger have been wheeled onto the field like props this season. This is UNACCEPTABLE. Please keep signing to assure that an official discontinuation of this outmoded practice is announced.

Thank you!

We are winning but we are NOT DONE. Meet 45 years of Obie cubs. Please watch and share this shocking video far and wide. Massilion Washington  High school is in direct violation of the Ohio law exemption that allows them to lease these cubs by not providing for them. SHARE THIS VIDEO EVERYWHERE PLEASE.

Ohio's Massillon Washington High School Boosters claims leasing a baby tiger cub called "Obie" each year, forcing it to live in a garage, subjecting it to the extreme stresses of loud crowds and very harsh lights until he or she is discarded for a new Obie each August is an "important tradition." Brian Pachis, assistant athletic director, told an ABC news affiliate that the tradition of having a live tiger cub mascot extends back several decades. “We normally get them in early August and keep them just through the football season,” he said.

It is my belief that the Massillon Washington High School Boosters have done little to nothing to care for a reputed four decades of traumatized cubs once they are no longer useful.  Shockingly, record keeping of the cubs later whereabouts does not appear to exist prior to 2012. Potentially the cubs may have either been euthanized, sold for canned hunts, slaughtered for the tiger body parts trade or ended up in cramped backyard breeding facilities of which Ohio has some of the worst.

 "This tradition does nothing more than encourage the rampant breeding of more and more tigers who will spend 20+ years in a cage. There is no educational value to this other than teaching that tigers are expendable. Wild tiger babies typically spend up to 2 years with their mothers. To rip them from their mothers at such a tender age and put them in a cage and drag them out to be on display in front of noisy football crowds is cruel. As for the rest of their lives, they do not spend their days living in ideal conditions in a "zoo" or "sanctuary." Quite the contrary. Stump Hill Farm, their breeder, has been cited by the USDA for failure to provide veterinary care, repeatedly failing to provide environment enrichment and minimum space to primates kept in solitary confinement and suffering from psychological distress, failure to provide shelter from inclement weather, having filthy and foul-smelling enclosures, failure to provide drinking water, failure to maintain enclosures, and improper waste disposal. These declawed tiger cubs sometimes spend months living in a garage. They do not deserve the life they will face after leaving your school. "  - Wildcat Santuary 

This barbaric yearly cub purchase is not about "school pride" it is a cruel practice and must be stopped. Massillon Washington High's actions allow one of the rarest mammals on earth to be at the mercy of the grossly unregulated US exotic pet trade and the inadequacy of the Ohio state government to consistently enforce their fledgling exotic pet laws. Please sign, share and speak up for Tigers and exotic animals in Ohio. Thank you! 

Update #67 years ago
HERE WE GO AGAIN BUT WE ARE WINNING. The Massillion Washington High School Ohio boosters continue to flout laws and have again ripped a tiny tiger cub away from its mother to be placed onto a loud and raucous football field. The mascot practice must be officially ended. Let them know we mean business. Please continue to share. Thank you.
Update #58 years ago
The cub Hans is now being trafficked interstate from Zootastic in North Carolina to home games by the booster club. The Massillon Washington boosters are not only in full violation of the law but the ODA is allowing them to get away with it! Ohio is a dangerous place for exotic animals and the boosters need the exemption permanently removed. This is NOT over. Please keep sharing this petition. Federal intervention is pending. Enough is enough.
Update #49 years ago
Sad news update. The latest Obie cub named Lily had to have a toe amputated last month because of the stupidity of Stump Hill Farms not providing a safe enclosure for her. The breeder was caught during a welfare check. Lily is alive and ok but should NEVER had had to suffer in this manner. PLEASE share this petition everywhere and contact the media regardless of what country or US state you are in. This must be stopped.
Update #39 years ago
The petition has been featured on Fox and USA Today. The hardest work is still ahead of us as we go up against Ohio's broken system. Don't give up! Please like the Obie Task Force Facebook page (copy and paste the link)
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