Multiple shooting threats made to a Chagrin Valley circus forced its closure today. According to WKYC TV news, the Kelly Miller Family Circus was scheduled for two performances July 27 but cancelled after receiving gun violence threats the town’s South Russell Village Park. Unfortunately, according to police, the calls were not recorded nor could the places where the calls came from could be pinpointed. Animal rights protesters state they are peaceful and, according to Chagrin Valley police, have been candid and collegial. What makes me suspicious is a news report stating that not only would they petition to stop the Kelly Family circus but the group alleges that Kelly Family has a history of abusing animals.
Animal rights groups, however, have a track record of harassing circuses since groups, like PETA, hate the idea of using animals for entertainment. For example, in 2012 the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals was ordered to pay Ringling Brothers $9.3 million after the circus sued the ASPCA and other animal rights groups for abuse of process, malicious prosecution and violation of federal racketeering laws through unfounded litigation against the circus company.
In Mexico City during June of last year, environmentalists have called for circuses who use animals to be burned to the ground along with green activists making physical attacks against employees. In light of these examples, it makes sense that the Kelly Miller Family Circus would receive threats of gun violence since groups like Animal Liberation Front will conduct such acts because it is their belief animals do not like to perform in circus acts. In short, the animal rights group protesting the Kelly Family circus may be peaceful, but there is a violent wing of the of their movement that most likely took it upon itself to issue the threats.