EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) The Hadi Shrine is reacting after a protestor interrupted their gala at Bally’s in Evansville Saturday night.
Hadi Shrine spokesperson Dale Thomas was speaking at a podium when a member from the animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals crashed the event.
“She came down the escalator on my right side and I did not see her. I was speaking and she was shouting and walking across the floor,” Thomas said. “I saw parents grabbing their kids and sheltering them because they were not sure what was going on.”
In a video sent to Eyewitness News, you can see the protestor being escorted out by security.
PETA said the woman was there to protest the Hadi Shrine Circus.
“It is where animal cruelty takes center stage,” said Tricia Lebkuecher, a campaign manager with PETA.
Lebkuecher said the Hadi Shrine has been abusing animals in the circus for years.
“The Hadi Shrine works with the most notorious animal exhibitors in the businesses. Elephants and other animals are forced to preform confusing and even painful tricks at the risk of punishment,” she said.
Thomas disagrees, and said they do their homework when finding acts for their circus.
According to the Hadi Shrine Circus’ website, all of their animals are treated like family. The site states that the animals receive annual check-ups and vaccinations, and mentions that some of their performance dogs were rescued from shelters.
PETA said that is not enough.
“We are asking the public to never visit any circuses that uses animals and asking the Hadi Shrine to stop using animals at the circus,” Lebkuecher said.
Thomas said the protestor was out of line.
“There is a time and place to discuss things, and last night was not the time or place,” he said.