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New York. Vazquez Circus. Shea Stadium. Protest. Nov. 7, 2008. Shame Stadium.

One of the most notorious circuses is coming to town. This one has been cited numerous times, and I am perplexed as to why this circus is still in business. Worse, they will be performing at Shea Stadium in Queens, my old stomping grounds way back when I was a rabid Mets fan. It's sacrilegious to allow animal cruelty to perform on what has been the venue for wholesome family entertainment for many years. Baseball, by itself, is proof enough that we don't need to be entertained by captive and miserable animals. Shame on the Shea Stadium management for allowing this circus to perform on their grounds. Below is the alerting email I received which I am cross-posting here for your information.


Please Help Stop Circus Vazquez From Endangering Animals At Shea Stadium

Circus Vazquez will be performing at Shea Stadium in Queens Friday, November 7 through December 7.

This circus has a terrible record of animal handling and care. On March 31, 2008, one of it’s tigers was attacked, nearly decapitated, and killed by one or more of her cage mates after the circus left six tigers crammed together in one cage unattended overnight. The circus had been cited numerous times previously by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) for failing to provide adequate space to tigers. The USDA again cited Circus Vasquez for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act related to this latest tiger death. Two of the surviving tigers have been ordered off the road and are at a sanctuary now, but three remain on tour with the circus.

Circus Vazquez' troubles are not limited to tigers. Since February 2008, Circus Vazquez has been traveling with elephant handler Will Davenport and his three elephants, Tina, Queenie and Jewel. In the past, the Davenport family has been repeatedly cited by the USDA for inhumane handling and failure to provide adequate veterinary care to the elephants. The City of Los Angeles recently ordered Will Davenport out of the city because of his record of animal cruelty. The Davenports are under official investigation by two federal agencies: the USDA for violations of the Animal Welfare Act and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for violations of the federal Endangered Species Act.

Circus Vazquez should not be allowed to use animals in New York. Please help, by taking the following FIVE steps:

1. Join members of both IDA and Win Animal Rights who are planning to protest, hold a huge banner, carry signs and hand out leaflets to the public.

When: Friday, November 7 (contact Camille Hankins for exact time and location).
Where: Shea Stadium parking lot in Queens
Meet up in Manhattan/Grand Central Station, and travel to Shea as a group:
When: Friday, November 7, 2008 Where: Lexington Ave. & 42 St (NW Corner, in front of Strawberry) Time: We will meet at 5:30 pm and leave promptly at 5:45 PM (Note: If you arrive after 5:45 pm, go directly to Shea via #7 Train)
Or meet at the demo at Shea Stadium:
When: Friday, November 7, 2008 Where: Shea Stadium, 12301 Roosevelt Ave., Queens, NY (Cross Street: Willets Point Blvd) Time: 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
**Please RSVP to Camille Hankins of Win Animal Rights for confirmed meeting location and time:, 1-646-267-9934

2. Leaflet and protest any of the remaining performances. Circus Vazquez is tentatively planning to be at Shea Stadium in Queens through December 7, and possibly afterwards. We need people to leaflet as many of the shows as possible. Please contact Melissa Gonzalez at IDA for more information about the circus’s schedule and also to receive a copy of our flyer that is available for you to download, print and handout to patrons.

Please help inform customers about the history of animal abuse and deaths associated with this circus! Your presence is needed to show that more and more people are becoming educated about the cruelties circuses impose on innocent and majestic animals. The more people that show up, the more leaflets get handed out. We need a big turnout to deter Vazquez and Davenport from coming to New York/ Queens again.

3. Monitor and videotape elephants Tina, Queenie and Jewel as well as the tigers and other abused animals while the show is in town. Please contact Melissa Gonzalez at IDA for details: or (707) 981-7701.

4. Contact Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and tell him that a circus act with a documented history of animal abuse has no place in the city of New York.


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
City Hall
New York, NY 10007
PHONE: 311 (or 212-639-9675
outside NYC)
Fax: (212) 788-8123

5. Contact New York Governor, David A. Paterson, and let him know that a circus with a documented history of animal abuse has no place in New York.

Office of the Governor 

State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224 

Phone: (518) 474-8390

6. Contact your U.S. Senators and Representative to say that a circus act that has been identified as violating the Endangered Species Act and the Animal Welfare Act is coming to your town. Ask them to seek immediate enforcement of federal laws.

For more information, please contact Melissa Gonzalez at or (707) 981-7701.


air said…
That elephant picture is so sad. Poor thing. I hope to get through all the information you posted.
Chessbuff said…
Yes, it is a portrait of sadness and despair. This elephant would normally walk 30 miles a day with a family in tow, if it were free. Really, if one weighs the misery of these elephants to the few moments of entertainment some people derive from seeing them perform unnatural acts, you'd begin to wonder where the love of God goes and why people not seek other forms of entertainment.
Chessbuff said…
Here is the letter I faxed to Mayor Bloomberg. Anyone can copy and paste the body of the letter and send their own fax to Mayor Bloomberg, Gov. Paterson, and the Senators.

November 5, 2008

David Bloomberg, Mayor
New York City

Dear Mayor Bloomberg:

The Vazquez Circus will be performing in New York City beginning
November 7th. This circus has been cited several times by the
USDA for failing to provide adequate space for tigers. Because
of the cramp space, on March 31, 2008, one of the circus' tigers
was attacked, nearly decapitating it, and finally killed by the
other tigers. The USDA also cited Vazquez Circus for violations
of the federal Animal Welfare Act.

Since February 2008, Vazquez Circus has been traveling and employing
Will Davenport, an animal handler, and his three elephants. The USDA
has also cited Davenport for providing inadequate veterinary care of
the elephants, and for inhumane handling of the elephants.

Will Davenport is bad news for any city he visits. In fact, Los Angeles
ordered Davenport out of the city for his inhumane handling of the
animals. And here he is in New York? Davenport is also under
investigation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agency for violations
of the federal Endangered Species Act.

What is this circus doing in New York?

Please take action against the Vazquez Circus. You have the power and
influence to reject practitioners of animal cruelty, to dispel them from
New York, and to send a clear message that New York will not be a
stomping ground for criminality.

Sincerely, "

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