Those of us who own pet cats and dogs know well the bond that exists between an animal and human. It doesn't surprise us to find out that such bonds exist between other species and humans. Horses bond strongly with their riders. Snake owners claim a strong bond exists. An Oregon woman I met kept a cage full of rats in her dining room who clearly adored her. Deanna's parrot follows her around and loves to shower with her.
One of my all time favorite books is "Don't Shoot the Dog," by Karen Pryor, in which she talks about how her work with dolphins inspired her to try her positive training methods with dogs.
The Moscow Circus opens with an intricate, dazzling dance between twelve women in ballgowns partnered with twelve all-white horses. And for a really exciting horse-man bond, check out Lorenzo the Flying Frenchman on YouTube.
Ringling Brothers has always known that you get the best from an animal who loves you, not one who fears you. They based their animal training on that principle -- and now it's been proven in court.
On Friday, after nine years of litigation, a federal court found that the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals had no standing to sue under the Endangered Species Act and that the former Ringling employee was "not credible" and "essentially a paid plaintiff and fact witness." It was revealed during the trial that animal rights groups paid the witness to manufacture evidence against Ringling Brothers.
The ASPCA was ordered to pay $9.3 million to Ringling Brothers for bringing the bogus suit against them. The case is an example of how animal rights groups have become so politicized that they use their donors' money on specious lawsuits, rather than on protecting homeless dogs and cats.
You know who does protect animals -- your local shelter, the American Kennel Club, and Ringling Brothers. There was no credible evidence that any elephant was harmed at the circus. Chairman and CEO Kenneth Feld has been working in the family business since 1970 and says he is "proud of our animal care and I'll put it up against anyone in the world."
For the best news on the outcome, see the Wall Street Journal editorial The Elephant in the Courtroom. The editorial concludes, "Mr. Feld's legal victories ensure that the Ringling tradition will continue, but the larger winner is the cause of justice."