SMITHVILLE, Tennessee - Local residents and others are outraged over one group's fundraiser, scheduled to take place next Friday. The event, called "Giggin' for Grads" involves participants stabbing or "gigging" frogs - whoever kills the most frogs wins a scholarship.
Tricia Lebkuecher, of Nashville Animal Advocacy says "We have partnered with the Global Conservation Group, who is offering to cover the expenses of any humane alternative as a fundraiser for the group." Lebkeucher says the two organization's started a petition urging event coordinators and city officials to cancel the event.
Biologist Susana Paco says “A method such as stabbing is extremely painful for the frog, who dies of massive hemorrhaging and usually asphyxiates on its own blood.”
Aside from animal cruelty concerns, the public is also uncomfortable with the idea of children running around at night with spears stabbing animals. One local resident said "Minors and adults run around at night with sharp objects spearing animals, endangering themselves and others, as well as encouraging violent behavior among youth."
Yesterday, the Global Conservation Group sent an email to the City of Smithville expressing their concerns. Hunter Hendrixson, the city's secretary responded saying "Please stop emailing me. Comprende?"
On Thursday, the animal advocacy groups filed complaints against event coordinators with the Tennessee Department of Children's Services, Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Tennessee Department of Justice, Smithville Police Department, DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Interior, and the U.S. Department of Justice.
A campaign website aimed to stop the event was launched earlier this week, called "StopFrogAbuse.com"
UPDATE: The City of Smithville has a history of neglecting dogs in the city shelter as well. Click Here for more information.