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To the residents of Millbrook

Bears, elephants, tigers, and other animals do not voluntarily ride bicycles, stand on their heads, balance on balls, or jump through rings of fire. They don't perform these and other difficult tricks because they want to; they perform them because they're afraid of what will happen if they don't. 
Circuses that continue to use animals for entertainment are cruel. The Kelly Miller Circus, which is slated to come to the Millbrook Bandshell on June 18, is no exception. 
Most people would not stand for the ill treatment of animals. And yet, because the sad lives of circus animals is hidden in the backdrop, we attend the show and support animal cruelty without knowing it.
In 2013, a witness attending the Kelly Miller Circus saw a handler beat one of the elephants who was carrying four small children on her back  with a bullhook ( a metal rod with a sharp hook attached to it) until she screamed. 
Barnum and Bailey Circus is retiring all of its elephants by 2018 because of many instances of abuse.  The public no longer stands for using animals for entertainment, especially since there are so many alternative circuses that do not use animals; The Bindlestiff Family Cirkus, based in New York City, is one such option the Lions Club could have used for a fundraiser. 
It is not my intention to criticize the Lions Club, an essential part of our Millbrook Community. However, it is my intention to raise the consciousness of our community about the behind-the-scenes brutality of any circus the uses animals. 
Please join me in protesting the circus; donate what you would have for the ticket price to the Lions Club. And let’s work together to find a fundraising event that will build community without animal cruelty to replace this one.
Kylie McCarron
Town of Washington