We now have the results of an internal investigation into animal abuse at the circus. Last week, some people who went to the Shriner circus in Topeka say they saw dogs being hit and kicked.
Last week, we received several e-mails about one of the handlers at the circus kicking a dog after two dogs got in a fight. They say it happened at one of the shows at the Expocentre on Sunday, February 23rd.
Nicolette Schleisman spoke with the circus’ Vice President, James Hamid Jr. Wednesday about an internal investigation by the circus on the handler in question. Hamid explained to me that after PETA filed a complaint last Tuesday with the U.S. Department of Agriculture over the abuse claims, Hamid Circus had two surprise visits from the USDA, and the trainer passed both.
Hamid also said he and the dogs’ trainer sat down with the handler and asked him what happened.
“He does not specifically remember striking the animal that way, but he did acknowledge that it was a scary situation and he was able to pull them apart. And talking with the trainer, she has full confidence in him,” said Hamid.
Hamid says that was the third week the handler in question had helped the trainer with the dogs. Both he and the dogs’ trainer have set down with him and explained better ways to pull the dogs apart during a fight.
They are giving the handler a second chance, and the Hamid Circus will be back next year.
Hamid says in the circus, their animals are like their family, and they do not want to see them treated badly.