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We advocate on all animal protection and exploitation issues, including experimentation, factory farming, rodeos, breeders and traveling animal acts.

Animal Defenders of Westchester
P.O. Box 205
Yonkers, NY 10704

Articles

The Bronx Rodeo-How We Did It

As I said a few weeks ago, I was waiting to post more info re stopping the Bronx International Championship Rodeo, till I knew who to thank. Turns out the US Tennis Assn (USTA), who was responsible for bringing it in, ultimately cancelled. I don't feel to thank them, as they lied repeatedly to us, and they were thanked every time they lied.

HOW WE DID IT: Perserverance...following the money...and perserverance.

FIRST YEAR:

It was originally advertised as the "GHI/Junior Tennis League Rodeo." GHI initially told us they never wanted to be part of a rodeo, but were told they had to accept it as part of a 'Tennis Classic' event in the Bronx. Calls to the USTA told us they had nothing to do with it, that the Junior Tennis League was COMPLETELY SEPARATE from them.

I repeatedly told them I KNEW that there DEFINITELY was a connection (I knew there had to be, though I had nothing in writing). Brief outreach to the Junior TL got us a vile, nasty man who was clearly profiting; communication was terminated immediately (Anyway, why not go to the top?) We asked another group to hold up signs at the US Open, which unfortunately wasn't done. Contact info for the USTA was put on the AR internet. Two activists stood outside USTA Headquarters with signs saying TENNIS ASSN TORTURES ANIMALS.

Meanwhile, glowing articles about this rodeo appeared in the NY Daily News and the NY Times - sickening. Requests for rebuttal or equal time were ignored.

We maintained phone contact with the USTA and GHI; GHI told us they wanted out. In the winter I received a phone call from the USTA: since GHI wanted out, they were pulling out as well!

SECOND YEAR:

The rodeo came back to the Bronx, retitled "The Bronx International Championship Rodeo." We called the ticket contact phone number - lo and behold, we got the Junior Tennis League! So the two activists went back to the USTA Headquarters with signs and literature that said TENNIS ASSOCIATION LIARS. The Journal News ran an article entitled ACTIVISTS MAY BE TARGETING WRONG GROUP (we weren't). Quoted both GHI and the USTA as wanting to have nothing to do with any rodeo. The article also the USTA was really really really out this time, and that the rodeo was being sponsored by the "Sports and Arts in Schools Foundation."

The "Sports and Arts in Schools Foundation" had the same phone number as the Junior Tennis League.

When I called them, they swore up and down that, although they had the same phone number, they were completely separate from the Junior Tennis League. I asked them how stupid did they think I was. I also got their 501c3 info from them, and told them I was going to check with the Attorney General, which I did. There were more glowing articles in the Daily News and the NY Times.

At this point I was like Scarlett O'Hara with the potato: As God is my witness, WE WILL STOP THIS RODEO!

THIRD YEAR:

We hit the politicians hard: the Bx Commissioner of Parks had already been contacted; we reached out to Joel Rivera, Assemblyman for the area, and John Dudley, District Mgr, Community Board Three, Bronx. Rivera never returned a phone call till we tracked him to City Hall.

Outreach to Rep. Nita Lowey was unfortunately unanswered, after repeated requests FROM HER for info.

Four activists went to Crotona Park, Bronx, and rallied against this rodeo. We were featured on Fox Channel 5 and ABC Channel 7. We yelled "Get Ya Cruelty Right Here!" like barkers, throughout the performance. We handed out flyers about the Tennis Assn, and the right to sue, due to the NOTICE OF DANGEROUS CONDITION, if people became distressed by the cruelty and needed medical help.

This winter I got a phone call from John Dudley, saying the Bronx International Championship Rodeo was over.

Huge, great big thanks to all who helped with this effort: ACTIVISM ROCKS!!!


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