While it’s fantastic to take advantage of the many animal events in the Pacific NW, one recently garnered widespread public scrutiny . . . and outcry. “Animal Scramble,” held at the Cottage Grove Rodeo in Cottage Grove, Oregon July 14, was denounced by the Red Barn Rabbit Rescue (RBRR), in Creswell, OR, stating the event “uses specifically-bred baby rabbits and roosters as bait for children to chase, catch and keep.” RBRR posted a video on YouTube that clearly shows animals being handled very roughly and even kicked while being chased, grabbed and captured by children. (See the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znHZ9NNjeBk).
The Animal Scramble, hosted by the Cottage Grove Riding Club, first came to the attention of RBRR when the Cottage Grove Humane Society asked the organization to suggest ways to make the event more humane. The rescue concluded that it wasn’t possible for the event to accommodate proper care for the unwilling animal participants. RBRR stated that “After doing research we have decided that there cannot be any possible way to make this event rabbit friendly. In addition, it is clear that breeding over 75 rabbits for the event is grossly irresponsible and does nothing to help the disheartening rabbit overpopulation.”
As reported on Eugene news station KVAL, the president of the Humane Society of Cottage Grove said, “It's appalling, absolutely appalling. . . . The animals have got to be totally terrified.”
RBRR asked the Cottage Grove Riding Club to discontinue the Scramble prior to this year’s event. However, due to timing the rescue conceded that, “It may be difficult to stop this year’s Scramble.” At press time the Cottage Grove Riding Club has not commented.
The video’s release has mobilized animal activists in protest, largely through Facebook and email. Anyone who would like join the effort to eradicate this event should write the riding club (see below). Linda Thomas of Cottage Grove has been working to end the event for some time. She said, “HSCG [the Humane Society of Cottage Grove] has been trying for several years to get them to stop this practice. We have sent letters, attended board meetings, all with not a single response from them. Not one word. Hopefully, if we spread the word, more people will protest this horrible animal scramble.”
To comment, write to:
Cottage Grove Riding Club
PO Box 485
Cottage Grove, OR 97424