Tag Archives: animal cruelty

Jennifer Harman Celebrity Charity Poker Tournament in Las Vegas on April 13

The fourth-annual Jennifer Harman Charity Poker Tournament, benefiting the Nevada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) no-kill animal shelter, will take place on April 13 at the Venetian poker room in Las Vegas. The tournament will start at 5 p.m., and the event kicks off at 4 p.m. with a red carpet and silent auction. 

The $330 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournament will also feature $100 rebuys for the first three 20-minute levels, and a one-time $100 add-on for double your starting stack. Matt Savage will be the tournament director. 

The grand prize of the tournament is a $10,000 World Series of Poker main-event seat, and a Curtis & Co. watch. The top-10 finishers will be awarded prizes that have a combined total value of $30,000. 

Celebrities who have been confirmed attendance for the event include Cheryl Hines from “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” Dennis Haskins from “Saved by the Bell,” actor Lou Diamond Phillips, modern artist Michael Godard, and ESPN commentator Lon McEachern. 

Professional poker players in attendance will include Marco Traniello, Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey, Doyle Brunson, Eli Elezra, Hoyt Corkins, Andy Bloch, Chau Gian, David Chesnoff, Lacey Jones, Jeff Madsen, Todd Brunson, Erica Schoenberg, David Greay, David Singer and Lee Watkinson. 

The three previous champions of this event: David “HEYIMDRO” Rowan (2009), Seth Dupree (2008), and Kirk Morrison (2007).

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Controversy Swirls as Circus Comes to Las Vegas

The circus is back in Las Vegas, performing this weekend at the Orleans in Las Vegas.  The Ringling Brothers-Barnum and Bailey Circus arrived Tuesday night for their annual visit, but this year is different. The circus is awaiting a decision by a federal judge about whether it can continue to use endangered elephants in its act. elephant

Animal welfare groups have alleged for many years that what Ringling Brothers does is inherently cruel to elephants. Now, they’re waiting to see if a federal judge agrees with them. They hope this is the end of the line for more than a century of animal cruelty. The Ringling folks are just as confident that the show will go on. 

Animal activist Linda Faso has helped organize protests against every circus to hit Las Vegas for the last two decades, arguing it is inherently cruel to endangered Asian elephants to force them into the life of a traveling carny, and the proof is in the chaining of their feet. 

Some of the most pointed testimony to emerge in a six week federal trial focused on the feet of Ringling elephants. Nearly all of the animals have foot problems to one degree or another, not only because they spend most of their lives in chains, either in rail cars or on asphalt parking lots like the Orleans in Las Vegas, but also because elephants simply aren’t built to perform the kind of tricks they are taught for the circus. 

Former Ringling elephant handler Tom Rider was one of the star witnesses in the federal trial. He told the court there is only one way to get large, intelligent creatures to don funny outfits and perform amusing tricks, and that’s thru the use of pain and fear, as manifested in the use of the infamous bullhook. Ringling has compared the bullhook to a leash for dogs, but video captured around the country shows otherwise. 

The federal trial ended last March. The judge could decide that Ringling can no longer put elephants on the road and in the show. Even if the circus prevails in the case, the groups that sued believe they’ve already made an impact. 

At the Las Vegas unloading, the traditional bullhooks were nowhere to be seen, replaced instead by smaller, less menacing devices. It’s not enough, animal groups say. “I would assume that in various cities there are a lot more people watching now, so they are being more careful, and it’s just behind the scenes. I’m sure the elephants are being chained still, in boxcars which the general public doesn’t get to see,” said Nicole Paquett, attorney for Born Free USA. 

Paquett says the federal judge has scheduled more oral arguments to be held in July, so a decision won’t happen until after those sessions. But can Ringling carry on without its elephants? The animal welfare folks say yes and they point to the success of Cirque De Soleil shows in Las Vegas and throughout the world as an example.

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It’s No Bull: Bullfighting Comes to Las Vegas!

Las Vegas constantly is reinventing itself as a city.  So it comes with surprise that bullfights are now coming to Las Vegas, starting on September 14-15 at the South Point Arena.  That follows with the second event on September 27-30. The matador lineup includes Mexico’s Eulalio Lopez, known as “El Zotoluco.” Bullfighting

The bill of faire, though, will be made more palatable, featuring bloodless bullfights. 

 It has been more than 40 years since bullfights were held in Las Vegas.

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Carey Hart Strips for PETA in Las Vegas

Carey Hart, the motocross superstar phenom and co-owner of Las Vegas-based Hart & Huntington Tattoo Company in Las Vegas, was a poster boy for PETA on February 3, appearing in the nightclub Wasted Space (a club that he also co-owns) in the Hard Rock Casino & Hotel to “expose” the cruelty of the fur trade by showing off his amply tattooed body in a poster.  Hart stood next to the poster, with the tagline: “Ink, Not Mink” in a brand-new ad for PETA that espouses, “Be comfortable in your own skin, and let animals keep theirs.” 

Other notables appearing in PETA’s “Ink, Not Mink” ad series will later include Dennis Rodman, Tommy Lee, and Miami Ink star Ami James.  

PETA says animals that are trapped for fur suffer excruciating pain before trappers crush their chests or bludgeon them to death. On fur farms, animals are poisoned, gassed, or anally electrocuted or have their necks broken. In China, now the world’s leading fur exporter, animals-including cats and dogs-are often skinned alive.

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