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Tell the USDA to Revoke License of Notorious Animal Abuser Hawthorn Corp ! PLEASE TAKE ACTION ! !

Animals  (tags: animals, AnimalWelfare, cruelty, environment, protection, suffering )

- 1965 days ago -
The notorious Hawthorn Corporation, which is owned by John Cuneo, has one of the most sordid histories of animal abuse and neglect in the circus industry. For two decades, its egregious violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) have continued undeterred

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Cher C (1429)
Tuesday January 29, 2013, 12:52 pm

Please send a polite e-mail to Ramona Romero, USDA general counsel (at, and urge her to ensure that the USDA revokes Hawthorn's exhibitor license.


Pat B (356)
Tuesday January 29, 2013, 1:13 pm
Will do. TY, Cher.

Judy C (97)
Tuesday January 29, 2013, 1:16 pm
E-mail sent. Thanks Cher.

Carol H (229)
Tuesday January 29, 2013, 1:30 pm
action to be taken, thanks Cher

Constance F (418)
Tuesday January 29, 2013, 1:53 pm
Email sent from home to

Agnes N (703)
Tuesday January 29, 2013, 1:57 pm
Thanks Cher, noted, shared

. (0)
Tuesday January 29, 2013, 2:23 pm
noted -thanks

Sandi C (98)
Tuesday January 29, 2013, 2:28 pm
thanks, noted.

penny C (83)
Tuesday January 29, 2013, 3:04 pm
Will do.

naomi cohen (55)
Tuesday January 29, 2013, 4:39 pm
done. thank you, cher.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday January 29, 2013, 6:21 pm

aj E (164)
Tuesday January 29, 2013, 6:41 pm

Barb K (1688)
Tuesday January 29, 2013, 9:29 pm
Does this include Tony?

Tamara Hayes (185)
Tuesday January 29, 2013, 9:29 pm
Twittered and google shared. Email below sent.

Dear Ms. Romero:

I am writing to you today to respectfully request that you ensure that the USDA revokes the animal exhibitor license for the Hawthorn Corporation and never allows them to exhibit animals again. They have a record of over 100 AWA violations, $250,000 in fines, license suspensions and other warnings but to no avail. The Hawthorn Corp. has shown over and over again that they cannot provide even the most basic necessities for the animals in their care. They have abused these animals to the point that one lion died, and for the first time ever, had an elephant taken away from them for neglecting to provide veterinary care after forcing the elephant to stand in undiluted formaldehyde. The seizure of that elephant led to the confiscation of an additional 16 elephants. They deny the animals food, proper care, clean habitats and many other basic necessities.

Please, for the sake of these animals, revoke their license permanently and prosecute this company to the fullest extent of the law.

I thank you sincerely for your time and attention to this matter.


Ms. Tamara Hayes

Christine Stewart (134)
Tuesday January 29, 2013, 9:37 pm
Hawthorne should have been shut down a decade ago!!

Tuesday January 29, 2013, 10:15 pm
Signed & Noted. Thanks Cher

Leslene Dunn (84)
Tuesday January 29, 2013, 10:30 pm
Signed and sent.

Marie W (67)
Tuesday January 29, 2013, 11:20 pm

Danuta W (1250)
Wednesday January 30, 2013, 4:20 am

Ruth C (87)
Wednesday January 30, 2013, 7:31 am

. (0)
Wednesday January 30, 2013, 10:47 am
Will do. How have they gotten away with this for so long? That is the question

Amy E (66)
Wednesday January 30, 2013, 10:53 am
noted/email sent

Rhonda Maness (580)
Wednesday January 30, 2013, 8:35 pm
Thanks Cher

Past Member (0)
Thursday January 31, 2013, 10:45 am
email sent

Ruth McD (843)
Thursday January 31, 2013, 11:24 am
So noted and signed. Thanks Cher.

Thomas Brueckner (41)
Saturday February 2, 2013, 2:57 pm
Letter sent! Thanks Cher

Past Member (0)
Saturday February 2, 2013, 6:27 pm
email sent.

Michelle S (462)
Sunday February 10, 2013, 9:53 pm
My letter:

Dear Mrs. Romero:

I am contacting you in earnest to urge the permanent suspension of any and all licenses to exhibit and exploit animals held by John Cuneo, owner of the notorious Hawthorn Corporation. John Cuneo has one of the most horrifying histories of animal abuse and neglect in the circus industry. Despite repeated violations of animal welfare statutes and numerous citations by the USDA, this unconscionable individual continues to torture and abuse animals in the name of cheap entertainment. Why is someone with more than 100 USDA citations for animal welfare violations still in the business of owning animals!?!?

For two decades, Cuneo's egregious violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) have continued undeterred despite more than 100 USDA citations for AWA violations, including failing to provide animals with proper veterinary care, denying animals adequate space for months on end, failing to provide animals with adequate nutrition and the physical abuse of animals.

Hawthorn was the subject of the USDA's first elephant confiscation in U.S. history. The USDA seized an elephant named Delhi from Hawthorn and ordered him to relinquish 16 additional elephants after finding Delhi in imminent danger because of untreated chemical burns she sustained after he forced her to stand in undiluted formaldehyde. The USDA took a number of additional enforcement actions against Hawthorn resulting in license
suspensions and more than a quarter of a million dollars in fines.

These motions have proved to be entirely ineffective at deterring Hawthorn from continuing to flagrantly neglect and abuse animals!!!

Hawthorn also has a history of illegally exhibiting animals without a valid license. Since October 2012, Lance Ramos, another serial animal abuser and AWA violator whose license was revoked in 2009 for numerous serious violations including using physical abuse to train exotic cats to the point that at least one lion died has been illegally exhibiting tigers on behalf of Hawthorn in numerous circus performances.

By allowing a documented animal abuser like Ramos to act as its tiger trainer and exhibitor, Hawthorn further demonstrates its continued priority of putting profit above the welfare of the animals it forces to perform.

Cuneo and Hawthorn should never have been allowed to exhibit animals for profit in the first place!!!

I speak for hundreds of thousands of animal welfare advocates the world over who are appalled by Hawthorne's egregious lack of regard for its animals and the appalling abuses and violations that have gone unchecked despite numerous actions by the USDA. The abuse continues unabated, and Hawthorne is still in business. The time for an end to Cuneo's criminal abuse and exploitation is long overdue. You have the power to shut both he and affiliates like Lance Ramos down for good.

I urge you to immediately suspend Hawthorne Corporation's license to own animals PERMANENTLY. Thank you for your urgent attention to this matter.

Michelle Sibinovic, Animal Welfare Advocate
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