Final Curtain Call for Ringling Brothers – spcaLA Responds

Los Angeles, CA — In 1877, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA) was founded by Henry Bergh to protect animals (in addition to women and children). He was vehemently opposed to the exploitation of animals, and was known to argue publicly with P.T. Barnum in order to persuade him that such a use of animals was shameful and immoral. Now, 146 years later, Bergh’s vision is realized and Ringling Brothers is finally closing the circus.

“Ringling cited poor attendance, bullhook bans, elephant bans, and animal activists as the reasons for their decision,” said Madeline Bernstein, President spcaLA. “I say, that we evolved as a society and community standards changed for the better in regards to treatment of animals.”

Circus animals endure travel hardships, harsh training practices, abnormal environments, and extreme stress.


spcaLA Humane Officers assist a distressed elephant calf (1960’s)

spcaLA believes that animals, as living creatures, have value beyond economic measurement, and are entitled to legal, moral and ethical consideration and protection.

Progressive from the beginning, spcaLA sought to end cock-fighting and dog-fighting; to replace live pigeons with clay disks at annual skeet shooting tournaments; to pass a law against “indiscriminate vivisection;” to shelter animals; to bring charges against animal abusers; to better the plight of beasts of burden; and to educate the public about proper animal handling and welfare. 140 years later, spcaLA continues its mission and is dedicated to the prevention of cruelty to animals through Education, Law Enforcement, Intervention, and Advocacy.

For more information, please contact Ana Bustilloz at 323-730-5300 x252, cell 323-707-1271 or

Since 1877, spcaLA has been the premiere independent, nonprofit animal welfare organization serving Southern California. There is no national SPCA, parent organization, or umbrella group that provides financial support to spcaLA. Donations run programs and services including Cruelty Investigation, Disaster Animal Response Team, Humane Education, and a variety of shelter services.