DALLAS -- It was a three-ring circus in Dallas Tuesday, and there wasn't a single animal in sight.
After word got out that local Shriner and head of "Fun Time Shows" Bill Cunningham joined forces with PETA to stop using wild animals at the Shrine Circus, a few fellow Shriners weren't too happy about it.
"If he doesn't want to include animals, that's fine. But it's very disingenuous for him to use PETA as a ploy when the simple fact is he's had an ongoing battle with the animal suppliers," said Shriner President Doug Terranova.
But Bill Cunningham isn't clowning around on the issue. Because of what he calls "immense psychological stress" to the animals, he's retiring all wild acts starting immediately.
"No lions, no tigers, no elephants. Our stars are the human performers that willing participate and dazzle our audiences," Cunningham said.
So, if you're planning to see the Shrine Circus next week, you can forget about catching tigers jumping through flaming hoops. The empty trailers that were once used to transport the animals will now be used as traveling billboards to promote the cause.
Here's hoping Bill and his fellow Shriners can get their act together and get on the same page.