The Shriners do not operate their own traveling circus. Instead, local Shrine temples hire existing circuses or put together a collection of acts to perform. In Florida, Circus Hollywood commonly performs under the “Shrine Circus” name.
Florida-based Circus Hollywood frequently performs as a “Shrine Circus.” In recent years, the show has included high-wire acts, clowns and acrobats. Unfortunately, Circus Hollywood also featured elephants and an exotic animal petting zoo.
Don’t the Shriners help children?
Shriners International is a legally and financially separate organization from the Shriners Hospitals for Children. Circus patrons are misled into believing that proceeds from the circus benefit the hospitals. If you look closely, the small print on circus advertisements and tickets make it clear that proceeds help to maintain Shrine temples’ building, pay staff salaries and fund parties and other activities, and do not benefit the hospitals. (The best way to help the Shriners Hospitals for Children is to make a donation directly to the hospital.)
You Can Help
Sign our petition! “Shriners International: Stop hosting cruel circuses“
The following Shrine temples in Florida sponsor animal circuses. Please contact the Potentate, or chief executive, and urge him to replace circuses with non-animal fundraisers, such as golf tournaments, car shows, festivals, or an animal-free circus.
Amara Shrine (Palm Beach Gardens)
Rick Whaley, Potentate
Phone: (561) 627-2100
Araba Shriners (Fort Myers)
Richard Nelson, Potentate
Phone: (239) 334-2226
Bahia Shriners (Orlando)
Ken Harrelson, Potentate
Phone: (407) 660-8811
Egypt Shriners (Tampa)
Luther Baker, Jr., Potentate
Phone: (813) 884-8381
Morocco Shrine (Jacksonville)
Donnie Boree, Potentate
Phone: (904) 642-5200
Sahib Shriners (Sarasota)
Connie Jacobi, Potentate
Phone: (941) 366-4449
Shaddai Shriners (Panama City)
Ron Chaple, Potentate
Phone: (850) 769-8303
*The Shaddai Shriners sponsor the Cole Bros. Circus each fall.
Animal Rights Foundation of Florida
1431 N Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
Promoting respect and compassion for animals in Florida has been the mission of the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida since 1989.
The Animal Rights Foundation of Florida is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.