Fundraising is a necessity for most schools, and it’s also an opportunity to bring students and staff together for a good cause! Unfortunately, some schools still participate in disturbing and inhumane fundraisers that involve animals, so we urge school staff to avoid sponsoring any event that puts an animal in harm’s way.

‘Donkey Basketball’

During “donkey basketball” games, donkeys are ridden by participants who have no experience handling animals. The noise and chaos of the games—which some schools use as fundraisers—are extremely stressful for the donkeys, who often endure the additional trauma of being shoved, screamed at, or whipped when their riders find them to be “uncooperative.” In order to prevent “accidents” on the court, donkeys are often deprived of food and water for hours before games.

Animal Circuses

Some schools sponsor circuses in their town or on their campus in order to raise money. Animals used in circuses are shackled for their entire lives, separated from their families, and beaten by handlers, who must establish dominance in order to get these wild animals to perform unnatural and uncomfortable tricks. Sponsoring an animal circus sends children the message that it’s OK to ignore sentient beings’ pain and suffering for money and entertainment.

Animal Giveaways

PETA regularly receives complaints about the abuse of animals—particularly goldfish—given away as prizes at school fairs and carnivals. Fish are sensitive, and when confined to small containers without proper filtration, they’re often poisoned by their own waste. People who acquire animals as prizes receive little or no instruction on caring for them, and many die within days of being taken to a new home, often as a result of inappropriate handling and inadequate care. When animals are given away as prizes, children may come to believe that it’s OK to think of them as objects instead of as sensitive beings.

Kiss-a-Pig and Other
Inhumane Events

Pigs are highly intelligent and sensitive animals. In “kiss a pig” events, they’re thrust into an unnatural and chaotic atmosphere and subjected to screaming crowds and rough handling by frantic participants. These animals can become so scared that they often start to shake uncontrollably, urinate out of fear, and make futile attempts to escape. In addition, PETA has even heard reports of fundraisers that involve swallowing live goldfish, killing (or “gigging”) frogs, and engaging in other horrifying acts. There’s simply no need for this kind of cruelty. Schools all around the country are rejecting these inhumane and archaic activities and instituting policies against the use of live animals at their events.

Is Your School Already Planning a Fundraiser That Would Exploit Animals?

You can help put a stop to it by speaking up.
Here's what to do:

  • Write a letter to or schedule a meeting with your principal. Encourage a change to the fundraiser in question, while including plenty of facts about the cruelty inherent in the event and the harmful message that it would send students. Check out the information above for help. Be sure to prepare and include some suggestions for humane fundraising options that your school could plan instead. Show your principal that there are plenty of wonderful ways to raise money that don’t involve hurting animals.
  • Get fellow teachers on board. Share the facts about “donkey basketball” games, “kiss a pig” contests, and other inhumane fundraisers with your colleagues, then gather signatures on a petition to present to your administration asking it to cancel the event and choose one that promotes kindness instead.
  • Set a good example for students. Let your colleagues know that there’s no shame in changing a fundraiser that’s already been planned—in fact, it gives you a chance to show students that it’s never too late to do the right thing and that no animal deserves to suffer so that humans can be entertained.

Were you successful? Let us know—we want to hear your story! If your administration is open to it, we can even help you work on proposing a school pledge or implementing a policy that would ban the use of live animals for school fundraisers.

Tried reasoning with your principal and fellow teachers and still haven’t had any luck?

Contact Us