Circus acts have drawn the ire from many critics in recent years, treatment of animals being top on the list of offenses. Many of the traditional circus acts included wild animals like elephants and lions that were kept in unfavorable conditions. But, there’s one circus in Chicago that seems to be doing it right. Rather than employing poodles to do their dog tricks, they’ve trained the often abandoned and mistreated pit bull to perform in the show.
Today reports about Chicago’s Midnight Circus that has recently gained positive attention from the press surrounding a pair of pit bulls they call Junebug and Rosie Rae. The Midnight Circus doesn’t have any elephant or lions at all in their acts. In fact, Illinois was the first state to enact a ban on elephant performances all together.
Pit bulls have garnered a bad reputation since they were often bred to be attack dogs or to be in illegal dog fights. But Junebug and Rosie Rae are changing minds everywhere, as circus goers are amazed at these hardworking well-trained performing dogs.
According to Jeff Jenkins, collaborator for Midnight Circus, both dogs came from abusive beginnings before being brought in as members of the family and circus. Junebug was adopted from a family that had been mistreating the dog and Rosie Rae was found in a shelter. Jenkins explains how Rosie Rae behaved when they first adopted her saying, “She was loud, wild, and showed all the signs of a puppy who had not been socialized, trained and probably subjected to moderate abuse. She also had huge sweet eyes and that intangible quality that says 'I’m your next family member.” Rosie Rae are considered beloved family pets first and performers second in the Jenkins household.
But when it comes to the circus, both dogs are happy to perform a multitude of tricks in their unique act which Jenkins says looks like this: “The routine usually goes something like this: Jenkins brings out Junebug, who refuses to listen. She steals his hat and the hoops she’s supposed to be jumping through, while Jenkins chases her around. Once he and Junebug finish with the comedy, Jenkins brings out Rosie Rae, who does what her partner wouldn’t, ripping through the obstacles at 'lightning speeds.”
What do you think of Midnight Circus’ dog act?
Do you think more circuses should consider using pit bulls in an effort to change people’s minds about the often abandoned and abused breed?