Last weekend’s controversial pig wrestling event put on by an Outagamie County church has drawn the ire of an animal rights group. The group, called SHARK (SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness), showed video Thursday of several dozen alleged animal cruelty violations conducted by St. Patrick Catholic Church in Stephensville.
President and founder Steve Hindi says they found cruelty to animals, animal fighting and child neglect – specifically, juveniles encouraged to wallow in mud contaminated with animal feces and urine. Hindi says, under state law, spectators, organizers and participants could be charged with a misdemeanor or felony.
“I mean, somebody tell me what constitutes a fight if it’s not that, and a fight between an animal and a human in Wisconsin is a felony,” said Hindi. “We don’t like animal abuse as an organization, we don’t like corruption, we don’t like people who lie and we don’t like churches whose mission has been so thoroughly perverted.”
Hindi says they’re continuing to compile evidence from the video footage shot last weekend, and plans to issue that complaint sometime next week. He also walked with the media across the street from the Hawthorne Suites in Allouez to the Diocese of Green Bay chancery to try and meet with Bishop David Ricken.
Ricken wasn’t available, but communications director Justine Lodl did speak with Hindi and his camera person. Lodl didn’t speak with the media after the meeting, but did say, “We are going to review all of your materials and discuss this.”