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Puppy rights advocate to perform at rodeo

'I am blown away I missed description of show,' says Poison drummer

July 02, 2008
© 2008 WorldNetDaily

Poison drummer Rikki Rockett, aka Richard Ream, (second from right) objects to the "animal cruelty" in rodeos, but still will appear at this year's Greeley, Colo., Stampede rodeo

A rock star whose years-long advocacy for animal rights has led him to crusade against "puppy mill atrocities" has agreed to perform at the Greeley, Colo., Stampede, described as the "World's Largest 4th of July Rodeo."

"I am blown away that I missed the description of this show on our touring schedule," Rikki Rockett, 46, whose real name is Richard Ream, told the Rocky Mountain News.

"I had no idea that this gig included a rodeo," said the drummer for the band called Poison and a veteran of more than a dozen years of animal rights campaigns.

"I have a huge problem with animal cruelty at rodeos," he told the paper.

But instead of backing out of his agreement, he said, he'll appear.

"I have decided to keep my commitment to the fans and educate them about rodeo cruelty at the same time," Rockett told the newspaper.

He said he'll use the concert as a platform for his animal rights campaign.

"I want people who oppose rodeos on the basis of cruelty to be able to distribute information at the show," he said.

A commenter on the newspaper's forum page concluded, "Oh boy, the fans are gonna love him." Another forum participant said, "I'm thinking they might want to (pardon the pun) beef up security if he's going to be preaching this kind of thing at a rodeo."

"Sheepherder" added: "Have a steak and lighten up!"

He's not the first entertainer to run away from rodeo shows. The group Matchbox Twenty withdrew from a show at Cheyenne Frontier Days because members didn't want to make money "from what we believe to be the mistreatment of animals." And in 2006, Carrie Underwood withdrew from the same Frontier Days event.

Rodeo organizers reject the assertion that animals are mistreated.

"Cheyenne Frontier Days advocates animal care that recognizes the well-being of animals, including those used and cared for by humans. We believe the right to own and use animals carries an obligation to provide proper care for all animals included in our celebration," the organization says.

Likewise, according to the newspaper, the Greeley Stampede stated on its website, "Like most people, cowboys believe animals should be treated humanely and with dignity. Professional Rodeo values its animals, and staunchly protects them with rules specifically designed to prevent cruelty or even unintentional mistreatment."