ALDF Teams with Las Vegas Entertainer Stephen Sorrentino to Urge Illusionist Dirk Arthur to Make Big Cats Disappear from His Magic Show Once and For All!

Posted by Carney Anne Nasser, ALDF Legislative Counsel on August 19, 2015


Dirk Arthur is no stranger to controversy. He is one of only three magic acts left in the country that still uses big cats in performances and has been cited repeatedly by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for violating bare minimum standards of care for the animals off of whom he profits. He has flouted the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) by cruelly and painfully declawing big cats – a partial amputation procedure which is also condemned by the American Veterinary Medical Association – housing tigers and other big cats in cages that deny them adequate space to stretch their limbs, forcing big cats to endure extreme heat with no protection from the sun, failing to adhere to prescribed veterinary care requirements, disregarding safe handling requirements for dangerous animals in public exhibitions, and subjecting cats to unsafe and hazardous enclosures. Arthur also has a history of acquiring big cats from disreputable roadside zoos with their own egregious histories of AWA violations.

After the USDA cited Arthur for numerous AWA violations and slapped him with an “Official Warning,” Caesar’s Entertainment declined to renew Arthur’s contract to perform at Harrah’s casinos in Nevada. Arthur went on to do a brief stint at the Riviera Casino, which was cut short when the venue closed on May 4, 2015, in anticipation of its impending demolition. Arthur is now slated to open his act, Wild Magic, at the Westgate Casino starting on August 24, 2015.


Just yesterday, ALDF and acclaimed actor, comedian, producer, and friend to animals Stephen Sorrentino have teamed up to offer a win-win solution to Dirk Arthur’s animal welfare woes. Sorrentino, also based in Las Vegas, has generously offered to bring a cruelty-free, contemporary vision to Arthur’s show by producing, staging, choreographing, casting, and costuming animal-free segments of Arthur’s act, and helping publicize the resultant electrifying animal-free version. ALDF stands ready to help rehome the cats to reputable sanctuaries where they will be able to live out the rest of their lives in naturalistic habitats, rather than cramped transport cages and casino stages. ALDF and Sorrentino are urging Arthur to follow the compassionate lead of fellow magician Rick Thomas, who has continued to dazzle audiences with his illusion act after retiring all of his tigers from performing and rehoming them to a reputable sanctuary. As concern for exploitation of endangered species grows and use of exotic animals for entertainment is frowned upon by an enlightened public, we urge Arthur to do the right thing.

29 thoughts on “ALDF Teams with Las Vegas Entertainer Stephen Sorrentino to Urge Illusionist Dirk Arthur to Make Big Cats Disappear from His Magic Show Once and For All!

  1. Please stop using animals in ur shows.

  2. agnes losonczi says:

    Stop exploiting animals uncaring about their misery!

  3. Judy Torok says:

    Animals should NOT be used for people’s entertainment !

  4. Cherie says:

    Keep sharing. Eventually people will boycott his show and then he may not have anyone to help him produce a profitable performance not dependent on animals.

  5. Michelle Lineback says:

    No animal should ever have to live caged up! Free this sweet animal

  6. Sammy says:

    Please release these Big Cats to there original homes.

  7. karen says:

    Stop your disgusting money making on cruelty.

  8. roxanne perez says:

    Please, let these animals live safe and comfortable.

  9. Delores Hardin says:


  10. nancy arenas says:

    No being should be kept cage, for entertainment or otherwise. Stop using others.

  11. Pat kosky says:

    No animal should have to live it’s life out in a cage

  12. Rita Cauchi says:

    No animal should ever have to live caged up! Free this sweet animal

  13. Magaly says:

    Mr. Arthur we are losing so many beautiful animals by poachers please be a n example and let your big cats go back to a sanctuary and let them be free.

  14. Stephen, the work you do is powerful and compassionate. I recognize your campaigning, focus and assistance as high consciousness that makes the world a far greater place, where love is flowing to all species. I’m so happy to call you a close friend, your impactful and I want to see this as a reality for all animals that do nothing but unconditionally present themselves to us, some times for entertainment, but always based on authoritative command. People like you understand the delicate balance of consciousness on this planet, and that all living things need to be treated lovingly, or else the game doesn’t work, not for anyone. Keep on Stephen, it’s helping the world Love ya pal, peace.

  15. Mary O'Donnell says:


  16. klara lipton says:

    Wild animals? What does he not understand? It’s called wild animals, because they are in the wild, not in a cage. Idiot.

  17. SarA Cooper says:

    And I called the casino to ask about this, and was connected to their vice President of entertainment, and Mr. Reynosa. Mr. Reynosa informed me I would have to speak with their publicist about this, and promptly hung up on me

  18. Melissa Rodriguez says:

    How inhumane can you be. Set him free domright by him

  19. Wm. ERROL USAF PACE, USAF Retired says:

    How would you like to caged?

  20. Kerri lee says:


  21. Cindy Wines says:

    Those days are Long gone when Real animls are used. Chimps, orangutáns, big cats bears, etc. Should not be used. It is cruel.

  22. sherryl says:

    He should get with the new generation for humanity ,I do not see his career lasting much longer if he continues with his act using the Tigers, We as intelligent compassionate society that has no longer going to let these cats having to live in a cage for the remainder of their lives,we know they are not in a surrounding of
    natural habitat ,I strongly feel that even
    if they are able to be treated and fed to the best of ability ?does not take away the fact they are forced to be exposed to entertainment and the enforcement it takes to keep them control in order to keep the audience safe,One bad inced-ant and the only one that pays the price (that is if no one else is hurt or killed)the cat is destroyed for nothing more than not complying to an unnatural habit.

  23. rochelle garcia says:

    Stop big cat Las Vegas shows

  24. scott smeaton says:

    Would like to see all caged animals in a more naturLenvirement!! Don’t care for animals being used for someone’s financial gain at the expense of the animals freedom… Plain n simple it’s selfish n more importantly cruel…

  25. Ramona Meischner says:

    Animals are not slaves! They belong in their own natural habitat with their own kind. Not to be molded into what you feel they should be. Come to my house let me cage this man up and make him my slave. Just for one month and see how he likes it. I’ll make him do whatever I want and help perform for me whenever I commend him to or else! He will be my bitch for a month. My slave. I don’t think he would like that too much. Knowing how he is I’d make his life a living hell! You set that animal free

  26. meunier isabelle says:

    Animals are not clowns!!!

  27. JH says:

    I remember living in Vegas as a little one in the 70s and even at Circus Circus they had a little person boxing a kangaroo – both dangerous and explotive for the performer who was LP as well as the kangaroo. And there was, and has been worse. I urge all entertainment acts and circuses to go completely animal-free for the welfare of the animals that they claim to care for. Times have changed. People don’t want to see abused and stressed animals paraded around for entertainment anymore. I will not stay in the Casinos that offer live animal acts when I visit Vegas. Thank you ALDF for all the wonderful work you do.

  28. Kimberly Brent says:

    I’m against animal cruelty & believe no animal should suffer. They are born free & should be in the wild. Shame on Dirk Arthur & the casinos that hire him. I pray God touches their hearts to do the right thing.

  29. Kitty Victorino says:

    time to set them free let them live out their lives. They were not put on earth to entertain us. But to bring beauty to the world.

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