Shortly after Alec Baldwin wrote a letter to the Governor of Pennsylvania Thomas Wolf, asking Wolf to relocate a caged, injured and obese bear living at the Union County Sportsmen’s Club in Millmont, Dillon the bear is finally free.
Along with Baldwin, Dillon also received help from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), both of which consistently reported on the hardships the Asiatic black bear was forced to suffer through on a daily basis at the club.
“The bear is morbidly obese, with limited mobility and exhibits a repetitive behavior in which he sits on his haunches and repeatedly rocks himself back and forth by using his forepaws to push against the wall in front of him, and will rock back against a large stone behind him in his enclosure,” a recent inspection report from the USDA regarding Dillon’s treatment at the club stated, adding that the bear also had painful untreated dental issues.
“He was previously held in a cramped cage — next to a noisy shooting range — at the Union County Sportsmen’s Club in Millmont, Pennsylvania. There, he was forced to live on hard concrete and denied adequate veterinary care for his serious medical conditions. But thanks to the hard work of compassionate people like you, he’s now on his way to The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado,” PETA wrote on their website about Dillon’s release.
According to The Wild Animal Sanctuary, where Dillon now resides, the bear was released on Jan. 20 and arrived at the Keenesburg, Colorado sanctuary the following day.
“He is currently residing within our Veterinary Clinic so that he can receive the medical attention that he urgently needed. Besides being incredibly overweight, Dillon has other serious medical issues – including having teeth, gum lines and jaw bone that continued to be eaten away by a long-standing infection,” the sanctuary wrote on Facebook about the bear’s current condition. “His paws and many patches of skin on his body were raw from living in an excessively wet environment. Dillon was declawed at some point in his life, which left him with stumps for digits and severely disfigured toes.”
After Dillon’s dental infections have healed and cleared, he will be moved into one of the sanctuary’s natural habitats. From here, he will start working on safely losing weight through diet and exercise, and regaining his strength and mobility.
The sanctuary is confident they can help Dillon put his years of neglect behind him based on their experience with a different Asiatic black bear.
“Just like ‘Lily’ — a female Asiatic Black Bear we rescued from another roadside zoo in Maryland (who was also morbidly obese) — Dillon will shed the excess pounds that prevent him from moving naturally. He will begin to build muscle and stamina through play and exercise,” The Wild Animal Sanctuary added. “Ironically, Dillon will be able to live with Lily so they can enjoy each other’s company and continue on as shining examples of how older bears that have lived in terrible enclosures for decades can be safely rescued and properly rehabilitated. We look forward to Dillon (and Lily) thoroughly enjoying their new-found happy & healthy lives”
To learn more about The Wild Animal Sanctuary and how you can help animals like Dillon, visit the sanctuary’s website.