Free Ricky the Bear from Brutal Imprisonment


Target: Honorable Stephen P. Linebaugh, President Judge York County Court of Common Pleas

Goal: Demand the release of mistreated bear

At a small ice cream shop in Pennsylvania, a bear has been kept in a cage as a public attraction for over 18 years. The bear, named Ricky, was captured as a cub and placed in a cage to gain publicity and notoriety by James McDaniel, the owner of the ice cream shop. This is absolutely unacceptable. Animals are not play things, they are not spectacles, and they are not meant to live in cages. They are living beings and everything possible must be done to obtain this poor creature’s freedom.

Ricky has lived her entire life inside of a cage that only allows her to take two or three steps in either direction. She spends most of her time pacing back and forth. Many people mistake this for a sign of boredom, but in many caged animals, pacing shows anxiety and fear. This poor bear has suffered unknowable cruelty for nearly 20 years just so that one business could pull in a few extra customers.

Multiple complaints have been made to the Humane Society about McDaniels’ treatment of Ricky over the years, but action is finally being taken. The Animal Legal Defense Fund has just filed a lawsuit that is attempting to free Ricky and transfer her to a certified animal welfare refuge. Please sign below to show your support of this action to the judges of the York Country Court of Common Pleas. It is long past time to show people that animals cannot be used for monetary benefit.


Dear Honorable Stephen P. Linebaugh,

I am writing to you today on behalf of one without the faculties to do so: a bear named Ricky. Ricky has been held in the same cage for over 18 years and is not allowed to roam freely. She spends most of her day pacing back and forth in a concrete cage that only allows her to take two or three steps in either direction. For what purpose you ask? Money. Ricky is being tortured so that one ice cream shop can make a few extra dollars. This is absolutely unacceptable, and I urge you to rule in favor of the Animal Legal Defense Fund in an upcoming hearing for Ricky’s release.

Animals are living creatures. They are not toys, they are not attractions, and they are not meant to live their lives in cages. This bear’s rights as a sentient creature must be respected. The ALDF will grant Ricky that respect by sending her to a wildlife refuge where she can be properly taken care of. For all of these reasons, I beg you to free this bear from any more torment.


[Your Name Here]

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  1. charlotte Nealey says:

    I think everyone should boycott the ice cream shop.. Do not visit.. let him go out of business.. free this animal. He should be charged for such bad behavior…

  2. Reverend Stephen W. Overall says:

    Riki, I can’t ‘bear’ the thought of you spending anymore years in solitary confinement just so folks will be lured toward your imprisonment to have an ice cream treat. You remind me of a hospitalized person whose husband would not allow her to go out, wouldn’t let her use the phone or contact any of her friends. This poor soul eventually developed cancer. When I asked her what her hope was for living with this disease. She said, “I don’t want to live with cancer, I want it to take my life and free me from this hell I am living.” I hope you will soon be set free to a safe place to enjoy your life and live out your days the way nature and the Creator intended it. Otherwise, you may end up much like my hospitalized friend. I sincerely hope not.
    If the one who is keeping you from freedom is reading this, please consider letting Riki go free.
    Thank you for reaching deep within your soul and discovering what it means to love enough to give up private interests for the good of others, be they human or animal.
    God Bless you.
    Stephen Overall

  3. You piece of filth that caged the poor helpless bear, I wish to do the same to you, see how you like it then, never to see your family ever again, never have a mate or friends, this is what you took away from poor Ricki and most importantly her freedom.

  4. Catherine Alquier says:

    How people can do this, they have no brain, no sensibility ? How themselves could be in a cage for so many years ???? This animal must go to a peaceful and good place where he could finish his life in conditions as good as possible.

  5. Candi Derderian says:

    i keep signing these petitons and it never ends. the sensless cruelty to animals is sickening.. i hate fucking people and if i could kill them i would

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