Animal advocate groups and some local residents of Smithville, Tennessee are outraged over a scholarship group's new event "Giggin' for Grads" that is set to take place next Friday. This event involves participants "gigging" or stabbing frogs, after which, whoever kills the most frogs wins a college scholarship.
Nashville Animal Advocacy has partnered with the Global Conservation Group to help stop this event. They have started a petition urging event coordinators and city officials to cancel the event, with the Global Conservation Group offering to cover the expenses of a more humane alternative. However, both event coordinators and city officials have been resistant to their pleadings. The animal advocate groups sent an e-mail to the City of Smithville expressing their concerns and received the unpleasantly unprofessional response of "Please stop emailing me. Comprende?" from City Secretary of Hunter Hendrixson.
Biologist Susana Paco weighed in stating, "A method such as stabbing is extremely painful for the frog, who dies of massive hemorrhaging and usually asphyxiates on its own blood.”
With cruelty concerns aside, local residents are also concerned with their town's youth running around at night stabbing at things with spears in the dark. While plenty of adults do it in the town, many do not want to encourage the idea of endangering themselves within the youth.
Since the petition and other pleadings are having no effect on Smithville city officials and event coordinators, the animal advocacy groups have filed complaints against event coordinators with the Tennessee Department of Children's Services, Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Tennessee Department of Justice, Smithville Police Department, DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Interior, and the U.S. Department of Justice. They have also launched a campaign website aimed to stop this event called "StopFrogAbuse.com" that highlights the cruelty of this event and the dangers to the participants.