Dillan the bear will be moving "next Thursday," according to Union County Sportsmen's Club president Orville Spangler.
When Northcentralpa.com called the club to ask for comment regarding actor Alec Baldwin's recent pleas to Gov. Tom Wolf for Dillan's freedom, the club bartender gave the phone to Spangler.
"The bear will be moving next Thursday," Spangler told us on the afternoon of January 15. He declined to give any more details about the move, including where Dillan is headed.
As previously reported here, Dillan is an obese, 30-something Asiatic bear that has resided at the Union County Sportsmen's Club since 2008. In mid-2019, after a local resident tipped them off, representatives from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) took up Dillan's case as a cause celebre, reaching out to media outlets and posting billboards on Route 11/15. PETA has been asking that the club let Dillan go to the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado.
PETA did not immediately know of any planned move for Dillan.
PETA's latest fusillade in their campaign involved actor Alec Baldwin. Media outlets received a release from PETA representatives on January 14 containing a letter signed by Baldwin sent to Gov. Tom Wolf's office.
"Time is running out to get Dillan's life-threatening issues treated by professionals who have the expertise and resources to do so," the letter reads. "As noted in my previous letter, PETA has secured placement for him at The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado, which has offered to transport him and provide him with lifelong care at no cost to his current owners."
Baldwin signed another letter to the governor dated September 24, 2019, in which he says he was "aware" that Corporal Michael J. Spada of the Pennsylvania State Police's special investigations unit is investigating Dillan's case.
The PETA release also contained another U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection report of the facilities for bear and bobcat at the Union County Sportsmen's Club, dated November 26, 2019. The report reiterates the previously reported issues of "severe dental issues," obesity, and rocking and moaning that could indicate psychological distress and pain. The report also noted a cough and sinus discharge that hadn't been observed before by the inspector.
Here's the full text of the second letter from Alec Baldwin:
Dear Gov. Wolf,
I'm writing to follow up on my request for action in the case of Dillan, a black bear who spends his days rocking back and forth in a concrete-floored cage at the Union County Sportsmen's Club in Millmont.
Since I first wrote to you in September, the USDA has inspected the club at least twice and found, yet again, that Dillan has been denied adequate veterinary care. The USDA reports show that Dillan's condition continues to deteriorate. He suffers from painful dental disease and arthritis, is morbidly obese, and exhibits signs of severe psychological distress.
Time is running out to get Dillan's life-threatening issues treated by professionals who have the expertise and resources to do so. As noted in my previous letter, PETA has secured placement for him at The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado, which has offered to transport him and provide him with lifelong care at no cost to his current owners.
I respectfully ask that you use your power to ensure that authorities hold the club accountable, and help secure Dillan's transfer to this accredited sanctuary.