Written by Michelle Kretzer
The following was written by Emily Allen, CAP Associate
As Forrest Gump might say, fieldwork
performed by staff of PETA's
Community Animal Project (CAP) is kind of like a box of chocolates—because
on this job, you never
know what you're going to get. We rescue abandoned, abused, and neglected
animals in the areas surrounding PETA's Norfolk, Virginia, headquarters. It's a
big task, and we are looking to expand our team.
On any given day, we could be
crawling through a sewer, climbing
a tree, or digging through a
junkyard to rescue a terrified animal; shuttling animals of low-income families
to our no-cost to low-cost
spay and neuter clinics; or traveling into an
impoverished neighborhood to deliver doghouses, bedding, food, and toys to
animals who have been left outdoors.
We often come to the aid of neglected "backyard dogs"
like Rambo, whose owner
had left him trapped in a filthy pen with no food or water and whose every bone
stood out like bare limbs on a tree. We worked with police to get him
confiscated, and the owner was convicted of cruelty. That sweet dog, so
trusting despite having been betrayed, was adopted by a fantastic family,
gained 30 pounds, and now relishes the safe, comfortable indoor life—except for
romps in the park, of course—that every dog deserves.
We are also called upon to help suffering stray and feral cats.
One old cat was so severely
injured that his image will stay with me forever. His side was practically
covered by an open wound that was teeming with maggots. A woman had been feeding strays in her yard but was
apparently oblivious to the cat's condition. We whisked the dying animal back
to our office and gave him a peaceful
release from his suffering.
day and every story are different, but I leave work each day feeling that, like
the tale of the child who was saving the starfish who washed up on the beach, I
may not be able to help them all, but I can help this one and that one and this
one and …
Do you have what it takes to rescue
abandoned, abused, and neglected animals? Apply to be a CAP fieldworker.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.