Written by Michelle Kretzer
of the throngs of people who had gathered outside to protest, it was hard to spot
those who were trickling into Brooklyn's Barclays Center on Ringling Bros.
circus's opening night. More than 200 animal advocates came together to make
sure that Ringling's reception was chillier than a New York winter.
half the group circled the block, hoisting signs and chanting, the other half flanked the crosswalks and handed leaflets and educational coloring
books to parents and children.
any of the attendees weren't aware of how Ringling abuses animals, they certainly were after they saw the behind-the-scenes photos of trainers
slamming baby elephants to the ground,
gouging them with steel-tipped bullhooks, and shocking them with electric prods. And if that didn't do the trick, the
screening of PETA's video
exposé narrated by Alec Baldwin, which showed trainers beating and tormenting
elephants, moments before a performance likely did.
of the advocates plan to return to the Barclays Center every night that the
circus is in town to make sure that everyone in the Big Apple gets the message
about cruelty under the big top.
Written by PETA
A family in Brooklyn called PETA for help after they found an extremely ill swan who was too weak to stand and was stranded on a beach. We guided the family in how to safely contain the swan, and they transported the sick bird to a nearby animal shelter, where professional staff recommended euthanasia because of the swan's poor condition. The family had hoped that the bird could be saved, but they agreed that euthanasia was the most compassionate option, and the bird was quickly released from her suffering.
There's no telling how much longer this swan would have lingered in misery if this kind family hadn't stopped to help her. Animals count on us always to be on the lookout for them and to step in and help them when they need it. Keeping a wildlife emergency kit in your vehicle (with a carrier, a towel, a net, and gloves as well as phone numbers and directions to animal control bureaus and shelters, 24-hour emergency veterinarians, and wildlife rehabilitators) will help ensure that you're ready to assist an animal in distress. Whatever you do, never pass by an animal in need—you may be the animal's only hope.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
A tree grows in Brooklyn … actually, many of them do. And from one of those trees, a pigeon dangled upside down from a piece of string that was caught around her leg and tangled on a tree branch two stories above a busy sidewalk, beside a busy street.
When a caring Brooklynite contacted PETA, the bird had already hung from that tree for days without food or water, surely full of panic and fear.
But luckily there are people—such as the Brooklynite who contacted us—who care enough to take action.
Local animal control agents lacked the equipment necessary to rescue the pigeon, but they referred our cruelty caseworker to the local fire department, which dispatched a truck minutes after PETA's call came in. Firefighters drove by to survey the situation and returned in a truck with a tall ladder, which they climbed to reach the bird.
The caller was on-site, and when firefighters handed her the pigeon—whose wounds were infested with maggots—she rushed the bird to a local veterinarian. Immediately realizing that the pigeon's back was broken, the vet was able to quickly release her from her suffering.
The anguish that pigeon endured during those days is almost incomprehensible. Hanging upside down with a broken back and suffering from extreme starvation and dehydration as maggots infested her open wounds, she must have been in severe pain. Had those caring persons—the caller, the cruelty caseworker, firefighters, and the vet—not stepped in to take action, who knows how long her suffering would have continued?
We've said it before, but it bears repeating: Please always be a person who helps an animal in need. You might be the first to take action, but if you reach out to others, you'll likely find people who care as much as you do.
Written by Karin Bennett
One hot, humid afternoon in July, I was apartment hunting and checking out an old factory in Brooklyn that was undergoing renovation for loft rentals. As I entered the bathroom in one unlit, unfinished space, two pigeons flapped frantically in the darkness—apparently they were as startled by my presence as I was by theirs. The birds had found a way into the building but were unable to get out because the windows had been boarded up.
After tearing a board off a window, I managed to catch and release each of the frightened birds. Both of them paused on the scaffolding outside to allow their eyes to adjust to the bright sunshine and to take in fresh air before flying off into the distance. If I hadn't helped them out of that stifling, sawdust-filled space, they surely would have succumbed to the searing heat, as well as hunger and thirst.
Around that same time, a similar situation was unfolding in a small, rural town in Kansas. A distraught resident called PETA to report that countless birds were roasting to death in a dilapidated building that the city had recently boarded up. With summer temperatures climbing, we immediately contacted city officials and urged them to take action for the birds, but the person we spoke with told us that the city had bigger problems to deal with. Um, wrong answer.
We raced to place an action alert on our Web site, and we fired off a letter to city commissioners. Realizing that PETA and our caring members weren't going to back down, city officials acted. Less than 24 hours after our initial contact, the fire and police departments were sent to rescue the surviving birds. They provided them with water and tore holes in the roof to create escape routes and ventilation.
By not turning a blind eye to animal suffering, and by making a call to PETA, one "little bird" prompted the rescue of countless others from certain death.
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.