Written by Michelle Kretzer
Slogging through floodwaters, mud, and debris, PETA's Community Animal Project fieldworkers were out and about during and in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy to respond to calls about animals left outside in some sort of endurance test imposed on them by their owners. Here are just two of them—dogs who are very lucky to be alive after their owners left them chained to trees during the hurricane.
Brownie had to ride out up to 60-mile-per-hour winds and buckets of rain in a toppled-over airline crate. The chain he was on had become wrapped around a tree, and he was surrounded by scattered debris and mud puddles. Brownie's neglectful owners decided that he was too much trouble when asked to take him indoors, so they gave him to PETA's fieldworkers, and we delivered him to our friends at the Virginia Beach SPCA, who offered him a warm, dry, indoor residence right away while they search for a far better family for him.
Tipsy's small, filthy doghouse didn't offer much protection from the hard-driving weather, and when CAP workers found her, she was soaked to the bone. We gave her a roomy new doghouse, moved her to a grassy spot, covered her yard with dry straw, cleaned her food and water bowls, and gave her a much-needed toweling off. We are in talks with her owners, hoping to get them to change their ways and become real guardians now.
As the Eastern Seaboard recovers from Hurricane Sandy, we will undoubtedly hear the stories of animals who, unlike Brownie and Tipsy, were not found in time and lost their lives because their owners couldn't care less about their safety.
Natural disasters aren’t preventable,
but the tragic deaths of companion animals during disasters certainly can be.
Please sign PETA’s petition urging the governors of each state to ban chaining
during extreme weather.
Written by Jeff Mackey
Staffers from its Norfolk, Virginia, headquarters and Washington,
D.C., office have endured the impact of Hurricane Sandy's winds and storm
surge, but that's not stopping PETA from doing everything in its power to help
the animals in the storm's path. Community Animal Project fieldworkers are on call
24/7 and have already been hard at work helping animals left to fend for
themselves against the storm and the flooding.
Of course, the best way to protect animals is to prevent them
from being put in harm's way in the first place. That's why PETA sent out
emergency-preparedness alerts to media across Virginia, North Carolina, New
Jersey, and other at-risk areas before
the storm to remind guardians to be ready to allow animal companions to stay indoors
and to take them along if forced to evacuate.
Unfortunately, not everyone has heeded this advice, and
frightened, vulnerable animals like the dog you see here in Newport News,
Virginia, have been left tied up outside to face the storm's onslaught. So PETA
has sent urgent requests to the governors of all states likely to be affected
by Sandy asking them to protect all their citizens—including the
four-legged ones—by issuing immediate "no chaining" orders for their
The orders should require that all dogs be allowed to stay
indoors and not be left chained
outside, where they may drown, freeze, be strangled, or get hit by flying debris in the
midst of the hurricane, as happened to Smokey, who died alone
outside during Hurricane Irene on the chain that he had been attached to since
No matter what the governors decide, though, if Sandy is
headed your way, please allow your dogs and cats to stay indoors with you, be
prepared to take them with you if you have to leave, and urge your neighbors to
do the same!
Written by PETA
I work in the Human Resources Department
at the PETA Foundation, which I love. Knowing that I get to advocate for
animals and also take care of my colleagues who advocate for them is rewarding
and fulfilling. But I recently spent a day doing something that not many people
will experience in their lifetime: riding
along with a staffer with PETA's
Community Animal Project (CAP), the people who crawl under houses, sludge through storm drains,
and face neglectful owners to save animals from suffering.
My day with CAP was eye-opening, to
say the least. I knew about the work that CAP does in the areas surrounding our Norfolk, Virginia,
headquarters, but seeing it for myself was an experience I will never forget.
In a rural area of North Carolina,
we found a terrified dog who was forced to live under a trailer with no food or
water. His "owners" ("guardians" are people who actually
care for their animals) weren't home, so we did the only things that we could
do: We gave him food and water and left a note for his owners. We plan to check
on him again soon. In another area, we found two dogs who were covered with
ticks and supplied their owner with flea- and tick-control medication and
instructions. We talked to a person who had a puppy living outdoors—the pup's littermate had already been fatally hit by a car—and tried to educate him about how to do better for the
surviving dog. Stories like these repeated themselves throughout the day as we
visited more and more animals in need of help.
All of us can make a difference for
animals in our own communities. We could offer to walk chained dogs and give their owners information about housetraining and bringing them indoors. Or we could offer to transport pregnant
cats to a low-cost spay-and-neuter
clinic. Much like
CAP's work, all our small acts together can add up to big improvements in the
lives of a lot of animals.
by Kim Argobright
Community Animal Project
fieldworker spotted a lone pit bull sitting in a trash-strewn patch of dirt
behind what appeared to be an abandoned house. A heavy chain was wrapped around his neck, preventing him from reaching even a single blade
of grass. He had no food or water, and his dilapidated doghouse had no floor. When
the fieldworker offered him a big bowl of water, the dog lapped it up as if it
were the first drink he'd had in a very long time.
she couldn't legally take the dog, whom she was calling "Dusty"
because of his dirty surroundings, the fieldworker forced herself to leave—but not before she left plenty of dog food with the
neighbor and implored him to continue to feed Dusty and give him water.
public-records property search yielded the homeowner's name, and when the
fieldworker called him, he said that he was having work done on the house and
would be moving back in soon. He refused to part with Dusty but let PETA
replace the heavy metal chain with a lightweight tie-out, give Dusty a new
doghouse, and move him to a grassy area.
he still isn't living indoors with his family—the kind of life every dog deserves—Dusty is at least
more comfortable. When fieldworkers check on him, he has food and water, and
his owner has agreed to have him neutered in PETA's mobile clinic.
stories rarely make headlines, and in fact, many people aren't even aware of how
much suffering PETA fieldworkers
spare animals like Dusty every day. But PETA can't do it alone. If there is a Dusty in your
neighborhood, please alert animal control. And if officials are unresponsive,
please contact PETA for help. We will never
turn our back on an animal in need.
Meet Boss. As you can tell, he's one happy dog:
But Boss wasn't always so happy. In fact, here he is just a
short while before:
What made the difference? One of PETA's Community Animal Project (CAP) fieldworkers noticed Boss during one of her visits to a trailer park in a
very impoverished part of North Carolina, where CAP delivers straw and signs up residents for SNIP's
Boss' owner had moved out and was paying someone to give the
dog food and water, but the "caretaker" was simply throwing food over
the top of the pen, which hadn't been raked or cleaned in some time. There was
no clean or dry place for Boss to sit or stand. Even his Igloo doghouse was
full of urine and feces, and his feet were wet, red, and irritated from
standing in his own waste.
Determined not to leave him in that miserable condition, the
fieldworker who found Boss persuaded the owner's mother to care for the dog and
then drove Boss to her house, where he rolled in the grass. "He was so
freaking happy," the fieldworker says, "I thought I was going to cry."
Please always be prepared to help animals in need and you may be rewarded with a smile that you'll never forget—like the one on Boss'
Over the last couple of days, we've told you about some of the
ways that PETA worked in 2011 to end the suffering of animals in its own "backyard"—southern
Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. PETA staffers are in the field every
day working with guardians and local authorities, delivering doghouses and
straw, providing transport to our clinics for spay/neuter procedures and other
veterinary care, and much more.
you may have read about many of the animals whose lives and futures were made
brighter by PETA's fieldworkers, which is always what we hope for. But since PETA's
hands-on work focuses on finding and helping the most abused, neglected, and
underserved animals—those whose years of illness, injury, deprivation,
exposure, and isolation typically make rehabilitation and adoption into a
loving and responsible home impossible—offering
love, kindness, and a peaceful release from suffering is sometimes the kindest
The following are a few of the animals PETA helped in 2011, along
with information about how you can help us prevent more animals from suffering from
neglect and abuse (warning—graphic images):
An elderly couple called us for a doghouse for their dog,
DJ. PETA's fieldworker discovered that DJ was not just terribly unsocialized
but also had a chain wrapped directly around his neck that had become deeply
embedded into his skin as he grew. DJ's guardians had no idea that this had
been happening and were shocked to discover his condition. They surrendered DJ
to PETA, and he is no longer suffering.
The girlfriend of the person responsible for two dogs,
Trixie and Hitler, contacted PETA because Hitler was already dead on her
property and Trixie was severely emaciated. A necropsy later confirmed that
Hitler had starved to death—the tip of his own tail was found in his stomach.
The vet determined that Trixie was about 20 pounds underweight. The animals'
guardian signed a contract agreeing not to acquire any more animals.
PETA took in this cat who was suffering from an open wound
over his entire back that was teeming with maggots. A local woman had been
feeding stray cats in her yard for months but was totally oblivious to this cat's
When little Pokey's family moved away, they simply left this ill puppy in the yard
Despite days of intensive treatment and being showered with love, Pokey's
condition deteriorated, and her veterinarian said that the most humane option
was to give her an immediate release from her suffering.
Turning away cats and dogs like these just to avoid having
to euthanize them doesn't help unwanted, suffering, and dying animals. If PETA,
like many animal shelters
cared more about how its statistics look to the public than the well-being of
the individual animals who so desperately need help, animals like Pokey would
be left to suffer and die in agony instead of being gently relieved of their
misery in the soothing embrace of probably the first and only people ever to
show them any kindness.
PETA has renewed
our call for the National Governors Association to use its influence to end animal homelessness by helping pass mandatory
spay and neuter legislation across the country in 2012, requiring dogs
and cats to be sterilized unless their owners purchase an annual breeding
permit, the cost of which would fund low-cost spay-and-neuter services. Without
such laws, animal homelessness and neglect will continue—causing animals like
DJ, Trixie, the homeless cat, and Pokey to continue to suffer.
Please join this effort by asking your governor to support strong spay and
Say "Hi" to Tyson, one of the newest recipients of
a custom-built doghouse from PETA, along with lots of straw bedding to help
keep out the cold. As you can see from the "before" picture below, he
desperately needed it. All four (!) of Tyson's previous (flimsy) "shelters"
had broken. But now he has a sturdy, custom-built doghouse for cold, wet winter
nights—and since it's built to last, he can count on it for years to come. Tyson's
family agreed to have him neutered, so PETA will take care of that too.
Of course, we'd much prefer that everyone allow their dogs
indoors—and PETA's Community
Animal Project caseworkers have persuaded many animals' guardians to do just that. But since some
people refuse—and since
many localities still don't
prohibit chaining dogs—PETA
builds and delivers hundreds of rugged doghouses each year to provide dogs with
protection from snow, wind, and rain.
In the winter, PETA also gives
away free bales of straw for cold dogs forced to live outdoors in the
Hampton Roads area in Virginia.
You can change a life like Tyson's. If you know of any "outdoor
dogs," try to persuade
their guardians to allow them indoors. Encourage your city or county legislators to ban chaining. And if you can, sponsor a
doghouse so that one more dog will have a refuge from the cold.
While heading out to pick up and
transport animals belonging to low-income residents for spay-and-neuter
surgeries at one of PETA's mobile clinics, a PETA Community Animal Project fieldworker spotted a truck driver
attempting to drag something out of a ditch on the side of a busy highway. Our
staffer pulled over to make sure that the "something" was not an
animal, but to her horror, it was just that—a horribly injured hound dog who
was soaking wet, shivering, covered with lacerations, and unable to stand or
The tracking collar around the dog's
neck helped explain how he had wound up wandering along a highway: He had been
used for hunting. Hunters rarely treat their dogs any better than the animals
they take pleasure in killing. Countless hunting dogs are hit by cars when they
cross highways while tracking prey or when they become lost during hunts. Dogs
are frequently (and illegally) abandoned at the end of the season or when the
dog "won't hunt." Many hounds spend most of their lives chained up or confined to pens in all weather extremes, and
they are often trained with shock collars, which can cause burns and cardiac
fibrillation and turn dogs into confused, fearful, nervous wrecks.
As for this poor, suffering hound, PETA's
fieldworker gently loaded him into her van and quickly rushed him to an animal
shelter. The dog was taken to a veterinary clinic right away, where it was
determined that he had suffered a broken back and that euthanasia was the most
humane option for him.
Hunting hurts not only the animals targeted by this cruel blood sport but also the dogs hunters use as their
unwitting pawns. It's time to stop hunting for trouble.
Imagine having your ears crudely hacked off and then being
tossed outside to recover from your wounds as best you could without so much as
an aspirin to dull the pain. That appears to be what happened to a pit bull
puppy in Hampton, Virginia, and PETA is now desperately trying to find out who
inflicted the wounds in order to bring the perpetrator to justice.
After a concerned passerby spotted the injured puppy in a
yard without any shelter, her ears crusty, bloody, and obviously infected, the
person contacted PETA, and we in turn contacted animal control. But so far, all
we have been able to determine is that the puppy was apparently purchased from
a local breeder, who we believe inflicted the injuries. The puppy's owner was
ordered to provide her with vet care but allegedly refuses to divulge the
breeder's name, so we are offering up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest
and conviction of whoever hacked off the puppy's ears.
Home "crop jobs," in which scissors, knives, and
other sharp instruments are used to hack off pit bulls' ears to make them look "tough,"
are often associated with dogfighting.
Such procedures are illegal both because they violate anti-cruelty laws and
because they could be considered practicing veterinary medicine without a
license. Even if performed by a veterinarian, ear-cropping and tail-docking
are purely cosmetic (read: unnecessary) and cause extreme pain to the victims.
Cases like this one are not isolated incidents. Animal
abusers are usually repeat offenders, and studies show
that they often "progress" to committing violence against humans.
If you live in the Hampton Roads, Virginia, area and have any information about
this crime, please call PETA at 757-962-8370.
Written by Joe Taksel
When little Pokey's family moved away, they simply left the malnourished, close-to-death puppy in the yard like an old sofa—except that sofas don't get scared, go hungry or thirsty, or suffer and die when you turn your back on them, never to return.
Although Pokey was about 7 months old, she was as small as a 3-month-old pup, her growth stunted from bad food, inadequate rations, and illness. She was covered in mange so severe that she also suffered from a serious secondary infection, and her skin was painful, cracked, bleeding, and oozing pus. She was also loaded with intestinal parasites, ticks and fleas ravaged her body and sucked her blood, and she was suffering from anemia, her gums white as chalk.
Thankfully, a compassionate area resident reported Pokey to PETA. We immediately responded, snatched Pokey up, rushed her to the vet, and got her started on treatment for her multitude of health issues. In order to be taken outside, Pokey had to be wrapped in a blanket to avoid hurting her super-tender skin. The only way to show her any affection without hurting her was to kiss the tip of her nose.
Despite days of intensive treatment and being showered with love, Pokey's condition deteriorated, and the veterinarian said that the most humane option was to free the puppy from her suffering. One of her rescuers said: "I held the little girl until her last breath. She was very strong, but not strong enough to deal with the hand life dealt her."
PETA is pressing for criminal abandonment and cruelty-to-animals charges against Pokey's owners. If you hear of an animal in need, please don't let him or her suffer another minute. Call your local animal control agency or humane society, and if that doesn't work, contact PETA for help.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
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.