Written by PETA
Dawn Forsythe was just a young girl in the 1950s when her dad, Arthur, got a job at the Detroit Zoo training chimpanzees to perform in shows. She grew up with the chimpanzees and was allowed behind the scenes of the shows, where the animals were housed and trained. She recalls holding the hand of a chimpanzee and thinking of him as her sibling.
Even though Dawn's father was abusive to her and her family, she never saw the connection between their home life and his job, and she loved going to the chimpanzee performances. Then someone saw Arthur throw a chimpanzee against the wall, like he had done to Dawn's mother, and Dawn wondered how many times Arthur had abused the animals as well. Many years later, as an adult, Dawn wanted to tell her firsthand account of the link between cruelty to animals and cruelty to humans and the abusive ways in which chimpanzees are trained to perform. You can read the rest of her story here.
Fortunately, zoos in the United States have stopped their chimpanzee performances. But the animals are still abused and made to perform, such as in current commercials for CareerBuilder. Please don't patronize companies that abuse chimpanzees in this way, and instead choose animal-friendly companies, such as Monster.
Outside CareerBuilder's Chicago headquarters, PETA members tell the company to stop abusing chimpanzees.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
Earlier this month, the Detroit Zoo—a progressive facility with a compassionate history—welcomed more than 1,100 of the nearly 27,000 animals who were seized from the hellish exotic-animal warehouse of U.S. Global Exotics (USGE) by Arlington, Texas, officials. But that wasn't all the zoo did! Its staff came to the animals' rescue within days of the seizure, flying from Detroit to Dallas and working around the clock at a temporary rescue facility. Several weeks later, many of the animals—including five wallabies, four sloths, three agoutis, two ring-tailed lemurs (who had spent years in a tiny cage at USGE), two coatimundis, and hundreds of reptiles, spiders, and amphibians—made the trip to Detroit, where they are under quarantine before being released into habitats that may not be their native homes, but are the next best thing.
The animals were seized on December 15 following PETA's undercover investigation inside USGE, where tens of thousands of sick and injured animals were being denied food, water, and care. Since the raid—which was more than two months ago—USGE has not bought or sold a single animal, and just last month, a second judge ruling on an appeal affirmed that none of the animals would be returned to USGE. The decision ensures liberation from the clutches of the greedy pet trade for those who would've ended up on the shelves of pet shops like PetSmart and PETCO.
Until the profit-hungry PETCOs and PetSmarts of the world stop selling animals—all of whom come from cruel suppliers like USGE—the misery will continue. By shunning all pet stores that sell live animals and telling all your friends and family members to do the same, you can help prevent more abuse of those who have no voice of their own.
Written by Logan Scherer
In March, we let you know that three lions and two tigers who had been held captive in Kansas in what was essentially a junkyard had been released and put into the care of authorities. In case you've repressed memories of what these animals were subjected to for years, here's a reminder:
PETA first learned of the big cats' plight in May 2008. After working on the case for nearly a year, we were finally able to secure their release from this decrepit prison. Because it would never be possible to release the animals into the wild, we immediately launched a search to find them suitable homes. The Detroit Zoo (a progressive zoo that accepts wildlife in need) stepped forward and offered to house all three lions, while the CPT Sanctuary in North Carolina gave the tigers a place to roam. The contrast with their former dilapidated cages is striking.
After Nitro was moved into the sanctuary, staffers discovered that he may be partially blind. In order to help him adapt, they will add various scents and substrates to his enclosure to help him locate the boundaries of his new home.
The lions now have space to roam around and a series of vertical rocks and ledges where they can hang out and survey the landscape. Even better, the Detroit Zoo recently announced plans to double the size of its enclosure, allowing the lions more expansive terrain and enabling the zoo to provide the animals with the psychological enrichment that they deserve.
Written by Liz Graffeo
It's been almost a year in the making, but three lions and two tigers in Kansas will soon be on their way to new homes after PETA pressured local authorities to act. We were first alerted to the big cats' plight back in May 2008, when a passerby informed us that the animals were being kept in what essentially amounts to a junkyard. Behold, the "Prairie Cat Animal Refuge" in all its splendor:
In June, we sent a team of exotic-animal experts to assess the situation, and their reports were included in the local sheriff's case, which recommended that charges be filed against the cats' "owner" and that authorities take custody of the animals. Unfortunately, the case encountered reams of politically-charged red tape. Then, last month, a man "under the influence" who was working and staying at a so-called "hotel" on the property (it's called the "Free Breakfast Inn"—infer what you will from that), wandered up to the cages and was promptly bitten by a lion. That incident, while not so good for the man (he was hospitalized for surgery on his arm), finally galvanized the authorities into action.
In the meantime, PETA was lining up homes for the animals to be taken to once they were given a clean bill of health: The Detroit Zoo (a progressive zoo that closed its elephant exhibit for humane reasons and has provided a home for numerous rescued exotic animals, including one of the Suarez polar bears) has agreed to take all three lions, and the tigers will go to Carnivore Preservation Trust, a sanctuary in North Carolina. The zoo is covering all expenses for testing and transporting the lions, while PETA is covering the cost of testing and transporting the tigers. That cost is estimated at $3,000. We're hoping that the animals will be moved at the end of the month—we'll keep you posted.
So there you have it—the latest installment of "Your PETA Dollars at Work." Just doin' our job, folks.
Written by Alisa Mullins
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
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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.