Written by Michelle Kretzer
We can now add Suffolk, Virginia, to the growing list of
cities that recognize that dogs deserve better than life on a chain—something that
PETA has been advocating for a long time.
In January, when Suffolk Council Member Mike
Duman initially proposed a tethering ban, he met with resistance. But two short months
later, the council voted to ban chaining completely. How did this reversal
wrote to council members and got our friend the comedian Wanda Sykes, who is from Virginia,
to do the same. Daphna
Nachminovitch, our vice president of cruelty
investigations, raised awareness about the issue by writing a blog for a local
And we asked Alice Conner to share with the
council the story of her 2-year-old
cousin who was killed by dogs in Suffolk who
became aggressive after being chained for
Local PETA members and residents also
weighed in. And our message got through loud and clear.
Community Animal Project staff members receive more calls
about abused and neglected chained dogs in Suffolk than in any other area
surrounding the Sam Simon Center, our Virginia headquarters. As of September 1,
2013, Suffolk residents who do this to their dogs will face fines!
We thank Mike Duman, Alice Conner, Wanda
Sykes, and all the other compassionate people who helped make the Suffolk
tethering ban a reality. Now, with the help of Sykes and
actor Patton Oswalt,
we are working with Newport
News, one of the two remaining
cities in the region that still don't restrict or ban chaining, to improve
living conditions for its dog population.
If you would like to help get a chaining ban passed
in your hometown, we offer a wealth of resources.
Written by Jeff Mackey
Sykes—one of the funniest people on the planet, in my opinion—has taken on a very unfunny issue: dogs left chained up
outside. Like fellow Southeastern Virginia native and comedian Patton Oswalt, Wanda has sent letters on PETA's behalf to Newport News and Suffolk city officials, urging them to pass legislation against continuous tethering
similar to ordinances enacted in neighboring towns, including Hampton, Virginia Beach, Smithfield, Sykes'
hometown of Portsmouth, and PETA's hometown of Norfolk.
In her letters, Wanda explains that chained dogs—like the three pit bulls discovered
by PETA cruelty caseworkers in Newport News in December—are often denied adequate shelter and suffer from loneliness,
frustration, and neglect. One of those dogs had already died of starvation, and the two survivors were malnourished
and had no access to food or water (PETA has filed cruelty charges against the
As a mother, Wanda also expresses concern that chained dogs are
more likely to become aggressive than dogs who live indoors with their human
families, as evidenced by the tragic case of a toddler in Suffolk who was mauled to death by his family's chained dogs. Chaining also sends the
dangerous message to children that dogs are disposable objects to be tossed out in the backyard and forgotten when they become inconvenient.
What You Can Do
If chaining is still permitted in your community, please
follow Wanda's example and encourage
your local officials to enact a tethering ban. You can also help by sponsoring a custom doghouse to be built and delivered to provide a dog with relief from extreme weather.
Written by PETA
In case you forgot how smart, social, and absolutely adorable pigs are, meet Sherlock. Found wandering down a rural road in Suffolk, Virginia, this little guy was captured and taken to the local animal shelter:
When he was found, Sherlock was still a baby, but he was already castrated and his tail had obviously been docked. That means that this plucky little piglet likely fell off a truck headed to a growing/finishing barn—which is what the piggy flesh industry calls the factories that are used to fatten up little pigs like Sherlock for slaughter. On factory farms, piglets are taken away from their moms when they are less than 1 month old. Workers cut off their tails, clip their teeth with pliers, and castrate the males—all without painkillers. The animals spend their entire lives in extremely crowded pens on tiny slabs of filthy concrete. It gets even more heartbreaking when you factor in the abuse that these animals face: A recent undercover investigation of an Iowa pig factory farm, which supplies piglets to Hormel, documented that workers beat pigs with metal rods and sexually abused them with canes.
When one of our fieldworkers saw the headline about Sherlock in the Suffolk paper, she immediately went to work to find this guy a wonderful home. Click here to see how Sherlock's story ends!
Written by Amy Elizabeth
Late last year, one of PETA's fieldworkers answered a request for a PETA dog house, and she spotted Buxton—then just 8 weeks old—hobbling down the road by himself. When she went to pick him up, he screamed in pain and wet himself. It turns out that his harness had become embedded and had caused deep gashes under his arms and across his chest—the wounds reeked of infection and were oozing pus.
Knocking on neighborhood doors didn't turn up anyone who knew the pup, so PETA's fieldworker, Misty, rushed him to an emergency veterinary hospital where the harness was cut away and his wounds were treated. The vet estimated that the harness had been cutting into Buxton's body for at least two weeks.
Following a lead, our field staff eventually did find Buxton's "owners"—a mother and son—and they told us to keep him. We filed charges against them, of course, and in April, Catina Beasley and Calvin Holland were found guilty of cruelty to animals. They have both been permanently barred from owning animals, and Holland was ordered to pay a $100 fine and nearly $400 in restitution for Buxton's medical care.
As for Buxton? Here he is with his new family:
Of course, not all dogs are as lucky. Our case workers are deluged with calls. Animals are poisoned, beaten, starved, and neglected—some have even have their mouths duct-taped shut for "barking too much." Cats and dogs are put into microwaves, dismembered, sexually assaulted, hanged, set on fire, bludgeoned, buried alive, and otherwise tortured and killed. Please do something to help, and be an advocate for them all. Being heartbroken doesn't cut it. If you suspect that an animal is being neglected or you witness cruelty to animals, don't hesitate: Report it to your local law-enforcement agency immediately and follow up until it's resolved.
Following another outbreak of bird flu in Suffolk, 22,000 turkeys in four different sites were killed last week as a precaution to try and prevent the spread of the disease. The spread of bird flu, which is proving to be a very serious threat to the poultry industry and to humans who eat birds, is the direct result of the stressful, filthy, cramped conditions that chickens and turkeys are raised in on factory farms, and when it causes a major scare as it is currently in the UK, the corporations that run these farms act like it’s the biggest surprise in the world.
Setting that aside for a moment, here’s PETA’s handy, pocket-sized guide to preventing bird flu. Be sure to share it with your friends and family!
And here are some pics from PETA UK’s demonstration in Ipswich yesterday. Good stuff.
Against the wishes of a number of concerned residents—and probably quite a few bears—a federal judge allowed a bear hunt to go forward this week in a wildlife preserve in Hampton Roads, Virginia, near where PETA is based. Hunters from all over the area converged on Monday to violently kill bears in the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. As it turns out, bears are better at surviving in swamps than jackasses, and not a single animal was shot, according to yesterday's Virginian Pilot, though one hunter did get lost within 50 yards of a road and had to call 911. A fleeting victory, perhaps, but a victory nonetheless. Nice work, bears.
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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.