Written by PETA
With the passing of Sen. Edward Kennedy, animals—and the people who care about them—have lost an outstanding advocate and friend.
In his more than four decades in the Senate, Kennedy proved to be a strong voice for the protection of animals. Animal-friendly legislation championed by Sen. Kennedy included bills to curtail the overuse of antibiotics on farmed animals, end commercial whaling and the illegal trade in whale meat, prevent the slaughter of horses in North America, validate non-animal methods for testing products and chemicals, and raise the penalty for forcing dogs, roosters, and other animals to fight to the death from a misdemeanor to a felony.
In recent years, Sen. Kennedy's own dogs, Splash and Sunny, were constant presences to Capitol Hill, and Kennedy authored a children's book from Splash's viewpoint called My Senator and Me: A Dog's-Eye View of Washington, D.C. In the wake of evacuations following Hurricane Katrina, during which people were often forced to leave beloved companions behind, Sen. Kennedy co-sponsored the PETS Act, calling for disaster plans to include animals. "I wouldn't leave the house without Sunny and Splash," he said. "It's no surprise that so many people in New Orleans flat-out refused to be rescued if they couldn't take their pets with them."
As a tribute to this extraordinary man, let us keep his love of animals alive and carry on his legacy of helping them by practicing kindness and compassion toward all animals every day. For more information and ideas, please visit HelpingAnimals.com.
Written by Shawna Flavell
We're disappointed to report that, although the Obamas had publicly expressed their intention to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue group, they have instead accepted a Portuguese water dog as a gift from Sen. Ted Kennedy.
Let us be clear: The new first dog, Bo, is not a rescue. While he was returned to the breeder by his first owners, that subtle point is missing from or buried in most news reports and is no doubt lost on the masses of people who will be lining up at pet shops and demanding "Obama puppies." These puppies will eventually lose their appeal, once people get tired of taking care of them, but because most pet shops and many breeders don't take "returns," guess where those unwanted "Obama puppies" are going to end up? At extremely crowded, overworked shelters like D.C.'s Washington Humane Society (WHS).
Speaking of which, the Obamas have promised to make a donation to WHS, which is great, but, as we told the President in a letter we sent today, WHS doesn't need his money as much as it needs his business (i.e., going in and adopting a shelter animal)—and the business of all the people who do what Obama did just because he did it.
The Obamas can't undo their missed opportunity to set a great example for Americans by adopting a shelter dog, but they can still set another important example: They can arrange for the first dog to become the last dog in his lineage by having him neutered. We've offered up our mobile clinic's services for the first "snip" and will let you know if the President takes us up on our offer.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Update: We are glad to report that Bo has been fixed, and we hope that the Obamas will publicly stress the importance of spaying and neutering. We also hope that they will encourage people to adopt mutts—lots of mutts are "hypo-allergenic," and, best of all, saving their lives is also good for your heart.
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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.