Written by PETA
In case anyone needed another reason never to spend a cent at Petland or other stores that sell live animals, Animal Planet is airing a special report tonight showing how puppies suffer even before they end up in Petland stores. According to Animal Planet, an investigation of puppy mills that supply animals to Petland uncovered "more than 140 dogs housed in chicken-wire kennels, water bowls encrusted with mold and containing green water, … and one breeder's confession that she kills healthy dogs because of their less-than-stellar looks."
This appalling cruelty is business as usual at the hellholes that supply animals to Petland. At Sun Pet Ltd., a PETA undercover investigator recently found that animals were crammed en masse into tubs and that a worker bashed hamsters against a table in an attempt to kill them, among other horrors. At U.S. Global Exotics, another Petland supplier, PETA's investigator found that hundreds of thousands of animals were cruelly confined for days or weeks in pillowcases, shipping boxes, or soda bottles and that sick and injured animals were left in freezers to slowly die.
The only reason why animals continue to suffer for Petland and other stores is that people continue to buy them, so let's all get our friends and families to watch this important exposé with us on Animal Planet tonight at 10 p.m. EDT/PDT!
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
PETA has contacted officials at the Fort Worth Zoo (FWZ) to express our grave concerns about the well-being of frogs, snakes, and other animals at the facility's herpetarium—dubbed the "Museum of Living Art" (MOLA). We're urging them to immediately bring in qualified outside consultants to thoroughly review and evaluate the animals' care and living conditions.
Why are we worried? Because one of FWZ's animal caretakers at MOLA, Ari Flagle, as well as his supervisor, Mike Doss, were both intimately connected to U.S. Global Exotics, Inc. (USGE), from which more than 26,000 exotic animals were seized by authorities, thanks to PETA's undercover investigation.
Before Flagle started at FWZ, he was a supervisor at USGE, where our undercover investigator documented his abusive behavior toward animals and his blatant disregard for their suffering. Flagle intentionally left groups of animals to "die off" and mocked their agonizing deaths. These animals included an emerald tree boa who died after Flagle left the snake outside in the blazing sun and a group of ailing snakes he called "garbage." Here's a video of Flagle's "Worst Of" moments:
A new study that will probably leave you grimacing in frustration finds that mice make facial expressions when they're in pain.
We certainly didn't need any more evidence that these small animals are more than test tubes with whiskers and are capable of feeling pain and suffering. And it makes me wince to think about the horrible things they did to mice to elicit expressions like squeezed eyes and bulging cheeks that indicate "key signs of pain."
For the study, mice were videotaped as they suffered after experimenters injected different noxious chemicals into their abdomens, ankles and paws, placed them on hotplates, placed their tails in hot water, put metal binder clips on the tips of their tails, and performed various surgeries on them without administering pain relief after the operations.
While, if anything, the results should bolster the argument that these sensitive, intelligent animals suffer like we do and should not be used in experiments, it appears that the self-interested authors of the study instead want to use the results to create a "pain scale" that can be used as a measuring tool for, you guessed it, more pain experiments on mice.
World Science reports that the study's authors declined its request to republish photos from the study, for fear of "the inflammatory effect such pictures might have on animal rights activists." Gee, ya think? Luckily, WIRED published the heartbreaking photos here.
I hope this story inflames you enough to write to your Congressperson and urge him or her to support an amendment to the Animal Welfare Act to extend legal protections to the 100 million mice and rats who are languishing in U.S. laboratories and who currently receive absolutely no protection under the law.
Written by Alisa Mullins
The 13 kinkajous who were rescued from hellhole animal dealer U.S. Global Exotics (USGE) following PETA's investigation must be thinking that heaven is a place on Earth right about now.
Goodbye, cramped USGE prison …
Hello, spacious sanctuary!
These animals—along with many of the reptiles who were plucked out of USGE hell—were once confined to tiny, barren cages with nothing to climb and no space to play, but now they have been taken in by the good people at the Phoenix Herpetological Society and are enjoying room to play, multiple nesting areas, misting systems, fans, a pond with running water, and plenty of tree limbs to climb. The kinkajous spend their time playing, sleeping, and snacking on monkey biscuits soaked in fruit cocktail juice.
Don't you love a happy ending? I do! These sweet kinkajous lucked out, but many still need your help! To see what you can do, visit our Action Center.
Here's a beautiful—and lifesaving!—sight for the millions of animals who suffered at the hands of owners and employees of the international animal dealer warehouse formerly known as U.S. Global Exotics, Inc. (USGE):
Yep, that's right—just months after the PETA Files first gave readers a tiny glimpse into PETA's investigation of USGE, the multimillion-dollar business is closed, the filthy warehouse is up for sale, and USGE's former owner, Jasen Shaw, is on the lam! A federal arrest warrant is out for Shaw, alleging violations of the Lacey Act, a federal wildlife protection law enforced by the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service. Shaw and his wife, Vanessa, are believed to have fled the U.S. and may be hiding in their native New Zealand.
We can finally release additional videos, photographs, and investigation findings that offer even more insight into the hideous pet trade. Thanks to our findings, not one more snake, lizard, frog, sloth, wallaby, hamster, chinchilla, ferret, tortoise, or other animal will be imported from breeding mills or kidnapped from their natural homes to be shipped to USGE's filthy warehouse—and denied food, water, veterinary care, and fresh air; locked inside a filthy, crowded container; or frozen to death.
But millions of other animals are still suffering in the pet trade at hellholes such as Sun Pet—which purchased hamsters from USGE and then sold them to PETCO stores—and they need our help!
We can make a huge difference by urging our friends and family members never to buy animals from pet stores and letting PETCO and PetSmart know that we won't be spending so much as a dime in their stores until they stop selling all animals.
It's déjà vu all over again, and it'll probably have you wondering: What is PETCO thinking? Other than, "Hey, we can make some money!"
A PETA undercover investigator worked for more than three months at Sun Pet Ltd., an animal dealer in Atlanta that sells hamsters, mice, gerbils, birds, fish, and other small animals directly to PetSmart, PETCO, Pet Supplies "Plus," Petland, and Walmart. He documented that animals were cruelly killed, abusively handled, and kept in severely crowded, filthy conditions. Surprised?
PETA's investigator witnessed numerous abuses. A worker put hamsters in a plastic bag and bashed them against a table in an attempt to kill them. He also reported that many sick and injured animals died after PETCO and PetSmart stores returned them like damaged goods to Sun Pet without enclosing any food or water for the long journey, instead of providing them with veterinary care or ending their suffering.
PETA turned over the investigator's findings to law-enforcement authorities. This morning, officials descended on Sun Pet's massive warehouse.
Sun Pet sells hundreds of thousands of animals annually, just like U.S. Global Exotics (USGE), the exotic-animal dealer that PETA investigated late last year. That investigation resulted in the seizure of more than 26,000 animals, the largest animal seizure in history. (Perhaps also not surprisingly, Sun Pet has ties to USGE. Before that hellhole was raided and shut down, Sun Pet purchased hamsters from USGE and then sold them to PETCO stores, among others!)
This is PETA's fourth exposé revealing the abusive and filthy conditions endured by animals who are eventually sold at PETCO stores and our third exposé revealing conditions for animals who are eventually sold at PetSmart stores. Please tell PetSmart and PETCO in no uncertain terms to stop selling animals in their stores.
PETA investigations amply demonstrate that appalling neglect and abuse is just business as usual for companies that buy and sell living beings, so please tell your coworkers, friends, and everyone you know not to shop in their stores.
It's Earth Day, and because one of the most effective ways to fight climate change is to stop consuming animal flesh and other food ingredients derived from animals, we want to know what actions you are taking to help others realize that "meat's not green." Tell us about your efforts in the comment section, and you might score the eco-chic "Tofu Never Screams" tote as well as PETA's reusable, BPA-free water bottle.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Happy Earth Day!
Written by Karin Bennett
PETA's Cruelty Investigations Department is pushing hard to ensure that, if he is convicted, a West Virginia pet-store owner currently facing felony cruelty-to-animals charges never gets within arm's reach of an animal again.
Authorities reportedly found lots of dead animals, including kittens, a dog, a reptile, mice, and rats, during a search of 27-year-old Aaron Ashley's Pets Plus store in Fairmont, West Virginia, on February 9. Ashley allegedly chose to kill them via hypothermia when they got sick! He is also accused of starving animals and knowingly selling puppies infected with parvovirus, which is often deadly.
How many more examples does anyone need of the disgusting practices that are being unearthed in the backrooms at pet stores and animal dealers: Animals are bashed against floors and walls, stomped on, drowned, put into the freezer alive, and denied food, water, and even basic medical treatment for illness and injury. In 2008, a PETA undercover investigator videotaped a Fairfax, Virginia, Petland employee scooping live rat pups into a plastic bag and slowly freezing them to death. And at U.S. Global Exotics in Arlington, Texas, a few months ago, PETA's undercover investigator found that employees killed hundreds of sick, injured, and dying animals the same way.
And while this lot turns a buck churning out more animals, millions of dogs and cats die in animal shelters for lack of a good home. Please fight this cruelty by never buying anything from stores that sell animals, always adopting animals from shelters, and opening other people's eyes.
Eden II, a Staten Island school for autistic children, recently lost some electronics and rubber duckies to burglars, but it's the theft of Star, the school's hamster, that has students crying and losing sleep.
In an effort to nix any notion about getting a "replacement" for Star, our TeachKind reps have reached out to Eden II officials, offering to replace the classroom hamster with Webkinz, a humane alternative to live classroom animals that combines toys and technology to allow kids to care for adopted friends online. With Webkinz, kids learn responsibility and kindness without subjecting an animal to possible neglect or abuse.
We are also providing the school with information about pet shop cruelty, because most of the exotic animals in pet shops come from filthy warehouses such as U.S. Global Exotics (USGE), where an undercover PETA investigation revealed shocking neglect and cruelty. Hamsters, prairie dogs, lizards, turtles, frogs, and hedgehogs were kept for weeks packed into cattle-watering troughs, cardboard boxes, and plastic bottles, and countless animals were deprived of food, water, light, and ventilation. There was no veterinary care for countless sick and injured animals, who instead were simply left in freezers to die or carelessly tossed into a waste bin. Fortunately, PETA's investigation resulted in the permanent removal of more than 26,000 mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and arachnids from USGE—but our fight against this kind of common cruelty continues.
Will Eden II officials accept our offer and decide to ban live animals from their classrooms? I sure hope so. After all, I believe that Star would never wish his frightening fate on another helpless animal.
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
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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.