Written by Jeff Mackey
Just what exactly is PETA doing to help combat the animal overpopulation crisis and provide vulnerable animals with assistance? This infographic breaks it
What You Can Do
Help animals in your neighborhood as well as low-income areas
get spayed and neutered, promote adoption from animal shelters instead of buying from breeders or pet stores, and demand appropriate
animal-care standards in your community.
Visit PETASaves.com for more information.
Written by Michelle Kretzer
my German shepherd-something-something-something mix, and I love our walks. I
let her choose which direction she wants to head in, and we ramble off in
search of new sights and smells.
matter which path strikes Hannah's fancy, we always seem to see other dogs out
for their evening strolls whose guardians act like it's a race to the end of
the block. When the dogs try to stop and sniff something, send some "pee-mail,"
or greet Hannah, their guardians sometimes yank them away and drag them down
the street. You can practically see the dog's nose twitching, trying
desperately to catch whatever interesting smells he or she can as their human rushes
along like a marathoner.
developed a little trick to use when Hannah starts to approach a dog or when
another dog wants to stop
and sniff near us: I say to her,
loud enough for the other guardian to hear, "OK, just say 'Hi' for a minute,"
and that's usually sufficient to spare the other dog a bad case of leash-lash. My
boss, who is equally irked by leash-lashers, takes a more direct approach. She
matter-of-factly says, "Can our dogs meet for a minute?" or "Why
don't we just let them sniff?"
When a friend of mine is out and sees anyone with a dog—although she doesn't
have one—she always stops and says, "Oh, what a beautiful, smart face!"
or "They love to be outdoors, don't they?" to get people to
appreciate their dogs and to remember how much walks matter to them. When
provoked, that friend can bite, too! Seeing someone dragging a dog along or
keeping a leash too tight, she will say to the guardian, "Boy, that dog
isn't allowed much fun on his walk, is he!"
approach works, I think we owe it to dogs to try to stop their guardians from yanking
them away from whatever they're interested in, denying them the social
interaction and ability to explore surroundings that they need and crave and
possibly even injuring them. When you consider that
a walk is the highlight of the day for most dogs, don't they deserve to enjoy
We all know by now that chaining or tying up dogs outside is cruel and dangerous, right? But if you're thinking that an "invisible
fence" is a safe way to give your dog some time outdoors, think again.
Like us, dogs are made of flesh and blood and nerve endings,
three things that don't mix well with electricity. Invisible fences deliver a
painful shock when dogs cross a buried electrical wire. There are collars that
do the same thing. Some are controlled by the owner, who keeps a remote-control
shocking device handy to be used whenever the owner feels that the dog has
misbehaved, while others shock automatically, triggered by barking. Beyond the
physical pain and the anticipatory fear that the shocks induce, these devices
can injure a dog both physically—from burns to cardiac fibrillation—and
psychologically, causing severe anxiety and displaced aggression.
Not understanding why or how they're being hurt, dogs
subjected to shock collars and invisible fences may direct their fear or
aggression toward what they believe is the source of the shock—which may be passing
bicyclists, the mail carrier, or your neighbors' children.
Punished for Coming
Has your dog ever recklessly bolted after a squirrel or in a
panic at a loud noise? Dogs often run right through invisible fences in the
heat of the moment, but to cross back over that line means that they'll get a
painful jolt—a prospect that leaves some too scared to return. And even if
invisible fences succeed in keeping animals contained within certain
boundaries, the nonexistent barrier certainly won't protect them from cruel
humans and roaming dogs or other animals who can easily come onto your
No dog should live in fear of getting shocked for barking or
crossing an invisible line. Real fences and positive training methods in which dogs are rewarded for good behavior are humane and effective. If you
want to give your dog a stimulating experience, throw a dog party instead!
It seems as if every
other week there's another horror story about an animal who has died or gone
missing during airline travel. The most recent one involves Xiaohwa, a
frightened cat who bolted when an employee opened her crate at John F. Kennedy
International Airport—she is still lost inside the building.
It's just not a good
idea to entrust our beloved animals to a system that we barely trust with our
shampoo and underwear.
Although some airlines do allow a limited
number of small animals to ride inside the cabin, many still think that animals should be
treated like baggage. The cargo hold of a plane is a loud, terrifying—and often
deadly—place. Because it isn't climate-controlled,
it can quickly become sweltering or freezing, putting animals at risk of dying from heatstroke or exposure.
So as the holiday
season approaches, many animal guardians are opting to take the scenic route
and drive to their destinations. Here are our top tips for traveling with animals to help make the trip smooth sailing:
Some people find that it's easier on animals
if they're allowed to stay at home in the care of trusted family members,
friends, or sitters. When your animal companions are staying at home, you will
want to do the following:
Happy holidays to
you and all your family members!
Tulsa, Oklahoma, resident William Lewallen is facing charges of child neglect, after police reportedly found his 4-year-old toddler locked outside, naked and crying, and his 18-month-old daughter locked inside a crate and covered with feces.
Although the children apparently showed no immediate, obvious signs of physical injury, PETA is sending the Tulsa District Attorney's Office a book containing some surprising facts about just how deleterious, phsyically and psychologically, crating can be to living beings: Dog in a Box (there's also Dogs Hate Crates).
Both books are the result of extensive research revealing that crated dogs suffer from loneliness, confusion, and fear and present case studies showing that when dogs are deprived of the social interaction, companionship, and exercise that they (and humans) need, the result can be myriad health and behavioral problems, such as aggression, withdrawal, hyperactivity, depression, eating disorders, separation anxiety, and muscle atrophy.
It's easy to see how someone could have suffered psychological torment while locked inside a crate.
PETA hopes that, if the charges against William Lewallen are proven, he gets to find out exactly how it feels to be locked up for a long time.
to barren, muddy pens with no protection from the elements, no food, and no
water, the nearly 70 dogs owned by Cajun Country "Ranch and Animal Rescue" in Wilburton, Oklahoma,
were struggling to survive. Their skin was stretched tightly over their rib
cages, and fleas and ticks had ravaged their bodies. The horses on the property
fared no better, their bones clearly visible. The bones of dead dogs lay piled
up like leaves, and more bones were scattered throughout the property.
PETA received a tip-off, we alerted local officials, who told us that they
shared our concerns. One of our contacts in the area was an expert on hoarding situations, and after
he surveyed the property for us, he confirmed our fears about the "rescue."
next day, armed with a warrant, police raided the property and arrested the
owners, Anne Marie and Shane Duhon. According to news reports when police entered the
couple's home, they found three children living in squalor. Animal feces
covered the house, including the children's beds, and cockroaches crawled
across the littered floor. Reportedly, the children were covered with bites
from fleas, ticks, and other insects. While the Department of Human Services
took the children to a safe location, a multitude of volunteers, mobilized by
PETA supporters in the area, came in with horse trailers and kennels and moved
all the animals to awaiting reputable rescues and animal
of the animals were so far gone that they needed to be euthanized. At
trial, the Duhons pleaded
guilty to child neglect and
cruelty-to-animals charges. They were put on probation for five years, banned
from having any animals during that time, and told that if they violated the
terms of their probation, they could face prison time.
While animal hoarding
behavior stems from a desire to "save" animals, hoarders' mental
illness causes them to keep amassing animals, and well-meaning people encourage
hoarders by giving them animals and/or money. They end up with far more animals
than they are capable of caring for—with disastrous, deadly consequences for
their victims. If you suspect that a local "rescue" is actually a
hoarder, alert animal control or PETA immediately.
We owe it to our animal companions to learn a little "dogese" or "catish," so here are the meanings of some of the most common animal behaviors:
Now that you're fluent in your animals' language, read up on how to be a great guardian.
Written by Guest Blogger
The following is a guest post from Brophie, who accompanies his guardian to PETA's Norfolk, Virginia, headquarters every day.
As a former "backyard dog," I spent many years outside in all weather extremes. I didn't receive the medical care I needed when I was sick or much of anything I needed, really—but what I craved the most was love.
Then my owner—during Hurricane Irene—left me in the backyard to fend for myself. When the fence blew away (yes, the wind was that strong), I managed to make my way to a fire station. Somehow, I knew that was the best place to go in an emergency. The wonderful firefighters called PETA, and soon I was here in the office, resting on a cushy bed. I received plenty of food, treatment for severe flea allergy dermatitis, and lots of ear scratches (those were what I enjoyed the most). A PETA Foundation staffer couldn't resist my handsome mug (could you?), so I finally learned how it feels to be part of a family.
Like you, we dogs are pack animals. We need our "pack" around us, to snuggle with us, play with us, take us for walks, and make us feel loved every day. I'm fortunate enough to experience all these things now, and I would love for all dogs to have these opportunities, too.
I also get to go to the PETA office every day, where I play with other smart people (dogs) in the PETA dog park and go for walks with my human. Of course, the calming influence of having dogs at work isn't appreciated in every office, so it's vital for guardians to go home on their lunch breaks or hire a well-recommended dog-walker to come by so those dogs don't have to sit "holding it" all day. They also get some essential mental stimulation and exercise. Having plenty of toys around helps, too—they keep our minds and bodies active. But what we really want—and need—is quality time with you, so please, when you come home, take us out for a long walk and play with us. Don't just go dashing off somewhere, leaving us to stare at the wall.
I've seen how the other half lives. And I can't tell you how much happier and healthier I am now that I have all the love and affection I could want.
PETA is urging the public to beware of PETCO's "Turtle
Relinquishment Program"—a deceptively named ploy to essentially solicit
free turtles from unsuspecting people in order to funnel them back into the pet
trade, through a meat farm!
Most states have laws either banning or restricting the sale of turtles, so it is likely that any you see at a pet store were captured illegally or raised in less-than-humane conditions.
Capitalizing on a recent rash of pet turtle–related cases of salmonella poisoning in humans, the shameless pet store chain—which has a terrible record already
when it comes to animal welfare—has announced that anyone can bring a turtle of any size to its stores. PETCO then ships
those turtles to its own vendor, Concordia Turtle Farm in Louisiana, which has said
that it will "treat" the turtles for salmonella.
Well, this might sound like a noble effort to some, but shipping
turtles is extremely stressful on them. And to add insult to injury, there really isn't any way to
rid reptiles of salmonella—they naturally carry it in their intestinal tract! What's more, what PETCO doesn't tell consumers, and what PETA
has learned, is that Concordia Turtle Farm exports 80 percent of its turtles
overseas—mostly to China, where they grow larger and are then slaughtered for
meat. Although it's unclear whether the relinquished turtles will end up on
Chinese plates, this business deal brings up several important questions. Why would PETCO ally itself with a
meat-trade supplier? And if it's "concerned" about human health, why is the company
selling turtles in the first place?
Living conditions during the trip from the breeder or dealer are typically cramped and unsanitary, and many reptiles do not survive the ordeal.
Please help keep turtles safe by urging the CEO of PETCO to
end this ghastly program and stop selling turtles altogether.
India Science Policy Adviser Dr. Chaitanya Koduri and his wife, Vidya, found Laila,
she was a terrified puppy alone on the streets of Mumbai. But after the couple
welcomed her into their home, giving her the care and affection that every dog deserves,
Laila blossomed into, as Dr. Koduri describes, "this beautiful, naughty
girl who will never get tired of playing. She needs to put her nose into anything
As you can see, Laila—showing her paws decorated with golden
turmeric—gladly joined in the family festivities on Ganesha Chaturthi, which celebrates the birthday of Lord Ganesha, the Hindu deity with the head of an elephant.
As Laila's story shows, people who offer homes to animals in
need not only save those animals' lives but also fill their own homes and
hearts with boundless love. Please never buy from breeders or pet shops—always
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.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
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.