Written by Jeff Mackey
Ever wondered what it's like to take part in one of PETA's undercover investigations? Tune in to the Discovery
Channel tonight, January 28, at 8 p.m. Eastern time for an episode of Extreme Smuggling that shines a light on
the trafficking of exotic and endangered wildlife and the investigative work that's
crucial to fighting this cruel and illicit trade in living beings.
The program will feature PETA Senior Vice President of
Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch, who will discuss PETA's seven-month undercover
investigation of a massive international wholesale dealer of exotic animals, U.S. Global
Exotics, Inc. (USGE). PETA's investigation led to the immediate closure of USGE, the largest animal seizure in U.S. history, and the pursuit of USGE's owner Jasen Shaw on federal charges of smuggling, conspiracy, and aiding and abetting. Shaw
remains a wanted fugitive.
Hundreds of thousands of animals of all kinds were cruelly
confined, severely crowded, and denied basic necessities such as food, water,
space, heat, and veterinary care during their time in USGE's filthy warehouse. Most
animals' ultimate destination was stores such as PetSmart and
PETCO, massive commercial chains that sell wild animals stolen from their
native homes, imported into the U.S. from breeding warehouses overseas, or bred and sold by massive
mills such as Atlanta-based Sun
Pet and Rainbow World Exotics, a Texas-based dealer that bought animals from USGE and supplied animals to
PETCO and PetSmart stores.
PETA's investigation led to the rescue of more than 26,000 animals from the USGE hellhole.
What You Can Do
Animals sold by PetSmart, PETCO, and other pet stores are
wild-caught or bred in horrific
conditions, leaving countless animals to endure a miserable life in captivity, deprived of
all that is natural and important to them. Please buy your animal-care supplies
only from stores that do not sell any live animals.
Update: Great news! The hellhole
formerly known as "Angel's Gate, Inc.," has been shut down for good!
PETA provided evidence that Angel's Gate had persistently failed to comply with
reporting laws for nonprofits, the New York Attorney General's Office filed
suit to dissolve Angel's Gate for receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars
each year in donations without accounting for any of those funds, in alleged
violation of state law.
lawsuit's settlement prohibits Angel's Gate founder Susan Marino from caring
for or harboring any animals other than her own “pets” and from being an officer or a
director of an
organization that holds charitable funds for 10 years. The settlement also requires
that Angel's Gate provide all outstanding financial reports. The documents are
to be closely examined to determine whether the money that well-meaning people
sent to the organization was ever actually used to help animals or instead was
PETA's undercover investigation of the Delaware County, New
York, facility found shocking, systemic, severe, and fatal neglect of ailing
and debilitated animals—but now, no animal will ever suffer again at Angel's
Gate, as Tuxie,
Malcolm, Scrappy, Mimi, Casey, Marley, Lexus, and countless others did over the years.
Originally posted on November 7th, 2012:
some good news to report about the criminal prosecution of Angel's
Gate founder Susan Marino on cruelty-to-animals
charges following PETA's undercover
investigation of the misery-filled hoarder warehouse, which posed as a "hospice and
rehabilitation center." On November 7, Kortright, New York, Town Justice Yvonne Pagillo prohibited Marino from having any animals for six months, during which
time the case is adjourned.
Since August 29, Marino and Angel's Gate have been banned
from taking in any more animals or contributions, thanks to a lawsuit brought
against them by the New York State Attorney General's Office. Let's hope the
lawsuit's resolution shuts down Angel's Gate for good and that this hellhole's
finances will be gone through with a fine-tooth comb for evidence of misuse of
Angel's Gate is not the only hellhole at which PETA
investigators found suffering, death, and cruel conditions. Caboodle Ranch,
Inc., was also a self-proclaimed "sanctuary" with a website that gives
well-meaning people a false impression. Please help ensure that not another
hard-earned dollar goes to cause, not
relieve, animal suffering by urging
the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to cancel the ability of Caboodle Ranch to solicit contributions.
Next month, thousands
of bullocks, ponies, and horses in India will soon be forced to walk and run as
far as 150 miles, hauling carts full of families and goods to the annual Chinchali Fair. Along the way, some of them will collapse from exhaustion, injuries,
dehydration, and despair. Others will try to soldier on, enduring injuries from
the heavy yoke, increasing lameness, and the sting of the whip.
Rahat, an organization of veterinarians and relief workers funded by PETA, plans to set
up stations along the route to and from the four-day fair to bring some measure
of relief to animals in distress—and the group needs your help.
The attention that each animal will receive from Animal Rahat
may prove crucial. The veterinarians will bandage wounds, provide water and food,
adjust or replace harnesses and straps that are causing pain, demand rest for
those who are faltering, and give medical treatment to animals who would otherwise
lack the most basic care.
Have you ever had someone offer help at a moment when you needed
it most? Making a gift to Animal
Rahat is the perfect way to pay it forward—and with the fair only weeks away, now's
Written by Michelle Kretzer
The strain of months of neglect showed
on the horses' emaciated frames and in their sunken eyes. Confined to muddy
pens that had long since been grazed out, they could only stare at the grass
out of reach beyond the fence. They continually checked their dry water
troughs, hoping that the rainy Washington weather would leave them a sip of water. Two
dogs on the property fared no better. They waited listlessly for the once-a-week
drop-by from their owner, when they would finally get to eat.
People who lived near the property where
the animals were kept had called law enforcement time and again to report that
the seven horses and the dogs
were being neglected.For months, officials had been trying to get the
animals’ owner to improve their living conditions, but the situation was
getting worse. Finally, a neighbor called PETA and, at our urging, law
enforcement seized all the animals. Several community
residents stepped up to foster the horses and help them recover and the local animal shelter took in the dogs. A
confirmed that one of
them was a full 40 pounds underweight.
Now, the horses and dogs are eating well and regaining
their strength. And PETA is working with
the district attorney to get cruelty charges filed against the animals' neglectful
owner and we will push for the court to ban her from owning any more animals.
you mess with bears, sometimes you get hurt. Of course, PETA's
"bear" didn't actually harm a hair on the heads of the animal abusers
at Chief Saunooke Bear
Park (CSBP) during a protest last weekend, but he and about two dozen of his friends
did bite back against the cruelty at the vile roadside zoo.
protest comes less than a week after the release of the findings of our undercover investigation of CSBP that unearthed evidence of systemic neglect and abuse of bears
(including shooting and eating one of
them), threats of violence, illegal drug use, sexual harassment, and racism by the park's staff. We are calling for the closure of the hellish bear
pits and the seizure of the surviving animals.
If you didn't make it to the demonstration, don't worry—you
can still help the bears suffering at CSBP by asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture to confiscate all animals from the shabby roadside zoo immediately and place
them in a suitable sanctuary.
A driver on a rural highway in Ohio spotted
a dog lying on the side of the road. She stopped her car and got out to check on
the dog but couldn't tell much about her condition, other than that she
appeared to be breathing. The driver called PETA but unfortunately hadn't
contacted local police or animal control and had left the scene instead of staying
until help arrived.
PETA immediately contacted local
authorities, but we were told that they had just one officer on duty, who would
check on the dog "when he has time." So we sought help from our most
valuable resource: our
members. After a few phone calls and e-mails, we found a young woman, Jess, who was
willing to drive the two hours from her home to go to the dog's aid.
When Jess found the pup, she was no
longer lying by the roadway. Instead, she was running in the neighborhood
nearby—and she wasn't alone. A male dog, who was likely trying to mate with her, was now at her side, and he growled every time Jess tried to approach.
Undaunted, Jess began knocking on doors in the area and finally located the
male dog's guardian. With the other dog safely out of the way, Jess could now try
to catch the stray, but the wily dog kept dodging her. With night closing in,
Jess knew she had to go home and try again in the daylight.
Before setting out again, Jess borrowed
a trap from animal control and baited it with tempting food. The starving dog
likely hadn't had a decent meal in days, and she was quickly lured into the
trap—and into Jess' waiting arms. Jess took the pup to the local animal shelter,
and as she headed back to her home, she was content in knowing that with just a
few hours of her time, she had helped a forgotten dog get a chance at a home of her own.
Can PETA call on you when an animal is
suffering in your area? Join
PETA's Action Team to help save animals when they need you most.
In August 2012, PETA was contacted by a whistleblower who had
been volunteering for several months as an animal care assistant for a licensed
wildlife rehabilitator operating out of her Florida home. Cruelty Investigations
Department staffers urged the whistleblower to document her report that ill, injured, and
orphaned wild animals taken into the home were living in utter squalor and that
the rehabilitator left animals to languish without food or water.
The shocking conditions depicted in footage taken by the
whistleblower over the course of three weeks included the following:
PETA alerted state and federal wildlife officials, sparking
an investigation whose findings corroborated the whistleblower's reports and led
to the confiscation of numerous suffering turtles, tortoises, and birds.
With PETA pushing for action, the Florida
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission filed 23 charges against the rehabber for animal neglect, improper animal housing, and
unsanitary conditions. The state attorney's office also charged her with one
count of maintaining wildlife in unsanitary conditions.
Following a plea bargain, the woman
ceased the pretense of rehabilitating animals, and the survivors were removed
from her care for release back into the wild or transfer to other facilities
better equipped to meet their needs.
Even well-meaning animal rescuers can become overwhelmed.
Worse, many out-of-control hoarders use rescue as a pretext, causing massive suffering for the animals who fall
into their hands. If you become aware of animals suffering in a supposed rescue
or rehab facility, please document conditions with a camera or camera phone and
report the perpetrators to
It's a happy new year for ducks and geese after Great Britain's House of Lords pulled foie gras from its restaurant menus. PETA U.K. had
appealed to the lords, pointing out that it was entirely inappropriate to be
serving a dish that is so cruel that it is illegal to produce in the U.K. Baroness Young
of Hornsey responded by saying, "Just as we do not tolerate cruelty to
dogs or cats, so we should reject inflicting pain and suffering on birds."
In the foie gras farm exposé that he narrated for PETA, Sir Roger Moore explains that workers ram hard metal pipes down ducks'
and geese's throats several times a day and force-feed them grain, causing
their livers to swell to up to 10 times their normal size. The pipes sometimes
puncture the birds' throats, and many animals suffer from ruptured internal
organs, fungal and bacterial infections, and liver failure. Those who survive
the traumatic force-feeding process are slaughtered, and their diseased livers
are sold as a "delicacy." This is obviously a highly traumatic,
recurring experience for the birds, who stop grooming and withdraw, shaking,
into the far reaches of their pens if they can.
The House of Lords
joins countless other high-profile British venues in banning foie gras from the
menu, including the House of Commons, the Royal Shakespeare Company, Wimbledon,
Lord's Cricket Ground, high-end retailer Harvey Nichols, and all the residences
of His Royal Highness Prince Charles.
When a young couple on vacation in
Florida decided to take a leisurely afternoon stroll through a park, they had
no idea that they were about to save a life. But that's exactly what happened.
The pair came upon a duck sitting in the grass who didn't attempt to waddle away or even stand up as they
neared. On closer inspection, they saw why. The duck's left leg was broken and
was dangling limply from his body. Unable to move, he stared helplessly up at
The couple called PETA for help, and we
quickly contacted a reputable
wildlife rehabilitator nearby. The rehabilitator rushed to the park while the couple waited with the
duck. Within an hour of the couple's worried phone call, the injured duck was
out of harm's way and headed to get help.
Often, saving an animal's life is just
HBO canceled its troubled horse-racing
series Luck amid PETA's protests over horse deaths on the set, and the bad luck
continues for the show's creators. Now HBO and the show's producer, Stewart
Productions, have been hit
with a lawsuit charging that they willfully allowed horses to be abused and attempted to cover
Paolo Camera | cc by 2.0
plaintiff in the suit is Barbara Casey, who worked for the American Humane
Association (AHA) and was assigned to monitor animal welfare on the set of Luck. In her claim Casey asserts that HBO and Stewart Productions pressured the AHA to allow them to ignore
animal safety standards in order to save time and money. Casey alleges that she
balked at the idea but that her superiors sided with the show and ignored her
desire to report abuse to law enforcement. Casey's claim also alleges that
underweight and sick horses were routinely forced to work, that horses were
often drugged, and that producers went so far as to misidentify horses so that
animal safety representatives wouldn't be able to track down their accurate
medical histories. Casey is also suing the AHA for wrongful termination on the grounds that her desire to report the criminal activity led to her dismissal.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Casey's lawsuit
argues that "AHA bowed to political and
financial pressure and refused to report the Production Defendants' conduct to
the authorities. … AHA instructed Plaintiff not to report such conduct. AHA
engaged in efforts to conceal and cover up the production defendants' criminal activities."
law-enforcement investigation that PETA pushed for is still ongoing as well and
could result in cruelty-to-animals charges.
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.