Written by PETA
For more than two decades, Odessa Animal Control has sold homeless cats to the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) for use in painful intubation exercises. A spokesperson for Odessa Animal Control has stated, "We don't have a problem with [selling cats to TTUHSC]. … We don't ask any questions."
If Odessa Animal Control did ask questions, it would learn that the cats are killed after hard plastic tubes are repeatedly forced down their throats and needles are stabbed into their chests—a fate that no animal guardian could bear hearing if his or her cat were the victim.
To share this disturbing information and urge local residents to push for changes in Odessa Animal Control's policy, we attempted to publish this ad in a local paper:
Unfortunately, our blog is the only place that you can see the ad because it was rejected by the paper. We aren't giving up so easily, though. By this time last year, cats had already been shipped off and killed at TTUHSC, but we recently confirmed that no animals have been sold or used in the procedures yet this year. Please help permanently end this cruelty today by urging Odessa Mayor Larry Melton and Odessa Animal Control to stop selling animals to Texas Tech and passing this along to everyone you know.
Written by Liz Graffeo
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
Amanda Huhman and Libby Burks are a dog-loving duo who rallied their community and helped the Central Missouri Humane Society win first place in Zootoo's national shelter-makeover contest. The girls collared folks in parking lots to ask them to go online to support the shelter, papered the city with posters and fliers, did radio appearances, and gave speeches to civic groups in order to earn Zootoo's top prize of up to $1 million. The prize will allow the Humane Society to make much-needed changes to the shelter, including better ventilation so that disease doesn't spread, an isolation room for sick animals, a separate area away from the dogs for stressed-out cats, room to accommodate more animals, and attention to a drainage problem that flooded the building last fall.
For their dedication to a worthy cause, the girls have been awarded our Compassionate Kid Award, and peta2 is sending them animal-friendly shirts and stickers.
Check out coverage from USA Today and the Columbia Daily Tribune about Amanda and Libby's big victory for animals. And tune in to their first episode of Animal Talk.
Written by Karin Bennett
With Disney's new animated feature Beverly Hills Chihuahua slated for release on Oct 3, animal defenders like your good homies here at PETA are readying our disaster-prevention tactics. While it's sure to be an adorable film, the fantasy world it portrays can have devastating unintended effects. Remember the live-action 101 Dalmatians movie and its sequel? Immediately after the films, there were enormous spikes in demand for spotted pups. In the months after the release of each film, the number of Dalmatians who were abandoned at animal shelters tripled throughout the country. They outnumbered every other breed in 1996. According to an animal-shelter official, someone would turn in a Dalmatian and tell the workers, "This dog didn't act like Pongo in the movie."
Apparently, watching professionally trained dogs perform adorable tricks gives some people the illusion that those breeds naturally behave that way—and then they can't wait to take one home. Unrealistic expectations like this can create a dangerous trend. The impulsive purchases that ensue mean that the dirty backyard-breeding market booms. Ultimately, animal shelters overflow. Now can you see why we're not so happy about this Chihuahua movie?
Disney has included a disclaimer on its Web site and at the end of the film about the lifelong responsibility of taking in an animal companion. Quite impressively, they even encourage people to adopt rather than purchase an animal. While this is sure to do some good, it isn't enough. Not everyone will visit the site, and very few people will stay through the credits of a kids' movie. There was time early on for Disney to put signs in movie theaters and speak out to urge people not to buy Chihuahuas—to let people know that if they do buy the cute little dogs, it means a death sentence for dogs in animal shelters.
Now, if you find yourself among the responsible animal guardians who simply must adopt a beautiful Chihuahua—or you have friends who'd like to—please visit petfinder.com to view a listing of the thousands of animals—including purebreds—who are sitting in your local animal shelters right now. You can search by breed in animal shelters across the nation—and help save quite a few lives in the process.
Written by Missy Lane
As you can imagine, PETA hears about lots of cases of cruelty to animals. For folks who love animals as much as we do, that's never fun, but we can't make things better if we bury our heads in the sand. Still, it takes a lot to really strike a nerve with us, but one recent case stands out.
Carrie Cagata, James Cullen, and Shannon Kraham of Fort Myers, Florida, have been charged with multiple counts of cruelty to animals and animal abandonment. Lee County deputies reportedly found more than 80 dogs, cats, and other animals who had been entrusted to the trio malnourished or dead. While that's awful, it's not entirely unusual (unfortunately), but this is: Cagata is the owner of My Best Friend Inc., a supposed animal rescue organization. Detectives are alleging that she adopted abandoned animals from animal shelters and then tried to sell them for a profit—if the animals didn't sell, the detectives claim, they were apparently shipped off to "the farm," where they were left to starve.
While starving and abandoning animals is horrible enough, to do so while allegedly pretending to be rescuing them is over-the-top hideous—and an insult to the wonderful people who operate legitimate rescue groups. We fired off a letter to the head of the felony division of the Florida attorney's office, demanding that this case be prosecuted vigorously.
The letter also stated, "On behalf of our thousands of members and supporters in Florida, we respectfully ask that, if convicted and in addition to serving a period of incarceration, the three defendants (and any codefendants later named) be required to undergo psychological evaluations followed by mandatory counseling at their own expense." You can read the full letter here.
Written by Jeff Mackey
Last week, we released our jaw-dropping investigation into a Hormel supplier. It didn't take long for more abuse of pigs to come to light. We recently learned of a situation that happened early this month when a truck carrying nearly 200 live pigs to a slaughterhouse overturned on the highway, trapping some pigs in the wreckage for hours. Approximately 65 pigs were killed by the impact, died from their injuries, or were killed at the site of the accident by responding workers, including employees of Murphy-Brown, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods Inc.
As if the trauma of the accident weren't enough, while workers were removing the surviving pigs from the scene in order to send them on to the horrors of the slaughterhouse, they pulled the terrified pigs by their ears and hit them in the face with tools that even the pork industry says should never be used to hit animals.
As Smithfield's neighbors, we're all too familiar with the grisly aftermath of truck crashes. These latest documented abuses clearly demonstrate that Smithfield's self-touted "industry-leading accident response program" is ignored by a number of Murphy-Brown's employees and ineffectively enforced by supervisors. Watch the video and decide for yourself whether Smithfield is full of hot air.
If you eat hot dogs, ham, sausage, or bacon, then you are supporting this suffering. These and other abuses are done in your name and on your dollar. Please make a conscious decision to turn up your nose at pork, because the best way to help these intelligent animals is to stop eating them.
Written by Christine Doré
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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.