Written by Michelle Kretzer
For 34 years, Sally and her guardian
were together nearly every day. The loving man doted on his horse, keeping her
well cared for and giving her the run of his property.
But Sally's age was catching up with
her. Her once-sparkling brown eyes had completely lost their sight, she was
losing weight, and her movements were becoming more and more laborious. Even
though Sally could no longer see the man she loved, she could still hear his
voice, and she came to him whenever he called. It was a daily struggle for the
man to watch Sally deteriorate. He feared that she would get worse before her
aging body finally quit, but he was also scared to call her veterinarian and end her suffering.
When PETA received a concerned call
about the horse from someone who had gone past the property, we called to speak
to Sally's guardian. The gentleman was practically in tears over his beloved
horse. He knew that the coming winter would make life even harder for Sally, but
he agonized every day over the decision to end her suffering.
PETA's caseworker knew that the man
needed help letting Sally go. She explained what he already knew—that Sally was
no longer comfortable in her body, that her quality of life was significantly
diminished, and that he was going to have to be strong for her now.
It seemed to be what the man needed to
hear. He gathered his strength, called his veterinarian, and lovingly said
goodbye to his precious Sally. PETA called to check on him, reassure him, and
comfort him during his loss.
goodbye to our animal family members is heartbreaking, for sure. But when the end comes, we have to love them enough
to endure the pain so that they don't have to.
We've learned, haven't we, when you are
told "You're a winner!" that there's some fine print and a catch. The
same is true with the magic words that imply that dogs and cats are winners,
too: "no kill"! Here, too, there is fine print, and it can be much
more damaging than finding that you are being billed for a subscription you
didn't want. The fact is that many limited-admission shelters, now often given
the great-sounding, dressed-up title "no-kill shelter," actually hurt animals every single day. Not necessarily the ones they take in,
who may or may not be well cared for, but rather, the ones they don't. The
animals someone else has to decide what to do with or who just end up abandoned
or worse when the "no-kill" shelter is full, as it inevitably
These glorious-sounding shelters generally
turn away many more
animals than they accept, picking, choosing, and admitting only the youngest,
healthiest, prettiest, and most adoptable, if any, because on most days, they
will tell all comers, "We're full." The rest are sent away to suffer
on the streets or to be left in the hands of people who don't want them. Some "no-kills" do accept
animals when they shouldn't, by which I mean when their facilities are already
crammed beyond capacity, subjecting all of the shelter's tenants to crowded, unsanitary
conditions, illness, and often a painful death from parvovirus or from fighting.
And if the animals they do take in are not adopted, many so-called "no-kill"
shelters warehouse them in cages for years, unwanted and unloved, even after
they are driven "cage crazy" from the stress of confinement. I've seen them
sit with their back to visitors, withdrawn into a world of depression and lost
"No-kill" advocates are quick
to throw stones at open-admission
offer refuge to every animal who comes through their doors and euthanize animals when they are
not adoptable, when they run out of appropriate living space for them,
or when the animals brought in are injured, aggressive or gravely ill. So in
return, PETA is quick to expose the cracks in the rosy picture that "no-kills"
try to paint. Here are just a few of the recent additions to our long, ever-expanding
list of "no-kill"
failures that cause animals to suffer:
September 13, 2012/Corpus
Christi, Texas: Area animal
shelters report that they are filled to capacity and that homeless, roaming animals in the
area are at “epidemic” levels. The
shelter director at no-kill "Pee Wee's Pet Adoption World and Sanctuary"
stated, "I get 75 calls a day, and people get angry because I can't take
75 animals a day .… If you multiply 75 times 365 days a year, I would have to
take in 27,000 plus animals a year." The Gulf Coast Humane Society
director reports that his shelter "turn[s] people away right and
2012/Northeast Mississippi: Area open-admission animal shelters
are suffering from the effects of some private shelters' picking and choosing in
order to limit admissions in a ploy to call themselves "no-kill"
for fundraising appeals. A local news outlet reported that, while the [no-kill] policy keeps
current shelter residents alive, it limits the number of pets those facilities
can house and means new arrivals routinely are turned away. Some then are "dumped
alongside roads, abandoned at a neighbor's house or shot and killed," according to representatives of no-kill
shelters citing what jilted pet owners have told them. The writer spoke with a woman taking
three unwanted dogs to an open-admission shelter and whose husband had made his
family's options and intentions clear: "It was either that or shoot them."
July 17, 2012/Willis,
Texas: "Considered one
of the country's [premier] sanctuaries for pit bulls," was the no-kill Spindletop Dog Refuge was raided
by authorities who seized approximately 300 pit bulls found in tiny plastic
carriers with no water and unable to fully stand up. Some dogs were seen
drinking their own urine and a police news report revealed that "[o]ne dog's
feet were so scalded it was laying on its back in its own urine in feces,
presumably to take the pain off of its feet."
As long as outspoken "no-kill"
proponents continue to criticize open-admission shelters even
in the face of the animal
homelessness crisis, PETA will continue to save
animals by exposing "no-kills" for what they really are: "slow-kills."
It's Cyber Monday, the day when online
shoppers can find deals on everything from flat screens to flat sheets. But
there's one retailer whose sales should just flatline: bebe.
Why throw bebe out with the bathwater? Unlike
many of its compassionate competitors—including J.Crew, Talbots, and Limited
Brands—bebe has begun selling
real fur. The company apparently
thinks that nothing screams "festive" like animals
screaming while the skin is ripped off their bodies.
So five animals whose friends and family
members are often killed for their fur are here to show everyone that real fur
looks good only on its original owner and to ask you to make bebe a no-no this
1. Rabbits are hopping mad at bebe.
2. Dogs want you to walk them, not wear them.
3. Foxes need your help to outfox cruel companies that still sell fur.
4. Cats are ready to give bebe some serious catitude.
5. Chinchillas are chatterboxes when they're together, and you can bet they would have plenty
to say about bebe's fur coats.
Please tell bebe that you won't buy
while animals die and urge the company to finally ditch fur furever.
Written by Jeff Mackey
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!
Thanksgiving is hell for turkeys. To
make sure as many folks get this message as possible, here are three of our
best holiday ads. Pick your favorite and share with friends to let them know
why they should give turkeys a reason to be thankful, too:
"Would You Eat Your Dog?"
animals—something to be thankful for this holiday season by celebrating with a vegan feast.
Anyone who has a hard time understanding why PETA hasn't hopped
onto the "no-kill" bandwagon should have a look at this long list of failures of limited-admission
(i.e., "no-kill") shelters and rescues. There have been so many raids, busts, and seizures that we can't even be sure that
we have kept up with them all.
Rescued From a 'Rescue'?
One of the latest tragedies comes from Muncie, Indiana,
where 63 dogs and puppies were seized from a single-story house operating as "Adopt a Lab Rescue and Adoption."
Living conditions were so foul that one official characterized it as being "like a dungeon in the
basement." Some of the dogs had reportedly been bought from a "broker." This
same facility had also been raided in 2010, when 30 dogs were removed because
of poor conditions, including keeping animals in crates without food or water
for up to 21 hours a day.
No one wants to euthanize animals, least of all people who dedicate
their lives to helping them. And we should all be deeply upset that in this day
and age, shelters must still resort to euthanasia—but breeding and buying
animals from pet shops is still legal (in most places)! The reality is that there
are more animals in need
of homes than there are people ready to adopt them. Even if we could build enough shelters to hold all of them, these animals need real
homes and families to love them. They can't be warehoused forever just to make
us feel better.
Euthanasia prevents suffering—it is, by definition, humane.
But turning away animals in need of shelter is anything but humane. Forcing animals to exist in cages, joyless, for months
or years or their entire lives, is inhumane, too, as is allowing animals to
suffer in squalor, loneliness, deprivation, and illness.
What You Can Do
There is an answer, and it lies in prevention! We can reduce
euthanasia and the need for it by taking the smart, effective approach: animal birth
control (ABC). Please start
an ABC campaign in your community, and never be silent when animals are at risk.
Written by Alisa Mullins
The following was adapted
from a post on PETA Asia's Hot and Sour Scoop blog:
After Egyptian media reported that a scientific
committee was recommending that all Australian cattle have their ears cut off
prior to slaughter, PETA Australia encouraged its supporters to speak up. As a
result, the Australian government has
assured PETA Australia that it has discussed this issue with Egyptian officials
and that the ears of animals will not be cut off prior to slaughter.
The recommendation to cut off the ears of cattle came after
Australian cattle in Egypt were held for several weeks following the discovery
of hormone growth promotants (HGPs) in some animals' ears. Egyptian authorities
have demonstrated their mistrust of HGPs, and PETA Australia feared that they
were likely to accept the findings of the committee, leaving Australian cattle
open to this extreme mutilation—most likely with no pain relief—prior to their
However, it's still unclear
if Australian animals in Egypt will have the implants removed from their ears
prior to slaughter as has occurred previously, according to Australia's
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. PETA Australia investigators
have seen firsthand how cattle are treated in Egypt, so this procedure likely would
not be performed humanely, either. PETA Australia is waiting for a response from
the Australian minister of agriculture.
It's very clear under Islamic law that for meat to
be halal ("permissible"), animals must not
experience any discomfort prior to being slaughtered. Cattle can't be mutilated
before being killed—otherwise, the meat becomes haraam ("sinful").
As an Australian program, Four Corners, revealed, animals exported
alive from Australia are not protected from abuse and mistreatment once they
have left that country. As in the case of the barbaric killing of 20,000 sheep in Pakistan, the
Australian government would have been powerless to stop cattle from having
their ears cut off if Egyptian authorities had mandated this mutilation.
Investigations conducted by PETA affiliates have
exposed the abuse and mistreatment of animals used for live export on
numerous occasions. It's time for Australian officials to
end live export. Please e-mail Joe Ludwig, the minister of agriculture,
fisheries and forestry, at firstname.lastname@example.org and
politely ask him to ban these ships of death.
What do you get for 10 years of loyal service to Green Mountain College? Well, if you're an ox, you get strung up by one leg, your throat is slit, and you are bled to death. Oxen Bill and Lou have served the agricultural school in Poultney, Vermont, as laborers for the past decade, and the students love them. Lou sustained an injury this summer, and the school decided that Bill likely would not work as well with a new partner, so Green Mountain wants to send the animals to slaughter and serve them in the school cafeteria. But PETA and the public are calling foul, insisting that the oxen deserve better.
This ox does not approve of
Green Mountain College’s lethal “retirement” plan for Bill and Lou.
It isn't as if the school had no easy, humane option: Vermont's VINE Sanctuary offered to provide Bill and Lou with a peaceful place to live out their days and even offered to arrange transportation for them. But the school refused.
PETA sent an urgent e-mail today to school administrators asking them—if they refuse to accept VINE Sanctuary's offer to provide Bill and Lou with a peaceful retirement—at least to allow students and the public to witness the slaughter of the animals so that they can see the terror in Bill's and Lou's eyes right before a bolt is shot into their foreheads and they are strung upside down and bled to death. But we are hopeful that it won't come to that.
Join PETA and urge Green Mountain College to allow Bill and Lou their well-deserved retirement.
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.
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.