Written by PETA
Stimpy was wasting away. Whether he had a medical condition or simply couldn't compete for food against the other, stronger dog on the property is not clear. But he was obviously suffering and slowly dying.
After weeks of watching Stimpy's condition deteriorate while waiting for local authorities to intervene, a concerned citizen called PETA and asked us to step in. Our cruelty caseworkers leaped into action and quickly convinced animal control officers to visit the property. Once the officers arrived, they acknowledged that Stimpy's situation was desperate and convinced Stimpy's guardian to surrender custody of him.
Stimpy is just one example of the countless "backyard dogs" suffering at the hands of neglectful guardians. While these people may not intentionally abuse animals, the end result is the same: misery, anguish, and often death.
Animals left outside are put at risk by a range of hazards—including parasites, diseases, and weather extremes as well as "bunchers" (people who steal animals and sell them to laboratories) and other cruel people.
Our cruelty caseworkers constantly receive calls about "backyard dogs" like Stimpy, and regardless of whether the call is from New York City or Small Town, Arkansas, the stories are almost always the same. We know that abuse and neglect can happen anywhere, at anytime, and dogs like Stimpy rely on people like you to be on the look out for their suffering. So regardless of whether you live in a metropolis or in the middle of a cornfield—please keep your eyes and ears peeled for mistreated animals and speak up whenever you suspect foul play.
Written by Jeff Mackey
This is the story of 16 freezing, emaciated dogs on a property in a rural town in Kentucky. The dogs were so thin that their ribs were visible and you could count each vertebra in their spines. Two dogs were tied to empty barrels, another spent all day every day tethered to a dilapidated doghouse, and still more spent all winter shivering under a porch, desperate to escape the bitter cold and likely suffering from hypothermia.
The woman who owned the dogs would leave them for weeks at a time, not only deprived of a loving touch but also without food or water. Yet when complaints were filed with local authorities, the calls were ignored. Nearby residents tried to make sure that the dogs had food and water, but with winter in full force, the water would freeze and—because the dogs were desperate to maintain as much weight as they could to combat the cold—the food would disappear more quickly than the neighbors could supply it.
By the time we were notified, one of the females in this miserable situation had just given birth to a litter of puppies. She was so emaciated that nursing the newborns could have been fatal for her. Because the season's first snow had already fallen, the puppies had little chance of surviving.
We worked quickly to get the sheriff's department to investigate, but in the short time it took them to take action, two of the puppies had already frozen to death under the porch. The surviving animals were immediately seized and taken to the local animal shelter. The owner was arrested and charged with animal cruelty.
You might be wondering why we're talking about this heartbreaking case at the beginning of summer. That's because we're entering another deadly season for neglected backyard dogs. Those who somehow survive winter's ice and freezing temperatures will soon face blazing heat and sweltering humidity—if they don't already. Instead of hypothermia, many will suffer heatstroke, flea and tick infestations, and heartworms. Their need for the basics—protection from the elements, food, fresh water, and attention—is year-round.
Chained dogs depend on us to look behind privacy fences and glance under abandoned cars in the junkyard. And please don't tune out their barking. It's their way of crying for help.
Never assume that someone else is already on the case. I can let you know from firsthand experience that not everyone is willing to take action. Several years ago, while living in Chicago, I discovered two dogs who were locked in an abandoned building. Longtime residents quickly gathered around me, voicing their pity for the dogs. Yet when I asked if any of them had called authorities about the dogs, they shrugged and turned away. If I hadn't called to report the case, the dogs may not have been rescued and would likely have starved to death.
All of this is meant as a reminder: Please do more than feel sad or sorry about neglected animals. Take action—you could very well be their only hope.
Written by Karin Bennett
Thanks for all of your wonderful comments on this Win It Wednesday. The winners of the Post-Party Packs are Theresa, Jamie McManus, and Lisa M. Congratulations!
A lot of people don't need a national holiday to celebrate the long, hot days of summer. Take some sunshine, add a handful of friends, and throw in some grilled veggie burgers, et voilà!—instant party. But because July 4 falls on a Saturday this year, boozy barbecues everywhere might be a bit sloppier for revelers who realize that they can waste a woozy Sunday on the couch.
Our "Post-Party Pack" is the remedy for the frazzled nerves that can result from over-indulging. Filled with PETA's organic, shade-grown coffee, Tings from Robert's American Gourmet, coupons for Amy's Kitchen Roasted Vegetable Pizza, and other dee-lish vegan snacks, it's sure to help clear a foggy head and quiet a grumbling belly.
How do you win? To score one, simply share your favorite vegan barbecue–friendly food or drink concoction in the comments section below. The three most tantalizing comments will take home the prize.
Fans are mourning the sudden passing of the "King of Pop," who spent decades under a media microscope.
Here are some Jacko facts that fans may not know:
In Michael's honor, take a minute to speak out against the seal slaughter.
My favorite part about the holidays (actually ... maybe my second favorite—next to feasting on my mom's famous Cashew Nut Roast) is how people come together to help those in need. While we're all toasty indoors, dreaming and hoping for a "White Winter," countless "backyard dogs" will not do so well in the ice and snow, struggling just to keep alive on freezing winter nights. To help these dogs, PETA staffers spend every winter weekend helping ease the pain in their joints by delivering sturdy dog houses and straw to man's best friend.
After learning about all this, a class of third-grade students at Samuel Staples Elementary School in Connecticut and their teacher Ms. Ellen Linker raised over $800 for the dogs—for the second year in a row. Wow!
Well, this class definitely gives me that fuzzy feeling deep inside. To show the students how much we appreciate their dedication to animals, we'll be sending along a holiday package filled with comic books, stickers, a copy of Ingrid Newkirk's book 50 Awesome Ways Kids Can Help Animals, and a card signed by PETA staff members. Please post a comment below to join us in thanking these students who gave up their lunch money and allowances to help animals in need.
I hope the actions of these generous students inspire you to be an "angel" for a freezing, lonely backyard dog this winter. Do you think your school, office, family, or friends would want to pool funds to purchase a doghouse? That would be perfect! Together, we can make sure that dogs who would have shivered through long, cold nights have a dry place to curl up in and try to be warm.
And please remember to tell everyone—maybe put up a flyer?—that animal companions should always be a part of the family. This holiday season (and all year long), please take your dogs inside.
Written by Liz Graffeo
While we at PETA obviously would prefer if people never chained their dogs and always let their dogs inside, we acknowledge that this is not a reality in many situations.
It's this amazing commitment and selfless passion from our staff that makes me so proud to work for PETA. For example, check out this story from my good friend Sarah about her recent straw delivery trip:
"A few weeks ago, we were delivering straw in North Carolina and came across this one house that had two male pit bulls chained up outside. Their names were Tyson and Ali, (go figure, right?). Ali was very healthy and pretty buff, and then there was Tyson—I could see from 20 feet away that he was underweight. Tyson was maybe 30 pounds, and he is 3 years old. He was the sweetest dog in the world. The moment we touched him, he knew we weren't there to hurt him and he hugged us. He looked up at us with the saddest eyes, as if they were asking us to save him.
"As I was standing there giving him probably the first loving touch he'd ever had, I noticed that there was blood on my hands. As I looked down, I saw it was all over his neck under his chain collar, which had dug into his neck and was cutting up his skin (probably starting to grow around the collar). We were able to switch the collar. We wanted to give him a longer tie-out, but we couldn't because if he got within Ali's reach, Ali would attack and more than likely kill him.
"We filled both doghouses with straw to keep the dogs warm for the rest of the winter, and as we were leaving, we saw Tyson snuggle in his wonderfully warm doghouse. This is why I spend my free time delivering straw to outside dogs. It makes a world of a difference to them."
To see how you can help chained dogs in your area, please click here.
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.
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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.