Written by PETA
We’re just doing our part to help get a bit of money back for the government. And by “we,” I mean my colleague Justin Goodman, who, as a graduate student at the University of Connecticut, worked tirelessly to expose the hideous experiments carried out by David “The Butcher” Waitzman (I just made that nickname up, but who knows—maybe it’ll catch on with his students) who used a sizeable grant from the NIH to, among other things, drill holes into monkeys' skulls and implant steel coils into their eyes. Well, according to this morning’s Hartford Courant, the university has been ordered to return $65,005 of the grant as a result of animal welfare violations in Waitzman’s lab that were exposed during a USDA investigation prompted by Justin’s complaints.
Not only is this wonderful news for people who care about animals, but it will also serve as a powerful warning to other animal experimenters like Waitzman: Even if massive public outcry leaves them cold, you can bet that they’ll sit up and take notice once they know that someone like Justin is on the case—and that it may not be very long before their grant money’s on the line as well.
Here we go again.
Every so often, someone sets up a hoax website like Bonsai Kitten, which purported to be changing the shapes of cats by putting them in jars, Save Toby (that guy who claimed he was gonna kill his pet rabbit unless people sent him cash), and Kitty Beef (my personal favorite—the title kind of speaks for itself), and a lot of people get (understandably) very upset about the whole thing. Well, there’s a new kid on the block now, and this one may be the most interesting of them all, because it draws attention to a little-known aspect of the animal-experimentation business that really reveals a lot about the whole sick industry.
IBuyStrays.com is a hoax. Just to be clear on this, it’s not a real site. The person who set it up doesn’t really buy stray cats and dogs to sell to animal experimenters. So there’s no need for alarm on that front. But sadly, the situation it describes is very real. As many as 115 million animals are experimented on and killed in laboratories in the U.S. every year. Not that it makes any difference, ethically speaking, but a large number of these animals are cats and dogs, and a great many of those cats and dogs come from the streets, from animal shelters, and from people’s back yards.
Class B animal dealers, or “Bunchers,” are licensed by the USDA to obtain dogs and cats from “random sources,” which are defined as “animal pounds or shelters, auction sales, or from any person who did not breed and raise them on his or her premises.” And many states allow “pound seizure,” which means that the shelters are required by law to turn over certain animals to experimenters on demand.
So my point here is that anyone who’s shocked or upset by IBuyStrays.com should direct their attention towards the animal experimentation industry itself. Although it may be a bit tactless, the site isn’t doing any actual harm—in fact, if you ask me, it’s doing a good thing by making people aware of the fact that the horrific circumstances which it ironically depicts are a daily occurrence. And there is something we can do about it. To learn more about how you can help animals suffering in labs, check out StopAnimalTests.com, and if you haven’t already, you can click here to pledge to boycott products that are tested on animals.
Some Other Helpful Links
IBuyStrays.com Is a HoaxWhat Is Pound Seizure?More on BunchersList of Cruelty-Free ProductsTesting … One, Two, ThreeMoshe Solomonow’s Experiments on Cats from a Class B Dealer
According to the Seattle Post Intelligencer, 20 different Petsmart stores in 11 Seattle counties may have sold birds with avian chlamydiosis, which can pose a serious health risk to people who are exposed to the animals.
The threat of a nasty disease is a pretty great reason not to buy a bird from Petsmart, but it’s not the main reason. People shouldn’t buy birds from Petsmart because birds don’t belong in cages. All caged birds were either captured or captive-bred. In the wild, they spend their entire lives with their flockmates, and many species mate for life and share parenting tasks. Considering that some parrots fly 30 miles a day in the wild, it’s no surprise that these animals often develop severe behavioral problems when they’re stuck in a cage for life.
Click here to tell PetSmart to just stop it already.
The British Olympic committee is off to a lovely start. They’ve evidently refused to allow an animal rescue group to save feral cats living in a colony on the future site of Olympic Park in London. What this means, in effect, is that these animals will be starved, crushed, and buried before building begins for the British Olympics. Not exactly the most auspicious foundation on which to construct the British Olympic hopes—and, given that an animal rescue group is standing by to take care of the problem in a humane way, it’s just not an acceptable way of carrying on.
Please click here to tell the British Olympic Delivery Authority to stop being such a bunch of heartless bureaucrats and allow the Celia Hammond Animal Trust to save the feral cats at Olympic Park before demolition begins. Thanks.
I have to admit that I don’t have a very good head for figures, but the math here seems pretty straightforward. And while we’re talking numbers, selling people dogs and cats when there are between 6 and 8 million waiting for homes in shelters every year is about as dumb as shelling out a thousand dollars for an animal at Petland when you could be rescuing one of the 3 to 4 million who will be euthanized this year for lack of a good home.
These pics are from Friday’s demonstration outside an Orlando Petland where we debuted our new “Priceless” ads, which make a simple but effective point to potential pet store customers.
Right now, anyone who wants can walk into any Petland store in America and buy an animal with a credit card as if they were picking up the latest Britney Spears single. What ends up happening is that, much like the new Britney joint, these animals get discarded, cast aside, or returned to the store at the earliest opportunity. With more than 6 million cats and dogs turned in to shelters every year in the U.S., stores like Petland are already an unpleasant example of ethics and social responsibility taking a back seat to making easy money, but the very least that they can do is implement some basic, commonsense policies that will help to prevent the animals they sell from ending up with someone who’s going to neglect them, dump them at a shelter, or worse.
We’re asking the company to ban the use of credit cards to purchase live animals, implement a 24-hour waiting period on live-animal purchases, and spay or neuter puppies and kittens before release. If you’d like to contact Petland yourself about these issues, you can do so here. It’s not a lot to ask of a multi-million dollar corporation, but it will make a world of difference for the animals.
We've just learned that the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) and its commissioner, Tommy Irvin, have been found in contempt of court by Judge Tom Campbell of Fulton County Superior Court. This ruling comes after a more than seven-month legal battle that began when PETA received reports that dogs and cats were being cruelly and illegally gassed to death by various pounds and shelters in Georgia and that the Georgia Department of Agriculture was not upholding a 17-year-old law, the 1990 Humane Euthanasia Act.
The lawsuit was filed by Law firm Schiff Hardin LLP in Atlanta on behalf of two plaintiffs: a former Clayton County Humane Society employee—whose dog was hit by a car and then killed in one of the gas chambers—and former state representative Chesley Morton, who introduced Georgia’s Humane Euthanasia Act in 1990. PETA sent a cease-and-desist letter to Cobb County on April 5 requesting assurance that the shelter would comply with the law, but the letter and subsequent communications were simply ignored on the basis of a "grandfather clause," which the county incorrectly claimed gave them an exemption from using humane methods of euthanasia.
It is simply incredible that private citizens had to go to court to get the department to abide by the very laws it is charged with enforcing, but the recent announcement that the GDA is finally being held accountable for their actions is a major victory, and hopefully it will help to shed some light on the brazen disregard for the law and for animal suffering that places like Cobb County have been getting away with for years in a crude attempt to deal with the cat-and-dog overpopulation crisis. Euthanasia is a tragic necessity while 6-8 million animals are abandoned in shelters in the U.S. alone every year and breeders continue to manufacture more for profit, but unwanted animals discarded by society must be offered a dignified, humane exit if death is the best we can offer them. There is no excuse for employing inhumane methods which simply prolong and intensify the suffering of these unwanted animals.
You can click here to see footage (taken in Yadkin County, North Carolina), which shows the horrific practice of using carbon monoxide gas chambers to kill animals. The GDA has simply ignored an act which prohibits this kind of "euthanasia" method in contempt of the law and in a complete violation of the public trust.
Our International Grassroots Campaigns department recently put together a cool little feature about what it’s like to work in that part of the organization, so if you’re a front lines kind of person, check that out here. But if being out on the street protesting isn’t your thing, don’t fret. Believe it or not, that’s not what most of us here at PETA do every day!
So, if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to work here or what qualifications we look for in prospective employees, give this page a peek, then send in your résumé.
And after you get hired, stop by my desk to say hi!
If you're looking for a good time, or maybe just an entertainment center, Craigslist is usually a great place to start. But there's a really worrying side to the online community that has directly facilitated a number of extremely disturbing cases of cruelty to animals.
Craigslist's "free to a good home" ads seem innocuous at first glance, but the fact is that giving away animals over the Internet to anyone who so much as expresses an interest is just unbelievably irresponsible, and Craigslist's ads have resulted in such hideous animal abuse cases as the recent torture and mutilation of three gray tabbies in Austin, including a 3-year-old cat named Taylor (pictured), who were evidently obtained through one of these "free to a good home" ads.
PETA has been begging the company for years to implement a policy prohibiting these ads for exactly this reason, but thus far Craigslist has done nothing beyond posting a mild warning about giving away animals on their site. So we're stepping it up a notch. If you have a moment, please click here to tell Craigslist to immediately ban these ads from its site before the company sees another incident like the Austin case.
Sometimes it’s kind of hard for people to make the connection between their pets and the animals they eat, so here are some masks our Production department made to help with that. What do you think?
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.