Written by Michelle Kretzer
To look at 5-month-old siblings Bronson and Felix now, it's hard to picture them as the sickly newborn kittens a PETA investigator discovered at Caboodle Ranch, Inc., a no-kill hellhole that was raided this week after masquerading as a "cat rescue sanctuary."
On Monday, based on evidence that PETA gathered during a five-month undercover investigation, officials in Madison County, Florida, began seizing hundreds of cats from Caboodle's moldy trailers and ammonia-ridden sheds and arrested founder and operator Craig Grant on cruelty-to-animals and other charges, including two felonies. The seized cats are finally receiving the veterinary care that they had been denied at Caboodle, but the filthy conditions and rampant disease there had already cost many cats their lives, including Bronson's and Felix's littermate.
Cali nurses her three kittens in addition to the sick white kitten PETA's investigator tried to help.
PETA's investigator had discovered a tiny white kitten all alone, with eyes so encrusted with dried discharge that they wouldn't open. The investigator took the kitten to Grant and pointed out the animal's obvious illness. Instead of providing the kitten with veterinary care, Grant rubbed a Clorox wipe across the kitten's eyes and rubbed and picked at them roughly with his hands. He told the investigator to put the kitten with a cat named Cali, who had given birth at Caboodle to kittens our investigator named Bronson, Felix, and Luna. Within a month, the little white kitten had died at Caboodle, apparently of an untreated upper respiratory infection.
Desperate to save the other three kittens, the investigator asked Grant for them, and he gave them to her. Our investigator took them straight to a veterinary hospital. There, the kittens were started on medication for upper respiratory infections and began their recovery from dehydration. But just two days later, little Luna was struggling to breathe, and the investigator rushed her to an emergency animal hospital. As a result of the neglect Luna had suffered at Caboodle, she was now battling anemia, hypoglycemia, and hypothermia. Despite shots of dextrose to raise her blood sugar and heating pads to stave off the hypothermia, little Luna could not overcome the hand that Caboodle and Grant had dealt her and, at a veterinarian's recommendation, was euthanized.
It was a rough road for Bronson and Felix and for the investigator who fostered them on their long path to recovery. But after months of intensive veterinary care, both miracle cats are now happy and healthy and are ready for adoption by a family who has the time and energy to give them the love and care that they need and deserve. Are you on the East Coast and ready to give Bronson and Felix a home? Apply to Adopt@peta.org.
Bronson and Felix finally get to experience the kind of life that every cat deserves.
These cats' sad stories are doomed to be repeated time and time again if a bill in the Florida legislature becomes law. Under the misleadingly named "Animal Rescue Act," reputable open-admission animal shelters would be forced to hand animals over to self-proclaimed "rescues" like Caboodle. Don't let this dangerous bill pass.
Written by PETA
It is finally the
beginning of the end for the horrific cat hell known as "Caboodle Ranch,
Inc." (Caboodle)—a disgusting, crowded, disease-ridden no-kill "rescue
sanctuary" in Madison County, Fla.—that has long been the subject of
complaints to PETA's office.
Today, thanks to
evidence gathered by a five-month-long PETA undercover investigation, the
cats are being seized and taken to safety.
Video footage and
photos taken by PETA's investigator show cats suffering from upper-respiratory
infections so severe that they gasped for air and struggled to breathe,
drooled, and had bloody mucus clogging their noses. Cats also had ruptured
corneas, went blind, and, in some cases, died. One such cat, Lilly, died
after fighting for months, losing her battle with what initially seemed to be a
and operator, Craig Grant, faces criminal charges of cruelty to animals, based
on the information gathered by PETA. We are grateful to Madison County Animal
Control, the Madison County Sheriff's Office, and the Third Judicial District
of Florida State Attorney's Office for taking this case seriously and pursuing
it with the seriousness that it deserves.
comes at a critical time for homeless and unwanted animals in Florida. A dangerous bill is currently making its
way through Florida's legislature. Animal shelters would be forced to hand over
animals to self-proclaimed, unregulated animal "rescues" like
Caboodle if the misleading "Animal Rescue Act" (S.B. 818 and H.B. 597)
becomes law. PETA is calling on the bill's sponsors to withdraw the legislation
without delay. Won't you please help us?
Written by Dan
Written by Jeff Mackey
As viewers of the popular reality shows about hoarders can likely confirm, peering inside the homes of people who suffer from the psychological compulsion to collect things has a certain morbid attraction, until you realize the toll it takes on the families of the afflicted—and it's far worse when the "things" they're collecting are living, feeling beings.
Animal hoarding is a serious and growing problem, with hoarders taking on far more animals than they can properly care for. The number of reported cases is on the rise, leading the Animal Legal Defense Fund to call hoarding "the number one animal cruelty crisis facing companion animals in communities throughout the country."
Chillingly, the so-called "no kill" movement propagated by the likes of Nathan Winograd offers cover for these disturbed individuals, many of whom claim to be "rescuing" the animals and attempt to justify the suffering that they cause as a matter of principle. A Los Angeles Times blog post reported that a quarter of the roughly 6,000 new hoarding cases reported each year in the U.S. consist of supposed "shelters" and "rescues."
Animals kept in crates at a “no kill” shelter.
Even when rescues and animal shelters aren't hoarding animals themselves—like the self-proclaimed animal "hospice and rehabilitation center" called "Angel's Gate" and the now-defunct "Sacred Vision Animal Sanctuary"—they all too often give away animals to anyone who will take them, including hoarders, to manipulate their euthanasia statistics, regardless of what tragedy that translates into for the animals.
Here are just a few recent examples:
The failure of "no kill" animal shelters and rescues to address the problems facing homeless animals—and often making matters worse—is why PETA remains focused on the solution to the animal overpopulation crisis: creating a no-birth nation. PETA's fleet of mobile low-cost veterinary clinics (responsible for sterilizing 10,564 animals in 2011 and almost 80,000 so far since 2001!) and our advocacy of strong spay-and-neuter legislation are key to keeping animals out of the hands of hoarders and other people who don't have their best interests at heart and guaranteeing that every animal born has a loving, permanent home awaiting him or her.
Volunteer to help your local animal shelter screen potential adopters and placement partners. Animal shelters can contact PETA for placement-partner applications and agreements. Please also be sure to spay or neuter your animal companions and encourage others to do the same—it's the best way to end the need for animal rescues altogether!
The length of the current economic downturn has taken its toll
both on people—many of whom are struggling to find housing
and jobs—and on
the animals who depend on them. As a result, animal shelters are receiving record numbers of abandoned
stretching their already limited resources to capacity.
Overcrowding at a limited admission (no-kill) shelter
These problems are intensified by the animal overpopulation
crisis, which, even in a strong economy, causes many animal shelters to
struggle with the burden of homeless and unwanted animals. Unlike complicated
fiscal policy, though, the solution to this problem is simple—by implementing
and enforcing mandatory spay-and-neuter laws,
communities can reduce animal populations to manageable levels, ensuring that
every animal can be cared for. PETA not only is working to promote the passage
of such legislation but also operates several mobile spay-and-neuter clinics,
sterilizing 10,564 animals in 2011 alone and nearly 80,000 to date!
Sadly, at this critical time, many animal shelters are implementing
policies without first having reduced the number of unwanted animals (though some
have now wised up).
Many of these animal shelters are betraying animals by adopting guidelines that
make the problem much worse, such as requiring appointments and admission fees
for people to surrender animals, turning away strays who aren't well socialized
because they are not adoptable (even if they're at risk of being harmed by people
who consider them a nuisance), forcing people to wait until space opens up to
take in any more animals, refusing to accept animals from outside a certain
town or region, and giving animals away for free without proper screening.
These horribly misguided practices are a blueprint for
disaster. The failure of these limited-admission policies has been proved again
and again, as in these stories from 2011:
Companion animals depend on us to take care of them, which
is why PETA accepts all animals who
need help—without requiring a fee or an appointment—whether they are suffering
from a terminal illness that requires euthanasia that their guardians can't
afford, were abandoned
during a natural disaster,
or were injured in Afghanistan and brought stateside by a caring soldier.
Is there an animal shelter that's turning away animals in
your community? Find out—and
try to ensure that it does what's right to help animals. Find out how PETA Saves Animals.
Over the last couple of days, we've told you about some of the
ways that PETA worked in 2011 to end the suffering of animals in its own "backyard"—southern
Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. PETA staffers are in the field every
day working with guardians and local authorities, delivering doghouses and
straw, providing transport to our clinics for spay/neuter procedures and other
veterinary care, and much more.
you may have read about many of the animals whose lives and futures were made
brighter by PETA's fieldworkers, which is always what we hope for. But since PETA's
hands-on work focuses on finding and helping the most abused, neglected, and
underserved animals—those whose years of illness, injury, deprivation,
exposure, and isolation typically make rehabilitation and adoption into a
loving and responsible home impossible—offering
love, kindness, and a peaceful release from suffering is sometimes the kindest
The following are a few of the animals PETA helped in 2011, along
with information about how you can help us prevent more animals from suffering from
neglect and abuse (warning—graphic images):
An elderly couple called us for a doghouse for their dog,
DJ. PETA's fieldworker discovered that DJ was not just terribly unsocialized
but also had a chain wrapped directly around his neck that had become deeply
embedded into his skin as he grew. DJ's guardians had no idea that this had
been happening and were shocked to discover his condition. They surrendered DJ
to PETA, and he is no longer suffering.
The girlfriend of the person responsible for two dogs,
Trixie and Hitler, contacted PETA because Hitler was already dead on her
property and Trixie was severely emaciated. A necropsy later confirmed that
Hitler had starved to death—the tip of his own tail was found in his stomach.
The vet determined that Trixie was about 20 pounds underweight. The animals'
guardian signed a contract agreeing not to acquire any more animals.
PETA took in this cat who was suffering from an open wound
over his entire back that was teeming with maggots. A local woman had been
feeding stray cats in her yard for months but was totally oblivious to this cat's
When little Pokey's family moved away, they simply left this ill puppy in the yard
Despite days of intensive treatment and being showered with love, Pokey's
condition deteriorated, and her veterinarian said that the most humane option
was to give her an immediate release from her suffering.
Turning away cats and dogs like these just to avoid having
to euthanize them doesn't help unwanted, suffering, and dying animals. If PETA,
like many animal shelters
cared more about how its statistics look to the public than the well-being of
the individual animals who so desperately need help, animals like Pokey would
be left to suffer and die in agony instead of being gently relieved of their
misery in the soothing embrace of probably the first and only people ever to
show them any kindness.
PETA has renewed
our call for the National Governors Association to use its influence to end animal homelessness by helping pass mandatory
spay and neuter legislation across the country in 2012, requiring dogs
and cats to be sterilized unless their owners purchase an annual breeding
permit, the cost of which would fund low-cost spay-and-neuter services. Without
such laws, animal homelessness and neglect will continue—causing animals like
DJ, Trixie, the homeless cat, and Pokey to continue to suffer.
Please join this effort by asking your governor to support strong spay and
(Spay and Neuter Immediately, Please!) clinics and Community Animal Project
(CAP) are on the job year-round to help animals in need in Virginia and North
Carolina—and in 2011, they succeeded again and again in improving the lives of
animals and the people who care about them.
SNIP's fleet of mobile spay-and-neuter clinics has "fixed"
nearly 80,000 cats and dogs over the past decade—10,564 of them in 2011 alone!
In the past year, PETA also helped thousands of guardians keep their animal
companions by offering counseling tips, information about animal-friendly
housing, and assistance with offering humane care.
Today, we'd like you to meet just a few of the animals whose
lives were big-time brightened—and even saved—by CAP and SNIP this past year:
Moose's coat was severely matted, a painful and dangerous
condition that can lead to sores and maggot infestations. Moose's family didn't
realize how serious matting was and couldn't afford to have the little guy
groomed. PETA's fieldworkers spruced him up!
Bailey was suffering from a large mammary tumor that was
affecting her ability to walk. PETA's veterinarian successfully removed the
tumor, and Bailey was spayed at the same time.
Unlike many pit bulls PETA's fieldworkers meet, Prue lives
indoors, but she had already had one litter of unwanted pups. PETA helped prevent
more pit bulls from being born by spaying this sweet girl. No more pups for
Bentley's guardian lives in a very rural area. The closest
vet clinic is almost an hour's drive from her house, and she didn't have the
$200 that the vet charges for neutering dogs, so PETA took care of Bentley's
sterilization, transporting him to and from surgery.
Brownie's guardian is a young single mom with two children.
PETA spayed Brownie—who, like Prue, had already had one litter—and provided the
family with a leash to walk Brownie (which they now do daily), toys, treats,
and a sturdy handmade doghouse, along with warm, dry straw.
Biscuit's guardian took this kitten in as a stray and
desperately wanted to keep him but couldn't afford to have him fixed at a vet
clinic. If it weren't for PETA, who transported Biscuit to and from his neuter
appointment, Biscuit's guardian would have had to surrender him to the local animal
join PETA in calling on elected
officials to pass mandatory spay-and-neuter laws in your state, county, and town.
Please also help make sure animals continue to get the help that
they so desperately need by making
to help keep SNIP's mobile clinics going strong, sponsoring a doghouse
(or two) to be built and delivered by CAP, and being ready to help neglected animals in your
Companion-animal neglect and homelessness is a preventable tragedy. By working
together, we can end it!
goes gaga for vegan food, learn how to show bunnies some love this Valentine's
Day, and help us ask Florida not to change its slogan to "The Hoarder
State." Here's everything in PETA's world that you might have missed this
miss any breaking animal rights stories. Hop on over to PETA's Tumblr page for the latest:
Lawmakers who are considering legislation based on the
philosophy of the bogus "no-kill" movement should look closely at the
disastrous results of California's Hayden Law, as Phyllis M. Daugherty details
in the first of a series of
articles for Opposing Views about limited-admission ("no-kill")
Dangerous overcrowding is a
common problem at no-kill shelters.
As Daugherty makes clear, the Hayden Law was put together by
lawyers and aides with no experience running animal shelters. And it shows: The
bill did nothing to curb breeding (the real cause of the animal overpopulation crisis);
it took away shelters' ability to make the critical decisions needed to keep
the animals healthy by controlling the spread of contagious diseases and to give
the most adoptable animals the best chance of finding a home through necessary
means, including euthanasia of less adoptable animals.
the Hayden Law, shelters couldn't euthanize the animals they took in unless the
animals were already to the point of death—even if that meant enduring prolonged
suffering from diseases or injuries
that made them unlikely prospects for adoption. Fortunately, this constraint
was recently suspended but not before wreaking havoc on animals, shelters (along
with their staffers and volunteers), and state budgets.
animal shelters continue to be required to surrender any animal scheduled for
euthanasia—no matter how aggressive or otherwise unadoptable—to any group claiming
to be a "rescue" organization upon request, which forces them to
continue to house the animals until they are claimed (up to two weeks later) and
puts adoptive guardians at risk from animals with a known tendency toward aggressive
behavior. Daugherty describes how 20 percent of one animal shelter was occupied
by pit bulls awaiting pickup by one such organization, leaving less room for animals
who might have had a good chance of adoption but instead were euthanized
because of a lack of space.
It is tragic and ironic that the law cheered on by misguided "no-kill"
advocates like Nathan
ended up costing animals their lives; Daugherty reports that the North County Times, in an article titled, "Too Close for
Comfort: New State Law Is Killing Animals," explained how the law was "increasing
the number of animals destroyed and reducing adoptions …"
While this is sad, it isn't really surprising. As Daugherty
notes, "no-kill" is a misnomer, since the refusal of
limited-admission shelters to accept the responsibility of euthanasia means
that they fill up quickly, leaving the turned-away animals to be taken to
open-admission shelters (merely shifting the burden of euthanasia) or, worse, to
be simply abandoned to face disease, traffic, starvation, predators, and other
Limited-admission shelters also tend to attract animal
hoarders who take in far more animals than they can possibly care for. PETA’s
undercover investigation of South Carolina's now-defunct Sacred Vision Animal Sanctuary—which was
really just a front for a hoarder—produced
evidence that finally prompted authorities to rescue hundreds of caged cats who
had been suffering through a living nightmare of constant filth, disease, and
We all want to see the number of euthanized animals decreased,
but the Hayden Law debacle shows that this goal can't be accomplished just by
making it nearly impossible for shelters to use euthanasia to address the
current crisis. As one former shelter volunteer explained after visiting a shelter overburdened because
of the restrictions imposed by the Hayden Law, "As I passed the kennels,
each crammed with too many dogs and puppies, many of them sick or diseased, I
was reminded again that euthanasia is not the worst thing that can happen."
To become a truly no-kill nation, we must first become a
no-birth nation by mandating
spaying and neutering of dogs and cats
to stop the flow of unwanted litters into our shelters. If you are concerned
about euthanasia, you'll do far more good by adopting a dog from an
open-admission shelter or sponsoring
a spay/neuter procedure for a cat than by supporting a limited-admission
California Gov. Jerry Brown has announced plans to completely repeal the ill-advised
Hayden Law, and let's hope he succeeds—for the animals' sake.
After discovering that a family of stray dogs had taken refuge at a vacant property in Texas, a kind-hearted soul contacted the landlord to get permission to go in and remove the seriously ill and injured animals. But when local law-enforcement officials and rescue groups were unable to help—no animal shelter serves the county—the dogs' defender called PETA.
PETA's cruelty caseworker persuaded an animal shelter in a neighboring county to take in the dogs and found someone willing to drive more than an hour to transport the two dogs and five puppies to the animal shelter.
Within minutes of their arrival, however, four of the desperately ill puppies died. And one of the adult dogs—suffering from a severe head injury as a result of having been kicked by a horse—was euthanized. But the fifth puppy pulled through and is being fostered by a shelter staffer, and the other adult dog, who had been suffering from severe mange, has been treated and adopted into a loving home.
Life for homeless dogs and cats is dangerous and often deadly. Please, if you see stray animals, never look the other way—do whatever you can to get them off the streets and into a safe place.
With our new campaign on Facebook's "Causes" platform,
we're aiming to raise $15,000 in January to fund anti-fur protests, distribute literature,
buy ad space, and erect billboards to send the message that fur looks best on its original owners.
Despite the decreasing popularity of fur and the plethora of faux looks in stores this year, some backward designers
are still trying to stage a resurgence of real fur. But as designers try to
push the cruelest of fashions, we're pushing back.
It's baffling how any clothier with a
conscience could ignore the fact that this year alone, more than 2 million
animals—including cats and
dogs exactly like those we share our homes with—will be shoved into wire cages so
tightly that they can't move and be trucked across China to be slaughtered. Some of them will be dead by the time they arrive. They are
the lucky ones.
Those who survive will feel their bones break
when workers throw the crates around like rag dolls. They may be
beaten and stomped on. Or they may have the skin ripped off their bodies
while they scream and thrash in pain.
You can help stop this cruelty by
joining our "Causes" campaign and sharing it on your social-networking
sites. And please consider making a lifesaving donation today to help end the
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.