Written by PETA
Update: Jack the cat has passed
away because of injuries that he suffered while lost inside JFK airport. After
spending two months in the American Airlines baggage-claim area, Jack was
finally found when he fell through the ceiling. Airline employees took him to a
veterinarian, but the severe wounds covering half his body, a raging infection,
and starvation were too much for Jack to surmount. His Facebook page, flooded
with condolences, will, we hope, prevent similar tragedies from occurring by
serving as a reminder that animals should travel in the cabin with their guardians.
Originally posted September 2, 2011
© Linqong | Dreamstime.com
With thousands of us hitting the road
for the long Labor Day weekend, it bears repeating that animals should never be transported in the cargo hold
of an airplane. In another hideous example of what can happen when airlines treat animals like
a cat named Jack is currently lost inside JFK Airport
after he escaped from his carrier before he could be loaded into the plane's cargo
hold. Jack has been lost in JFK's baggage claim area for a week, and attempts
to catch the terrified cat have all failed.
When vacationing, it's safest to leave animals
at home with a trusted adult friend or relative or a bonded, recommended professional
sitter. Don't cut corners or be casual—too much rides on your careful
selection. If you must bring your animals, drive to your destination, or if you
fly, the animals must ride in the cabin of the plane with you, under the seat. See
PETA's "Traveling With
Companion Animals" factsheet
for more information.
And if you're traveling by car this
weekend, remember to keep an eye out for animals in distress. If you see an
animal near the road, stop to help, and please, if you pass an animal who looks
dead, don't assume that he or she actually is.
Safely pull over and make sure that
the animal is dead by gently touching the outer corner of the eye and pinching one
of the animal's toes. If the eye blinks or the animal pulls back, the animal is
still alive, and you will need to take him or her to the nearest veterinary
clinic and/or call the local humane society or the police (call 911 if you have
to—do not give up). And be sure to stay with the animal until help arrives. For more information on braking for animals, see our list of tips.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
Before coming to PETA, I worked at a small animal shelter in
rural South Carolina, where I saw firsthand why it's crucial for shelters to
accept every animal in need instead of turning animals away, as most so-called "no-kill" shelters
One day, a man showed up with a carrier containing a mother
cat and five kittens. They were bony, greasy, and crawling with fleas. "This
is the best cat in the world," the man said. "This is her 18th
litter of kittens!" I had to practically bite off my tongue to avoid
bluntly informing him of how badly he'd contributed to the animal overpopulation and homelessness
Instead, I politely accepted the cats and told him we'd sterilize his animals
for free if he got any more.
Another time, a woman walked up carrying an old flour bag and
a fruit bag, both of which were knotted shut. The bags contained terrified, unsocialized cats.
"These cats are taking over—you gotta take 'em," she said. On another
occasion, we were called out to pick up nine newborn puppies who were still
nursing off their dead mother's body under the house where their owners lived.
And I will never forget the day that a large, rough-looking
man raced up in an old truck with an elderly dog in the back. I met him outside
with a give-up form, waiting to hear his excuse. Instead, I got a rare glimpse
of kindness: The dog wasn't his. He'd found her looking ill by some train tracks,
carried her to his truck, and sped to the shelter for help.
An examination revealed that she was suffering badly, possibly
from congestive heart failure, and I explained that the best I could give her
was a peaceful passing.
The man agreed and insisted on staying while I wrapped the dog in a towel, carried
her gently to an exam table, kissed her head, and gave her a lethal injection
to end her suffering. If not for him, this poor angel would have surely died
slowly and in agony.
Whenever I hear "no-kill" propaganda,
I think of all the animals we helped at that open-admission shelter. Turning them
away would have meant their suffering and certain, painful deaths, and caging them indefinitely
is never a humane option. Some are too broken, too old, or just plain unwanted
and will not be adopted. Euthanasia was and remains a mercy for many animals,
although it breaks the hearts of those who choose to provide this kindness. What
gives me hope is that spaying
can drastically reduce the number of animals who end up homeless. Please, if
you haven't already, have your animals sterilized as soon as possible—and urge
everyone you know to do so as well.
Written by Teresa
Chagrin, PETA's animal care & control specialist
© David Thompson/iStockphoto.com
Even while admitting to myself that I was probably well past
the target age for Puss in Boots, I couldn't resist the
allure of the swashbuckling, lady-killing feline hero. I wasn't disappointed. This
movie has plenty for young and old alike, from madcap adventures to the
hilarity of Antonio Banderas' smooth, romantic voice purring out of a tiny cat.
But the "legendary lover" has a softer side, which
we get a glimpse of when his love interest, Kitty Softpaws, sorrowfully confesses
that her claws were taken from her by a family she had thought loved her. Her
emotional retelling of the story elicits sympathy from both Puss in Boots and the
audience and will likely make people think twice about amputating their own cats' toes.
Kitty Softpaws has learned to make her misfortune work to
her advantage as a cat burglar, but as the film makes clear, unless Fluffy's
future plans involve a magic-bean heist, her claws belong right where they are
meant to be: on her feet!
Puss in Boots is a
delight for kids and for adults, who will chuckle at some of the
kids-would-never-get-that jokes, and it's a must-see for anyone considering
robbing a beanstalk—or a cat
of his or her claws.
Written by Michelle
almost time for Halloween, and while some folks are being sweeter than candy to
animals, some are making us wish that we were only watching a scary movie.
to Los Angeles' Ghost Ship. The country's only
haunted sailing vessel promises its victims a 75-minute voyage of horror, but
only if they aren't wearing the victims of the horrifying fur industry. Even ax-wielding
maniacs know that fur is cruel.
to The Office for showing the very
real danger of leaving a dog
in a hot car in very memorable Office style.
to the U.S. Department of
Agriculture for talking out of both
sides of its mouth about the foods that people put into theirs—pushing people to eat vegetables but granting huge
subsidies to the meat
to women's clothing store Dress
Barn for proudly displaying "Fab Faux Fur" in its windows.
to the U.S. Air Force for considering turning
animals into fuel for planes. With all the biofuel options available, even Fred
Flintstone would think that this cruel fuel is archaic.
to Tom Wargo of Lilburn, Georgia,
and to 13-year-old Victoria
O'Connell of Rapid City, South
Dakota, for realizing that companion animals also suffer in a recession and
starting animal food banks. Wargo gets an extra smooch for requiring owners to
obtain low-cost spay-and-neuter services.
Today was a lucky
day for black cats: PETA's mobile Spay and Neuter Immediately, Please (SNIP) clinic
got into the spirit of Halloween and "fixed" 44 of the black beauties
for free. What a way to wrap up Cat Week!
If there's one thing scarier than armies of the undead, it's the animal overpopulation crisis.
Every year, millions of unwanted kittens are left at
crowded animal shelters, where many of them must be euthanized
for lack of suitable homes. Others are casually passed around from one
temporary home to the next or are dumped on the roadside.
Just one unaltered
female cat can lead to 370,000 feline descendants in only seven years; an unneutered male cat can help
create limitless litters
of kittens. PETA's mobile clinics have
sterilized more than 75,000 animals since the program's inception in 2001,
preventing the births of hundreds
of thousands of unwanted
kittens and puppies.
Black cats are often the target of cruel people who
torture or kill them around Halloween. Keeping cats inside
is the best way to keep them safe, and if you have an unaltered cat of any
color, make an appointment today to get him or her sterilized. In addition to
preventing unwanted litters, spay and neuter surgeries
eliminate the risk of certain cancers of the reproductive system. It is
the best treat that you can give your cat—any time of year.
If you've already "fixed" your cat, you can
make a donation
to help others do the same and to help keep our SNIP clinic going.
by Heather Faraid Drennan
It's Cat Week, and
as much as I want to post cute photos of my newly adopted cat, here instead are seven items adapted from "The Alwayses and the
Never-Evers Checklist," from PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk's
insightful book 250 Things You Can Do to Make Your Cat Adore You.
Following the complete list will help you make every single week of your cat's
life the best it can be.
© Digital Vision | Cats and Dogs | Getty Images
To read the entire checklist,
pick up a copy of 250 Things You Can Do to Make Your Cat Adore You
or click here to read a longer excerpt. There's
no time like Cat Week to promise your cat that you will do everything you can
to make him or her adore you.
(And if you would like to see photos of my cat,
please let my boss know in the comments section.)
know where Bill Maher got the shirt that he wore to perform at George
Washington University—'cause we made it. Lookin' good,
Rattinger/ GW Hatchet.
of making it: After becoming the first vegan to win a Food Network cooking
competition, chef Chloe
Coscarelli is still on a (vegan-buttered)
roll, making the world a better place for animals and our waistlines. Check out
her scrumptious new recipes on Eatocracy.
Anna Wintour took some heat for being cold-hearted
enough to wear several cold-blooded
animals on her back. "She looks like she got that at a consignment store
where pimps drop their coats off," said E!
news anchor Giuliana
proud animal friend who's "still
right here" is Melissa Ferrick, who is currently on
tour promoting her new album. The adoption advocate would love what Robert Downey Jr. and his wife, Susan,
are up to—the couple adopted a pair of cats their friend found
in a bush.
don't belong in the wild, but elephants certainly do, according to Coldplay, whose new video
features the band members dressed up as elephants
searching for "Paradise."
without a big striped hat, our mischievous cat shook things up at the St. Louis
Children's Hospital gala this past weekend. Dressed to the nines in a bowtie and
tails, the cat grabbed the attention of the gala attendees while his fellow protesters
handed out information about the hospital's abuse of cats for cruel and archaic
intubation training exercises in its Pediatric
Advanced Life Support (PALS) course.
The leaflets were, unfortunately, not works of children's
fiction. Trainees at St. Louis Children's force hard plastic tubes down cats' delicate
windpipes over and over again in a procedure that can cause bleeding and
swelling in the tissue of the cats' throats as well as pain, scarring,
collapsed lungs, and even death. One gala attendee exclaimed, "Are they
really doing this? I have a cat at home. This is horrible!"
Readily available infant simulators have been shown to better prepare trainees to treat sick and injured babies and children. Even
the PALS course's sponsor, the American Heart Association, strongly opposes
animal use in the course. The group has distanced itself from the few
facilities that still use animals and only recommends the use of simulators.
you do not like it, not one little bit, take a minute to tell Saint Louis Children's
Hospital to stop abusing cats and better serve
children by switching to modern, superior human-patient simulators.
Employees at a Kentucky
dentist's office were reattaching vent covers when meowing was heard under the
building. A passerby then called PETA
A pretty black-and-white cat had apparently
darted inside an open vent while the covers were off, but then was unable to get
back out. We were able to secure the release of the cat and convinced the
caller, who planned to adopt the cat, to first take her to a shelter to be scanned
for a microchip. Sure enough, the cat, named Minnie, had been lost for six long
weeks, and her guardian was desperately searching for her.
Minnie was lucky she was discovered
before she starved to death or was seriously injured in the ventilation system
and that the people who found her were kindhearted. Other cats who are let
outside unattended aren't always so lucky. Outdoor cats
are often abused by cruel people, hit by cars, poisoned, attacked by other
animals, or stolen and sold
for use in experiments
or as bait for dogfights.
Don't learn the hard way—keep cats safely inside,
as Minnie's grateful guardian assures us she will do from now on.
by Michelle Sherrow
and former Leonardo
DiCaprio flame Bar Refaeli is catching heat for posing in fur for clothing company Bel Air, especially in
light of the proposed fur ban in Israel. Honorary PETA Director Pamela Anderson sent
Refaeli a letter explaining,
"You probably weren't aware that numerous undercover investigations have
revealed that foxes, minks, coyotes, and rabbits—and even cats and dogs—are bludgeoned, genitally electrocuted, and
often skinned alive for their pelts." Pam asked Refaeli,
model to model, to raise the bar on ethical fashion and dump fur.
But Refaeli insisted that there had been a titanic
mistake, telling an Israeli publication that Bel Air had lied to her and said
the fur was fake. Then she took to Twitter, posting, "I think its time
2 get it straight! i'm against fur! the truth of the matter is that on the
shoot day i was told the fur is FAKE!"
Considering the lies that the fur industry tells about how animals are killed, it's
not surprising that fur-mongers would finagle Refaeli into donning pelts.
model of compassion and bar
fur from your closet. Lookin' at you, Blake Lively…
Written by Michelle Sherrow
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.