Written by PETA
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The White House is launching a new site where citizens can
post petitions, and if a petition gets 5,000 signatures in 30 days, it will be
reviewed by Administration officials and receive a response. This is a great
opportunity to help animals, so PETA will be posting a petition asking for
mandatory nationwide spay/neuter
in order to put a stop to the tragedy of animal homelessness, and we need your help!
Please go to the site
right now and sign up
to be alerted when it goes live.
When that happens, find our petition, called "Stop Animal Homelessness at Its Roots," and sign it. Then get everyone you know to sign it too.
The media has already shown interest in this, so if we can
grab the lead, not only can we put this life-or-death issue on the national
agenda, we'll also get it in front of the American people—and America's animals
will be the winners!
Written by Jeff Mackey
A family moving from
Michigan to southwest, Louisiana found out the hard way that unlike furniture, animals
cannot be replaced, and strangers can't be trusted to move them. The Juhala
family had reportedly hired Bluegrass
Pet Transport Company to drive their beloved
pug Igor to his new home because they knew it was unsafe for him to fly in a
plane's cargo hold. But according to news reports, a month after the company picked him up, the Juhalas
still had not seen their dog, and their frantic phone calls to company owner
Bob Lawson hadn't been returned.
When Lawson finally called
the family, he apparently claimed that he had gotten a short distance from their new home
and was walking Igor at a rest area when the dog heard a noise, pulled the
leash from his hands, and ran away. Lawson claimed that he had not seen the dog
since. The Juhalas are asking that anyone with information about Igor contact
the KPLC-TV news
team, which has been
following his story.
As the Juhalas learned, it
is never safe to hand animals over to a stranger to transport them. They could
be abused, lost, or even sold
to a laboratory. The cargo hold of a
plane is no place for animals, either, as they can fall victim to extreme temperatures, sometimes resulting in
death. The safest option is to insist that our animals fly with us in the cabin or to drive them to the
Written by Michelle
days after a 5.8-magnitude earthquake near Richmond, Virginia, shook the
Eastern seaboard, including PETA's offices in Norfolk, Virginia, and
Washington, D.C., the region is now bracing for Hurricane Irene, which is expected to strike the Carolina
coast sometime on Saturday. Already, parts of North Carolina are under
mandatory evacuation orders.
at PETA's headquarters in Norfolk are bracing for the storm. Brandi, Bubbles, and Marshall, the three cats who live at the office, are
ready to evacuate at a moment's notice. The cats' carriers—one for each cat—are
kept in a readily accessible supply closet, and a staffer will be spending the
night at the building in order to be ready to immediately remove the cats if
We are also alerting
the media and sending out public service announcements to help get the message
out about safeguarding animals to make sure that
the public has the info that they need as the hurricane approaches, and we're even calling people
whose animals are kept outside and whom we have helped in the past through our
Community Animal Project. Even if you're not in the path of a hurricane—or an earthquake—now
is still the time to make arrangements for safeguarding
your animals in the event of an emergency:
couches, and even homes are replaceable, but best friends aren't. Visit PETA.org for more emergency-preparedness tips, and please consider making a donation to the Animal Emergency Fund.
by Michelle Sherrow
Lawmakers in California are taking a big
step to protect animals from greedy breeders. Landmark two-part legislation bans the sale of animals
in any public venue, which includes attempts by breeders to meet buyers they
have contacted over the Internet in a neutral location.
The law will, we hope, hinder puppy-mill
operators, who often don't want potential buyers to see the cramped, crude, and filthy
in which the animals are kept. Undercover investigations of puppy mills
have documented dogs with no protection from the heat or cold and no veterinary
care while suffering from medical conditions such as crusty, oozing eyes; raging
ear infections; mange; and abscessed feet from being forced to stand on wire
cage floors. Investigators have also observed dogs who had gone "kennel
crazy," frantically turning in circles in their tiny cages.
The new law also increases the penalties
for animal neglect so that they are on par with the penalties for cruelty. And
some cities in California are going a step further, such as Glendale, where
the City Council banned
pet store sales
of dogs and cats. Of course, we can all protect animals from abuse in the pet
trade by always adopting instead of buying.
When veterinarians gathered for the annual American Veterinary Medical Association conference in St. Louis, they were met by members of the St. Louis Animal Rights Team (START), who wanted to know why the organization continues to support mutilating cats' paws to please their owners. PETA, START, and other groups have been taking the AVMA to task for years for its refusal to condemn declawing.
Declawing is not just an extreme manicure. It is 10 amputations of cats' toes, removing the last joint of each digit. In addition to enduring the excruciating pain of the surgery itself, declawed cats can have difficulty walking; experience weakening of the back, shoulder, and leg muscles; have been known to stop using the litterbox; and often become withdrawn, irritable, or aggressive.
Declawing cats to keep them from scratching is comparable to mutilating dogs' vocal chords to keep them quiet. Yet the cruel procedure of debarking is something that 92 percent of people oppose. We wouldn't lop off our children's fingers for getting into things or have our babies de-vocalized for crying, so why would we mutilate our companion animals? Nearly two dozen countries—including Australia, Japan, and England—have banned or restricted declawing, and many veterinarians refuse to perform this cruel surgery for the sake of human convenience.
While scratching is a natural and necessary feline behavior, there are many ways to protect furniture and belongings without resorting to having cats' toes chopped off. Providing suitable places to scratch—such as sisal, wood, or cardboard scratching posts—and protecting furniture with double-sided tape or covering cats' nails with Soft Paws nail covers are all easy and affordable options. (Find more tips in PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk's book 250 Things You Can Do to Make Your Cat Adore You.)
If you know someone who is intent on acquiring a feline animal companion only to mutilate the cat's feet, please remind him or her that animal shelters are full of declawed cats who have been discarded and who would love to have a home.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
Is your home purrfect in every way? If so, it might be a contender in the Purina Tidy Cats Pet Projects Design Challenge. The company is offering prizes, including cash and trips, for the most feline-friendly home improvement projects. Entries can be anything from climbable bookshelves to pounce-worthy play areas, as long as it's a project you completed with your kitty companion(s) in mind. Need an extra incentive to enter? It's a great opportunity to urge Purina to stop conducting feeding trials on animals in laboratories—and to encourage it to explore vegan food options. If you win, you could donate the prize money—or part of it—to a reputable animal shelter or animal rights organization and help even more cats in need.
Whether you're remodeling or simply redecorating, there are lots of easy ways to make your crib more comfortable for Kitty:
Looking for more inspiration? You'll find hundreds of ideas (250, to be exact) for spicing up your cat's life in PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk's book 250 Things You Can Do to Make Your Cat Adore You.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
After a dog was painfully caught in a steel-jaw trap and a cat was nearly killed by a Conibear (body-gripping and drowning) trap in Gibsons, British Columbia, the town did the right thing and banned all steel-jaw, body-clamping, and snare traps. Gibsons Mayor Barry Janyk said he was surprised to hear that his town was the first in Canada to have such a comprehensive law, because it just seemed to make so much sense.
Indeed, common sense would tell us that traps and snares used to catch animals killed for their fur are all cruel. Steel-jaw traps (for which trappers use the misleading, PR-friendly term "leghold") slam shut on an animal's limb, instantly ripping through flesh and muscle, sometimes even bone. The jaws often cut down to the bone as the animal struggles to free the mutilated limb, sometimes reduced to having to twist or chew the leg off to escape, much like Aron Ralston, the real-life mountain climber whose story of cutting off his own arm was told in the movie 127 Hours. The animal can struggle in excruciating pain for days before succumbing to exhaustion, exposure, dehydration, blood loss, or predation.
And it isn't only the animals trappers target who suffer―just as in Gibsons, dogs, cats, and "non-target wildlife," including birds, are often the victims of these indiscriminate torture devices, and because they aren't used for their fur, they are disparagingly labeled "trash catch."
Arizona, California, Colorado, and Washington have banned or restricted trapping. Contact PETA for information on how to convince your legislators to ban steel-jaw traps too.
The following was first published on Animal Writes: PETA UK's Blog
Looks pretty good, doesn't it? Almost 100 PETA U.K. supporters took part in an eye-catching photo opportunity in London Saturday to demand that the government not adopt lower standards of protection for animals in laboratories when it incorporates the E.U.'s new directive regulating animal experiments later this year. If the government adopts the directive without changes, all animals will be affected. But dogs and cats in particular would become far more likely to be used in experiments because they would lose the special protections that Britain has given them for more than 25 years.
"Britons don't want more cats and dogs experimented on or more suffering for the millions of other animals used in laboratories. They want fewer animals used and less pain," said PETA U.K. policy adviser Alistair Currie. "We are calling on the public to send a clear message to the government that the citizens will not accept the laws that protect British animals to fall to the level of the EU's lowest common denominator."
A big thanks to all the fantastic PETA U.K. supporters who sent that message loud and clear.
As someone who has spent years volunteering at a wonderful open-admission animal shelter, it breaks my heart when people use the term "kill shelters" to refer to shelters that accept every needy animal—no matter how beat up, old, ill, or behaviorally unsound they are—and that have no choice but to give some animals a painless, dignified release through euthanasia.
This mean-spirited, misleading label is a slap in the face to the brave people who pour their hearts and souls into helping animals at open-admission shelters. I wish that those who use this term could spend a day at the receiving desk of their local full-service shelter so that they could see firsthand how badly we need open-door shelters. A steady flow of people arrive with battered, broken animals of all shapes, sizes, and species: "We call her Matty because she's full of mats," said one person who was surrendering a dog whose matted fur was infested with maggots. Matty's family was getting rid of her because they wanted a puppy.
Other reasons people have given for taking animals to the shelter include "He's sick, and I can't afford to take him to the vet," "He's chewing up everything, and my dad said he's gonna shoot him," "She's just old," "He was great as a puppy, but now he's just too big," "We just have too many animals," "They have been hanging around the house, and we don't want them," "Someone dumped them at my house," and "We're moving."
Nearly everyone leaves the shelter saying the same thing: "You won't kill him, will you?" What else can shelters do when they have a limited number of cages and an unlimited number of needy animals pouring through their doors? There is no huge farm for unwanted animals—a fantasy that many people's parents told them existed when their childhood animal friends were brought to open-admission shelters—and shelters don't have a magic wand that they can wave to create loving homes.
This name-calling hurts animals because it scares people away from surrendering animals to reputable shelters. It misleads people into thinking that taking cats and dogs to facilities that don't euthanize is the right thing to do, but animals at these places often suffer fates worse than death. These facilities are always full and have long waiting lists to accept animals, which results in people dumping animals to die on the streets, giving them away on Craigslist (a magnet for animal abusers), or abandoning them to starve in empty homes and yards after they move away.
There is no such thing as "high-kill," "low-kill," or anything in between when it comes to shelters. There are only open-admission shelters—those that provide refuge to every animal and must euthanize to ensure that their doors remain open to more needy animals—and limited-admission shelters—those that pick and choose only the cutest, youngest, and most adoptable animals and turn away everyone else.
For the sake of animals and the people who have devoted their lives to helping them, let's stop the name-calling and support shelters that are committed to doing what's best for animals— even when that's the hardest thing to do.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
You would think that someone with the name Kat would know better, but Kat Von D committed a big Kat Von D, as in "Don't," when she bought a hairless cat from a breeder. Again.
In a recent episode of her reality TV series, L.A. Ink, Von D visits a breeder and plunks down a sizeable chunk of change for a sphinx cat. Oh, how we wish that the show's producers had followed up with a visit to the local animal shelter to show the cat who will have to be euthanized because he or she just lost the chance at a home.
While millions of animals are euthanized in shelters every year and millions more die on the streets, unwanted and abandoned, there is no such thing as "responsible" breeding—only greedy animal pimps who make money at animals' expense.
Here's hoping that Von D starts to L.A. think about what her money is supporting. For robbing yet another cat in a shelter of a chance at a family and contributing to animal homelessness, Ms. D earned herself an "F."
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.