Written by Jeff Mackey
As the BP
oil-spill civil case unfolds in New Orleans, we thought this would be a good time to update you on some
of the companion animals PETA rescued as people fled the region in the wake of the catastrophe.
Disasters such as the one in the Gulf flood animal shelters with
dogs and cats whose families lose their jobs or see their businesses go bust. With
support from the fabulous Pamela
Anderson, PETA workers drove a Winnebago carrying more than 40 homeless dogs and nearly 30 special-needs
cats from New Orleans–area shelters to Virginia, where they were placed in permanent
homes, including three who live in PETA's Norfolk headquarters, the Sam Simon Center.
It's a testament to their resilient spirits that these animals
have rebounded from abandonment and are now thriving in their new homes. Here's
where some of them are now:
PETA's rescue work is made possible by the support of kind
people like you. To help PETA save animals in danger, become a member today.
Written by Alisa Mullins
It breaks our hearts to report
the passing of Roxie "Rock Star" Patterson, a little wiggly slip of a
dog with an exuberant personality as big as a 20,000-seat stadium. Roxie was
rescued 11 years ago by PETA cruelty caseworkers after one of the other dogs in
her home killed the family's cat and started eyeing her next. The caseworkers
discovered that poor little Roxie was also being bullied by the family
patriarch because she wasn't "macho" enough. Roxie won the heart of
former PETA Foundation Director Jannette Patterson and thereafter went with her
everywhere. She seemed to enjoy flying and napping under Jannette's airplane
seat, always ready to give her a smooch upon arrival.
We knew Roxie by another name,
too—"Noodlehead," for her silly natural '80s
hairband hairdo. She became internationally famous after she was featured on
the cover of Animal Times and the
PETA calendar, on PETA holiday cards, and in a spay-and-neuter public
service announcement with John
McEnroe. She was even chosen
by the New York Daily News as New York
City's Ugliest Dog (go figure).
To commemorate the 11 years that she
shared with Roxie, Jannette is dedicating the next 11 days to helping other animals
who are abused, as Roxie once was. For every dollar that Jannette spends on
non-essential items (such as shoes, clothing, books, and coffee-shop
lattes) during the next 11 days, she is going to donate an equal amount to PETA's
Matching Fund—and she's asking
her friends, family, and fellow PETA members to do the same.
We know that Roxie's passing leaves a big hole in Jannette's
heart and in the universe. We are grateful that Jannette, in typically kind
Jannette fashion, has chosen to channel her grief into helping us rescue the next
canine rock star out there waiting for a chance to show everyone what she's
got. Rock on, Roxie.
Written by Michelle Kretzer
little dachshund was allowed to roam, and that's what he was doing when he probably
got attacked by another dog, sustaining an eye
injury that became painfully abscessed and swollen. Untreated, Slim's infected
eye bulged grotesquely out of its socket.
PETA learned about Slim, we pressured local animal control officials to compel the
owner to get veterinary care for the suffering dog. The owner made a vet appointment,
but the cost of the recommended surgery was beyond his means. When animal control
told the owner that his only two options were to get Slim the surgery that he desperately
needed or to surrender him to people who would, the owner relinquished him.
72 hours, Slim had the surgery.
Now, he is on the mend in a foster home, and as he awaits adoption, he is finally receiving
the loving care and attention that every dog deserves.
A driver on a rural highway in Ohio spotted
a dog lying on the side of the road. She stopped her car and got out to check on
the dog but couldn't tell much about her condition, other than that she
appeared to be breathing. The driver called PETA but unfortunately hadn't
contacted local police or animal control and had left the scene instead of staying
until help arrived.
PETA immediately contacted local
authorities, but we were told that they had just one officer on duty, who would
check on the dog "when he has time." So we sought help from our most
valuable resource: our
members. After a few phone calls and e-mails, we found a young woman, Jess, who was
willing to drive the two hours from her home to go to the dog's aid.
When Jess found the pup, she was no
longer lying by the roadway. Instead, she was running in the neighborhood
nearby—and she wasn't alone. A male dog, who was likely trying to mate with her, was now at her side, and he growled every time Jess tried to approach.
Undaunted, Jess began knocking on doors in the area and finally located the
male dog's guardian. With the other dog safely out of the way, Jess could now try
to catch the stray, but the wily dog kept dodging her. With night closing in,
Jess knew she had to go home and try again in the daylight.
Before setting out again, Jess borrowed
a trap from animal control and baited it with tempting food. The starving dog
likely hadn't had a decent meal in days, and she was quickly lured into the
trap—and into Jess' waiting arms. Jess took the pup to the local animal shelter,
and as she headed back to her home, she was content in knowing that with just a
few hours of her time, she had helped a forgotten dog get a chance at a home of her own.
Can PETA call on you when an animal is
suffering in your area? Join
PETA's Action Team to help save animals when they need you most.
my German shepherd-something-something-something mix, and I love our walks. I
let her choose which direction she wants to head in, and we ramble off in
search of new sights and smells.
matter which path strikes Hannah's fancy, we always seem to see other dogs out
for their evening strolls whose guardians act like it's a race to the end of
the block. When the dogs try to stop and sniff something, send some "pee-mail,"
or greet Hannah, their guardians sometimes yank them away and drag them down
the street. You can practically see the dog's nose twitching, trying
desperately to catch whatever interesting smells he or she can as their human rushes
along like a marathoner.
developed a little trick to use when Hannah starts to approach a dog or when
another dog wants to stop
and sniff near us: I say to her,
loud enough for the other guardian to hear, "OK, just say 'Hi' for a minute,"
and that's usually sufficient to spare the other dog a bad case of leash-lash. My
boss, who is equally irked by leash-lashers, takes a more direct approach. She
matter-of-factly says, "Can our dogs meet for a minute?" or "Why
don't we just let them sniff?"
When a friend of mine is out and sees anyone with a dog—although she doesn't
have one—she always stops and says, "Oh, what a beautiful, smart face!"
or "They love to be outdoors, don't they?" to get people to
appreciate their dogs and to remember how much walks matter to them. When
provoked, that friend can bite, too! Seeing someone dragging a dog along or
keeping a leash too tight, she will say to the guardian, "Boy, that dog
isn't allowed much fun on his walk, is he!"
approach works, I think we owe it to dogs to try to stop their guardians from yanking
them away from whatever they're interested in, denying them the social
interaction and ability to explore surroundings that they need and crave and
possibly even injuring them. When you consider that
a walk is the highlight of the day for most dogs, don't they deserve to enjoy
We all know by now that chaining or tying up dogs outside is cruel and dangerous, right? But if you're thinking that an "invisible
fence" is a safe way to give your dog some time outdoors, think again.
Like us, dogs are made of flesh and blood and nerve endings,
three things that don't mix well with electricity. Invisible fences deliver a
painful shock when dogs cross a buried electrical wire. There are collars that
do the same thing. Some are controlled by the owner, who keeps a remote-control
shocking device handy to be used whenever the owner feels that the dog has
misbehaved, while others shock automatically, triggered by barking. Beyond the
physical pain and the anticipatory fear that the shocks induce, these devices
can injure a dog both physically—from burns to cardiac fibrillation—and
psychologically, causing severe anxiety and displaced aggression.
Not understanding why or how they're being hurt, dogs
subjected to shock collars and invisible fences may direct their fear or
aggression toward what they believe is the source of the shock—which may be passing
bicyclists, the mail carrier, or your neighbors' children.
Punished for Coming
Has your dog ever recklessly bolted after a squirrel or in a
panic at a loud noise? Dogs often run right through invisible fences in the
heat of the moment, but to cross back over that line means that they'll get a
painful jolt—a prospect that leaves some too scared to return. And even if
invisible fences succeed in keeping animals contained within certain
boundaries, the nonexistent barrier certainly won't protect them from cruel
humans and roaming dogs or other animals who can easily come onto your
No dog should live in fear of getting shocked for barking or
crossing an invisible line. Real fences and positive training methods in which dogs are rewarded for good behavior are humane and effective. If you
want to give your dog a stimulating experience, throw a dog party instead!
When PETA's Community Animal Project (CAP) fieldworkers first met the sickly Lab mix they had received a call about, her condition broke their hearts. She was covered with fleas and ticks, was malnourished from too many days of going hungry, and was limping because of an injured back leg. Her owner had skipped town, pausing just long enough to tell his neighbor that he was leaving his dog behind and that the neighbor could "have her."
Instead, the neighbor phoned PETA for help. It wasn't CAP's first encounter with the dog's owner. He had let her have a litter of puppies and had called PETA asking us to find homes for them all. Fieldworkers had taken the puppies to the Virginia Beach SPCA for adoption, and now they were meeting the pups' mother. Despite all that she had been through, the sweet dog nuzzled her head under their hands and happily wagged her tail, grateful to be getting a bit of affection.
Back at PETA's Norfolk, Virginia, headquarters, a veterinarian determined that the dog was suffering from heartworm disease and that she had been shot in the leg months ago but was never treated for the injury. She would require heartworm treatment and extensive surgery on her leg. Fortunately, the dog with the dark past and the bright eyes had already captured a PETA Foundation staffer's heart. Robin had just lost one of her dogs, and something about this little girl's soulful eyes spoke to her. Within a few hours of the pup's arrival at PETA, she had a new home.
She also had a new name—Maggie—and four new canine siblings with whom she instantly bonded. Robin got her in to see her vet right away, and after hearing Maggie's story, he decided to help Robin out with the expensive treatments that Maggie would require. A bone graft, two rods, two screws, and a cast later, Maggie was on the mend.
With heartworm treatment and good food, she gained 20 pounds, and Robin reports that she can practically see herself in Maggie's shiny coat. Now she is a joyous, bouncy girl who loves to swim, go to the dog park, and "review" her guardians' DVDs (she gave Harry Potter two paws down—but it tasted delicious!). After likely getting no affection her entire life, Maggie soaks it up now, and she will gladly play from sunup to sundown.
Maggie's life, like her bowl, was once empty. Now her cup runneth over.
Once upon a time, there was a sweet little girl named Coco.
Like Cinderella and Snow White before her, Coco faced true hardship. When Prince
Charming PETA's fieldworkers found her, she was chained to a trampoline—which served as her only "shelter"—and
her coat was badly matted, as you can see:
The fieldworkers, though, instantly recognized the princess
beneath the tangled fur and, with some persistence, persuaded the owner to
surrender the little poodle. She was whisked away to be bathed, groomed, spayed, and vaccinated before finding her happy ending: being placed into a wonderful
home. She now has more than an acre of kingdom fenced-in area to explore
and enjoys watching TV, staring at herself in the mirror, and—most of all—snuggling
with her human family. Here she is today, in royal repose:
Here's the moral of Coco's story: You don't have to be a
godmother with a magic wand. For abused, neglected, and abandoned animals, a helping hand can turn a potential tragedy into a fairy tale—and adoption provides the "happily
What You Can Do
PETA is always looking for people who can give animals loving
homes. If you are an East Coast resident and are interested in adopting a
companion animal from PETA, contact Adopt@peta.org. No matter where you live, please never buy
an animal from a pet store
or breeder—for a real fairy-tale ending, always adopt from an animal shelter or rescue.
National Pet Month, the perfect occasion for animal guardians to give their
best friends some extra love and attention. Animals aren't tough to please—they appreciate even just a little quality time with
us. Our funny friend Fred
Willard and his canine buddy like
to spend time together practicing table etiquette and trading dog jokes:
ways to tell your loyal companion how much he or she means to you are extra-long
play sessions, a new toy, or homemade treats. Check out these doggone good tips from Ingrid E. Newkirk's
book Let's Have a Dog Party! and purrfect
pointers from 250 Things You Can Do to Make Your Cat Adore You for more fun ways to speak your animal companion's language.
Written by PETA
Brrr! A cold spell
has gripped us here in Los Angeles, with night temperatures dipping down into
the 50s—much too cold for Angelenos … and for goldfish.
When the guardians of one rescued goldfish, Sadie, turned on her tank's water
heater this week, she immediately swam over to bask in the warmth, just like a
kitten seeking a sunny patch or a dog seeking a place by the fire.
A sympathetic PetSmart
employee rescued Sadie when she was deemed "valueless" because of a
genetic defect. She was born with one eye—likely caused by overbreeding, a
practice that is rampant in the hideous "pet" trade.
The employee, an aquatic animals expert who cautions that caring for fish
requires expensive equipment and frequent tank cleanings, subsequently left PetSmart
in protest over the way the retailer treats animals as if they were commodities
rather than recognizing that they are feeling individuals.
support companies such as PetSmart that put profit first—at the animals'
expense. Reputable local rescue groups and shelters
often have fish who need new homes. If you or someone you know has aquatic animals,
please also constantly check to be sure that the water temperature is in the
proper range for the animal during winter months. After all, they can't dust
off their spare blankets or snuggle up with a friend
for the night.
by Heather Faraid Drennan
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.