Written by PETA
Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams already has enough accolades to span two lifetimes—Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award, and Pro Bowl MVP, to name a few—and after he reigned over our Faux–Chicken Wing Taste Test today, we'd like to dub him an MVP: Most Valuable Palate.
The vegetarian NFL star hosted our event at his restaurant, Proof, in Miami. The winning wings may have been gardein buffalo wings, but considering all the chickens who got to keep their own wings, all the arteries that didn't get clogged, and all the taste buds that were more-than-tickled, it sounds to me like the party left everyone happy!
Written by Logan Scherer
Last week, authorities from at least eight agencies, including the Marion County Humane Society, seized dozens of animals—including big cats, dogs, horses, reptiles, a monkey, and many others—from Barbara Hoffman, who was keeping the animals in several trailers on a property in Texas. Hoffman and her business partner were then apparently placed under arrest on charges of cruelty to animals.
According to the county sheriff, Hoffman never requested or applied for a permit and failed to register the animals with the city. They reportedly kept 10 exotic cats—six tigers, one cougar, two black panthers, and a spotted leopard, several of whom weigh around 700 pounds—in 18-square-foot transport cages inside three trailers that allegedly reeked of ammonia and urine.
Hoffman and her late husband have a long history of abusing and neglecting animals. The couple, who for years used exotic cats and other animals to perform in traveling circuses, regularly failed to comply with the minimum standards of the Animal Welfare Act and collected U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) citations for repeatedly not providing animals with sufficient space, regular veterinary care, or adequate nutrition. PETA filed numerous complaints against the Hoffmans with the USDA—including one in 2007 alleging that their tigers were abused and malnourished and one in 2005 when concerned observers saw exotic cats allegedly left in dark, poorly ventilated cages in scorching daytime and freezing nighttime temperatures. Back in 2004, while performing with a circus in Washington State, a bobcat and at least 10 domestic cats died in the Hoffman's travel trailer when a fire broke out in the arena that housed the trailer.
Hoffman's initial hearing is set for later this week, and we're hoping that the Marion County District Attorney will prosecute Hoffman aggressively, ensuring that she pays for the many animals who allegedly suffered at her hands. We'll keep you updated.
It was 20 degrees in Michigan, and this small dog was tethered outdoors without any shelter to protect her from the plummeting temperatures. She was shivering, lonely, and suffering from a severe skin infection that was causing her fur—her only defense against the bitter cold—to fall out.
A compassionate passerby alerted PETA's Emergency Response Team that the dog appeared to be in danger. It was late, but we promptly notified a solid dedicated humane officer who with whom we'd worked with in the past. Despite being off duty at the time, he rushed to the scene and made a heartfelt plea to the dog's guardians, who, thankfully, agreed to relinquish her into his custody on the spot. The dog, later named Suzy, was whisked to a nearby animal shelter for immediate assessment and care. Shortly after the rescue, the wonderful humane officer posted pictures of Suzy and an account of the incident on his Facebook page. His post stated, "Strange thing just happened; I just got a call from PETA requesting I check on a dog …. Don't know how they got my # but I'm off to go check, after all I gave my word that I would."
Every winter, we're inundated with calls about dogs who are relegated to lonely back yards by people who refuse to allow them inside and make them a part of their family. These dogs are often forced to withstand freezing temperatures, often with nothing more than a plastic barrel or a lean-to as shelter from the ice, sleet, and snow. Not only are these dogs cold and miserable, they are susceptible to hypothermia, frostbite, and even death. Although winter is especially harsh, chaining a dog is never a safe or acceptable option. Dogs are social pack animals who want and deserve companionship. If you ever spot a dog in need, please do everything you can to help, including alerting local officials to your concerns. Your voice can make a difference!
Simon Cowell's Idol judgments come out in quick-witted doses, but he knows that the decision to adopt an animal companion is a weighty one that must be given long and meaningful thought. When Simon heard that X Factor winner Alexandra Burke wanted a dog, he apparently convinced her to slow down and reconsider, telling her that she wouldn't have time to care for a dog properly.
With more and more celebrities succumbing to a fad that means dogs get passed around like knickknacks or abandoned in animal shelters, Simon's useful and kind message is a life saver: The responsibility of living with animal companions—who require veterinary care, love, and tons of real attention—is one that everyone should take seriously.
The aftershocks of Haiti's massive earthquake are still reverberating. The human death toll estimates are in the tens of thousands, but no one has a clue how many animals have been hurt or killed. We know that you are as worried as we are, so please know that we are monitoring the situation and looking for opportunities to help in case they arise. Of course, it is a terribly difficult situation: Criminal acts abound and can only increase, the likelihood of martial law looms, and there is a severe water shortage. The outbreak of disease from contaminated water and broken sewer systems is sure to follow. There are no commercial flights in and out of Haiti, and there is no functional SPCA or humane organization on the island. But we are receiving information from PETA members' families inside Haiti, and we will update you as to how you can help the island's animals if we find a way.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, PETA teams rescued more than 300 cats, dogs, birds, and other animals and helped care for thousands more at emergency animal shelters. Of course, every day is a bad day for animals who are not often on people's minds—like those in slaughterhouses and fur farms in the U.S. and overseas. Please, never forget them: They also need help. Meanwhile, please make sure that you and everyone you know is aware of how to protect your own animal companions by preparing for a natural disaster—before it strikes.
Thank you for thinking about animals in trouble.
Written by Logan Scherer
If you answered A without checking out the Wiki page, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that you already read about the man in Leeds, England, who was cleaning his tarantula's tank when he was shot in the face with urticating hairs early last year. The incident left the man with a red, watery, and light-sensitive eye for months, and now doctors are urging people to wear eye protection when handling their spiders.
We've got even better advice: Never buy tarantulas or any other exotic animals in the first place. Tarantulas and other animals such as hedgehogs, lizards, and macaws who are purchased as pets suffer from the overwhelming stress of unnatural confinement and loneliness, so it's no surprise that they often lash out at owners who are usually unaware of their complex needs. Tarantulas are highly intelligent animals who build tented shelters, and they're compassionate—mother tarantulas are known to starve themselves so that their offspring can eat. They shouldn't have to spend their lives trapped in tanks.
If you're looking for an animal companion, visit your local animal shelter—and if you ever run into an eight-legged friend around the house, catch him or her humanely.
Newsflash: The best sequel of 2009 was not Fast & Furious 4. Nope, the best update on a classic was the revamp of one of the greatest fur-busting tools on the market—the FURminator. As far as brushes for companion animals go, the FURminator 2.0 is like The Godfather II (or New Super Chick Sisters)—it may be the second installment, but it's the mane event. With a new ergonomic rubber handle and a FURejector button that allows the brush to clean itself, the "deLuxe" FURminator is an awesome advancement in companion-animal hair removal, making life a little nicer for your furniture and for Fido (dogs who are brushed regularly have healthier skin and coats).
How can you win this groundbreaking gadget? Just pick a movie and come up with a clever title for its animal-themed sequel—like "Catvatar: The Feline Colonization of Pandora." (Admit it, you'd see it!) We're giving a FURminator 2.0 to the reader who comes up with wittiest title, so put your linguistic superpowers to work. Come on, I know you can do better than "Catvatar"!
It's official: Michelle Obama is the most fascinating person of the year. In her interview with Barbara Walters, the fabulously fur-free first lady chatted about her goals, her arms, and her guilty pleasures—and she gushed over her adorable son!
Sasha, check. Malia, check. … Wait, you didn't know she had a son? Find out who the lucky guy is after the jump.
My husband, Tim, thinks that I'm rooting for the Philadelphia Phillies to win the World Series because he's a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan (i.e., Yankee hater). It's fine with me if I get extra points for rooting "against" the Yankees, but I'm really rooting for the Phillies because of second baseman Chase Utley.
Chase and his wife, Jen, are huge advocates for animals. They've participated in "Save a Pet at the Park," and they organized the Utley's All-Star Animals fundraisers, which raised more than $200,000 for the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Even if the Phillies don't win this year's World Series, Chase Utley has already proven he's top dog when it comes to caring about companion animals.
Written by Karin Bennett
PETA's headquarters in Hampton Roads, Virginia, is well known to local residents, many of whom volunteer to help animals in their spare time. Thousands in the area have taken advantage of our low-cost animal clinics and the Bea Arthur Dog Park, which is open to the community.
But every once in a while, someone visits PETA headquarters with ill intentions—like the guy who dumped this sweet, starving, nearly-naked bag of bones in our parking lot late one August night and then tried to drive away.
Not realizing that people were watching, the driver shoved an ailing cat, who has since been named Nadia, out of his car, and ignored the terrified and confused animal as she tried to get back into the car, running after it as the man drove away. Fortunately, he was spotted by two PETA Foundation staffers who immediately approached him and saw right through his lame excuses for dumping Nadia on the street.
It took us more than 10 days, during which time the temperature soared to more than 100 degrees, to catch the poor, petrified cat. When we finally did, we rushed her to a veterinarian, who determined that Nadia was 3 pounds (!) underweight—she weighed just 5 pounds—and that she was missing hair on more than half her body, likely because of a severe allergic reaction to fleas. Nadia has been recuperating in foster care ever since and is waiting for her new forever home.
As for the heinous man who attempted to abandon her, he had his moment in court on Friday. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of abandonment and received a suspended sentence of a $1,000 fine and five days in jail. He was also sentenced to two years of probation, during which time he cannot own or keep any animals, and he had to pay restitution to PETA. Most importantly, he learned that abandoning an animal is never an option, no matter the circumstances.
Written by Karin Bennett
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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.