Written by PETA
Can you trust your groomer? A dog named Sadie died a hideous death from burns and other injuries when a PETCO groomer left her locked inside a cage dryer. Now her guardian, Teresa Gilland, is suing the company, seeking to have cage dryers banned in their grooming locations. We concur. Cage dryers can be death traps, and one needless death in a grooming salon is one too many.
This isn't the first time—and it almost certainly won't be the last—that an animal has been injured or has died because of PETCO's negligence. Countless animals have suffered from heat exhaustion after being left unattended in front of hot dryers, and at least one dog accidentally hanged herself when she was left unattended and tried to jump out of a grooming tub.
The best way to protect your dog from all this trauma and danger and yourself from the risk of losing a family member is to learn to groom your dog yourself. It isn’t hard, and patience is required, but it is worth it. Still going to the groomer? Then PETA offers these safety tips:
For more information, see PETA's grooming accident factsheet.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
Here's some shocking news: A man in Wales was fined £2,000—about $3,200—for using a shock collar on his dog, the first such prosecution in Britain since the collars were outlawed in Wales last year because of animal welfare concerns. England and Scotland are also considering implementing bans, and the U.S. would do well to follow suit.
Not only are shock collars cruel by design (they cause dogs to live in fear of being painfully shocked for engaging in normal behavior such as jumping or barking), they can also malfunction and cause serious burns. And shock collars and other cruel "training" devices are also unsafe. For example, an invisible fence is a nonexistent fence for cruel humans, roaming dogs, or other animals who can freely enter the property. Invisible fences can even encourage dogs to escape: Because they only suffer painful shocks in the yard, dogs can come to associate the shock with the yard itself. The Welsh dog whose owner was fined escaped his invisible fence so often that the townsfolk had come to know him as "the dog with the shock collar."
Never use a shock collar, prong collar, invisible fence, or other cruel device to train your dog. The four “P’s” of dog training—praise, practice, prevention, and patience—don’t include harsh punishment. Even if your dog's confused, frightened eyes don't move you, you'll never forgive yourself if your beloved friend escapes the "invisible fence" and gets hit by a car.
Written by Alisa Mullins
What's the best way to share your cat's reaction to a bird at the window or your dog's I-see-a-treat-coming happy dance? A recent survey found that more than half of U.K. companion-animal guardians share photos and videos of their four-legged family members online and that one out of every 10 companion animals has a Facebook page, Twitter account, or YouTube channel.
Considering how much U.K. animal guardians like online sharing, we wonder how many pooches and pussycats on this side of the pond are posting from the back of the sofa, tweeting from the dog park, and updating their statuses to "in a committed relationship with my Frisbee."
It turns out that the hypoallergenic dog fad is something to sneeze at. Henry Ford Hospital's Department of Public Health Sciences analyzed dust samples from homes with alleged Benadryl-banishing pups and homes with regular dogs and found no difference in allergen levels.
Dogs like poodles, bichons frisés, and Labradoodles are marketed as "hypoallergenic" because they shed less (their long hair takes longer to grow to its full length and fall out). But of course, these dogs still shed, shake, scratch, and do all sorts of other dog activities that release dander. According to the chair of the Division of Allergic Diseases in the Department of Internal Medicine at the Mayo Clinic, "There is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog breed …"
Rather than supporting breeders and puppy mills, which rake in money with no thought for the millions of dogs in shelters literally dying for a good home, people who want to share their lives with a dog should adopt a good old-fashioned mutt and experience a whole different type of watery-eye moment.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
Pet names: good. The designation "pet": bad. The Journal of Animal Ethics has released a report from three top universities that confirms what PETA has been saying for three decades: The way people talk about animals directly affects how we think about and treat them. Researchers determined that words like "critter," "beast," and "pet" are derogatory and suggests using the much more respectful "companion."
The journal goes on to recommend dropping "owner" from our vernacular and instead calling ourselves "human carers" (we like “guardians” too).
You may have noticed that we are always careful about our language usage here at the PETA Files, and, just for the record, we believe the term "sugar lumpkin" is still a-OK.
We recently told you about 240 cats who were seized from Sacred Vision Animal Sanctuary (SVAS) in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, as a result of our undercover investigation at the hoarding facility. Many of the cats were too ill to survive, and many more are receiving veterinary care at the county's temporary shelter. PETA was able to bring three of the surviving cats to our Norfolk, Virginia, office, and after much TLC, they are on the mend.
Nudge's name comes from her love of being petted, which she makes known by nudging the nearest available hand. She spent most or all of her approximately 10 years in a cage and is now experiencing her second kittenhood, playing with toys and exploring. Nudge is finally discovering her hobbies, including cuddling up on laps to take naps or watch TV and giving foot massages by kneading the blankets covering wiggling toes.
Olaf is a charming Southern senior gentleman who has overcome much adversity. He was confined to a cage for many years and now can't get enough attention, which he returns with nuzzles. At the time of his rescue, he was covered in scabs from an untreated flea allergy. His tail appears to have been broken in two places, and part of it is missing, along with his left eye. Olaf is now on the mend and is calm and curious. He loves fellow rescue Okay and snuggles with her often.
After a lot of care, Okay looks like she'll be better than OK once she finds her forever family. The 3- to 4-year-old tabby is recovering from severe conjunctivitis and an upper respiratory infection. Her view was limited to the walls outside her cage in a stifling warehouse, and she now cherishes windows and scenery. She purrs almost constantly while she's getting attention and soaks up all the love she can. She's also discovering what it's like to run and play, and she is getting good at hiding in blankets and chasing toys.
All three cats are sweet and affectionate, despite their ordeal. If you live near the Hampton Roads, Virginia, area and would like to be considered as a forever family for Nudge, Olaf, or Okay, please e-mail us for an adoption application—please put in the subject line, "Interested in Adopting SVAS Cats."
Have you ever heard the saying, "If your dog is overweight, you're not getting enough exercise?" A major study by British veterinary charity People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) shows that 48 percent of companion animals aren't cared for as well as they should be. Two of the major problems identified were that animals are often left alone too long and that dogs are fed improper diets.
emerille/cc by 2.0
In my home, my husband and I don't get a chance to wonder if our dog gets enough exercise and attention. Our German shepherd mix is famous for shoving her head between us and a laptop, book, or newspaper—basically saying, "Ahem! Excuse me, but I'm ready for attention now." For people whose animals aren't so forthright, PETA has some basic guidelines for companion-animal health and happiness.
We should exercise and play with our companion animals every day. For people who have to be at work all day, there are several ways to make sure dogs get exercise and potty breaks, such as installing a doggie door (if your yard is secure and surrounded by a privacy fence, of course), going home for lunch, or having a dog walker stop by. Most animals love treats, but it's important not to go overboard—obesity can drastically shorten animals' lives, just as it does humans'. And, of course, the main thing that animals want is the same thing that we want with our loved ones: good old quality time.
San Francisco Animal Care and Control is so overrun with abandoned Chihuahuas that the dogs are being flown across the country by Virgin America to an animal shelter in New York. The little pups are traveling de primera clase in the main cabin, but they wouldn't have to make the journey at all if it weren't for people who acquire animals on a whim, only to discard them after they realize that they require more than occasional pats on the head and doggie treats.
Celebrities like Paris Hilton, who portray "purse pups" as accessories instead of living beings who require a lifetime of care, are largely to blame, as are movies like Beverly Hills Chihuahua, which also cause a rush on the "dog of the moment."
Compounding the problem are the people who purchase puppies from breeders and pet stores (which usually obtain their dogs from puppy mills), instead of adopting any of the millions of dogs waiting in animal shelters for a home.
Hopefully, the media buzz created by the Chihuahua airlifts will inspire more people to give shelter dogs the buenas familias that they deserve.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
Following PETA's undercover investigation and an intense year-long campaign, the University of Utah (also known as "the U") has announced that it will no longer purchase dogs and cats from North Utah Valley Animal Shelter (NUVAS)—or any other animal shelter—to be used in invasive and deadly experiments. Since the U was the last Utah purchaser of homeless animals for use in experiments, this victory means the complete end of "pound seizure" in the state of Utah!
PETA's shocking investigation at the U in 2009 has prompted a sea change in the treatment of animals in Utah. Until then, public shelters were forced by law to sell animals to the U. Soon after we broke our case, the U was cited for nine violations of federal animal welfare laws, Utah legislators amended the state's pound-seizure law so that government-run animal shelters could choose not to sell animals for experimentation, and the shelter that was then selling the most animals to the school ended the practice. A PETA lawsuit compelled a city to turn over records of the animals it sold to the U so that the public would know who these betrayed animals were. And who can forget Sheena, the loveable mutt whom PETA helped rescue from the U, where she would have gone under the knife, just in time for Christmas.
The U's decision appears to have already pushed it to find more humane research methods. Instead of repeatedly forcing tubes down shelter cats' throats in a cruel and crude intubation training course, the scheduled animal laboratory was recently canceled after PETA protests, and modern human-infant simulators were used instead.
Now, animals entering the state's animal shelters will no longer be betrayed by those who should help them, and Utah residents with missing dogs or cats can at least know that if their beloved animal companions make it to a shelter, they won't be sold to laboratories, where they would experience lives filled with suffering and grisly deaths.
A huge thank-you to all of you who asked the U and NUVAS to do the right thing by animals. This is a major victory, but there are still too many animals suffering in university laboratories—in Michigan, South Carolina, and Ohio and in both Dallas and Galveston, Texas, just to name a few. So please keep speaking up until every cage is empty. And to help PETA continue to help animals, become a member today!
This morning, after being presented with evidence—including video footage from PETA's investigation—making the case that animals warehoused in Elizabeth Owen's Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, storage units are in need of emergency intervention and care, Horry County Judge Bradley Mayers signed an order to seize custody and control of the animals because of animal neglect. The order requires officials to seize Owen's animals—a German shepherd named Hope and some 300 cats who have lived for months or years on end (some for their entire lives) in cages and crates stacked on top of each other at the "Sacred Vision Animal Sanctuary."
The order reads, in part, "Sufficient evidence of a pattern of behavior wherein [Owen] fails to provide adequate veterinary care to ill and suffering animals has been established necessitating emergency care." According to one news story, "Judge Mayer [sic] said after reviewing evidence he would not feel comfortable allowing the animals to remain in Owen's care." We agree wholeheartedly.
The animals will be immediately evaluated by a veterinarian and sheltered. They will finally have a clean, soft spot to curl up, the ability to groom themselves without swallowing their own waste, room to stretch and walk about, and desperately needed veterinary attention. Future court hearings will determine when the animals can be offered for adoption and find the permanent, loving homes that they deserve and should have been afforded long ago. Judge Mayers' compassionate decision marks a long-overdue new beginning for these animals, many of whom have been caged in Owen's dungeon-like, stifling warehouse for years. Stay tuned for more updates on this case.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
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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.