Written by PETA
Here's another reason why we all need to be "watchdogs" for dogs and cats who are kept chained or caged in our neighbors' backyards, allowed to roam, or otherwise neglected: embedded collars. When someone puts a collar on a young animal and doesn't bother to loosen the collar as the animal grows—or when someone places a too-tight collar or rope around the neck of a chained dog—the collar can actually grow into the animal's neck, leaving the dog or cat in extreme misery and pain.
Embedded collars are absolutely horrifying, but they happen all the time. PETA's Cruelty Investigations Department recently handled two such cases on the same day: one in which a stray cat had a flea collar deeply embedded in his throat with the buckle digging in, and one in which a chained dog named Brownie had a rope painfully embedded halfway into his neck. Brownie's teeth were worn down to nubs, probably from desperate attempts to free himself.
Let's make sure that no animals in our neighborhood end up like this poor cat or dog by being "nosy neighbors"—checking on chained and caged dogs and roaming cats, as well as monitoring the fit of our own animals' collars regularly.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
UPDATE: As a result of PETA's complaint to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (DOA), the office of Susan West, director of the DOA's Dog Law Enforcement Bureau, has advised Heavenly Angels and Dreamland Divas Director Grace James that the planned puppy giveaway is a violation of Pennsylvania law and has assured PETA that puppies will not be given away as prizes.
Just when you thought kiddie beauty pageants couldn't get any creepier, PETA has learned that children's beauty-pageant company Heavenly Angels and Dreamland Divas is planning to give away free puppies as prizes to the winners of a competition in Pennsylvania next weekend. Hello? How out of touch are these people?
Giving away live animals as prizes is against Pennsylvania law, and for good reason. Puppies need constant attention, expensive veterinary care, patient and gentle guidance, and someone who will commit to caring for them for life. Not every family is willing or able to do this (let alone those who are busy traveling to pageants), and puppies who end up with people who never really wanted them are often turned over to shelters, passed along to anyone who will take them, chained up in a backyard, or even abandoned on the street.
Let's remind the pageant's director to comply with Pennsylvania law—which the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture itself has advised pageant officials on—and cancel plans to give away animals as prizes.
In their fervor to avoid euthanasia at all costs, "no-kill" facilities sometimes enable animal hoarders and others who put animals in abusive situations. Last week, for example, more than 100 dogs and cats were rescued from a West Virginia animal hoarder. The animals were locked in cramped, rusty cages in an old schoolhouse, and many of the animals were sick and starving, lying amid their own feces with no access to food or water. According to one news report, "The animals cringed when rescue workers shined lights onto them."
Representatives from two "no-kill" organizations had visited this facility earlier this year. They found that the animals were living in deplorable conditions and suspected that the woman in charge was in fact an animal hoarder (d'oh). But they and others enabled her to continue hoarding animals: They cleaned up the property just enough to make it pass inspection by law enforcement officials, took a few animals with them, and never looked back.
Like many hoarders, the woman often acquired animals from local animal shelters, which may have been pressured to turn the animals over to anyone who would take them, rather than euthanizing them. This whole sad, twisted situation is another reminder that warehousing animals—that is, handing animals over to hoarders or others who don't have the ability to properly care for them—is not a humane solution to the companion animal overpopulation crisis. The only solution is to ensure that all animal companions are spayed or neutered.
Forget Brett Favre's, ahem, revealing texts—I'd much rather see Dallas Cowboy Martellus Bennett's revealing new PETA interview. Check out this tenderhearted tight end as he talks about everything from Mozart to the merits of mutts.
Can I get a collective "Aww"? Now that Martellus has inspired you to help animals, how about sponsoring a doghouse? FYI—it's for a needy outdoor dog, not Favre.
Written by Amy Skylark Elizabeth
Uh oh! Is it happening again? Could politicians please stop promising that, if elected, they'll get their kids puppies? "Sorry, Suzie, you didn't shake enough hands or kiss enough babies so … no puppy for you!"
The latest politician to offer his kids this Faustian bargain is Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, who is reportedly out looking for a new puppy after being elected to another term on Tuesday. To be fair, he may have intended to follow through on his promise whether he was re-elected or not, but we still have to take issue with a reporter’s use of the term "shopping" to describe adding a new canine to the family.
Let's hope that Sen. Bennet is planning on adopting, not mall-hopping. Just to be sure, we've written to the senator and urged him to limit his puppy perusal to shelters and rescue groups. If he opts to fulfill his campaign promise by saving the life of a shelter dog, everybody wins.
Written by Alisa Mullins
In yesterday's midterm elections, Missouri voters approved a measure that gives dogs who are mass bred in puppy mills some long overdue relief. Missouri holds the unenviable distinction of being our nation's puppy mill capital. The state is home to more than 1,400 commercial (or as the American Kennel Club likes to call them, "high-volume") breeders who subject dogs to miserable lives in cramped, filthy hutches, cages, and pens.
Proposition B, which goes into effect next year, will eliminate stacked cages, which have been known to cause dogs to develop "cage spins"—a condition in which animals turn manically in endless circles as a result of intensive, continuous confinement. Breeders will be "limited" to no more than 50 females, who can't be bred more than twice every 18 months. It's estimated that about one-third of the state's puppy profiteers currently breed more than 50 females, so this bill should, we hope, reduce the number of puppies born, sold, and shipped out of the state to pet shops all over the U.S. (The vast majority of puppies sold in pet shops—even hoity-toity ones—come from puppy mills!)
It's hard to believe, but the measure also had to spell out to breeders that they must feed animals once a day. It also mandates annual veterinary checks and requires that dogs be housed indoors with unrestricted access to an outdoor exercise area.
Keep cheering: Washington and Oregon have also recently toughened laws against puppy mill operators.
This is great news for dogs, but make no mistake: As long as people buy instead of adopting, the suffering will continue. Never buy from pet stores—which are basically puppy mill outlets—and tell everyone you know that those stores' "inventories" come straight from the factory.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
Since "Who's a good boy?" is a no-brainer, let's try this one: Will your dog rock rad plaid or be stunning in beige checks this winter? There's no easy answer, but three winners of this week's "Win It" Wednesday contest will have to pick one of the two styles of hoodie presented by Doggietshirts.com as this week's prizes.
That's right—we'll choose three winners. All you have to do is move us to tears—or cheers—with your haiku-style profession of love for your pooch(es). Here's my mushy ode to my beloved Charlie:
Black bear of a dogI could gaze into brown eyesFor eternity
Black bear of a dogI could gaze into brown eyesFor eternity
Bad news for me: Darned rules mean that I can't enter. Good news for you: Be one of the three entrants whose three-line nonrhyming poems outshine the rest, and you'll score a hoodie. Fill out the form below and submit your haiku in the comment section.
The contest ends November 17, and the winners will be chosen on November 19. Good luck!
Written by Karin Bennett
Every year, PETA's Community Animal Project (CAP) and Cruelty Investigations Department (CID) transform the lives of thousands of animals, often turning bleak existences into happy endings.
Take this too-cute-for-words fellow, Max. His owner called PETA for a free doghouse. When our CAP team arrived to assess Max's needs, they discovered that his only shelter was a television stand. And he had no life at all! Chaining is prohibited in Max's town, so the owner gave him up, but the loneliness, frustration, and harsh elements that plague millions of chained dogs hadn't yet killed this puppy's appreciation for human beings—just look at his face!
Fishing hurts, and in this next case, it mutilated a cat. Moby was discovered by a teenager who brought him home and then realized that a fishing hook was impaled in the cat's lip. The girl called PETA for help. We rushed Moby to a veterinarian, who determined that the hook had been there for days and that Moby's injury was infected. Moby is now purring through his recovery at PETA headquarters and has an excellent home lined up for him after his stray-holding period is up.
Now, we'd like to thank you, in advance, for taking action on behalf of animals: Scout your neighborhood to find that injured or homeless cat who might be hiding under a car; enlighten the owners of that defeated dog who crouches, 24/7, in the corner of a backyard; or support our work to help suffering animals like those described above. You could very well be some animal's only hope, and your determination to help them can make happily-ever-after rescues like these happen in your own neighborhood.
In July 2009, nearly 500 sick, emaciated, and injured dogs (some of whom are shown in the photos below) were rescued from a hellish Bowie, Texas, puppy mill called Maggic Pets/Heddins Kennels. But more than a year later, the county attorney's office has yet to file even a single criminal charge against Cloyce and Carol Heddins, the owners of the facility. Worst of all, the Heddins are rumored to be back in business with a new hoard of dogs!
During the 2009 rescue, teams reportedly found dogs who were locked in cages with no water, dogs who were missing legs, four dead dogs, and the bones of others. An elderly Chihuahua suffering from a broken jaw could only eat by softening his kibble with saliva before swallowing, and an elderly poodle had become virtually blind because the fur around his eyes was severely matted and his eyes were encrusted with discharge.
We can join the howls of protest over this injustice by sending a letter to Montague County Attorney Ronald Walker, urging him to file cruelty-to-animals charges against the Heddins immediately. And for the sake of the dogs who are suffering in other nightmarish facilities across the country, let's remind our friends and family that this is what they are likely supporting if they are buying animals from pet stores.
Every day, Emily, Amanda, Christina, Kelly, and Misty of PETA's Community Animal Project (CAP) respond to pleas to help abused and neglected animals in impoverished areas of southern Virginia and North Carolina. They're often a caller's last hope. Here are just three recent cases to give you an idea of their work:
By a fluke, PETA's CAP staffers happened upon Ridge while checking on other neglected, chained dogs in his neighborhood. The elderly dog was suffering from a severe skin condition, multiple tumors, arthritis, and seizures. Winter would have been pure hell for him. His guardian said that she was praying he would just die in his sleep. Ridge would almost certainly have frozen to death if one of his other illnesses didn't claim him first. Our staff convinced her that it was cruel not to take action, and she agreed to let the poor old fellow be put out of his misery after a wonderful meal and a lot of attention.
We learned about the plight of this little bunny, Ms. Bunkins, when her guardian called PETA to ask for assistance with neutering her cat (assistance that we readily provided). The bunny was kept confined to a tiny wire cage with another rabbit who was suffering from a severely deformed leg (and who was later euthanized). Neither rabbit had been spayed or neutered—their guardian didn't even know their sexes! Perhaps most dangerous of all, she was feeding the rabbits cat food.
PETA supplied Ms. Bunkins with fresh greens, hay, and a larger new enclosure, and we gave her guardian some important information about proper rabbit care. We also scheduled spay surgery.
Our relationship with Lady goes all the way back to when she was a puppy, chained up with her mother in a backyard. PETA's CAP staffers managed to get both mother and daughter spayed, and they recently returned to euthanize Lady's elderly mother after she had a stroke. Soon afterward, Lady's guardians called to say that they were worried Lady was lonely after the death of her mother. Thrilled that our efforts to educate the family were at last bearing fruit, we encouraged them to bring Lady inside and arranged for her to be bathed, groomed, and treated for fleas. Upon her return, Lady was taken inside the house for likely the very first time in her life.
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
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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.