Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
cubs, sibling brown bears Marko and Maria were captured in the Albanian
mountains after their mother was killed by hunters. For two long years, they
languished in tiny cages outside a restaurant in Tirana, Albania, barely surviving
on scraps of bread.
woman who was determined to rescue the bears from this miserable situation
contacted PETA for help. For nearly a year, PETA assisted the tireless animal
activist by reaching out to many animal protection organizations. In September,
a breakthrough in the case finally came when Libearty Bear Sanctuary, a large, reputable bear
sanctuary in Europe, agreed to help and arranged for Marko and Maria to be
transported to their new home in Romania. The two will now spend the rest of
their lives exploring 170 acres of lush forests, climbing trees, drinking from streams,
and swimming in pools with the 56 other bears who live at Libearty.
and Maria's lives were changed forever because someone cared
enough to get involved. If you know of an animal who is suffering—perhaps a dog
who is kept chained in a neighbor's
backyard—please be that someone. Take action. You can make a difference!
Written by PETA
Imagine having your ears crudely hacked off and then being
tossed outside to recover from your wounds as best you could without so much as
an aspirin to dull the pain. That appears to be what happened to a pit bull
puppy in Hampton, Virginia, and PETA is now desperately trying to find out who
inflicted the wounds in order to bring the perpetrator to justice.
After a concerned passerby spotted the injured puppy in a
yard without any shelter, her ears crusty, bloody, and obviously infected, the
person contacted PETA, and we in turn contacted animal control. But so far, all
we have been able to determine is that the puppy was apparently purchased from
a local breeder, who we believe inflicted the injuries. The puppy's owner was
ordered to provide her with vet care but allegedly refuses to divulge the
breeder's name, so we are offering up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest
and conviction of whoever hacked off the puppy's ears.
Home "crop jobs," in which scissors, knives, and
other sharp instruments are used to hack off pit bulls' ears to make them look "tough,"
are often associated with dogfighting.
Such procedures are illegal both because they violate anti-cruelty laws and
because they could be considered practicing veterinary medicine without a
license. Even if performed by a veterinarian, ear-cropping and tail-docking
are purely cosmetic (read: unnecessary) and cause extreme pain to the victims.
Cases like this one are not isolated incidents. Animal
abusers are usually repeat offenders, and studies show
that they often "progress" to committing violence against humans.
If you live in the Hampton Roads, Virginia, area and have any information about
this crime, please call PETA at 757-962-8370.
Written by Joe Taksel
This sweet's dog owners may have tossed her a bit of food, but that is where their kindness stopped. Neglected and relegated to life at the end of a chain, this tiny Chihuahua mix suffered every day and night without shelter from whatever the weather threw at her. Her fur was painfully matted and she seemed desperate for a kind word or touch.
A neighbor, desperate to help the dog, called PETA for help. We got on the blower and reported this wanton neglect to the local humane society and law enforcement officials, who both paid visits to the house. The pressure worked, and her owners put up a sign advertising a free dog.
Our complainant arranged for a friend to go by, and the owners handed the dog over without a second thought. Her sentence in chains was over. Our complainant’s friend insisted on picking up the tab for a good grooming for the dog and a much-needed visit to the vet. When she found out that the little dog was infected with heartworms, which would have been fatal, she knew she would foster the dog until treatment was complete. Now this little miss is reveling in the love of her foster mom and the cozy indoor life that she deserves and, who knows, foster homes have a way of becoming permanent ones.
No dog deserves a life on a chain. Please read PETA’s advice on how to help a chained dog in your neighborhood.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
thomaswanhoff/cc by 2.0
When a potential adopter recently went to the New Brockton animal shelter in Coffee County, Alabama, she was appalled at the inhumane and squalid conditions she found. Instead of the expected animal shelter scene—well-fed dogs and cats in clean kennels and cages with platforms and bedding, fresh water, and air—the adopter found sick puppies and malnourished dogs confined in outdoor-only, feces-ridden pens, some without access to water.
Further investigation found one dog tethered so tightly that the chain was digging into her skin, close to becoming embedded. Other dogs were suffering from untreated tumors and eye injuries, and one young dog was allegedly so badly injured in a fight that had occurred inside one of the shelter's kennels that he had to be later euthanized.
When Sherriff Dave Sutton responded to the scene, he called the conditions "disgusting and deplorable." Investigating officers also reportedly found carcasses near the shelter that were thought to be the remains of other dogs.
A criminal investigation is underway to find out what went wrong that resulted in such negligent and cruel conditions at the county-run facility. The Coffee County Sheriff's Department has taken swift and decisive action, and the case is scheduled to be brought before a grand jury next week. In the meantime, all the animals have been removed from the facility and are now receiving veterinary care and aid.
Unfortunately, not all animal shelters provide the compassionate care that they should. To ensure that animals in your local shelter are being treated with proper and lawful care, consider volunteering your time to enrich the lives of these deserving animals. You can also refer to PETA's shelter checklist to confirm that conditions are up to par.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
Animal abusers take note: your misdeeds may come to light even through the ashes. A Manitoba couple who owned a hog barn that burned in a "suspicious" fire in June—just days after investigators discovered hundreds of dead and dying animals at the facility—has been charged with 23 counts of cruelty to animals. Martin and Dolores Grenier stand accused of failing to provide the pigs with adequate food, water, and veterinary care; confining them to a space without enough ventilation; leaving breaks in the slatted floor big enough for hogs to fall through and drown or get trapped below; and directly harming 10 of the animals.
The chief veterinary officer on the investigation calls this case "unusual," but if he'd spent a little time watching the videos on PETA TV, he'd know that suffering and abuse of pigs and other animals are the rule, not the exception, on factory farms. And the best way to make sure that you're not funding those who cause misery for animals is to stop eating animals.
Written by Jeff Mackey
PETA recently received a call about more than 20 rabbits who were crowded into a junk-filled outdoor enclosure at the back entrance of a barbecue joint in Oregon. The restaurant's excuse for the cruel captivity? For the kids to play with, they said. But there was nothing kid- or rabbit-friendly about the squalid setup or the rabbits' garbage-scrap diet.
A concerned passerby reported the rabbits' precarious condition to PETA, and we acted quickly. After several visits from local officials, the restaurant agreed to surrender all the rabbits to a reputable local humane society that will find them loving indoor homes.
Animal abuse isn't always hidden, so keep your eyes peeled for animals in need and always speak up when you see cruelty.
Written by Logan Scherer
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!
Ace—a kind, shy pit bull—was chained outside 24/7. The area where he lived was worn, there was not a single blade of grass within sniffing distance, and he was living in a plastic barrel that offered minimal shelter from the elements. After a bloody encounter with another dog, Ace was left with swollen and infected genitals, and his neglectful "owner" let the painful sores go untreated for more than a month.
A concerned complainant first reported Ace's plight to local law-enforcement officials, who refused to help. When we received the initial call about Ace, we got a similar and frustrating run-around from officials, who assured us that the dog was "fine."
By the following morning, our persistent efforts to secure help for Ace resulted in getting a qualified animal control officer dispatched to Ace's Alabama home. Once the officer arrived on the scene, it was obvious that Ace was not "fine," and he was immediately seized. The untreated infection had taken its toll on Ace, and when he arrived at the local animal shelter, he was finally given a humane release from his prolonged suffering.
In addition to suffering through sweltering heat and blistering cold, dogs like Ace, who are forced to spend their lives at the end of a lonely chain, are susceptible to violent encounters with other animals. Chained dogs often become fearful of intruders and overly protective of their tiny patches of ground. This can encourage unnaturally aggressive behavior that often has tragic results for the animals and people who go near them. If you know of or see an injured or neglected chained dog, please take action.
Frail, undernourished, and lonely, Little Bit was a walking skeleton. She was confined to an electric kennel and rarely had access to food or water, and her only "shelter" was a tipped-over plastic table.
Shocked by the dismal sight of Little Bit's solitary confinement, an area resident contacted the police, but the officers claimed that they saw nothing wrong with the pitiful and dangerous backyard setup or the obviously malnourished dog. Our complainant continued to push local agencies in the hope that someone would come to Little Bit's rescue but hit wall after wall.
It took just a single day after the resident contacted PETA for Little Bit to find freedom from her life sentence—we were able to get a PETA fieldworker out to this property and convince Little Bit's neglectful owner—who allegedly worked for local law-enforcement—to relinquish her into our custody.
Electric fences like the one in which Little Bit was confined, and so-called "invisible fences," can cause physical pain and potentially serious injuries as well as incite patterns of fear and aggression in dogs. No dog should have to live in fear of getting shocked. If you know of someone using electronic fences or shock collars to confine or silence their dog(s), educate them about the cruelty associated with these devices. And always speak up if you witness animal abuse.
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but when it comes to the picture of these horses, I'm still at a loss—this photo is worth a thousand chills:
When I was a child, I had a recurring nightmare that I was covered head-to-toe with needles that paralyzed me. I had no way of taking them out; I was helpless. But of course, I'd wake up, and it would all be over—it was only a twisted creation of my subconscious.
For the horses in the photo, however, my haunting nightmare was their reality. Covered in thick clusters of hard, prickly burrs, the horses endured constant discomfort, yet their neglectful owner continued to let the burrs accumulate in the horses' manes and tails for months.
After noticing the matted mess these horses had become, a concerned neighbor contacted PETA. We immediately got in touch with animal control, which had initially failed to respond to these concerns when our complainant first called for help. However, the agency was inspired by PETA caseworkers to force the owner to groom the horses immediately, and better yet, the horses were moved from the burr-infested property into a safer environment.
It is crucial that guardians have a comprehensive understanding of the care required to provide horses with a happy, healthy existence. Burrs, pebbles, and debris often cause debilitating bruises or thrush, a painful bacterial infection, which is why horses must be routinely cleaned and checked for markings. If you see or know of any animal who is not receiving proper care, please report it to your local law enforcement—the animal's life may depend on your speaking up.
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.