Written by Jeff Mackey
On August 20, Carole Van Wie, the operator of Bunny Magic Wildlife
& Rabbit Rescue, Inc., was charged with 13 counts of cruelty to animals. The
charges follow an August 8 raid on the facility—prompted by a PETA complaint—in
which law-enforcement officers seized 222 rabbits. Officials reportedly had to
don masks to rescue the flea-infested and sick rabbits from up to 4 inches of
feces and urine. Investigators apparently found one rabbit dead in a cage and
others denied food or water. According to news sources, seven of the rabbits
rescued that day could not be saved.
Originally posted August 8:
Welcome news! Today,
many, many rabbits are being removed
by Calvert County, Maryland, officials from what could be called a sham "sanctuary,"
Bunny Magic Wildlife & Rabbit Rescue, Inc., in Lusby. The seizure was
prompted by evidence gathered by PETA of systemic—and sometimes fatal—neglect
of animals at the "rescue," following a whistleblower's tip-off.
neglected rabbits’ nails were overgrown. Some caught on wire cage bottoms while
others curled dangerously toward the animals’ sensitive feet.
evidence and a detailed complaint to Calvert County Animal Control and State's
Attorney Laura Martin's Office, which has opened a criminal investigation into Bunny
Magic, run by President Carole Van Wie. We thank law enforcement for acting
promptly and PETA Investigations
& Rescue Fund donors for providing us with the resources needed to follow up
on the whistleblower's tip.
PETA found that
Bunny Magic consisted of little more than Van Wie's garage, which reeked of ammonia,
and a dark shed that was overrun with rodents. It had no paid help to care for its more than 200 rabbits and other animals. Van
Wie deprived rabbits of needed veterinary care and left contagious animals in contact
with others, risking the spread of disease. Photographs show that Bunny Magic was
little more than a hoarding
facility, amassing far more animals than it could properly care for.
Dead rabbits crammed
into a freezer
Scores of rabbits kept in cramped, stacked cages
are fastidiously clean animals) were unable to avoid stepping in their own feces, which was allowed
to accumulate for days
One neglected rabbit,
Rockette, suffered with a severely twisted neck, struggling to stand up on her
own; she was denied nursing and veterinary care and left to languish and
defecate on herself until she finally died. Another rabbit, named George, who
had a months-long respiratory infection that filled his throat with pus, was
rescued from Bunny Magic before PETA met with officials but could not be saved.
A veterinarian recommended that George be put out of his misery.
The rabbits are being rescued only because a courageous
whistleblower reported how horrified he or she was by Bunny Magic, reminding us
that we should never be
silent when animals are in trouble.
Please be sure, before adopting any animals, that you're ready to make a lifetime commitment to caring for them. Beware of hoarders
pretending to operate so-called "no-kill" rescues or sanctuaries who
promise to care for unwanted animals but instead will only subject them to
prolonged suffering and a prolonged, miserable death. If you take an animal to
a shelter, make sure it's
Victories like this one are made possible in part through
the generosity of PETA Investigations & Rescue Fund supporters. To learn more about this vital fund and how
you can support the rescue of more animals, click here!
Good news out of New York: Following September's flood in
which nearly 100 animals
died when they were left to drown, PETCO has announced that its
Johnson City store will
not sell any animals upon reopening this month. The announcement is music to the ears of Johnson City
residents, dozens of whom joined a PETA-led demonstration last September aimed
at keeping PETCO from
This decision will save many animals from being bred and warehoused to supply the store, which seems appropriate considering all those terrified
animals who perished in the dark, cold waters. But PETCO still doesn't deserve
our business until it does the right thing and stops selling animals in all its stores nationwide, given the neglect and cruelty that occur at those locations
and that are rife within
the chain's animal suppliers, in addition to the fact that the animal-homelessness crisis—which PETCO itself
cites at its dog and cat adoption events—affects the very species the chain sells, too.
Kudos to Johnson City for forging such progress for
animals in the pet trade from the devastation that struck there. And remember,
folks—there's still a criminal investigation pending concerning the events
leading up to those animals' horrible deaths …
How You Can Help
Animals in Pet Stores
Please buy supplies for your companions only from retailers
that do not sell animals.
has sent an urgent letter to the rock band Train urging the group to cancel their
performance at KFC's franchisee convention in San Antonio—or else face the
music from PETA supporters—because of KFC's refusal to stop its suppliers' cruelty to chickens.
Many of the top names in music have taken a strong public
stand against KFC, including Sir
Paul McCartney, Pink, the Smashing Pumpkins, and Chrissie Hynde.
Let's hope that Train gets on board, too, but if they take KFC's dirty money,
they must carry the company's baggage—and PETA will protest their show.
Even those of us who are not quite famous can tell KFC to take
cruelty to chickens off the menu. Sign Pink's petition demanding that KFC
require its suppliers to stop abusing birds (and don't eat at its restaurants
until it agrees).
After someone with a sharp eye and a kind heart spotted a thin
to a small pen, the person contacted PETA's Emergency Response Team. We immediately got in touch with the local humane society, which was on the
case right away! The horse was rescued from her pitiful little mesh prison and
transported to a stable, where she can now walk
freely for perhaps the first time in months, maybe even years.
I wonder how many people passed by this horse every day
without giving her a second thought. Yet all that her happiness depended upon
was the intervention of one concerned passerby. Please, if you see an animal you
believe is being neglected or abused, be that one wonderful person who takes a few
minutes out of the day to make a crucial difference.
Not sure what to do when you suspect cruelty or neglect? PETA can help.
Written by Michelle Kretzer
Dworkin Furs in Ottawa has been
peddling pelts for more than a century. But 100 years of cruelty is coming to
an end as Dworkin Furs sells off the last of its skins and shuts its doors.
management at Dworkin is staying mum, business professor Ian Lee said fur sales are down because PETA
and other groups have exposed the cruelty of the fur industry. "[PETA]
have made it less fashionable—or less acceptable, I should say—to wear fur,"
he told news sources. "You don't close your doors because you're making
lots of money … you close your doors because you aren't making money."
for showing retailers that fur is headed the way of the stagecoach.
Let's keep the pressure on by sharing the Pledge to Be Fur-Free on Facebook and adding
to the long list of people who wouldn't be caught dead wearing dead animals.
Written by PETA
For the past 65 years during Yellville,
Arkansas' annual "Turkey Trot Festival," residents have hurled live turkeys out of
at high altitudes for the "pleasure" of watching the wild birds—who
naturally only fly short distances at low altitudes—drop to the Earth. Many are
badly injured or killed, and others are tackled and taken home to be eaten for
Thanksgiving dinner. But this year, not only were no turkeys tossed, two lucky
birds were also rescued and are now living in a loving home!
The Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) swarmed the area, promising that any pilot caught throwing turkeys would
risk losing his or her license. Apparently, the would-be turkey-tossers decided
it wasn't worth the risk—not one turkey was dropped! PETA is also offering a $5,000 reward
(which still stands) for information leading to the arrest and conviction of
anyone caught throwing turkeys out of airplanes.
To "get back at PETA" for objecting
to this cruel tradition, one woman tried to buy two flightless, domesticated
turkeys so that she could hurl them from the roof of the town courthouse! A
PETA activist quickly intervened, warning the sellers that they would be aiding
and abetting in a crime by selling the birds for this purpose, and she convinced
them to give the birds to her instead. After getting veterinary care for one of
the birds, who had suffered injuries to her face and neck, likely from abuse, PETA
found the birds a wonderful home. Now named Lori and Walfredo, the turkeys are
living the good life on a spacious
farm with a loving family.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
and geese in North America are a bit safer, now that "celebrity"
hunter Jeff Foiles
has been banned from hunting
for three years in Canada and two in the U.S. following convictions for cruelty
who sells videos of his hunts online, was reportedly seen in one of his taped
hunts holding up a wounded duck, wrenching the duck's neck, and opening the bird's
mouth while making quacking sounds. According to a news report, "In
another hunt videotaped the next day, Foiles manipulates a wounded duck for
four minutes, whacking it on the head with a duck call, covering its head with
an empty shell box and playing peek-a-boo. He later places his fingers over the
bird's nostrils and holds its beak closed while asking 'Is this how you want to
schrodingersduck | cc by 2.0
expert testified during Foiles' hearing that the birds he abused were "conscious,
alive and suffering extreme pain and stress."
that people who find it fun to torture and kill animals often take their issues out on human
as well, we should all be thankful
that Foiles is spending 13 months behind bars.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
If you think that animals who are used in movies are trained with a magic wand, consider the latest charges lodged against two British animal trainers who supplied a tawny owl named Cuddles for the production of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The RSPCA is taking the pair to court for alleged cruelty to animals.
Just last year, another U.K. trainer who provided some of the owls for the popular movie series pleaded guilty to 17 cruelty-to-animals offenses after humane authorities found dozens of emaciated and dehydrated birds with severe injuries, overgrown beaks, and swollen and clubbed feet at the trainer's facility. The birds were confiscated.
Always speak up for animals who are used as acting props and remind companies that there is no reason to use wild animals in ads when animation, animatronics, computer-generated images, and other highly advanced technologies can produce realistic substitutes without supporting cruelty.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
When Michael McLeod pleaded guilty to shooting and killing his Norfolk, Virginia, neighbor's dog, Rex, because he was annoyed at the dog's barking, he may not have thought he'd get a long prison sentence for cruelty to animals. But he was facing Circuit Court Judge Karen J. Burrell, a self-described "judge who has compassion for animals." She handed down the maximum sentence: 11 years for felony cruelty to animals, discharging a firearm in a public place, and failing to appear in court (McLeod dodged his original sentencing hearing in 2003 and was on the lam for seven years). McLeod will serve five years behind bars, with six years suspended. If he violates the terms of his probation after being released, he could serve that extra time too.
"When judges hand down sentences like this, they deter people from being cruel to animals," PETA Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch told a reporter. They also deter people from being cruel to people, as there is a known link between cruelty to animals and violent crimes against humans.
If you know any people who leave their dogs or cats outside unattended, please share Rex's story with them. It only takes a few minutes for animals to become victims of people with short fuses and long rifle barrels.
Written by Alisa Mullins
And, this week's 10% Wool "Tag and Release" winner is ... Beth Ann! Congratulations.
Don't forget to check out the archive of past 10% Wool comic strips here. Get more information on the series and the writer here, and learn how to get Jeff's other comic, DeFlocked, into your local paper here.
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.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
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.