Written by Jeff Mackey
Update: Brent Justice and Ashley
Richards have been indicted
by a federal grand jury for creating and
distributing animal crush videos. They have been transferred into federal
custody, where they will remain until they stand trial. Justice and Richards
each face up to 45 years in federal prison and up to $1.75 million in
fines. This is the first federal indictment of a crush video case in the United
Originally posted on August 21:
After PETA was alerted to violent fetish videos sold online showing
puppies, kittens, rabbits, mice, and other animals who were tortured in ways that would make even a hardened person
Cruelty Investigations Department staffers worked around the clock to find the perpetrators. Thanks to skillful sleuthing and
with the help of the Animal
Beta Project, PETA determined that the alleged producers of the videos lived in Houston,
Texas, and rushed the evidence to local authorities. Two days later, the
Houston Police Department (HPD) arrested
Brent Justice and Ashley Richards, two suspects believed to be involved
in an international video sales scheme, on felony warrants and charged them with animal torture.
Photo: Houston Police Department/Houston Chronicle
PETA applauds the HPD and the Harris County District Attorney's Office
for their swift action. We will be pushing for federal charges as well, as
making crush videos is a violation of federal law. Such videos feature animals, including mice, puppies, kittens, and rabbits, slowly tortured to death for the sexual gratification of
Charges for both suspects result from a video that PETA gave to the HPD, in which a woman prosecutors say is Richards is shown
cutting the leg and slashing the neck and throat of a puppy before beheading
the struggling animal with a meat cleaver. Richards also faces charges related
to the torture and killing of a cat in a 2010 video. As the Houston Chronicle reports, a "judge halted the reading of the court documents during a hearing last week because the details were too graphic." Richards has reportedly admitted to killing hundreds of
animals over the years. The investigation is
As this case shows, for animals in danger, one phone call or e-mail can the make the difference between life and (perhaps a horrible) death.
Please, if you witness or hear about cruelty to animals, never be silent.
Written by PETA
Update: The suspects were arrested on August 2 and charged with violations of child abuse and animal welfare laws. The Ridons may face more charges, but they are currently out on bail. PETA Asia-Pacific has hired an attorney and is working to make sure that the suspects appear in court and are vigorously prosecuted. Please support these vital efforts by making a donation today.
After a year-long investigation by PETA Asia-Pacific and the National Bureau of Investigations, police have now charged a Philippine couple with cruelty to animals and other crimes related to producing a series of pornographic videos in which young girls torture and kill animals. Faced with the charges, suspects Dorma and Vic Ridon have fled. Warrants have been issued for them.
WARNING: Graphic descriptions follow.
The "crush" videos that the Ridons are believed to have produced show scantily clad 12-year-old girls as they stomp on live animals, a rabbit as he or she is skinned alive, other rabbits as they scream while their ears are cut off and they are set on fire, a dog as he or she is burned with a clothes iron, and a monkey who was repeatedly hit in the eye with the sharp end of a stiletto heel. There is more, including puppies crushed until they vomited their own internal organs. A bill currently in the Philippine Senate would criminalize the sale of such "crush videos," already illegal in the U.S. and other countries. You can e-mail Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia Jr. and ask him to vocally support the bill and help prevent the videos from being produced in his country.
PETA Asia-Pacific is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of the Ridons. You can also make a donation to PETA Asia-Pacific to help the group fight cruelty to animals in this case as well as in many others.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
The Top Model shows are supposed to be about wannabe models crushing the competition, not animals. So why, then, would an ad for New Zealand's Next Top Model include footage of a woman in red heels stomping on a bleating stuffed lamb? The commercial is creepily reminiscent of "crush videos"—sick fetish films in which women in high heels stomp on real animals. Crush videos are so disturbing that Congress recently passed a law banning them. Under the law, anyone deranged enough to possess one of the videos can be sentenced to up to seven years in prison.
The ad has New Zealanders in a frenzy: The New Zealand Advertising Standards Authority has been swamped with angry phone calls, but since the commercial aired in Australia, not New Zealand, the authority can't do anything about it. Now animal advocates are calling on Australia's Network Ten, which aired the disturbing ad, to pull it off the air and apologize.
New Zealand's Next Top Model should take a clue from Project Runway and "make it work" without hurting animals—or even pretending to.
Who says bipartisanship is dead? Legislators on both sides of the aisle have at last found something they can agree on: So-called "crush videos" depicting the crushing, burning, drowning, or impaling of animals have no place in a civilized society.
After the Supreme Court struck down a previous law banning such videos, one of the sponsors of the original law, Rep. Elton Gallegly, immediately got to work writing a new one. In order to avoid the free-speech hurdle that tripped up the previous law, the new law is more narrowly defined to apply solely to non-educational videos depicting certain specific acts that violate cruelty-to-animals laws.
A House version of the bill was overwhelmingly approved in July, and the Senate version passed on Friday. It now moves on to the president for his signature.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Just three months after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down as "overly broad" a law intended to ban the distribution of videos depicting illegal cruelty to animals, a new bill aimed at stopping these vile videos has passed the House of Representatives in a landslide.
This bill, called the Prevention of Interstate Commerce in Animal Crush Videos Act, would outlaw "obscene" depictions of acts that violate cruelty-to-animals laws, such as "crush" videos—in which women kill puppies, kittens, and rabbits by stomping on them with their bare feet or in high heels. "These videos have no redeeming value and clearly fall outside the realm of protected speech," says Rep. James P. Moran, D-Va., one of the sponsors of the bill. "Not only are they viciously inhumane to the animals involved, but they also teach behavior that can lead to other violent crimes against animals and humans." Thank you, Rep. Moran!
Please get everyone you know, today, to urge their senators to do the right thing and approve this bill.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down as "overly broad" a law meant to ban the distribution of videos depicting illegal conduct such as "crush" videos, in which animals are slowly killed under a high heel or bare foot, and videos in which animals are forced to fight or tortured in other ways—but we fully expect the Court to uphold a narrower federal statute barring distribution of vile videos that depict indisputable cruelty to animals. The bill is already in the works. And in case anyone out there who takes pleasure in others' pain is rejoicing, please take note: Abusing animals or inciting others to do so is still illegal and will result in jail time.
Caring people agree that video depictions of cruelty to animals should only be legal when their purpose is to expose—not promote—cruelty to animals. PETA's undercover footage—which shows elephants as they are beaten by circus trainers, chickens as they are scalded to death in slaughterhouses, and snakes as they are skinned alive—truly motivate, rather than titillate, viewers and inspire them to get involved and help stop the suffering. Case in point: You and me. Tell us which PETA video inspired you (and then please do a good deed by forwarding it to someone who doesn't realize what's going on in the world).
Written by Karin Bennett
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.