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
buying a dog over the Internet sight unseen for a staggering $7,500, a Long
Island man added insult to injury by sending the dog on a terrifying 3,000-mile journey
back to the breeder in Washington state less than a week later. The dog, who was likely confused
and disoriented after the initial cross-country flight, had failed to adjust
immediately to her strange new environment, so the man essentially returned her
like a sweater he'd ordered from L.L.Bean, despite the fact that the breeder
refused to take the dog back and reportedly said that he would not pick her up at the airport. (The
breeder did eventually claim the dog but only after she'd been forced to spend
the night at an airport boarding facility.)
dog buyer could have saved himself a lot of trouble—and
the dog a lot of trauma—if he had just
taken his family to the local animal shelter, where they could have chosen from
among a plethora of great dogs. But considering that he was dumb enough to hand
over an exorbitant amount of money to a breeding operation that exacerbates the
animal homelessness crisis, allowed the dog only six days to settle into her new home, and was inconsiderate
enough to ship her off to an unknown fate in an airplane's dangerous cargo hold after tiring
of her, any responsible shelter worker would now lock the doors to this man.
for those of us who don't view animals as disposable accessories, animal shelters are the perfect place to make a permanent love connection.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
PETA's Community Animal
Project team got a call from a
man who asked us to euthanize his sick dog, staffers weren't expecting to see
an animal who had been suffering for months—or
possibly even for years.
had mange so severe that she screamed in pain when anyone touched her. She had
likely been chewing on her skin to relieve the itching for so long that she had
developed a bacterial infection that had eroded her teeth. Cordie was also
suffering from a swollen, fluid-filled mass on her ear and a raging yeast
infection. As gently as possible, so as not to hurt her further, we ended her suffering and let her
slip away from this world.
of Cordie's conditions would have been relatively easy to treat if the dog's
owner had taken her to a veterinarian long ago when he first noticed her
symptoms. He told the PETA staffers that he loved his dog but was unemployed
and had had no money for vet care.
for a nonprofit, we understand what it's like to live on a tight budget. We recommend
that everyone do whatever is necessary to plan ahead for emergency veterinary
needs. Putting away even a few dollars a month, buying animal medical insurance, or trying to find a vet who will arrange a payment plan can ensure that animals
don't suffer in a tough economy.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
Update: The head of the rabbinical court strongly denies that the stray dog who wandered into the courtroom was ordered to be stoned, saying that the dog was instead removed by animal control, and the Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv has apologized for errors in its initial report. However, the orthodox watchdog website FailedMessiah.com reports that one of the court's managers confirmed that children outside were ordered to "throw stones at [the dog] in order to drive him away." PETA has not yet received a response to our letter to the court.
Brace yourself: Ultra-Orthodox Rabbinical authorities in Jerusalem have sentenced a dog to be stoned to death after deciding that the dog is the reincarnation of a secular lawyer who supposedly insulted the judges decades ago.
PETA and Israeli animal rights group Let the Animals Live are calling for the ruling to be overturned and for appropriate law enforcement agencies to investigate whether charges can be made for inciting cruelty to animals. We're also calling for the head of the court to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
"By sentencing an innocent animal to a painful death for such an absurd reason, this rabbinical court has not only completely discredited itself but also violated tza'ar ba'alei chayim (the principle of avoiding the suffering of living creatures)—one of the most important principles in Judaism," said PETA senior researcher Philip Schein.
While this case is justifiably drawing international attention, dogs all over the world are also facing "death sentences" in laboratories, on fur farms, and in backyards.
If you see a dog or any animal in trouble, please alert the authorities right away. Contact PETA's Cruelty Investigations Department if you need assistance.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
People passing by USA Network's Rockefeller Plaza headquarters yesterday were greeted by a pack of "dogs" howling against the network's decision to air the Westminster Dog Show. PETA's beagle brigade made sure that everyone heard the ugly truth about doggie beauty pageants and the dog-breeding industry: They kill shelter dogs' chances. That's because when people rush out to buy a puppy like the purebred they saw prancing around on TV, a lovable pup in an animal shelter loses a chance at a good home.
The message is getting through: PETA's "dogs" got plenty of thumbs-ups and "go get 'em's" from passersby, and one woman even cheered, "Yay, PETA! Keep doing what you're doing—great job!"
This year, Westminster added six new breeds to the dog show, while an estimated 4 million animals are still being killed in shelters each year. We can help spread this lifesaving message by reminding our friends and family members that people who really love dogs save lives by adopting their canine companions from animal shelters.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
Country music sensation Laura Bell Bundy braved the Nashville heat today to record PETA's latest "Hot Dog" TV spot. The public service announcement won't be released until next summer, but for now, you can check out the photos that we grabbed of Laura at the shoot.
Written by Shawna Flavell
The following is a guest post by Heather Carlson, PETA's manager of Communications.
This year for spring break, I was looking forward to spending a week in Mexico with my family. We planned to relax, scuba dive for the first time, and enjoy each other's company. But when we looked out our bus windows while traveling in the rural Yucatán Peninsula, we saw chickens and pigs in small crates, underweight cows tied to trees, and stray dog after stray dog.
As we arrived in a small Mayan village, I glimpsed a small, seemingly hairless figure out of the corner of my eye. I thought to myself, "That could not possibly have been a dog." The tour bus pulled into the parking lot of a flea market, and as the other tourists filed in to the store, my family and I ran back up the street to the tiny convenience store where I thought I had spotted the dog. Sure enough, there she was: small, nearly hairless, and riddled with mange. Although we approached slowly so that we wouldn't spook her, she cowered and ran away. We were close enough to see that she was dreadfully thin and that her body was riddled with open abscesses—her skin cracked from the progression of the disease that was eating her alive.
The people working at the little store didn't understand our questions about the dog, so we ran back to the tourist market and asked if there was an animal shelter or a vet in the area who could help us with a dog suffering from mange. They did not fully understand us, but they nodded and said "sarna" (which I later learned means "mange") and indicated that there was no animal hospital anywhere in the area. With the tour bus leaving; no car, taxi, or bus services nearby; and barely anyone who spoke English there to help us, my family and I left some food near where we'd seen the dog and reluctantly left her there in Ebtún.
From that moment forward, I made it my mission to find her help. I called home, and PETA's Casework Division worked hard to put me in touch with activists in the area who might be able to help get medical treatment for the dog, whom we had started to call "Maya." One of PETA's caseworkers helped me find someone willing to drive me back to Ebtún, and we spent a day walking around the village looking for her. The villagers indicated that Maya frequented the spot in front of the store but that they hadn't seen her since early that morning. I had to fly back home the next morning and, upon nightfall, we had to leave Ebtún—without little Maya.
When I got back home, I continued looking for someone who could make the journey back to Ebtún to try again to find the dog. After e-mailing, networking via Facebook, and getting in touch with animal lovers in the area, I learned more about the plight of animals in the Yucatán Peninsula. Activists there have quite a challenge in front of them—in a country that openly advertises cockfights on city streets, little is known about spaying and neutering, and there are few protections for animals.
Even though significant time had passed and the odds were clearly stacked against her, I recently received some amazing news—Maya had been rescued. Sophie Van Den Abeele and Emma Guerrero of Cancun Animal Rescue made the three- to four-hour journey from Cancun to Ebtún and spent the day trying to find the little street dog with "sarna"—who, as it turns out, the local villagers had named Muñeca. They found Muñeca just as scared, still suffering from mange, and seemingly pregnant. While they were loading her into the van, another dog approached, and they quickly discerned that she was suffering from a tumor in her vulva. The locals reported that she was also a stray, and so Abeele and Guerrero were able to bring her back with them as well. They arrived back home late at night, and a local vet they often work with tended to the dogs' immediate needs—including removing the second dog's tumor. Both dogs were spayed and have started on the road to rehabilitation.
Please never leave a suffering animal behind if you find one while on vacation. I'm not the only person whose life was touched by what we learned in Mexico—in part because of the suffering of the animals they witnessed from the bus windows on the way to Chichén Itzá, two more members of my family went vegetarian. As a result of our spring break vacation to Mexico this year, I have reserved a special place in my heart for the animals there and for compassionate people like Sophie and Emma who have dedicated their lives to helping them.
Donations to help fund Sophie and Emma's work can be made to the PayPal account of Cancun Animal Rescue Change My World A.C.
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
It's so hot in the city, you'd think I'd be making another batch of lemonade—but I've got a hankering for some Internet Soup. It's been a while since the last batch, so dig in!
Oof! I don't know about you, but I'm full after all that soup—and guac. This Special K needs a siesta. Until next time …
Written by Karin Bennett
A priest at an Anglican church in Toronto found herself at the center of a very unchristian row over the concept of human supremacy after allowing a dog named Trapper to eat communion bread.
When Trapper and his guardian, Donald Keith, visited the church last month, the Rev. Marguerite Rea invited Keith to take communion; while conducting the rite, Rea gave Trapper a communion wafer as well. While to Keith and many of the church's parishioners this was simply a kind and inclusive gesture, one upset observer left the church after filing a complaint with the Anglican Diocese of Toronto.
Rea has since apologized, but she shouldn't have to! She should be applauded for recognizing that animals are included in God's infinite love—something that compassionate people of faith already understand and others should hear. As another Anglican priest, the Rev. Andrew Linzey, has said, "Animals are God's creatures, not human property, nor utilities, nor resources, nor commodities, but precious beings in God's sight."
If you're a practicing Christian, please show respect for all God's creatures and order a vegetarian/vegan starter kit today.
Written by Jeff Mackey
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.