Written by PETA
First there were sea kittens. Now, I give you sea puppies:
Volkswagen's commercial for the new SpaceFox car shows a half-dog, half-fish animal and his loving guardian. We think it's sweet that this "sea puppy" (as I like to call him) is his human's best friend, and it even reminded us a little of our campaign! The sea puppy reminds viewers that fish have personalities, just like dogs—even if they aren't so great at playing fetch. And that's why we are nominating Volkswagen for a Glitterbox Award! Glitterbox Awards are given to companies that portray animals in a positive manner, and we think VW is quite deserving in this case.
We know that dogs and fish both need love, so it's awesome that Volkswagen can encourage the world to think of them as intelligent creatures who can be part of the family—not part of dinner.
Written by Lianne Turner
My favorite part about the holidays (actually ... maybe my second favorite—next to feasting on my mom's famous Cashew Nut Roast) is how people come together to help those in need. While we're all toasty indoors, dreaming and hoping for a "White Winter," countless "backyard dogs" will not do so well in the ice and snow, struggling just to keep alive on freezing winter nights. To help these dogs, PETA staffers spend every winter weekend helping ease the pain in their joints by delivering sturdy dog houses and straw to man's best friend.
After learning about all this, a class of third-grade students at Samuel Staples Elementary School in Connecticut and their teacher Ms. Ellen Linker raised over $800 for the dogs—for the second year in a row. Wow!
Well, this class definitely gives me that fuzzy feeling deep inside. To show the students how much we appreciate their dedication to animals, we'll be sending along a holiday package filled with comic books, stickers, a copy of Ingrid Newkirk's book 50 Awesome Ways Kids Can Help Animals, and a card signed by PETA staff members. Please post a comment below to join us in thanking these students who gave up their lunch money and allowances to help animals in need.
I hope the actions of these generous students inspire you to be an "angel" for a freezing, lonely backyard dog this winter. Do you think your school, office, family, or friends would want to pool funds to purchase a doghouse? That would be perfect! Together, we can make sure that dogs who would have shivered through long, cold nights have a dry place to curl up in and try to be warm.
And please remember to tell everyone—maybe put up a flyer?—that animal companions should always be a part of the family. This holiday season (and all year long), please take your dogs inside.
Written by Liz Graffeo
We recently reported that Vice President-elect Joe Biden and his wife bought a dog from a breeder instead of adopting one from an animal shelter. Fortunately, the moaning was loud enough for the Bidens to get the message, and our VP-elect says that he's getting a second dog, this one from an animal shelter.
PETA is sending Biden and his pups praise and presents in honor of this good news. We're delivering a basket containing soy pig ears; spay certificates, including free transportation to PETA's own mobile spay-and-neuter clinic; plastic popsicle pull toys; coupons that he can give the pup that are good for tummy rubs and long walks; and maybe even doggie beer. PETA is also promising to send a $500 gift bag of supplies and treats to the animal shelter that helps the Bidens save a homeless pooch.
PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk said the following about this good news: "Thanks go out to VP-elect Biden for raising the issue of the companion animal overpopulation crisis in this country, which is as bleak as our economy. Animal homelessness also requires urgent attention by cutting animal breeders off at the pass and bailing out animal shelters."
Written by Joel Bartlett
Marley & Me is coming out soon, and—even though it is decidedly mutt-free—we are nuts about this film's message.
OK, in case you don't know, Marley is based on the bestselling book by John Grogan and stars Owen Wilson as Grogan and Jennifer Aniston as his wife, Jenny. When they adopt Marley, an adorable but rambunctious (and growing) puppy, all heck breaks loose.
Now, anyone who has raised a puppy knows that it can be, uh, challenging (can I get an amen?), but Marley is in the big leagues—knocking over tables, shredding furniture, eating … well, I won't give too much away. But the cool—and right—thing is that John and Jenny deal with all the frustrations and stick to their commitment to Marley by providing lots of walks, playtime, and more.
And here's one of the best things about this: Grogan and the director as well as Fox 2000, the studio that is distributing the film, proved that Hollywood has a heart. More than a year ago, our L.A. office wrote to the folks at Fox 2000 asking if they'd tweak the story so that Marley was rescued from a rescue group or shelter instead of being bought from a breeder—and guess what? Yep, they did it! So, hopefully, anyone inspired to add a four-legged friend to the family will become part of the solution, instead of part of the problem, and will understand that life with a puppy comes with difficulties as well as delights. (These tips might help if you're living with a Marley of your own.)
So, let's see. Adorable stars of various species? Comic mishaps and tugged heartstrings? A story about love, understanding, and family bonding, just in time for the holidays, plus a great message about saving dogs and staying committed to them for their lives? I'm so there!
Written by Jeff Mackey
Right about now, we bet Vice President-elect Joe Biden is kicking himself for his decision to buy a purebred dog from a breeder, rather than adopt from a shelter.
The Philadelphia Department of Agriculture has handed Wolf Den kennel—the Chester County kennel where Biden purchased his puppy—citations for various violations. The violations included failure to produce complete rabies vaccinations records, which are required for dogs who are more than 3 months old.
Authorities also detected a strong ammonia smell in the building where the dogs are housed and found structural dangers such as broken wires and piping, which could potentially start a fire or fatally injure the animals.
Geesh, not to state the obvious but, well, we did tell him so in this letter, which PETA President Ingrid Newkirk sent to Vice President-elect Biden and his wife urging them to save a life and adopt a dog from an animal shelter.
As disheartening as it was to see one of this country's future leaders give into the lies of profiteering puppy breeders, we do still have high hopes that President-elect Obama will adopt a homeless mutt from an animal shelter for his girls. Just like he said back in November, "[a] lot of shelter dogs are mutts like me."
Unfortunately, it's pretty safe to assume that the breeder who sold the Bidens their dog conveniently forgot to mention that conditions for dogs in puppy mills stink. Puppies are housed in tiny, filthy cages and forced to stand in their own waste, which might be cleaned out if the dogs are lucky.
Check out the horrid conditions at puppy mills for yourself in a video narrated by Charlize Theron:
Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky
Country superstar Emmylou Harris' life has really gone to the dogs—and she wouldn't have it any other way. Devoted to lending a hand to down-and-out dogs, the down-to-earth music legend once rolled up her sleeves to help PETA build doghouses for cold and lonely dogs who were trapped at the end of a chain.Now she's taking her canine cause to the airwaves. In a new series of radio PSAs, Emmylou encourages people to spay and neuter their animal companions and take them inside rather than keep them chained outside, longing for warmth, safety, and companionship.
Why is Emmylou fixated on getting animals fixed and out of the cold? Homelessness is not just a human problem. U.S. animal shelters must put nearly 4 million dogs and cats to death every year because of simple math: There are too many animals and not enough worthy adoptive homes. Millions more animals are condemned to a sad life of loneliness, isolated outside with no exercise or attention. Wintry weather means extra hardship for "backyard" dogs. Chained dogs often have nowhere to go to escape the cold and snow. They suffer from frostbite, exposure, and dehydration when water sources freeze. Listen to her PSAs here:
Dogs don't deserve to be given the cold shoulder. This winter, exercise some Emmylou-style empathy: Practice your ABC's and declare a "winter watch" for animals who live outdoors. Click here to download Emmylou's chained dog PSA and click here to download her adoption PSA.
Written by Amy Elizabeth
Awesome news for animals today! For more than a year, commissioners of Bernalillo County, New Mexico, have been in debates over improvements to their animal control ordinance, and we are so very excited to announce that last Tuesday the animal-friendly bill was approved by a 4-0 vote. The county hereby bans cat and dog sales at pet stores (yay!) and goes one step further to give farm animals better living conditions (double yay!). Of course there are a few exceptions, but you can read about the specifics of the ordinance here.
This means that those awful pet stores won't be allowed to sell cats or dogs anymore, and breeders who try to make a profit off kittens and puppies won't have it so easy either. It's just too bad that Joe Biden didn't get the memo …
The new bill cuts the license fee in half for a spayed or neutered animal companion and bans the chaining of backyard dogs! But wait, there's more! Not only do the good people of Bernalillo County care about companion animals, but the legislation states that animals on farms must be given food, water, veterinary care, and shelter. Seems pretty basic, but now it's the law.
Possibly the coolest thing about this legislation is the fact that the changes were made because of regular people. Commission Chairman Alan Armijo said, "We've had tons and tons of input. The commissioners have tried to accommodate the different points of view," and an audience of about two dozen people cheered the amendment's passage. Know what that means? Anyone can do it! Seriously. You can contact your legislator right now and make a real difference in the lives of animals all over your district!
Well, what're you waiting for? Visit HelpingAnimals.com for more info. The animals (and PETA) thank you!
I was extremely disappointed to read that Vice President-elect Joe Biden and his wife bought a dog from a breeder instead of adopting one from an animal shelter. Obviously he or his wife blanked on Ingrid's letter, which asked him to consider adopting and explained, "Every year, U.S. animal shelters are forced to euthanize millions of wonderful, deserving dogs and cats because of the lack of good homes."
Ugh. I'm sorely upset about this—not to mention worried that his supporters will now all run out and get purebred German shepherds. I mean, not only is it really out of touch with dog issues to buy a dog from a breeder—or plain cold-hearted—it's such a bad idea that one New Mexico county has just banned selling dogs from pet stores altogether. At least some Americans know what's up. So what's with our future vice president?
If it weren't bad enough that Biden chose to buy from a breeder, we are now trying to confirm the accuracy of a report that was sent to us alleging that he bought his dog from a known puppy mill operator! An anti–puppy mill activist who claims to have firsthand knowledge of this particular breeder's operation writes, "When I was there, she had dogs living outside in [I]gloos and a large side building wrapped in blue plastic … the barking was deafening … her inspection report states approximately 100 breeding dogs … she sold more than 275 dogs in 2006 … it was a stupid move on Biden's part … a puppy mill, for sure." Wow, Biden—if this is true, you've left us speechless.
Well, we decided to remind Mr. Biden and his home state of Delaware that every time someone buys a dog from a breeder, a dog in an animal shelter is killed. We will be running the following PSA on every station we can in Delaware:
Mr. Biden may have let us down, but we're still pinning our hopes on President-elect Obama, who said, "[a] lot of shelter dogs are mutts like me."
Written by Christine Doré
There's been a lot of good news for doggie kind lately. First, our canine friends in the U.K. got a break when the (British) Kennel Club announced that it would be reviewing and revising breeding standards for its "recognized" breeds. The first step was to inform breeders of Pekinese dogs that it was no longer acceptable to breed dogs with such flat faces because (duh) it's difficult for them to breathe through their poor little squished-up noses.
Then, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recently voted to revise its policy on tail-docking and ear-cropping to say that it definitely opposes these unnecessary cosmetic procedures—and that it encourages their elimination from breed standards! (Dear breeders: Please stop lopping off pieces of your dogs to make them "prettier." Love, the AVMA.)
With these precedents in mind, PETA has written a letter to the American Kennel Club (AKC) asking it to adopt some seriously long-overdue guidelines to reduce the discomfort, diseases, and disorders that plague inbred—sorry, purebred—dogs.
Crippling hip dysplasia, blindness, deafness, heart defects, skin problems, and epilepsy: These can all be results of the genetic manipulation and inbreeding that breeders rely on to achieve "desired" traits such as perky ears or short legs. If the folks at the AKC really cared about dogs, they'd want to prevent them from being ill or in pain, right? … right?
Of course, if the AKC really cared about dogs, they wouldn't be encouraging people to add to the dog and cat overpopulation crisis in the first place—but that's another story.
You can check out our letter to the AKC here—hopefully, there will be better times ahead for doggies here and abroad.
Written by Amanda Schinke
Stop! Put down that doggy sweater. For all you folks out there wondering what to give your favorite four-legged family member this holiday season, look no further. The answer is a lot easier and cheaper than you might think.
This year, take a hint from country legend Dolly Parton, comedian Kathy Najimy and the ever-adorable doggums, Daisy! These three femmes star in PETA's awesome PSA, and they know what every pooch wants this year. And no, it's not a tennis ball in every color of the rainbow. Ready for the answer? Check out what the ladies had to say:
Dogs don't care if they aren't sportin' the latest sweater that costs 75 bucks! What they really want is your love and attention as well as the necessities to keep them warm, safe, and healthy. But you know that, right? Does your television set greet you at the door each evening and sleep at the foot of your bed each night? Neither do ours. So this holiday, plan play time and extra walks with your pup. And as an extra treat, a nice warm sweater or stuffed squeaky toy will guarantee you extra wet kisses. Love a dog, and he or she will love you endlessly and unconditionally. It's the perfect present for both of you.
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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.