Written by PETA
Last Thursday, four rabbits in a Warwick Mall photo studio reportedly drowned in the floods that have been ravaging Rhode Island. Although the mall had been evacuated two days earlier, the bunnies—whom Portrait Simple studios was using as props for in-store Easter photos—were left behind in their cage on a "high shelf" in the studio. When employees returned to the studio two days later, they discovered that the cage had apparently fallen from its perch and that all the rabbits had drowned.
When PETA first heard about Portrait Simple's use of live rabbits for photos a few weeks ago, we contacted the studio and the store's director of operations told us that the rabbits were "well cared for, played with, coddled, and loved by our team members." Now, in the aftermath of these preventable deaths, we're asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to investigate and if appropriate revoke Portrait Simple's exhibitor license in order to ensure that a tragedy like this never happens at the studio again. You can help by contacting Portrait Simple and asking it to implement a "no animals" policy at its stores.
I think it goes without saying that a vote for Pamela Anderson on Dancing With the Stars (DWTS) is a vote for beauty, talent, and animals—which is why I'll be casting all twelve of my votes for her by:
Pamela's run on DWTS has been riveting. And tonight, she's bringing the season's fieriest, most fascinating dance yet: She and her partner Damian Whitewood will be performing the paso doble (the traditional Spanish dance based on the interaction between a matador and bull)—and Pamela will be using the performance as an opportunity to speak out against bullfighting.
In preparation for her performance, which she and Damian are calling "Dance, Don't Bullfight," PETA sent DWTS a sneak peek of our soon-to-be-released anti-bullfighting video starring actor, singer, and guitarist Charo. Charo also joined Pamela in rehearsal to show her some Flamenco moves to spice up her compassionate choreography. With 20,000 people taking action last week to eliminate Madrid's proposal to declare the bloody "sport" to be an activity of cultural value, Pamela's kindly orchestrated move for bulls couldn't come at a more empowering moment.
You can cast 12 votes for Pamela tonight, and if she makes it through to next week, I just might definitely will have a contest lined up for you—so vote for her!
Written by Logan Scherer
Elizabeth Carlisle—the former Petland employee who drowned two rabbits in the backroom of a store in Akron, Ohio, and then posted a now-infamous photo of the animals on Facebook—recently pleaded guilty to two counts of cruelty to animals.
Carlisle's case caused a media storm and drew attention to the epidemic of animal abuse at pet stores across the country. Time after time, undercover investigations have revealed that Carlisle's shocking behavior is par for the course at places where animals are bred and sold. Although the Akron store has been closed, Petland continues to sell animals at its stores across the country, meaning that many more animals just like Carlisle's victims are at risk. Take action now and urge Petland to stop selling rabbits forever.
When we think of our nation's capital, freedom and justice immediately come to mind. But there's nothing just about the fur industry, in which millions of animals are skinned alive each year. That's why, as a boost to PETA's "Make D.C. Fur-Free" campaign, we're launching a "Fur-Free and Fabulous" ad blitz from the streets to the subway, starting with a van wrapped in this alluring ad:
Elegant, dazzling, and vogue, these stars are sure to stop traffic with their compassionate fashion. We're turning roads into runways to showcase the impeccable, cruelty-free style sensibilities of chic celebrities from Carrie Underwood to Michelle Obama and from Tyra Banks to Oprah Winfrey. And the commuting runway won't be just above ground—we're also going subterranean with our new ad, spreading the anti-fur message throughout the Metro. Fashion show on the subway? Yes. We. Can.
Want to cast your vote for cruelty-free fashion? Take our pledge to make D.C. fur-free, and if you know people who insist on draping themselves in the skins of dead animals, consider stuffing their stockings with this video narrated by the fabulous Tim Gunn.
British socialite Tamara Ecclestone exudes high-class elegance—so it's no surprise that she despises cruel foie gras. Following PETA U.K.'s recent victory in getting Selfridges to stop selling the "delicacy of despair," Tamara—the gorgeous Sky Sports TV presenter and daughter of Formula One racing magnate Bernie Ecclestone—has taken it all off in the name of compassion.
To produce foie gras, workers force metal pipes down the throats of ducks and geese and pump up to 4 pounds of grain into their stomachs two or three times a day in order to cause their livers to become engorged. This overfeeding is excruciatingly painful and often causes the animals' organs to rupture. Foie gras production is so cruel that it has been banned in 16 countries, including the U.K., but inexplicably, retailers and restaurants in England are still allowed to sell it. To help end the suffering of these animals, follow Tamara's titillating lead and take our "No Foie Gras" pledge today.
Last week, Elizabeth Carlisle appeared in court to face cruelty-to-animals charges for allegedly drowning two rabbits while she was working at a Petland store in Akron, Ohio. On the day of Carlisle's arraignment, local PETA members and other outraged members of the community stood outside the courthouse calling on Akron's chief city prosecutor, Douglas J. Powley, to prosecute Carlisle to the fullest extent of the law.
This incident is just one example of the abuses animals suffer in pet stores nationwide. For nearly 30 years, PETA has fielded complaints regarding sick or unwanted animals who were cruelly disposed of by pet store employees, all because the cost of caring for or treating the animal exceeded the animal's "price tag." This trial offers an opportunity to send a strong and desperately needed message to the pet-store industry: Pet stores have no business selling animals.
Written by Liz Graffeo
We already loved Kathy Freston for her wonderful books, Quantum Wellness and The Quantum Wellness Cleanse, which promote a vegan diet as part of a healthy lifestyle. (Even Oprah tried the cleanse!) Now we have yet another reason to love Kathy: Her animal-friendly fashions have earned her a spot in Vanity Fair's 2009 International Best-Dressed List.
And that's not all. Kathy also defines her personal style as "cruelty-free" and her cause as "animal protection." Favorite shoes? Why, Stella McCartney, of course!
"Best-dressed" Kathy Freston is yet more proof that nobody has to die for fashion. Just wait—I'm sure we'll see a whole slew of cruelty-free fashion mavens on 2010's list.
Written by Amanda Schinke
If there is anything I learned from Saved by the Bell that could help save an animal, it's that oil can equal death for waterfowl.
This knowledge was recently put to quick use by some PETA Foundation staff members. They were walking by the San Francisco Bay when they noticed a seagull struggling to say afloat. The bird had become covered in grease while foraging for food at a nearby rendering plant.
The bird's feathers were matted by the grease, and his natural ability to float had been destroyed, so time was not on this guy's side. So PETA Foundation staffer Jaci Kassmeier didn't think twice before stripping to her skivvies and plunging into the freezing water to save him from drowning.
Dogs and cats are not the only ones who need us to take action when we see them in danger. When wild animals' natural environments are turned into urban areas, the animals are forced to adapt—and it's often to their detriment. All too often, animals are hit by cars, are caught in traps, or fall victim to human carelessness.
Of course, knowing what to do when you encounter a wild animal who needs help is vital to ensuring that the animal receives necessary care and that you are kept out of harm's way. Please read our tips on what to do if you think a wild animal needs your help, and always take injured wild animals to an animal shelter, veterinarian, or wildlife rehabilitator who knows how to deal with their injuries. Never attempt to care for a wild animal yourself.
Written by Shawna Flavell
PETA Files readers were outraged by yesterday's story about an Akron, Ohio, Petland employee who allegedly drowned two rabbits in the store's back room. Our readers are not alone, and thanks to the overwhelming public outcry, the store where Elizabeth Carlisle was photographed holding two sopping-wet, dead rabbits by the scruff of the neck has been permanently closed.
In other good news, Elizabeth Carlisle has been charged with cruelty to animals and is scheduled to appear in court later this month. We have written to the authorities and are urging them to throw the book at her—hard.
While it's great that this particular hellhole has been shut down, Petland still has a lot of cleaning up to do. PETA receives many complaints alleging abuse and neglect of animals in Petland's stores. Here are just a few examples:
One person claiming to be a former Petland employee writes, "[I] used to work at a Petland … and [I] can totally relate to this picture … The stores … have puppies dying all the time, due to not having water and food. [T]he kennel techs are untrained and underpaid and they get back at the company by not taking care of the animals! … [A]ll Petlands should be shut down or the animals should all be taken away. [A]ll they care about is money, money, money!"
Another writes, "I used to work for Petland … I ended up being let go, because I refused to … [p]ut dying hamsters, parakeets, … kittens, [and] small puppies in plastic bags and put them in the freezer, and let [animals] breed rampantly. I also got in trouble for … wasting company money by cleaning animal cages that were out of customer sight …"
And yet another writes, "I opened the freezer once and there were frozen snakes in there. I asked what they were … They said they weren't paying the vet to treat [the animals], so they put them to sleep in there. Rats and mice, hamsters and gerbils, and other small critters were always committing cannibalism, because of lack of food, and not having enough space."
Petland is unable to monitor all its employees all the time, which means that other animals are bound to suffer as a result. We would like Petland to stop selling animals in all its stores, but if the company isn't willing to make that leap immediately, what it can do right now is stop selling rabbits in order to ensure that these small, vulnerable animals are spared death at the hands of people like Carlisle.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Update: The Petland store has closed, and the employee has been charged with cruelty to animals. Click here for details.
Warning: disturbing image.
This photo was taken in the back room of a Petland store in Akron, Ohio, and posted on Facebook by Elizabeth Carlisle, who can be seen grinning as she holds two dead, soaking-wet rabbits by the scruff of the neck—rabbits she just drowned while on Petland's time clock. On Carlisle's Facebook page, she confirmed a friend's guess that she had drowned these two rabbits and wrote, "[T]he manager took the pic for me. [S]he reminded me that there were people outside as [I] was swearing at them to just hurry up and die but then she was so kind as to take this picture."
These horrific deaths followed what was apparently an equally horrifying life for these rabbits. Other comments Carlisle posted made it clear that the rabbits were drowned after sustaining agonizing injuries when they were allowed to "attack and eat each other." The rabbits suffered from "deep wounds all over," "an eye missing," what Petland staff "suspected was a broken jaw," and paralysis from the waist down—injuries that would not have occurred had these animals been provided with proper care and supervision.
Undercover investigations have revealed time and time again that companies that breed and sell animals are concerned about profits, not animals' well-being. We are urging Petland to think long and hard about what this incident makes clear: The company has no business selling any animals.
To prevent future incidents like this one, please, never buy from pet stores and urge Petland at the very least to stop selling rabbits.
Click here to take action against Petland.
Written by Liz Graffeo
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
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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.