Written by Michelle Kretzer
of us would never consider leaving our four-legged family members behind in an
emergency, and it seems that people a century ago had similar sentiments. On
the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, we are finally hearing
about the dogs onboard—and the guardians who refused to leave them.
University in Pennsylvania is hosting a centennial Titanic exhibit, part of
which focuses on the twelve dogs who were onboard the ship. The three who
survived were small dogs whose guardians smuggled them onto lifeboats, likely
without the other passengers noticing. Passenger Margaret Hays reportedly got
her dog, Lady, onto the lifeboat by wrapping her in a blanket.
least one of the Titanic's passengers jumped out of a lifeboat when she was
told her dog couldn't accompany her. Ann Elizabeth Isham refused to leave her
Great Dane behind, and days later, a recovery ship found the body of a woman
still clinging to a large dog, which all accounts identify as Isham and her
beloved Great Dane.
recently, when Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, PETA rescuers saw
stories similar to Isham's repeated again and again. But these distraught guardians
were forced to evacuate and leave
their animals behind. Many animals didn't make it, although some were rescued and returned to their
families after months of searching by PETA and other animal organizations.
The tragedy of Hurricane Katrina forced the issue of
animals suffering during disasters into the national spotlight and resulted in
the Pets Evacuation and
Transportation Standards (PETS) Act, which requires state and local disaster plans to include provisions for safely accommodating
animal companions in the event of a major disaster or emergency.
We've seen the benefits of the nation's heightened
awareness of the need for disaster planning for animals in the wake of the
recent Navy jet crash in
Virginia Beach, Virginia, which destroyed or damaged 40 apartments. Virginia Beach Animal Care & Adoption Center immediately
spread word to rescue workers that it would take in all displaced animals, and
families knew that their animal companions had a safe place to go while they
Many more families are now doing their own advance planning to protect
animals in emergencies, including taking the following steps:
planning can't prevent natural disasters, but it can prevent disasters from
becoming tragedies for our animal companions.
Greg Cook and his dog, Coco, became Internet sensations when the
pictures of their emotional reunion following this month's Category 5 tornado
spread like wildfire across Facebook and Twitter. Greg wasn't home when the
twister hit in Limestone County, Alabama, and as he made his way through his neighborhood,
which the storm had destroyed, he feared he would never see Coco again. When
Greg spotted his leveled home among the wreckage, the chances that Coco had
survived looked even bleaker.
crawled through a window of what used to be his home and was wading through the
piles of debris when he spotted Coco—soaking wet, shaking, and terrified but
alive. Greg's emotion at that moment is evident as he tells his story in a
video that he shot for PETA to urge guardians to make sure that their animals
will be protected in case of a disaster.
and Coco were fortunate—but many other animals and their guardians have not
escaped disasters unscathed. Greg encourages all animal guardians to prepare for natural disasters in advance. Here are some
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
Looking for a way to rebel against a Debbie Friedman–saturated childhood this Passover?
OK, as the daughter of a Hebrew school principal/music director, maybe it's just me, but everyone should check out Jewish-vegan-reggae-rock-hip-hop artist Matisyahu, whose video for "One Day" was rated one of the 10 most inspiring videos on the Web.
In response to a suggestion that he put a shrimp on the barbie while he's in Australia, Matisyahu recently tweeted, "Sorry babe [shrimp are] not kosher plus I went vegan."
The last time Matisyahu played in Norfolk, PETA delivered him a basket of vegan treats along with the video "If This Is Kosher…" narrated by Jonathan Safran Foer. The video shows footage from an investigation at Agriprocessors, the world's largest kosher slaughterhouse.
This is the year I start a new Passover tradition by sending my dad a similar PETA gift basket, only with a Matisyahu CD and a card reading, "Beets Beat Brisket." Leave a comment with your favorite compassionate Passover tradition (or a better slogan for my card)!
Written by Heather Drennan
In the aftermath of the recent record-breaking snowstorms that hit the East Coast, it is being reported that the roofs of up to 50 chicken sheds throughout the Delmarva Peninsula in Delaware and Maryland have collapsed under the weight of the snow. As a result, thousands of birds have likely suffered and died in the rubble of these buildings.
These storms were predicted well in advance, which means that farm operators had ample time to figure out how to deal with the snowfall. All responsible farmers should always have an emergency evacuation plan in place for situations like this one. Now, we're writing to Delaware and Maryland officials urging them to investigate and insisting that cruelty-to-animals charges be brought if evidence is found to warrant them. If some farm operators did nothing to prevent the roof collapses or to evacuate the chickens, and any animals died as a result of their inaction, then those farmers are directly responsible for the animals' deaths.
The best way to prevent fatal accidents like this? Decrease the demand for chickens and other farmed animals by going vegan.
Written by Logan Scherer
Yesterday morning, walking to the D.C. Metro along the tenuous paths carved through the high banks of snow, the usual birdsong was missing. Then I heard a sparrow chirp and found a group of them sitting under a restaurant awning. I had cereal in a bag with me, so I scattered it under the awning, and out hobbled a pigeon who had been under a table, her legs clearly frozen. At each step, she stumbled and had to right herself. Because she ate, I didn't want to scare her by attempting to catch her and feared she would flutter off into the snow, so I watched her eat and then moved on. Last night, making my way home, I found her back under that table, frozen, snow all over her back. In D.C. and many other cities across the nation, there is no water for the birds and no grass for them to reach under the many feet of snow. At PETA's Washington office and around town, including in Lafayette Park and Union Station, we are doing our best to help them. This morning I had an idea: I picked up whole-grain bread and stuck slices of it in the saplings on the streets.
Birds and countless other animals around the city are struggling to survive. It is crucial that in these dire weather conditions, you take action in behalf of animals who would otherwise be left to succumb to the elements by providing them with something to eat and making sure that they have access to fresh water.
Written by Ingrid E. Newkirk
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.