Written by PETA
It's called "adding insult to injury."
A few weeks ago, we told you about an awful thing that happened on a new TV show called Greatest American Dog. It featured a sweet border collie named Leroy who was tormented by his trainer during a photo shoot so that he would look "angry." 'Cuz, you know, that's what quality entertainment is all about, right?
Well, unlike dogs, some people never learn. Wednesday night's episode featured a live elephant. Why elephants on a show called Greatest American Dog, you ask? They used the elephants to try to terrify the dogs. Since, apparently, the only thing more fun than getting dogs angry is to scare the hell out of them. Ugh!
Of course, it's not exactly a party for the elephants either. They're smart and dignified, and they don't like to perform stupid tricks for our amusement. So instead of using treats to train elephants, trainers strike and gouge them with bullhooks—long, heavy rods with a steel point and a sharp hook at one end that resembles a fireplace poker—or shock them with electric prods. To see for yourself how elephants are trained, watch this.
Most elephants who are forced to perform were snatched away from their families and natural habitat in the wild, after which their lives are mostly made up of chains and intimidation. Baby elephants born on breeding farms are torn from their mothers, tied with ropes, and kept in isolation until they learn to fear their trainers.
Clearly the producers of Greatest American Dog know as little about elephants as they do about canines.
If you want to send an e-mail to the show's producer, R.J. Cutler, about this issue, please click here.
Written by Jeff Mackey
Poor Leroy. He's done nothing wrong, and he just wants to be loved. So what does his trainer do? Spray water in his face, squirt lemon in his face, and even put a vacuum nozzle up to him. And we all know that there is nothing a dog hates more than a vacuum.
On Wednesday night's episode of Greatest American Dog, the show actually aired previously taped footage in which Leroy was what I can only call abused by his trainer … what were they thinking?!? PETA received numerous complaints from viewers, and rightfully so. We hope that the executive producer of the show will hear viewers and PETA loud and clear: Abusive behavior against a dog or any other animal is never, ever acceptable. Check out PETA Senior VP Lisa Lange's letter to the show:
August 1, 2008 To: R.J. Cutler, c/o Actual Reality Pictures From: Lisa Lange Dear R.J.,PETA has received numerous calls and e-mails of complaint from viewers of Wednesday night’s Greatest American Dog.The issue concerns Teresa's treatment of her dog Leroy, specifically spraying him in the face, squirting lemon in his face, turning a vacuum cleaner on him (and then having the nerve to scream at him when he bites her in reaction to the offending loud noise), and forcing him to wear a snarl band. This was all done in a cruel and misguided effort to make him look "angry" for his photo shoot. To make matters worse, Leroy is a border collie—a breed that dog trainers will tell you is especially sensitive to physical manipulation and psychological abuse (e.g., yelling at him for reacting in a way that any frightened dog would when having a vacuum cleaner aimed at him).This type of behavior must not be allowed on the show, and although we are aware that this episode was taped some time ago, we are calling on you now to have one of the judges make a statement at the beginning of next week's show explaining that this is recognized as abusive behavior, that it will never be allowed to happen again in the house or during judging, and that Teresa will not be eligible for or allowed to appear in the season finale if the season finale is live.As you well know, many dogs are abused in similar ways by people who have no idea how to humanely train a dog. This sends a dangerous message to people who take their cues from this show, especially considering that Teresa is labeled as a dog trainer/sitter on the show's Web site.Please let us know right away that you'll be taking these steps, or we'll have no other option than to urge people to boycott the remainder of the season.May I please hear from you right away?Sincerely,Lisa LangeSenior VP, PETA
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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.