Written by PETA
As intense heat continues to plague many areas throughout North America, PETA is calling on people to protect their dogs and cats by letting them inside and by taking dogs for short walks (never jogs) only during the coolest part of the day.
Dozens of dogs have already died or had close calls in hot cars this summer. If you see a dog who is showing signs of distress inside a car, get help right away. Even if the windows are partially open and the car is parked in the shade, a dog in a hot car can suffer brain damage or death in just 15 minutes. Look for the dog's owner, and call humane authorities and the police. If no one responds quickly, you may need to take steps to save the dog yourself. (If so, stay by the car until the police arrive!)
Chained dogs also suffer during heat waves, especially when they are denied access to water and continuous shade. Alert authorities immediately if you see a chained dog without shelter or access to water (both are required by law) or in distress. If officials are slow to respond, offer the dog cold water or ice cubes.
When you are driving, be aware that wild animals may cross roadways more frequently in search of water sources, so be on the lookout and stop to help animals who appear to be injured.
Merciless heat adds to the suffering of animals trapped on factory farms and in roadside zoos and circuses. PETA has received reports of thousands of animals who have died while crammed together in sweltering, windowless barns. And no one would want to spend the summer chained inside a hot boxcar or trailer and being dragged across the country from one performance to another.
Please offer a helping hand to animals in need, and stay away from businesses that profit from their suffering.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
After receiving whistleblower reports that at least two horses have died from heat stress at Fairmount Park Racetrack in Collinsville, Ill., PETA called on racetracks in the U.S. and Canada to suspend racing until the intense heat wave breaks. Six tracks—including New York's Finger Lakes Casino & Racetrack, Monmouth Park in New Jersey, Pennsylvania's Presque Isle Downs, Colonial Downs in Virginia, and Toronto's Woodbine Racetrack—all suspended races out of concern for animal welfare. Iowa's Prairie Meadows Racetrack had suspended races on Tuesday.
As if being goaded to run at breakneck speeds on a "regular" summer day isn't dangerous enough, horses are still being forced to run despite record-breaking high temperatures and debilitating humidity. Every summer horses suffer heat stroke, heart attacks, and exhaustion during the racing season.
While PETA is working toward the day when no horses will be run to death, raced too young, given performance-enhancing drugs, suffer broken legs, and more … for now, please join us in asking The Jockey Club to at least provide for a safe, comfortable retirement for broken-down and worn-out thoroughbreds.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
It took only 45 minutes for temperatures inside a crowded Johnston County, North Carolina, barn to skyrocket when the barn lost power, killing 50,000 chickens. On one Kansas farm, nearly 4,500 turkeys died in one weekend during a scorching 100-degree heat wave. Birds in barns that aren't air conditioned sometimes die when they crowd together at doorways in the vain hope of catching a breeze.
As heartbreaking as these animals' deaths are, the fates they faced otherwise were arguably worse. After being confined by the tens of thousands to filthy, windowless sheds, the birds would have been thrown into crates and loaded onto trucks bound for the slaughterhouse. There, they would have been hung upside down with their delicate legs forced into shackles (which often causes broken bones), their throats would have been slit, and if they had dodged the blade, they would have been scalded to death in a defeathering tank.
Neither being baked nor boiled to death is fair to these sensitive, intelligent animals. To help protect birds from suffering, encourage your friends and family to give a cruelty-free diet a try.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
The first day of summer hasn't even arrived yet, and at least seven dogs across the country have already died after being left in hot vehicles, including dogs in Virginia, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Maryland, and Ohio.
At Jacksonville University in Florida, campus security officers were too late to save a dog who was left in a parking lot for 90 minutes in a car with one window barely cracked. In San Antonio, a parking attendant called animal control after finding two dogs trapped in a car. By the time help arrived, one dog was already dead and the other was in severe distress.
As these cases tragically illustrate, dogs left inside hot cars can quickly succumb to heatstroke. On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can reach 160 degrees in minutes. When the temperatures are in the 90s, as they have been recently in much of the country, even a few minutes in a car can be fatal.
If you see a dog alone in a vehicle, immediately call animal control or 911. If there is a business nearby, try having the car's owner paged. Do not leave the dog until help has arrived. And unless you're visiting a store like Canadian Tire in Langford, British Columbia, whose owner, Tim Curry, invites dogs to come inside instead of staying in a hot car, let Spot stay at home in air-conditioned comfort.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
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.