Written by PETA
Adult film star Raul Armenteros and another man have each been charged with 22 counts of cruelty to animals after police allegedly discovered a menagerie of animals—including roosters, guinea hens, pigeons, goats, and a duck—baking inside their locked van in the scorching Miami heat. Reportedly, the goats were all tied up inside plastic bags, and one was already dead when police arrived.
It isn't clear what Armenteros intended to do with the animals. What is clear is that he should never have left them to suffer inside a hot vehicle, as is alleged. On a mild day, the temperature inside a car parked in the shade with the windows cracked can reach 100 to 120 degrees in a few minutes. Animals left in these conditions can suffer and die from heatstroke in just 15 minutes.
If you see an animal inside a hot car, have the owner paged and call the police. If the animal's life appears to be in immediate danger, free the animal and wait for authorities. For more information on rescuing animals left inside vehicles, see PETA's tip sheet.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
Courtesy of California's Department of Motor Vehicles, drivers in the Golden State will soon get a refresher on the importance of not leaving their canine companions in ovens-on-wheels hot cars. Starting next year, the California Driver Handbook will include text warning drivers never to leave dogs in hot vehicles and pointing out that doing so is illegal and can result in fines and jail time (not to mention a dead dog or an expensive vet bill).
California is the first state in the nation to include this warning in its driver's manual—PETA will be pushing other states to follow its lead! And since the dog days of summer are still going strong, let's continue to be watchdogs for animals whose guardians flunked driver's training 101 or have become distracted inside a store.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
Two recent news stories underscore the importance of making sure that dogs are kept indoors when temperatures soar.
In South Carolina, a man named Charles Bell has been charged with cruelty after Animal Control officers reportedly discovered that a dog had died in a small wire crate in the man's backyard while temperatures soared as high as 114 degrees. The dog had apparently been trapped in the crate in direct sunlight for three days with no food or water. According to news reports, authorities were alerted by a man who had approached the house to ask that the dog be moved into the shade only to have a woman slam the door in his face. Crating a dog is always a terrible idea, but in this case it was a formula for tragedy.
Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, thanks to one dog's ingenuity, disaster was narrowly averted. When a dog named Max was inadvertently left in a hot car, he began to honk the car's horn. After being doused in water and then rushed to a vet, Max made a full recovery from his heat exhaustion—but most dogs aren't as lucky.
Even in the shade, temperatures inside a car in warm weather can soar to lethal levels. To cool themselves, dogs must pant, and they can only perspire through their paw pads. Please protect your dog, and if you see other dogs in distress, always take action—you could save a life!
Written by Jeff Mackey
Hold on to your cruelty-free hats for this one, folks. We've got a case of the hideously cruel and ridiculously obvious to break.
In early September, we learned about the death of Diamond, a Rottweiler who died while in the custody of a Clay County, Florida, animal control officer. The poor dog likely died from heat shock, allegedly because the animal control officer left her in the back of the seething-hot van with no air conditioning, water, or fresh air on an 85° day—after riding around with her for an hour or so and while he attended a meeting.
A necropsy came up inconclusive but suggested that the death was related to heat stress. This was not good enough for Clay County officials, evidently, and they actually decided a reenactment was necessary so they could prove that the officer wasn't at fault. Ready for it … WHAT?!!???!!
Yeah, you can't make this stuff up. They placed a homeless shelter dog who was "of similar size and weight" as Diamond into the exact same box, in which the heat reached more than 86 degrees, and waited—presumably to see if the dog would die. This lasted for more than one hour. I think we need one more resounding WHAT!???!!??? I mean, seriously, people, this is just completely insane—not to mention horrifically cruel. The fate of that poor dog has not been made public.
While it's bad enough that a dog died in the county's custody in the first place, this whole aftermath reenactment just makes me physically ill. Naturally, PETA Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch immediately sent off a letter to Clay County blasting them for their senseless decision to subject a second dog to obviously potentially fatal conditions.
If you are as outraged by Clay County's actions as we are, please take action!
Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky
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.