Written by PETA
When little Pokey's family moved away, they simply left the malnourished, close-to-death puppy in the yard like an old sofa—except that sofas don't get scared, go hungry or thirsty, or suffer and die when you turn your back on them, never to return.
Although Pokey was about 7 months old, she was as small as a 3-month-old pup, her growth stunted from bad food, inadequate rations, and illness. She was covered in mange so severe that she also suffered from a serious secondary infection, and her skin was painful, cracked, bleeding, and oozing pus. She was also loaded with intestinal parasites, ticks and fleas ravaged her body and sucked her blood, and she was suffering from anemia, her gums white as chalk.
Thankfully, a compassionate area resident reported Pokey to PETA. We immediately responded, snatched Pokey up, rushed her to the vet, and got her started on treatment for her multitude of health issues. In order to be taken outside, Pokey had to be wrapped in a blanket to avoid hurting her super-tender skin. The only way to show her any affection without hurting her was to kiss the tip of her nose.
Despite days of intensive treatment and being showered with love, Pokey's condition deteriorated, and the veterinarian said that the most humane option was to free the puppy from her suffering. One of her rescuers said: "I held the little girl until her last breath. She was very strong, but not strong enough to deal with the hand life dealt her."
PETA is pressing for criminal abandonment and cruelty-to-animals charges against Pokey's owners. If you hear of an animal in need, please don't let him or her suffer another minute. Call your local animal control agency or humane society, and if that doesn't work, contact PETA for help.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
PETA's Community Animal
Project team got a call from a
man who asked us to euthanize his sick dog, staffers weren't expecting to see
an animal who had been suffering for months—or
possibly even for years.
had mange so severe that she screamed in pain when anyone touched her. She had
likely been chewing on her skin to relieve the itching for so long that she had
developed a bacterial infection that had eroded her teeth. Cordie was also
suffering from a swollen, fluid-filled mass on her ear and a raging yeast
infection. As gently as possible, so as not to hurt her further, we ended her suffering and let her
slip away from this world.
of Cordie's conditions would have been relatively easy to treat if the dog's
owner had taken her to a veterinarian long ago when he first noticed her
symptoms. He told the PETA staffers that he loved his dog but was unemployed
and had had no money for vet care.
for a nonprofit, we understand what it's like to live on a tight budget. We recommend
that everyone do whatever is necessary to plan ahead for emergency veterinary
needs. Putting away even a few dollars a month, buying animal medical insurance, or trying to find a vet who will arrange a payment plan can ensure that animals
don't suffer in a tough economy.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
The following is a guest post by Heather Carlson, PETA's manager of Communications.
This year for spring break, I was looking forward to spending a week in Mexico with my family. We planned to relax, scuba dive for the first time, and enjoy each other's company. But when we looked out our bus windows while traveling in the rural Yucatán Peninsula, we saw chickens and pigs in small crates, underweight cows tied to trees, and stray dog after stray dog.
As we arrived in a small Mayan village, I glimpsed a small, seemingly hairless figure out of the corner of my eye. I thought to myself, "That could not possibly have been a dog." The tour bus pulled into the parking lot of a flea market, and as the other tourists filed in to the store, my family and I ran back up the street to the tiny convenience store where I thought I had spotted the dog. Sure enough, there she was: small, nearly hairless, and riddled with mange. Although we approached slowly so that we wouldn't spook her, she cowered and ran away. We were close enough to see that she was dreadfully thin and that her body was riddled with open abscesses—her skin cracked from the progression of the disease that was eating her alive.
The people working at the little store didn't understand our questions about the dog, so we ran back to the tourist market and asked if there was an animal shelter or a vet in the area who could help us with a dog suffering from mange. They did not fully understand us, but they nodded and said "sarna" (which I later learned means "mange") and indicated that there was no animal hospital anywhere in the area. With the tour bus leaving; no car, taxi, or bus services nearby; and barely anyone who spoke English there to help us, my family and I left some food near where we'd seen the dog and reluctantly left her there in Ebtún.
From that moment forward, I made it my mission to find her help. I called home, and PETA's Casework Division worked hard to put me in touch with activists in the area who might be able to help get medical treatment for the dog, whom we had started to call "Maya." One of PETA's caseworkers helped me find someone willing to drive me back to Ebtún, and we spent a day walking around the village looking for her. The villagers indicated that Maya frequented the spot in front of the store but that they hadn't seen her since early that morning. I had to fly back home the next morning and, upon nightfall, we had to leave Ebtún—without little Maya.
When I got back home, I continued looking for someone who could make the journey back to Ebtún to try again to find the dog. After e-mailing, networking via Facebook, and getting in touch with animal lovers in the area, I learned more about the plight of animals in the Yucatán Peninsula. Activists there have quite a challenge in front of them—in a country that openly advertises cockfights on city streets, little is known about spaying and neutering, and there are few protections for animals.
Even though significant time had passed and the odds were clearly stacked against her, I recently received some amazing news—Maya had been rescued. Sophie Van Den Abeele and Emma Guerrero of Cancun Animal Rescue made the three- to four-hour journey from Cancun to Ebtún and spent the day trying to find the little street dog with "sarna"—who, as it turns out, the local villagers had named Muñeca. They found Muñeca just as scared, still suffering from mange, and seemingly pregnant. While they were loading her into the van, another dog approached, and they quickly discerned that she was suffering from a tumor in her vulva. The locals reported that she was also a stray, and so Abeele and Guerrero were able to bring her back with them as well. They arrived back home late at night, and a local vet they often work with tended to the dogs' immediate needs—including removing the second dog's tumor. Both dogs were spayed and have started on the road to rehabilitation.
Please never leave a suffering animal behind if you find one while on vacation. I'm not the only person whose life was touched by what we learned in Mexico—in part because of the suffering of the animals they witnessed from the bus windows on the way to Chichén Itzá, two more members of my family went vegetarian. As a result of our spring break vacation to Mexico this year, I have reserved a special place in my heart for the animals there and for compassionate people like Sophie and Emma who have dedicated their lives to helping them.
Donations to help fund Sophie and Emma's work can be made to the PayPal account of Cancun Animal Rescue Change My World A.C.
He may play a "wimpy kid" on the big screen, but Robert Capron is a superhero as far as his dog, Sam, is concerned. Robert plays Rowley Jefferson in the new movie Diary of a Wimpy Kid. He and his family adopted Sam after spotting the forlorn pup shivering in a cage at a local animal shelter.
After struggling to survive on the streets, Sam was a sorry sight—his ribs were visible and he had lost most of his fur because of unbearably itchy mange. "I felt so bad for him," Robert told M magazine. "He's been through so much." Today, Robert reports that Sam has overcome his fear of people and has morphed into a snuggle muffin. "He's so innocent." says Robert. "I just love him."
I'm sure the feeling is mutual, Rob. And I think I speak for all PETA Files readers when I say that we love you for giving a castaway dog a second chance at happiness. Why anyone would buy a dog from a breeder or pet store when there are so many lovable dogs at animal shelters is a total mystery to me!
How about you—do you have any tales to tell about tails that started wagging again once they landed in a safe and happy home?
Written by Alisa Mullins
Just about everyone has an opinion on who President Obama should nominate to the Supreme Court. Should the nominee be a mother? Should religion be a factor?
I say appoint a vegan for the post. A vegan Supreme Court justice would be another historic first and a clear indication that our nation is continuing to progress.
Cass Sunstein, the president's pick for "regulatory czar" of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, supports strong animal protection laws and has encouraged people to reduce animal suffering by refusing to eat meat.
By putting a vegan on the bench, President Obama could help discourage animal abuse and bring about a more equitable society. We'd likely see more factory-farm and slaughterhouse workers held accountable for stomping on turkeys, hitting pigs with metal rods, or dismembering cows while they're still conscious.
All decent people, including conservatives such as Matthew Scully, a former speechwriter for President Bush and author of Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy, believe that animals should be treated justly. A vegan Supreme Court justice could help ensure that there truly is justice for all.
Written by Heather Moore
My sister has always written letters and signed petitions about animal issues, but all it took for her to become a full-out anti-circus campaigner was for me to bring home a bullhook from the PETA office for her to see and touch. The sheer ugly menace of this standard elephant training tool really hit her (not literally!). As she put it, "The thought of elephants getting beaten and hooked with this sadistic weapon makes me sick."
Seasoned activists are already familiar with these heavy, metal-tipped, fireplace poker–like devices, which circuses like Ringling use to break elephants and keep them afraid to move an inch without permission. And now you have a chance to get your hooks on one. Leave a comment telling us how having a real bullhook would help you educate people about the abuse of elephants in circuses, and you'll be in the running to win one to use in your local campaigns and anti-circus demonstrations!
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
The following is a post that originally appeared on PETA Prime.
Because of your support, PETA is able to work in local communities, helping individual animals in need. Thousands of animals are helped by PETA's Community Animal Project (CAP) each year. This is the first edition of a series of posts chronicling the work of CAP—this post is from Emily Allen, assistant manager for CAP.
Before I started at PETA nearly five years ago, I didn't realize how dire the situation for animals was in so many rural and impoverished areas. There are millions of individual dogs out there who need help. They suffer in all weather extremes, at the mercy of people who often fail to do even the very minimum to care for them. If there is a chance that we can make their lives a little less hellish, we'll certainly try.
PETA's Community Animal Project (CAP) drives for more than two hours each way every week—sometimes several times—in our effort to spare North Carolina's animals as much misery as possible. Many of these animals don't have anything good in their lives—certainly not the hope of an indoor life or a decent animal protection law to keep them safe, let alone a law enforcement agency that gives a hoot. Here are just a few of the dogs we met this week during one of our North Carolina trips:
Our first stop of the day was checking on a playful lab mix named Mariah. Last winter, we persuaded Mariah's humans to allow us to spay her. We transported Mariah to and from her spay appointment, and we provided her with a sturdy doghouse. The ride to and from her spay appointment was the first time that Mariah had ever been in a car. It was also the first—and only—time that she has ever seen a veterinarian. She gets uncontrollably frantic with excitement whenever she's off her tether, which, unfortunately, doesn't happen very often. Mariah's people are elderly and frail. And while they feed her regularly and talk nicely to her, they just aren't able to give her all the attention and exercise that she needs so desperately. And they aren't willing to give her up either. I try to stop at Mariah's house whenever I can and take her for a walk around the block so that she'll have the opportunity to smell new things and experience a bit of freedom.
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.
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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.