Written by Jeff Mackey
As harsh winter weather rages across the country, some of those facing the greatest risk are the dogs forced to live outdoors at the end of a chain, where they must endure some of the worst conditions that nature has to offer. Now, comedian and actor Patton Oswalt is stepping up to help them with a letter urging Newport News, Virginia, officials to follow the examples of dozens of other communities that have limited or banned the cruel and dangerous practice of chaining, thanks to a sustained campaign by PETA.
Patton is a native of Portsmouth, Virginia, which recently joined its neighboring communities of Smithfield, Virginia Beach, Hampton, and PETA's hometown of Norfolk in curtailing or outlawing tethering, leaving Newport News as one of the few holdouts in failing to protect "backyard dogs." And although he's revered as a comedian's comedian—watch his classic (but NSFW) takedown of the hideous KFC "sadness bowl" if you need proof—Patton knows that chaining is no laughing matter, explaining in his letter:
There is no worse punishment for a dog than a life sentence at the end of a chain. Forcing "man's best friend" to exist in the same barren patch 24/7 deprives these highly social pack animals of proper socialization and the opportunity to move around and explore. Often, they are deprived of necessities as basic as being able to reach food, water, or shelter—if they are even given any of those things. Every year, dogs injure or hang themselves on the chains that shackle them, while others grow aggressively protective of their tiny spaces. Chained dogs are nearly three times more likely to attack than dogs who are not chained.
What You Can Do
Please join PETA and Patton Oswalt in taking action for chained dogs. Work to pass a tethering ban in your community—and if you ever see a cold, lonely animal left outside, please speak up!
Written by PETA
in a flooded pen.
Mine was one of the few cars early this morning headed into Hampton Roads, where PETA's headquarters
are located. The roads are at a standstill in much of Norfolk and Virginia
Beach as tourists and many residents, especially those with homes on the water,
head inland and north, many under mandatory evacuation notices issued late last
We are grateful to Virginia's Gov. McDonnell for
encouraging people to have a plan for their animal companions and to local news
agencies that have broadcast PETA's plea to include animals in disaster
preparations. We are grateful to the liquor and convenience store owners
who have hung our
posters on their doors, encouraging people to
make plans for their animals. While some may heed the call, we know from
experience that not everyone will listen. PETA staff has been working the
phones for three days now, making calls to residents in North Carolina and
lower Virginia, asking them to please, for the first time in their lives, take
their chained dogs inside and, if they evacuate, to take the animals with them.
Many are listening to our warnings, but for many impoverished residents who
have little ability to care for themselves and who do not own a car, no
provisions will be made for "backyard" or "hunting" dogs
and "the cats who live under the trailer." Rabbits in hutches, pigs,
and goats will be left to fend for themselves through high winds, heavy rain,
lightning, and who knows what else. The owner of one dog asked us for "a
heavier chain" to tie the dog down because his other dog had been swept
off her feet during Hurricane Isabel. Some people are giving their animals up
to us, which is far better than leaving them to drown, be hit by flying debris
or trees (there will be lots of those―pity the squirrels and their babies, who
cannot flee), or suffer other ugly fates.
Our building is in a flood plain, and the streets surrounding
it will be rivers by Saturday night, exacerbated by an already predicted high
tide coupled with the storm surge. We have waders and canoes at the ready.
We know that our dear outdoor cats, the ones who refuse to be coaxed into traps,
will be in trouble but will do their best to hunker down and go without
food, as there will be nowhere to put it for them. Our cats at PETA headquarters
are being evacuated today to our international intern house, all our vans have
been moved to high ground and are stocked with food and water to deliver to animals
in crisis after the storm passes, our sandbags are in place, we have generators,
and our computer systems are operating out of a remote location, so we are
ready and will continue to campaign and advocate for animals through and after
the storm. Extra staff is on call, and we are as prepared as we can be for what
Mother Nature is about to deliver.
We wish we could help the thousands of pigs in the huge factory
farms down river from us: They are very vulnerable.
We hope you will hold all of the animals in Irene's path in
your hearts and thoughts, and we appreciate your support as we prepare to weather
Much of our lifesaving work for animals in crisis—from preparing for
hurricanes like Irene to helping the animal survivors of devastating
earthquakes in Japan and Haiti —is supported by the
generosity of PETA's Animal Emergency Fund donors. You can help us respond to
disaster—both before and after it strikes—by making an urgent gift right now.
left rushing rivers where there was once a road and a
park at PETA HQ!
by Ingrid E. Newkirk
PETA is helping mass-transit passengers go
even greener. When Norfolk, Virginia's new light-rail train made its maiden
voyage past our headquarters, the Lettuce Ladies
were on hand—and on the balcony—to make the inaugural run memorable.
With their cabbage couture and "Climeat
Change" sign, the ladies showed passengers (and enthusiastic construction
workers) that dumping meat, the number one cause of climate change,
does even more good for the planet than taking public transportation. Riders
were waving, snapping pictures, and giving thumbs-up signs—and, we hope, they were
keener to be greener at their next meal as well.
easy being green—we'll help get you started with a free vegetarian/vegan starter kit.
by Michelle Sherrow
PETA's Bea Arthur Dog Park (named for the eternally fabulous Golden Girl) has everything that dogs love: a big, grassy lawn for rolling and romping, a bin filled with toys to chew and chase, a water station, and an easy-access ramp into the Elizabeth River for dog-paddling to their hearts' content! But it's not just dogs who love PETA's park—apparently, Southern Living does too: The magazine included the park in its feature on the South's best dog parks!
Let's raise the woof in celebration by taking our canine companions to the nearest dog park tonight for some tail-wagging fun! And if you're ever in Norfolk, Virginia, check out the Bea Arthur Dog Park:
I guarantee that if you follow the rules, you and your mutt won't be disappointed.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
Post-Thanksgiving bliss is a beautiful thing. You're so full you can barely move, and you can look forward to leftovers and a month of nonstop holiday music on the radio. But the best part of the Thanksgiving aftermath? Fur-Free Friday—the most joyous, humane shopping day of the year. This year we hosted more than 50 demos in the U.S., Canada, and even Johannesburg, South Africa, to kick off the fur-free season.
In Grand Rapids, Michigan, our breathtaking bunnies hopped their way into the hearts of delighted shoppers who happily took in the anti-fur message.
Meanwhile, a few cuddly friends (and PETA staffers) were in Norfolk, Virginia, urging passersby to love animals, not wear them.
This year, gear up for a warm, compassionate winter by pledging to make every day fur-free.
Written by Logan Scherer
Rain from Hurricane Ida is bearing down hard on us here in Norfolk, Virginia. And while we have recently been alerted that the post office might not be delivering our mail, (whatever happened to "rain or shine," guys?) at PETA, we don't let a little inclement weather keep us from saving animals!
We hope that everyone is keeping their furry friends warm and safe inside today. Check out PETA's tips for safeguarding animals during a hurricane and always be sure that you're prepared when a bit of weather comes your way!
Written by Shawna Flavell
Since 2001, PETA's mobile "Spay and Neuter Immediately, Please" (SNIP) clinic has been providing free and low-cost spay-and-neuter surgeries (nearly 45,000!) in Virginia's Hampton Roads area, where PETA is located. Earlier this week, we doubled the size of our lifesaving fleet, rolling out a second animal birth control mobile clinic.
Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim, who was on hand to cut the ribbon during the official unveiling of the clinic, praised PETA's approach to the companion animal overpopulation crisis as intelligent and humane. That's right—we've got smarts!
Check out these pictures of the new lifesaving clinic!
Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that a boatload of cats and dogs (4 million) are killed every year in the U.S. because there just aren't homes for these animals. And you also know that when people don't sterilize their animals, that contributes to the problem.
We've all seen the population pyramids: one fertile cat can produce 12 to 18 kittens every year, and one fertile dog can produce 12 to 20 puppies every year (not doing it together, of course). When you do the math, that can translate to more than 11,000 cats and more than 12,000 dogs in five years. The flipside of these overwhelming numbers is that we can stop a lot of suffering just by spaying or neutering one animal. And when we spay or neuter more animals, the savings multiply.
Posted by Grace Friedan
Norfolk’s annual Doo Dah Parade invites local organizations and business owners to march the streets in ludicrous outfits so that the citizens of this fine city can laugh at them. I’ve never quite figured out why this goes on, but it’s certainly a whole lot of fun. Tragically, I didn’t make it this year, but a lot of my colleagues did — all dolled up in dresses and wigs to show that “Fur Is a Drag” — so let’s take this opportunity to laugh at them now:
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.