Written by PETA
Warning: Graphic photos below.
This blog post may shock you with its bluntness, but it is the truth. It's also a call to action. This is your chance to weigh in and help the unloved, the unwanted, and the throwaways from our convenience-oriented society. I want to ask you to look at some photographs that may haunt you, but they may also prompt you to act.
PETA never turns away an animal for being "unadoptable." Ever. In fact, in our area, as is likely the case in yours, the "no-kill" facility is usually full—full of dogs and cats who have been sitting in cages for months and, in some cases, years. And that facility, while basking in the glory of its "no-kill" pledge, often refers animals to us and to the city pound. We receive calls from desperate people who cannot afford the "no-kill" shelter's admission fee or can't cope with its waiting list. We do not turn our back on these animals. Never have and never will. So we take in the animals no one wants, and we ease their pain so that they don't languish unaided or fall into the wrong hands—which often would mean going right back to where they came from. We will always be here for animals who need and deserve a kind hand, a loving word, and a peaceful exit from a world that has treated them like trash.
Last year, PETA did many things: We helped countless dogs and cats in "our own backyard." Our phenomenal mobile spay-and-neuter clinics sterilized 8,677 animals (562 of whom we picked up for surgery and then took back home in PETA's Animal Birth Control van). We built and delivered more than 300 sturdy doghouses and delivered about 5,000 bags of straw to warm up cold dogs who were chained or penned outside in all weather extremes. We provided free veterinary care for animals with infections, wounds, and illnesses. And we did something else that made a difference: Our shelter of last resort took in 2,352 injured, ill, elderly, and unwanted animals for euthanasia. Our Community Animal Project staffers showered each of them with love and affection in their final moments, gave them their very first soft caress, in many cases, and told them, "Good puppy!" often for the very first time.
No one feels anything other than crushed to euthanize animals; those who hate euthanasia the most are the truly kind people whose job it is to perform it—people on our staff and in other animal shelters. It's so easy for some people to turn away, to condemn, or to create the very problem that these brave souls deal with, but they are only cleaning up after the people who neglected those animals; who never showed them a shred of commitment or an ounce of compassion, who thought nothing of crating, penning, or chaining them up with a tractor-trailer chain because it was inconvenient to walk them or secure daycare for them; who didn't think twice about leaving them behind when their house was foreclosed on or dog food became expensive; or who left the door open and let the dog or cat get hit by a car. Our staff is grateful that people in our community know to call upon us when someone needs to do what's necessary.
The animals who come through PETA's doors are but a tiny fraction of the estimated 6 to 8 million homeless dogs and cats who are handed over the counter in animal shelters nationwide every year. These animals are abandoned, and many are left to languish in cages—waiting, looking up anxiously and hopefully at every person who enters, in the hope that he or she will save them and take them home. A whopping half of them will be "put to sleep" because that someone never showed up (the girl who stopped at the cage and giggled, the man who said, "Isn't he weird-looking?"—they moved on with their lives). The people who are kind enough to hold these animals and stroke their fur as they take their last breath are not to blame for any of it. The blame falls squarely on the shoulders of each person who refuses or "forgets" to have his or her cat or dog sterilized and everyone who has purchased an animal from a pet shop or a breeder instead of adopting from their local shelter.
PETA is calling on the governors of all 50 states to endorse mandatory spay-and-neuter laws that would require dogs and cats to be sterilized unless their owners purchase an annual breeding permit, the cost of which would fund low-cost spay-and-neuter services. You can help—you have a governor, and you may know a state senator or council member—or perhaps you could get to know one. Please join us in this effort, and please recruit everyone you know to do so as well. We will provide language for model legislation, but please, talk to everyone in the dog parks, at the vet's office, and on the street. Download our posters and fliers and hand them out and put them up; pick a low-income block and help the people there spay and neuter their animals; and please, go down to city hall or up to the statehouse and lobby so that next year the nation's homeless animal population will be lower. Individual dogs and cats would ask you to do this if they could.
Written by Ingrid E. Newkirk
The reproduction debate's heating up as TLC prepares to air the fourth season of its Duggar Family hit, 19 Kids and Counting. This season, the Duggars have upped their clan-size from 18 to 19, and it has some arguing yay or nay about the "Duggar-style" approach to reproduction. We say, as long as Jim Bob and Michelle are able to keep a roof over their family's head and modern-modest clothes on their backs, there's a far more important reproductive issue at hand. So, we're offering to run this billboard in the Duggar's hometown of Tontitown, Arkansas, as well as in nearby Springdale and Fayetteville:
Talk about mind-blowing: One unspayed female cat and her offspring can create a whopping 420,000 cats in just seven years, and one unneutered male dog can father nearly limitless litters. Roughly half of the estimated 6 to 8 million cats and dogs who enter U.S. animal shelters every year are euthanized because there aren't enough good homes for them. Many more are abandoned on the street, left to fend for themselves, and many are subjected to acts of cruelty, starvation, disease, or injuries.
The solution is simple: Spay and neuter companion animals.
Written by Karin Bennett
In preparation for tonight's American premiere of the BBC documentary Pedigree Dogs Exposed, this morning's Today Show featured a segment on the horrors behind the rampant breeding of purebreds.
Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
Sylvia, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, suffers from syringomyelia—a condition in which the dog's brain is too big for the skull, resulting in a nonstop, crippling headache that's been deemed by humans who endure it the worst kind of pain imaginable. And she's not alone—after years of inbreeding, at least one-third of all King Charles spaniels suffer from syringomyelia and other incurable genetic deformities, a common problem among purebred dogs.
Breeders around the globe are guilty of spreading these deadly defects, contributing to what Dr. James Serpell, associate professor of humane ethics and animal welfare at the University of Pennsylvania, deems "institutionalized animal cruelty," and they—along with the individuals who continue to buy purebred companion animals instead of adopting from animal shelters—are at fault for the animal overpopulation crisis and the deaths of millions of homeless animals each year.
Don't miss the sure-to-be-heart-wrenching Pedigree Dogs Exposed tonight on BBC America.
Written by Logan Scherer
Less than a year and a half after taking over as the University of Georgia's (UGA) mascot following the death of his predecessor, Uga VII died last week. With his passing comes a communal outpouring of grief and new discussions about the search for his successor.
It's no coincidence that Uga VII died of a heart ailment similar to the one that killed Uga VI. Puppy peddlers rely on inbreeding to preserve bloodlines, which creates genetic defects and makes dogs susceptible to congenital illnesses. After years of genetic manipulation, countless bulldogs suffer from constant skin and eye infections, hip dysplasia, and weak respiratory systems—which are worsened by the kind of poor ventilation and hot, humid weather that Uga VII was exposed to as a constantly traveling mascot. Bulldogs also can't give birth naturally because of their large heads and small hips, so breeders artificially inseminate the females then cut them open year after year for c-sections.
In addition to breeding deadly defects, breeders contribute to the companion animal overpopulation crisis. Every year, approximately 4 million animals in animal shelters are euthanized because there simply aren't enough good homes. To help end the crisis—and UGA's string of preventable mascot deaths—we're asking the University to honor Uga VII by replacing him with an animatronic or solely using their costumed mascot, Hairy Dawg.
We can't think of a more fitting legacy for Uga VII than to stop the breeding of animals, which causes so many lethal genetic problems like those that undoubtedly contributed to his untimely death.
It's always right to root for compassion.
Written by Logan Scherer
While some PETA India members in Calcutta faced cop trouble at a demonstration outside the Calcutta Zoo earlier this week, others hit the streets in Delhi to help residents brush up on their ABCs: animal birth control.
Delhi, Bangalore, and other parts of the country are facing a critical animal overpopulation crisis that has left dogs and cats living in misery on the streets. Did you know that one female dog and all her puppies can produce a whopping 67,000 dogs in six years if none of them are spayed or neutered?
The solution to animal overpopulation in India—and the rest of the world—is simple: Always spay or neuter your companion animals.
Written by Liz Graffeo
Unless you've been living under a rock, you've heard about Susan Boyle's knock-your-socks-off performance on Britain's Got Talent. Not only did Susan become an overnight singing sensation, she also spoke up about how much she loves her kitty, Pebbles.
Because they know that this down-to-earth international superstar won't forget the little guys, our lovely British friends at PETA Europe have asked her and Pebbles to consider starring together in a public service announcement with the tagline "Bring Harmony to a Cat's Life!" By raising her voice on behalf of cats, Susan would help homeless animals become winners as well. Yeah, yeah, it's cheesy—but it's true.
If Susan and her feline friend agree to the ad, they would be in good company too. Britain's Got Talent judges Simon Cowell and Amanda Holden have both starred in ads for PETA Europe.
By encouraging her fans to be responsible guardians by always adopting from animal shelters (never buying from pet stores or breeders) and making sure to spay or neuter their animal companions, Susan could help make a difference for the millions of homeless cats who end up in extremely crowded animal shelters around the world every year.
Written by Shawna Flavell
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.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
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.