Written by PETA
It's déjà vu all over again, and it'll probably have you wondering: What is PETCO thinking? Other than, "Hey, we can make some money!"
A PETA undercover investigator worked for more than three months at Sun Pet Ltd., an animal dealer in Atlanta that sells hamsters, mice, gerbils, birds, fish, and other small animals directly to PetSmart, PETCO, Pet Supplies "Plus," Petland, and Walmart. He documented that animals were cruelly killed, abusively handled, and kept in severely crowded, filthy conditions. Surprised?
PETA's investigator witnessed numerous abuses. A worker put hamsters in a plastic bag and bashed them against a table in an attempt to kill them. He also reported that many sick and injured animals died after PETCO and PetSmart stores returned them like damaged goods to Sun Pet without enclosing any food or water for the long journey, instead of providing them with veterinary care or ending their suffering.
PETA turned over the investigator's findings to law-enforcement authorities. This morning, officials descended on Sun Pet's massive warehouse.
Sun Pet sells hundreds of thousands of animals annually, just like U.S. Global Exotics (USGE), the exotic-animal dealer that PETA investigated late last year. That investigation resulted in the seizure of more than 26,000 animals, the largest animal seizure in history. (Perhaps also not surprisingly, Sun Pet has ties to USGE. Before that hellhole was raided and shut down, Sun Pet purchased hamsters from USGE and then sold them to PETCO stores, among others!)
This is PETA's fourth exposé revealing the abusive and filthy conditions endured by animals who are eventually sold at PETCO stores and our third exposé revealing conditions for animals who are eventually sold at PetSmart stores. Please tell PetSmart and PETCO in no uncertain terms to stop selling animals in their stores.
PETA investigations amply demonstrate that appalling neglect and abuse is just business as usual for companies that buy and sell living beings, so please tell your coworkers, friends, and everyone you know not to shop in their stores.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Twilight star Kellan Lutz may be totally convincing as an alpha vampire, but he's got a soft side that could eclipse Emmett Cullen's brute force any day. Lutz poses in PETA's newest "Adopt, Don't Buy" ad with his adorable rescued mutt Kola, spreading the message that every time someone purchases a dog or cat from a pet store or breeder, a door is shut in the face of an animal waiting in an animal shelter or roaming the streets. Check out our exclusive interview with Kellan, who gushes over meeting Kola (spoiler: It was love at first sight!) and has some special words for "Twilighters":
Kellan—who will star in the upcoming remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street—is so committed to ending the nightmare suffered by millions of homeless animals that since shooting our ad he has adopted another lucky dog! Want more compassionate Cullen goodness? Enter our contest to win a Twilight DVD signed by Kellan himself.
Written by Logan Scherer
It's Spay Day—do you know where your neighbors' cats and dogs are? Or, more importantly, do you know whether they have been spayed or neutered? I do. In fact, one of them is here with me as I write this (and he seems to think that I need to write "#%^)tfr*^lpxc%$#?.>l" here instead of a period). Sam is one of nearly a dozen cats who once belonged to one of my neighbors. The cats came to my attention when I noticed the "free kittens" sign outside my neighbor's house.
I called the number on the sign and offered to get the mama kitty and the kittens spayed and neutered. Rather than being offended, as I feared she might be, my neighbor gratefully accepted my offer. "She just keeps having kittens," she sighed, "and I can't afford to get her spayed." She also agreed to let me find homes for those kittens I could convince her to part with. (I wanted to carefully screen the adopters, which I knew she wouldn't do.)
According to a recent survey, people's reasons for not spaying and neutering their animals usually boil down to simple economics and logistics, rather than a conscious decision not to do it. The neighbor whose cat kept having litters has three kids and is on welfare—she just couldn't afford to pay for the surgery. (Eventually, the bank foreclosed on her house, which is when she asked me to take the remaining animals—Sam, his sister Bibi, and his mother, Tiger.)
Another neighbor doesn't have a car, so I offered to drive her to the clinic for her cat's appointment. Yet another neighbor didn't realize that his 5-month-old female kitten could come into heat any day. Wanting to ensure that this busy single dad didn't put it off until it was too late, I offered to make the appointment and take her myself. He readily agreed, and I did the same with the family's other cat and two dogs.
In total, I have arranged for more than a dozen dogs and cats in my neighborhood to be spayed and neutered at PETA's "Spay and Neuter Immediately, Please!" (SNIP) mobile clinic. In some cases, the animals' guardians were willing to pay for the surgery—it was just a matter of making the appointments and arranging transportation. That was a small investment in time that reaped huge rewards in terms of the prevention of unwanted litters—and suffering.
No matter where you live, there are animal companions in your town who have not been spayed or neutered. Here are some easy steps you can take to make your neighborhood a "no-litter" zone:
Dog and cats across West Hollywood have a little more pep in their step this week after hearing the news that WeHo's City Council voted unanimously to ban the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores. This landmark law makes West Hollywood the first city in the country where it is illegal to sell dogs and cats bred at puppy and kitten mills. Way to go, WeHo!
Written by Logan Scherer
This week, West Hollywood may become the first city in the country to ban the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores, potentially dealing a major blow to puppy mills, where constant confinement and a lack of adequate veterinary care and socialization often lead animals to become unhealthy and difficult to socialize. In a world in which U.S. animal shelters must put 3 to 4 million dogs and cats to death every year because of the overpopulation crisis, this ordinance would remind residents that adoption is the only responsible choice for people who are looking to welcome companion animals into their homes.
With its history of pioneering animal rights legislation and its influential role as a cultural and political trendsetter, West Hollywood is poised to lead the movement against pet stores and puppy mills. But you don't have to wait for WeHo to make its move. Urge your local legislators to end the exploitation of cats and dogs in your own community immediately.
Elizabeth Carlisle—the former Petland employee who drowned two rabbits in the backroom of a store in Akron, Ohio, and then posted a now-infamous photo of the animals on Facebook—recently pleaded guilty to two counts of cruelty to animals.
Carlisle's case caused a media storm and drew attention to the epidemic of animal abuse at pet stores across the country. Time after time, undercover investigations have revealed that Carlisle's shocking behavior is par for the course at places where animals are bred and sold. Although the Akron store has been closed, Petland continues to sell animals at its stores across the country, meaning that many more animals just like Carlisle's victims are at risk. Take action now and urge Petland to stop selling rabbits forever.
When we think of our nation's capital, freedom and justice immediately come to mind. But there's nothing just about the fur industry, in which millions of animals are skinned alive each year. That's why, as a boost to PETA's "Make D.C. Fur-Free" campaign, we're launching a "Fur-Free and Fabulous" ad blitz from the streets to the subway, starting with a van wrapped in this alluring ad:
Elegant, dazzling, and vogue, these stars are sure to stop traffic with their compassionate fashion. We're turning roads into runways to showcase the impeccable, cruelty-free style sensibilities of chic celebrities from Carrie Underwood to Michelle Obama and from Tyra Banks to Oprah Winfrey. And the commuting runway won't be just above ground—we're also going subterranean with our new ad, spreading the anti-fur message throughout the Metro. Fashion show on the subway? Yes. We. Can.
Want to cast your vote for cruelty-free fashion? Take our pledge to make D.C. fur-free, and if you know people who insist on draping themselves in the skins of dead animals, consider stuffing their stockings with this video narrated by the fabulous Tim Gunn.
British socialite Tamara Ecclestone exudes high-class elegance—so it's no surprise that she despises cruel foie gras. Following PETA U.K.'s recent victory in getting Selfridges to stop selling the "delicacy of despair," Tamara—the gorgeous Sky Sports TV presenter and daughter of Formula One racing magnate Bernie Ecclestone—has taken it all off in the name of compassion.
To produce foie gras, workers force metal pipes down the throats of ducks and geese and pump up to 4 pounds of grain into their stomachs two or three times a day in order to cause their livers to become engorged. This overfeeding is excruciatingly painful and often causes the animals' organs to rupture. Foie gras production is so cruel that it has been banned in 16 countries, including the U.K., but inexplicably, retailers and restaurants in England are still allowed to sell it. To help end the suffering of these animals, follow Tamara's titillating lead and take our "No Foie Gras" pledge today.
Last week, Elizabeth Carlisle appeared in court to face cruelty-to-animals charges for allegedly drowning two rabbits while she was working at a Petland store in Akron, Ohio. On the day of Carlisle's arraignment, local PETA members and other outraged members of the community stood outside the courthouse calling on Akron's chief city prosecutor, Douglas J. Powley, to prosecute Carlisle to the fullest extent of the law.
This incident is just one example of the abuses animals suffer in pet stores nationwide. For nearly 30 years, PETA has fielded complaints regarding sick or unwanted animals who were cruelly disposed of by pet store employees, all because the cost of caring for or treating the animal exceeded the animal's "price tag." This trial offers an opportunity to send a strong and desperately needed message to the pet-store industry: Pet stores have no business selling animals.
Written by Liz Graffeo
Former "Hollywood Madam" Heidi Fleiss knows what it's like to be behind bars—and ever since she inherited dozens of exotic birds from an acquaintance who passed away, she's learned firsthand that humans aren't the only ones whose needs aren't met in captivity.
Heidi was fortunate enough to be able to turn part of her home into a huge aviary where her birds can fly free and are never caged, but as she points out, most people who buy birds have no idea how to care for these complex animals. Many people keep birds caged for their entire lives—some birds are kept in cages so small that they are prevented from even stretching their wings, let alone flying.
That's why Heidi is teaming up with PETA to pressure one major purveyor of imprisoned parrots: PetSmart. She'll be speaking on PETA's behalf at PetSmart's annual meeting this Wednesday. Pointing out how much birds suffer in captivity as well as the abysmal record of neglect and abuse by PetSmart's stores and animal suppliers, Heidi will ask the company to begin phasing out the sale of all birds.
Go get 'em, Heidi! We know you're an expert at turning heads—now let's see you change some minds.
Written by Amanda Schinke
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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.