Written by Jeff Mackey
Ever wondered what it's like to take part in one of PETA's undercover investigations? Tune in to the Discovery
Channel tonight, January 28, at 8 p.m. Eastern time for an episode of Extreme Smuggling that shines a light on
the trafficking of exotic and endangered wildlife and the investigative work that's
crucial to fighting this cruel and illicit trade in living beings.
The program will feature PETA Senior Vice President of
Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch, who will discuss PETA's seven-month undercover
investigation of a massive international wholesale dealer of exotic animals, U.S. Global
Exotics, Inc. (USGE). PETA's investigation led to the immediate closure of USGE, the largest animal seizure in U.S. history, and the pursuit of USGE's owner Jasen Shaw on federal charges of smuggling, conspiracy, and aiding and abetting. Shaw
remains a wanted fugitive.
Hundreds of thousands of animals of all kinds were cruelly
confined, severely crowded, and denied basic necessities such as food, water,
space, heat, and veterinary care during their time in USGE's filthy warehouse. Most
animals' ultimate destination was stores such as PetSmart and
PETCO, massive commercial chains that sell wild animals stolen from their
native homes, imported into the U.S. from breeding warehouses overseas, or bred and sold by massive
mills such as Atlanta-based Sun
Pet and Rainbow World Exotics, a Texas-based dealer that bought animals from USGE and supplied animals to
PETCO and PetSmart stores.
PETA's investigation led to the rescue of more than 26,000 animals from the USGE hellhole.
What You Can Do
Animals sold by PetSmart, PETCO, and other pet stores are
wild-caught or bred in horrific
conditions, leaving countless animals to endure a miserable life in captivity, deprived of
all that is natural and important to them. Please buy your animal-care supplies
only from stores that do not sell any live animals.
If your dogs' tails are wagging a little more today, maybe
they've heard the news that Ireland
has cracked down on puppy mills!
(Note to U.S. legislators: What's the holdup?)
The new Irish laws took effect on New Year's Day, outlawing
the horrific conditions—including
cramped enclosures, filth, malnutrition, exposure, disease, and a lack
of socialization and veterinary care—common to those nasty intensive dog-breeding operations.
All puppies must be microchipped
so that the breeder can be identified, and authorities can inspect and shut
down any facility that fails to meet the standards set by the new
So if you see people sporting a "Kiss Me—I'm Irish" button on
St. Patrick's Day, feel free to take them up on it. But a much better way to
pay tribute to the kind folks of the Emerald Isle is by speaking out against
cruel and irresponsible breeding
and the pet trade
in your own corner of the world.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
new year is already looking a bit brighter for animals: A PETCO store in Dickson City,
has announced that it will close permanently on January 1—which is great news
for the hamsters, gerbils, mice, fish, and other small animals who suffer and
die every day in PETCO's stores and suppliers' facilities.
for the animals PETCO sells often consists of struggling to survive wild capture
or captive breeding in horrific conditions, suffering from untreated injuries
and illnesses, and fighting for food in feces-strewn, severely crowded cages.
At the massive breeding mills that supply live animals to the pet trade, PETA
investigations have revealed sick and dying animals placed in freezers to die,
live hamsters placed in a plastic bag and bashed against a table in an attempt to kill them, animals deprived
of veterinary care and left to cannibalize their cagemates' corpses,
and other horrors.
For the sake of small animals, please say "No"
to PETCO and other stores that sell animals.
Written by PETA
Authorities recently raided Dutch animal dealer and breeding mill Reintjes—a supplier of U.S. Global Exotics (USGE)—and found animals crammed in cages in a dark warehouse with no working fan to combat stale air and the stench of urine and feces. Many animals had no access to food or water, and many were starving. Authorities seized every animal on the premises—5,900 in all, including mice, rats, hamsters, and birds—from Reintjes' owners, who already had criminal records for cruelty to animals.
Reintjes was a global supplier of animals to the pet trade. In 2009 alone, it supplied 112,546 animals to USGE, a major supplier of animals to wholesale dealers and pet stores in the U.S.—including PETCO and PetSmart suppliers Rainbow World Exotics and Sun Pet—until it was shut down following a PETA undercover investigation. USGE, which purchased rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, chinchillas, chipmunks, tree squirrels, and other animals from Reintjes, shared the Dutch company's view of animals as disposable commodities. Authorities raiding USGE found live animals shoved into soda bottles and tiny food storage containers; animals with severe, untreated injuries; a widespread lack of food, water, and adequate housing; and sick animals left to die. In fact, on the day of the seizure, an unpacked shipment of hundreds of chinchillas and hamsters from Reintjes was among the first things authorities found.
There is no word yet on whether Reintjes will be shut down permanently, but we will release updates as we have them. It is impossible to patronize pet stores like PETCO and PetSmart that sell live animals without supporting abusive animal dealers and breeding mills. Please, purchase your animal supplies at stores that don't sell live animals.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
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.