Written by PETA
In my first year working at a grossly substandard animal shelter in Maryland, I forced myself to go in early to euthanize dogs by holding them in my arms and gently helping them escape an uncaring world without trauma or pain and to spare them from being stabbed haphazardly—while they were fully conscious, terrified and aware—in the general vicinity of their hearts with needles blunt from reuse and left to thrash on the floor until they finally died by the callous people who would arrive later to do the job.
I always wonder how anyone cannot recognize that there is a world of difference between painlessly euthanizing animals out of compassion—aged, injured, sick, and dying animals whose guardians can't afford euthanasia, for instance—as PETA does, and causing them to suffer terror, pain, and a prolonged death while struggling to survive on the streets, at the hands of untrained and uncaring "technicians," or animal abusers.
It's easy to point the finger at those who are forced to do the "dirty work" caused by a throwaway society's casual acquisition and breeding of dogs and cats who end up homeless and unwanted, but at PETA, we will never turn our backs on neglected, unloved, and homeless animals—even if the best we can offer them is a painless release from a world that doesn't have enough heart or homes with room for them. It makes it easy for people to throw stones at us, but we are against all needless killing: for hamburgers, fur collars, dissection, sport hunting, the works. PETA handled far more animals than 2,069 in 2012. In fact, we took in more than 10,000 dogs and cats and work very hard to persuade people to spay and neuter their animals and to commit to a lifetime of care and respect for them. We go so far as to transport animals to and from our spay/neuter clinics, where they are spayed or neutered and given vet care, often for free! Since 2001, PETA's low- to no-cost spay-and-neuter mobile clinics, SNIP and ABC, have sterilized more than 50,000 animals, preventing hundreds of thousands of animals from being born, neglected, abandoned, abused, or euthanized when no one wanted them. And on a national level, PETA is focusing on the root of the problem through our Animal Birth Control (ABC) campaign.
If anyone has a good home, love, and respect to offer, we beg them: Go to a shelter and take one or two animals home. The problem is that few people do that, choosing instead to go to a breeder or a pet shop and not "fixing" their dogs and cats, which contributes to the high euthanasia rate that animal shelters face. Most of the animals we took in and euthanized could hardly be called "pets," as they had spent their lives chained up in the back yard, for instance. They were unsocialized, never having been inside a building of any kind or known a pat on the head. Others were indeed someone's, but they were aged, sick, injured, dying, too aggressive to place, and the like, and PETA offered them a painless release from suffering, with no charge to their owners or custodians.
Every day, PETA's fieldworkers help abused and neglected dogs—many of them pit bulls nowadays and many of them forced to live their lives on chains heavy enough to tow an 18-wheeler—by providing them with food; clean water; lightweight tie-outs; deworming medicine; flea, tick, and fly-strike prevention; free veterinary care; sturdy wooden doghouses stuffed with straw bedding; and love.
What we see is enough to make you lose faith in humanity. One pit bull we gained custody of, named Asia, looked like a skeleton covered with skin when PETA released her from the 15-pound chain she had been kept on for years. Asia suffered from three painful and deadly intestinal obstructions, which prevented her from keeping any food down. She faced an agonizing, lingering death, so our veterinarian recommended euthanasia to end her suffering. We pursued criminal charges against those responsible for her condition, leading to their conviction for cruelty to animals. That is just one of the dozens of cases we see every week.
The majority of adoptable dogs are never brought through our doors (we refer them to local adoption groups and walk-in animal shelters). Most of the animals we house, rescue, find homes for, or put out of their misery come from miserable conditions, which often lead to successful prosecution and the banning of animal abusers from ever owning or abusing animals again.
As long as animals are still purposely bred and people aren't spaying and neutering their companions, open-admission animal shelters and organizations like PETA must do society's dirty work. Euthanasia is not a solution to overpopulation but rather a tragic necessity given the present crisis. PETA is proud to be a "shelter of last resort," where animals who have no place to go or who are unwanted or suffering are welcomed with love and open arms.
Please, if you care about animals, help prevent more of them from being born only to end up chained and left to waste away in people's back yards, suffering on mean streets where people kick at them or shoo them away like garbage, tortured at the hands of animal abusers, or, alas, euthanized in animal shelters for lack of a good home. If you want to save lives, always have your animals spayed or neutered.
See more about how PETA saves animals.
Written by Ingrid E. Newkirk
Written by Jeff Mackey
PETA's Community Animal Project (CAP) fieldworkers are out and about in Norfolk
and the surrounding communities, helping animals hurt or stranded by Hurricane
Sandy. And it's not just dogs and cats who need help. Take, for example, this unfortunate
The exhausted fella was obviously worn out after being
tossed around by the storm. A kind soul who spotted him called PETA, asking
what kind of food she could give him, convinced that nobody would be able to get
out to help the grounded bird since her street had become impassible.
Well, CAP doesn't know the meaning of the word
"impassible." When local animal control representatives said that
they weren't sure they'd be able to get out there, PETA's staffers drove through
the gusty winds and heavy rains to get this big guy and transport him to the
Virginia Beach SPCA. Our good friends there will give him the needed rehab so
that he can be released once the coast is clear.
Stay tuned for more news from the front lines. And to help
keep PETA's work for animals afloat, make a donation today.
Staffers from its Norfolk, Virginia, headquarters and Washington,
D.C., office have endured the impact of Hurricane Sandy's winds and storm
surge, but that's not stopping PETA from doing everything in its power to help
the animals in the storm's path. Community Animal Project fieldworkers are on call
24/7 and have already been hard at work helping animals left to fend for
themselves against the storm and the flooding.
Of course, the best way to protect animals is to prevent them
from being put in harm's way in the first place. That's why PETA sent out
emergency-preparedness alerts to media across Virginia, North Carolina, New
Jersey, and other at-risk areas before
the storm to remind guardians to be ready to allow animal companions to stay indoors
and to take them along if forced to evacuate.
Unfortunately, not everyone has heeded this advice, and
frightened, vulnerable animals like the dog you see here in Newport News,
Virginia, have been left tied up outside to face the storm's onslaught. So PETA
has sent urgent requests to the governors of all states likely to be affected
by Sandy asking them to protect all their citizens—including the
four-legged ones—by issuing immediate "no chaining" orders for their
The orders should require that all dogs be allowed to stay
indoors and not be left chained
outside, where they may drown, freeze, be strangled, or get hit by flying debris in the
midst of the hurricane, as happened to Smokey, who died alone
outside during Hurricane Irene on the chain that he had been attached to since
No matter what the governors decide, though, if Sandy is
headed your way, please allow your dogs and cats to stay indoors with you, be
prepared to take them with you if you have to leave, and urge your neighbors to
do the same!
Written by Michelle Kretzer
Update: Midnight has
been adopted! Her gloomy past behind her, this free-spirited gal has now been renamed
Indie. Her new family reports that she is relishing the safe, comfortable
indoor life and that she acts like she has known her canine sister, River, who
is also a PETA rescue, for years. Indie has discovered catnip, and she is so
photogenic that her new family has started an all-Indie scrapbook. If you are interested
in adopting a PETA rescue, e-mail us at Adopt@peta.org.
Originally posted September 20:
Midnight the cat had been trapped in a
tree for 10 terrifying days. Her owners couldn't be bothered to lift a finger
to help her. She had likely been frightened up the tree and didn't know how to
get back down, which should have been apparent after the first few hours. A
concerned construction worker reported the stranded, distressed cat to PETA.
Seeing as the people responsible for her
seemed not to care one bit, one of our Community Animal Project fieldworkers climbed about 35 feet up the tree, secured Midnight in her arms,
and made the slow, careful descent. After 10 days without food or water, Midnight
was lucky to be alive and was shaken and severely dehydrated, but once on the
ground, the grateful cat began to purr. Her owners never allowed Midnight inside and had no plans to do so now, even after her brush with death, but they agreed
to allow the fieldworker to find her a new home where she would be safe indoors.
Now Midnight is settling in at PETA's
Norfolk, Virginia, headquarters and is waiting patiently for the right adoptive
family. She will be microchipped and spayed before adoption. If you are ready to make a lifetime commitment and give Midnight the safe,
loving home that every cat deserves, please e-mail Adopt@peta.org.
When a woman contacted PETA with information about trucks
jammed full of birds routinely driving through her area, she added that two
chickens had fallen off a truck that morning. She had taken them home with her,
where she gave them food, water, and bedding.
One of the injured birds had died, and the other was unable
to stand. PETA's Cruelty Investigations Division urged the woman to take the
surviving bird to a nearby veterinarian right away. The doctor found that the
chicken was suffering from two broken legs and was so profoundly overweight
(like many chickens raised
for meat) that even if he were able to heal her legs, she would never be able to bear
weight on them or have a decent quality of life. He recommended that the
anguished hen be euthanized right away—a far gentler end than she would have faced
in the pandemonium at the slaughterhouse.
What You Can Do
If you see any animal in trouble, please don't turn away—provide
help, even if the kindest option is a humane release from suffering. You can
also save lives by going
vegan: Every penny spent on meat,
milk, or eggs funds the institutionalized torture of countless animals like
these two chickens.
The story is a common one but still heartrending: Deuce's
owners bought him as a puppy, but when he got big—although still full of energy
and enthusiasm—instead of giving him gentle guidance and abundant exercise,
they kicked him out of the house and chained him to a tree.
Fortunately for Deuce, one kind soul saw that he was tied up
in the mud without shelter on a rainy day and took pity on him. After other
rescue organizations refused to help Deuce, PETA was contacted and immediately
arranged to have the pup picked up—the uninterested family surrendered him to
the rescuer—and taken to a
reputable animal shelter.
That would be enough of a tail-wagger for many animals who
are facing a similar plight, but Deuce's good fortune continued: Shortly after
arriving at the animal shelter, he was adopted by a loving family, and now he
spends every day indoors as a cherished member of the household.
Both dogs and cats are happier and safer indoors. Please, if you spot an animal left outside, be ready to help—and don't take "no"
for an answer!
spent their days relegated to a carport, cast aside like old exercise
equipment. The two dogs were locked inside crates from early in the morning
until dusk without a chance to relieve themselves and no way to escape from the
blistering Southern summer heat. The Labrador mix did not even have room to
neighbor who had to watch the dogs suffer had tried calling animal control for
help. And although officers went to the home and issued a warning, they refused to confiscate the dogs because the animals did not appear to be in immediate danger of dying from dehydration or heatstroke. Frustrated, the
neighbor called PETA for help.
called animal control every few days to file an animal welfare complaint
against the owner. Each time animal control paid a visit to the house, officers
issued the owner another warning. Realizing that he would either have to allow
his dogs indoors or continually deal with animal control, the owner surrendered
both dogs to the local shelter.
took a lot of persistence, but now both dogs have a
chance to find a new home with a guardian who understands that dogs belong indoors
with the rest of the family.
has a wealth of information on how crating is detrimental to dogs, which you can share with
anyone you know who is considering using these cruel cages (for even a short length of
visitors to South Carolina turned their vacation into an opportunity to
advocate for animals when they spotted two aquariums packed to the brim with slider turtles at a beach shop.
aquariums were full of water, and the turtles had only a small bit of rock and
cut-up pieces of a pool toy to climb onto to rest. Slider turtles can't hold
their breath for long underwater, and the turtles were exhausted from being
forced to swim constantly and surface frequently in order to get air.
Reportedly, some of the animals had already died from their ordeal.
tourists called PETA, and we contacted a reputable law-enforcement agency in the area. The responding officer immediately
cited the store manager for cruelty to animals. The officer also ordered the
store to give the turtles more space, provide each tank with sufficient items for
the turtles to rest on, and closely monitor the quality of the water.
court, the officer and an equally diligent prosecutor made an excellent case
for cruelty charges, and the manager was convicted and slapped with the maximum
penalty—more than $1,000. The court also appointed a reptile specialist to
educate the manager on the proper
care of turtles. PETA is pushing the
store to stop selling turtles altogether.
all happened because some tourists took a few minutes out of their vacation to
help animals. Never let an opportunity pass you by—never be silent.
On August 20, Carole Van Wie, the operator of Bunny Magic Wildlife
& Rabbit Rescue, Inc., was charged with 13 counts of cruelty to animals. The
charges follow an August 8 raid on the facility—prompted by a PETA complaint—in
which law-enforcement officers seized 222 rabbits. Officials reportedly had to
don masks to rescue the flea-infested and sick rabbits from up to 4 inches of
feces and urine. Investigators apparently found one rabbit dead in a cage and
others denied food or water. According to news sources, seven of the rabbits
rescued that day could not be saved.
Originally posted August 8:
Welcome news! Today,
many, many rabbits are being removed
by Calvert County, Maryland, officials from what could be called a sham "sanctuary,"
Bunny Magic Wildlife & Rabbit Rescue, Inc., in Lusby. The seizure was
prompted by evidence gathered by PETA of systemic—and sometimes fatal—neglect
of animals at the "rescue," following a whistleblower's tip-off.
neglected rabbits’ nails were overgrown. Some caught on wire cage bottoms while
others curled dangerously toward the animals’ sensitive feet.
evidence and a detailed complaint to Calvert County Animal Control and State's
Attorney Laura Martin's Office, which has opened a criminal investigation into Bunny
Magic, run by President Carole Van Wie. We thank law enforcement for acting
promptly and PETA Investigations
& Rescue Fund donors for providing us with the resources needed to follow up
on the whistleblower's tip.
PETA found that
Bunny Magic consisted of little more than Van Wie's garage, which reeked of ammonia,
and a dark shed that was overrun with rodents. It had no paid help to care for its more than 200 rabbits and other animals. Van
Wie deprived rabbits of needed veterinary care and left contagious animals in contact
with others, risking the spread of disease. Photographs show that Bunny Magic was
little more than a hoarding
facility, amassing far more animals than it could properly care for.
Dead rabbits crammed
into a freezer
Scores of rabbits kept in cramped, stacked cages
are fastidiously clean animals) were unable to avoid stepping in their own feces, which was allowed
to accumulate for days
One neglected rabbit,
Rockette, suffered with a severely twisted neck, struggling to stand up on her
own; she was denied nursing and veterinary care and left to languish and
defecate on herself until she finally died. Another rabbit, named George, who
had a months-long respiratory infection that filled his throat with pus, was
rescued from Bunny Magic before PETA met with officials but could not be saved.
A veterinarian recommended that George be put out of his misery.
The rabbits are being rescued only because a courageous
whistleblower reported how horrified he or she was by Bunny Magic, reminding us
that we should never be
silent when animals are in trouble.
Please be sure, before adopting any animals, that you're ready to make a lifetime commitment to caring for them. Beware of hoarders
pretending to operate so-called "no-kill" rescues or sanctuaries who
promise to care for unwanted animals but instead will only subject them to
prolonged suffering and a prolonged, miserable death. If you take an animal to
a shelter, make sure it's
Victories like this one are made possible in part through
the generosity of PETA Investigations & Rescue Fund supporters. To learn more about this vital fund and how
you can support the rescue of more animals, click here!
When this orphaned baby pigeon was brought
into a parks department office, the woman who accepted the hatchling did the right
thing and contacted animal control—but unfortunately, animal-control officers didn't
do the right thing. Although they said they'd come get the bird, they didn't
show up. So the tenacious lady made another smart move: She called PETA.
The little one was lethargic, having been without his parents
for so long, so PETA's caseworker quickly called the agency responsible for
rescue and rehabilitation for animal control and had it expedite care. You'll be glad to know that the
pigeon was successfully rehabbed. His future looks bright—or, as the caseworker
put it, "He is going to be a rock star among pigeons."
If you want to be
a rock star among pigeons (or any other animals), all you have to do is be ready to offer assistance when they're in trouble—and don't give up until they receive the help they
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.