Written by PETA
Lawmakers in California are taking a big
step to protect animals from greedy breeders. Landmark two-part legislation bans the sale of animals
in any public venue, which includes attempts by breeders to meet buyers they
have contacted over the Internet in a neutral location.
The law will, we hope, hinder puppy-mill
operators, who often don't want potential buyers to see the cramped, crude, and filthy
in which the animals are kept. Undercover investigations of puppy mills
have documented dogs with no protection from the heat or cold and no veterinary
care while suffering from medical conditions such as crusty, oozing eyes; raging
ear infections; mange; and abscessed feet from being forced to stand on wire
cage floors. Investigators have also observed dogs who had gone "kennel
crazy," frantically turning in circles in their tiny cages.
The new law also increases the penalties
for animal neglect so that they are on par with the penalties for cruelty. And
some cities in California are going a step further, such as Glendale, where
the City Council banned
pet store sales
of dogs and cats. Of course, we can all protect animals from abuse in the pet
trade by always adopting instead of buying.
by Michelle Sherrow
It turns out that the hypoallergenic dog fad is something to sneeze at. Henry Ford Hospital's Department of Public Health Sciences analyzed dust samples from homes with alleged Benadryl-banishing pups and homes with regular dogs and found no difference in allergen levels.
Dogs like poodles, bichons frisés, and Labradoodles are marketed as "hypoallergenic" because they shed less (their long hair takes longer to grow to its full length and fall out). But of course, these dogs still shed, shake, scratch, and do all sorts of other dog activities that release dander. According to the chair of the Division of Allergic Diseases in the Department of Internal Medicine at the Mayo Clinic, "There is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog breed …"
Rather than supporting breeders and puppy mills, which rake in money with no thought for the millions of dogs in shelters literally dying for a good home, people who want to share their lives with a dog should adopt a good old-fashioned mutt and experience a whole different type of watery-eye moment.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
No dog guardian wants his or her best canine friend to come down with a debilitating, terminal illness. But when they buy a purebred dog, that’s what many dog guardians can expect.
Researchers at the University of Georgia looked at the causes of death for tens of thousands of dogs over two decades and discovered that certain diseases are more likely to afflict certain breeds. For example, they found that Bernese mountain dogs, bouviers des Flandres, boxers, golden retrievers, and Scottish terriers have extremely high mortality rates caused by cancer, while Chihuahuas, Doberman pinschers, fox terriers, Maltese, and Newfoundlands are plagued with deadly cardiovascular disease. This is in addition to the defects that were already known to afflict specific breeds, such as hip dysplasia in German shepherds, spinal disc disease in dachshunds, and epilepsy in beagles.
So, when people pay breeders and pet stores to churn out purebred puppies, who are often the product of inbreeding, they could be sentencing additional dogs to a lifetime of chronic illness and an early death.
That's not to say that mutts don't get sick, but their more diverse genetic makeup lowers the chances that they will suffer from the inherited ailments that often befall purebred dogs. When you adopt a homeless mutt, you not only save a life but also help lessen the demand for more purebred puppies, who may suffer from chronic, painful, and ultimately lethal illnesses.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
If there is one person who can command national attention for an issue, it is "queen of all media" Oprah Winfrey. That's why Saving America's Mustangs, a group run by PETA supporter Madeleine Pickens, has enlisted actors, musicians, and athletes to film an appeal to Oprah asking her to help them protect the few wild horses remaining in the West.
Just 100 years ago, there were 2 million free-roaming horses in and around Nevada. Today, there are fewer than 28,000. But that isn't stopping the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from continuing to round up wild horses and confine them by the tens of thousands to holding pens, where they may be held for years before being sold. To get the horses into the corrals, workers rope, drag, and kick them and run them down with helicopters, killing some of them in the process. The roundups cost taxpayers $70 million per year. On July 1, the BLM will resume rounding up even more horses during foaling season.
Why is the BLM so hell-bent on rounding up wild horses? Two words: cattle ranchers. When horses compete with cows for grazing land, guess who ends up the loser? It's just one more of the many excellent reasons not to eat beef cows.
Oprah has done a wonderful job exposing the horrors of puppy mills, the Japanese dolphin slaughter, and factory farm cruelty. Will wild mustangs be the first animals to star on her new network? Stay tuned …
Goldendoodles, cockapoos, cockadoodledoos, and whatever else they're called, "hybrid" dogs fetch—a pretty penny, that is. And breeders and puppy mills are cashing in on the craze. It's really silly that some folks are shelling out as much as $1,600 for one of these dogs when animal shelters and rescue groups are overflowing with dogs in every combination of breeds imaginable, often without the costly health problems of dogs who are purebred or close to it. Perhaps rescuers could convince people to adopt if we started touting our dogs as "designer," too, like my lovely "German Huskweiler."
Insisting on designer sunglasses is one thing, but buying a designer dog is deadly to a dog in an animal shelter. If you know someone considering a hybrid dog, please encourage him or her to visit the local animal shelter (and note that an estimated 25 percent of shelter dogs are purebred) or look at Petfinder.com and see the hundreds of stunning mixed-breed pups with great personalities who are waiting for a family to love.
In the wake of the deaths of six bulldogs during flights last year, Delta Airlines has announced it will no longer ship English, French, or American bulldogs. Bulldogs, whose short snouts prevent them from cooling themselves effectively, are among the breeds most affected by the rigors of transport in unventilated cargo holds.
As my former Pennsylvania puppy mill bulldog, Bruce, snores beside me, I can't imagine how anyone would ever consider subjecting their dog to the terrors and dangers of a cargo hold. Bruce starts breathing hard when the temperature goes above sixty and he would hate being separated from his family and stuck in a cage in a dark, noisy place.
PETA strongly advises against ever shipping any animal in an airplane cargo hold, which can be extremely dangerous—even fatal. Most cargo compartments are kept unventilated in order to help prevent fires. Cargo holds generally have no heat or air conditioning, and they can reach extreme temperatures quickly. Sometimes cats and dogs escape from carriers that have been damaged in transit and become lost inside airplanes or airplane hangars.
Delta's off to a flying start by not allowing bulldogs on board. Even better is Pet Airways, whose only passengers are companion animals—and they all fly first-class.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
On last night's The Daily Show, correspondent and PETA friend Olivia Munn shined a hilarious light on voter-approved legislation that will alleviate the suffering of dogs in Missouri's puppy mills. Four little minutes, so many laughs:
Once again, Olivia has shown that she's clever and caring, a winning combination for animals. (Of course, so is clever and daring—and clever and baring.) Have you done your clever and caring (or daring or baring) deed for animals today?
Written by Karin Bennett
In yesterday's midterm elections, Missouri voters approved a measure that gives dogs who are mass bred in puppy mills some long overdue relief. Missouri holds the unenviable distinction of being our nation's puppy mill capital. The state is home to more than 1,400 commercial (or as the American Kennel Club likes to call them, "high-volume") breeders who subject dogs to miserable lives in cramped, filthy hutches, cages, and pens.
Proposition B, which goes into effect next year, will eliminate stacked cages, which have been known to cause dogs to develop "cage spins"—a condition in which animals turn manically in endless circles as a result of intensive, continuous confinement. Breeders will be "limited" to no more than 50 females, who can't be bred more than twice every 18 months. It's estimated that about one-third of the state's puppy profiteers currently breed more than 50 females, so this bill should, we hope, reduce the number of puppies born, sold, and shipped out of the state to pet shops all over the U.S. (The vast majority of puppies sold in pet shops—even hoity-toity ones—come from puppy mills!)
It's hard to believe, but the measure also had to spell out to breeders that they must feed animals once a day. It also mandates annual veterinary checks and requires that dogs be housed indoors with unrestricted access to an outdoor exercise area.
Keep cheering: Washington and Oregon have also recently toughened laws against puppy mill operators.
This is great news for dogs, but make no mistake: As long as people buy instead of adopting, the suffering will continue. Never buy from pet stores—which are basically puppy mill outlets—and tell everyone you know that those stores' "inventories" come straight from the factory.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
In July 2009, nearly 500 sick, emaciated, and injured dogs (some of whom are shown in the photos below) were rescued from a hellish Bowie, Texas, puppy mill called Maggic Pets/Heddins Kennels. But more than a year later, the county attorney's office has yet to file even a single criminal charge against Cloyce and Carol Heddins, the owners of the facility. Worst of all, the Heddins are rumored to be back in business with a new hoard of dogs!
During the 2009 rescue, teams reportedly found dogs who were locked in cages with no water, dogs who were missing legs, four dead dogs, and the bones of others. An elderly Chihuahua suffering from a broken jaw could only eat by softening his kibble with saliva before swallowing, and an elderly poodle had become virtually blind because the fur around his eyes was severely matted and his eyes were encrusted with discharge.
We can join the howls of protest over this injustice by sending a letter to Montague County Attorney Ronald Walker, urging him to file cruelty-to-animals charges against the Heddins immediately. And for the sake of the dogs who are suffering in other nightmarish facilities across the country, let's remind our friends and family that this is what they are likely supporting if they are buying animals from pet stores.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
Come November, Missourians will have a chance to shed the dubious distinction of being known as the nation's puppy-mill capital thanks to Proposition B, a ballot initiative that will allow voters to decide whether or not to ban breeding operations with more than 50 dogs and to require large-scale breeding operations to provide dogs with adequate food, water, shelter, space, exercise, and veterinary care.
Puppy mill operators are up in arms because Proposition B would make "puppy mill cruelty" a misdemeanor crime. As it turns out, puppy mill owners don't like it when their "businesses" are called "puppy mills." They claim that the term is prejudicial, and they are suing to have it removed from materials describing the initiative.
A blogger for St. Louis' Riverfront Times newspaper playfully suggested that "dog-breeding factories" might have a better ring to it. What do you think?
Written by Alisa Mullins
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.