Written by PETA
I work in the Human Resources Department
at the PETA Foundation, which I love. Knowing that I get to advocate for
animals and also take care of my colleagues who advocate for them is rewarding
and fulfilling. But I recently spent a day doing something that not many people
will experience in their lifetime: riding
along with a staffer with PETA's
Community Animal Project (CAP), the people who crawl under houses, sludge through storm drains,
and face neglectful owners to save animals from suffering.
My day with CAP was eye-opening, to
say the least. I knew about the work that CAP does in the areas surrounding our Norfolk, Virginia,
headquarters, but seeing it for myself was an experience I will never forget.
In a rural area of North Carolina,
we found a terrified dog who was forced to live under a trailer with no food or
water. His "owners" ("guardians" are people who actually
care for their animals) weren't home, so we did the only things that we could
do: We gave him food and water and left a note for his owners. We plan to check
on him again soon. In another area, we found two dogs who were covered with
ticks and supplied their owner with flea- and tick-control medication and
instructions. We talked to a person who had a puppy living outdoors—the pup's littermate had already been fatally hit by a car—and tried to educate him about how to do better for the
surviving dog. Stories like these repeated themselves throughout the day as we
visited more and more animals in need of help.
All of us can make a difference for
animals in our own communities. We could offer to walk chained dogs and give their owners information about housetraining and bringing them indoors. Or we could offer to transport pregnant
cats to a low-cost spay-and-neuter
clinic. Much like
CAP's work, all our small acts together can add up to big improvements in the
lives of a lot of animals.
by Kim Argobright
Written by Michelle Kretzer
Tess and Amelia weren't always sitting so pretty.
were rescued during PETA's
investigation of U.S. Global Exotics (USGE), a massive exotic-animal
dealer that denied the animals it warehoused veterinary care, adequate space,
ventilation, heat, and even adequate food and water. Tess's and Amelia's luck
changed when they were seized from USGE, along with 26,000 other animals.
found a home with a PETA member replete with love, toys, treats, and a thousand
comfy places where a hamster can curl up and spend a
Community Animal Project
fieldworker spotted a lone pit bull sitting in a trash-strewn patch of dirt
behind what appeared to be an abandoned house. A heavy chain was wrapped around his neck, preventing him from reaching even a single blade
of grass. He had no food or water, and his dilapidated doghouse had no floor. When
the fieldworker offered him a big bowl of water, the dog lapped it up as if it
were the first drink he'd had in a very long time.
she couldn't legally take the dog, whom she was calling "Dusty"
because of his dirty surroundings, the fieldworker forced herself to leave—but not before she left plenty of dog food with the
neighbor and implored him to continue to feed Dusty and give him water.
public-records property search yielded the homeowner's name, and when the
fieldworker called him, he said that he was having work done on the house and
would be moving back in soon. He refused to part with Dusty but let PETA
replace the heavy metal chain with a lightweight tie-out, give Dusty a new
doghouse, and move him to a grassy area.
he still isn't living indoors with his family—the kind of life every dog deserves—Dusty is at least
more comfortable. When fieldworkers check on him, he has food and water, and
his owner has agreed to have him neutered in PETA's mobile clinic.
stories rarely make headlines, and in fact, many people aren't even aware of how
much suffering PETA fieldworkers
spare animals like Dusty every day. But PETA can't do it alone. If there is a Dusty in your
neighborhood, please alert animal control. And if officials are unresponsive,
please contact PETA for help. We will never
turn our back on an animal in need.
of us would never consider leaving our four-legged family members behind in an
emergency, and it seems that people a century ago had similar sentiments. On
the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, we are finally hearing
about the dogs onboard—and the guardians who refused to leave them.
University in Pennsylvania is hosting a centennial Titanic exhibit, part of
which focuses on the twelve dogs who were onboard the ship. The three who
survived were small dogs whose guardians smuggled them onto lifeboats, likely
without the other passengers noticing. Passenger Margaret Hays reportedly got
her dog, Lady, onto the lifeboat by wrapping her in a blanket.
least one of the Titanic's passengers jumped out of a lifeboat when she was
told her dog couldn't accompany her. Ann Elizabeth Isham refused to leave her
Great Dane behind, and days later, a recovery ship found the body of a woman
still clinging to a large dog, which all accounts identify as Isham and her
beloved Great Dane.
recently, when Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, PETA rescuers saw
stories similar to Isham's repeated again and again. But these distraught guardians
were forced to evacuate and leave
their animals behind. Many animals didn't make it, although some were rescued and returned to their
families after months of searching by PETA and other animal organizations.
The tragedy of Hurricane Katrina forced the issue of
animals suffering during disasters into the national spotlight and resulted in
the Pets Evacuation and
Transportation Standards (PETS) Act, which requires state and local disaster plans to include provisions for safely accommodating
animal companions in the event of a major disaster or emergency.
We've seen the benefits of the nation's heightened
awareness of the need for disaster planning for animals in the wake of the
recent Navy jet crash in
Virginia Beach, Virginia, which destroyed or damaged 40 apartments. Virginia Beach Animal Care & Adoption Center immediately
spread word to rescue workers that it would take in all displaced animals, and
families knew that their animal companions had a safe place to go while they
Many more families are now doing their own advance planning to protect
animals in emergencies, including taking the following steps:
planning can't prevent natural disasters, but it can prevent disasters from
becoming tragedies for our animal companions.
elderly woman who called PETA's national animal-emergency number thought that she
was doing the right thing. When she discovered a baby bird in her yard who was
unable to fly, she took him into her home and tried to feed him. Frustrated by
the bird's deteriorating condition, she called PETA to ask for advice.
that a bird who did not fly away from a person attempting to pick him or her up
was most likely severely injured or ill, we let the woman know that despite her
good intentions, the bird really needed to be assessed by a wildlife
caller couldn't drive, so a staffer from our Los Angeles office went out to
pick up the baby bird and got the animal into the hands of a wildlife
rehabilitator who determined that the baby was in fact severely injured and
suffering and should be euthanized.
people who try to help
wild animals by themselves have
wonderful intentions, they may inadvertently cause the animal more suffering by
providing improper care. If you encounter a wild animal who appears to be hurt
or in danger, stay near the animal, but call your local humane society or animal
control officials for help. If they can't provide assistance themselves, they
may have names of licensed wildlife rehabilitators in your area. Keep the names
and numbers in your address book for future reference.
remember: Always adopt—never buy.
Written by Jeff Mackey
Many of the rescue cases that PETA handles involve animals in immediate peril. But even when the risks
aren't so obvious, it's still important to lend a hand when animals need any
kind of help.
Here's a case in point: When a kind lady saw these
unfortunate sheep with heavy, matted coats near a Hayfork, California, hotel,
she called PETA for help.
PETA's caseworker persuaded the animals' owner to shear them
soon afterward. Since the sheep were otherwise in good health and reasonably
well cared for, no charges were filed, but—thanks to one concerned person who spoke
up—these animals' lives have been made brighter and more comfortable.
Please always remember: Whenever you see animals in trouble,
don't look away—do something.
a baby monkey fell off an electric pole high above a
highway in Sangli, India, and plummeted to the road below, she was knocked
unconscious and one eye was left swollen and bloody. Someone saw the monkey
fall and alerted officials. Knowing the superb rehabilitation work that PETA's
friends at Animal Rahat
("rahat" means "relief" in Hindi)
do, forest officials asked them to go to the scene immediately.
the injured animal to its rehabilitation facility, where workers gently flushed
her eyes and gave her antibiotic eyedrops for a few days. It was delicate work
helping the monkey to heal while handling her as little as possible so as not
to cause her stress, which
can lead monkeys to mutilate themselves.
week later, with her health improving, it was safe to give the tiny monkey the
freedom and space that she craved, so she was taken to the Katraj wildlife rescue
center, where she could enjoy a forest-like setting while continuing to heal.
monkey relished her freedom and continued to improve while she built a trusting
relationship with her caretakers. But life in captivity is not what nature
intended for monkeys, and after two months there, her rescue team bid her a
tearful goodbye and released her back into the forest. Animal Rahat workers still
visit the forest from time to time to see if they can spot her and even managed
to get one last picture of the now fully recovered monkey doing what monkeys do
Jerry wasn't the outgoing, center-of-attention type. Even as a young calf, he seemed to possess the peaceful, quiet air of a wise old man, content to spend warm afternoons gazing out across the landscape with his best friend by his side.
Jerry enjoys a quiet afternoon with his friend Patrick. Courtesy of the Cow Sanctuary
But Jerry's early life was anything but serene. Rescued during a PETA investigation of a filthy dairy factory farm that supplied Land O'Lakes, Jerry was crippled, infested with lice and ringworm, and nearly blind from pink eye. He and another calf were taken in by the Cow Sanctuary, and with considerable love and medical care, they healed.
Instead of being killed for veal, as is the fate of most male calves in the dairy industry, Jerry spent his life as every animal should—exploring his surroundings, enjoying the company of friends (especially his pig friend, Patrick), and reveling in treats and love from his guardians.
Last week, with his health declining, Jerry was euthanized. He left this world as quietly as he lived in it, but the steer with the gentle spirit left a permanent mark on the hearts of those who loved him.
Farewell, sweet Jerry.
After someone with a sharp eye and a kind heart spotted a thin
to a small pen, the person contacted PETA's Emergency Response Team. We immediately got in touch with the local humane society, which was on the
case right away! The horse was rescued from her pitiful little mesh prison and
transported to a stable, where she can now walk
freely for perhaps the first time in months, maybe even years.
I wonder how many people passed by this horse every day
without giving her a second thought. Yet all that her happiness depended upon
was the intervention of one concerned passerby. Please, if you see an animal you
believe is being neglected or abused, be that one wonderful person who takes a few
minutes out of the day to make a crucial difference.
Not sure what to do when you suspect cruelty or neglect? PETA can help.
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.