Written by PETA
Labor Day meant a long weekend for many nine-to-fivers, but some laborers
can't close up shop and forget about their jobs, even for a day. For animal
shelter workers, the stream of battered and bruised animals in need of refuge
never ends. Few people have a more emotionally challenging job than those who
punch in every day knowing that they will likely have to euthanize the animals
they've devoted themselves to helping.
We can all help ease shelter workers' burdens by doing our part to slow the
stream of homeless animals. That means always having our cats and dogs spayed
or neutered and adopting animals instead of buying them from breeders or pet
As one who has spent years volunteering at my local animal shelter, I know
that shelter staffers are some of the hardest-working people around. They scrub
poop-strewn kennels, comb animals who are matted and crawling with fleas, and
give belly rubs to dogs who have been chained up like old bicycles their entire
lives. They heft dogs onto examination tables, unload vans of 50-pound bags of
food, get bitten by petrified dogs who have known nothing but cruelty, and get
scratched by cats who are frantic after having left the home they've always
known to live in a cage surrounded by other crying felines. They cuddle cats,
throw balls for dogs, slip treats through cage bars, speak kind words, and give
many scratches behind the ears. They do their best to make the animals' stay at
the shelter as full of love as possible.
But shelters don't have a magic wand that they can wave to create loving
homes for all the animals who need them. Those who work in open-admission
shelters must also perform the thankless, gut-wrenching task of holding the
animals they've played with and loved in their arms while the euthanasia needle
slides into a vein and the light in their eyes softly flickers out. These
people are heroes for doing the right thing for animals even though it takes
such a toll on them personally.
Breeders, pet stores, and people who haven't had their animals spayed or
neutered put shelter workers in this tragic position. Every new puppy or kitten
who is brought into the world takes the chance for a home away from one of the
thousands of animals waiting in shelters. And every new puppy or kitten means
another broken heart for a brave shelter worker.
Shelter workers' jobs will never be cushy, but if more people spay and
neuter their animals before that first litter and if more people adopt the
eager-to-please dogs and cats waiting in shelters instead of buying animals, we
could dramatically reduce the number of animals euthanized for lack of a good
home. We could save thousands of lives—and make shelter workers' lives a little
bit easier too.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
As someone who has spent years volunteering at a wonderful open-admission animal shelter, it breaks my heart when people use the term "kill shelters" to refer to shelters that accept every needy animal—no matter how beat up, old, ill, or behaviorally unsound they are—and that have no choice but to give some animals a painless, dignified release through euthanasia.
This mean-spirited, misleading label is a slap in the face to the brave people who pour their hearts and souls into helping animals at open-admission shelters. I wish that those who use this term could spend a day at the receiving desk of their local full-service shelter so that they could see firsthand how badly we need open-door shelters. A steady flow of people arrive with battered, broken animals of all shapes, sizes, and species: "We call her Matty because she's full of mats," said one person who was surrendering a dog whose matted fur was infested with maggots. Matty's family was getting rid of her because they wanted a puppy.
Other reasons people have given for taking animals to the shelter include "He's sick, and I can't afford to take him to the vet," "He's chewing up everything, and my dad said he's gonna shoot him," "She's just old," "He was great as a puppy, but now he's just too big," "We just have too many animals," "They have been hanging around the house, and we don't want them," "Someone dumped them at my house," and "We're moving."
Nearly everyone leaves the shelter saying the same thing: "You won't kill him, will you?" What else can shelters do when they have a limited number of cages and an unlimited number of needy animals pouring through their doors? There is no huge farm for unwanted animals—a fantasy that many people's parents told them existed when their childhood animal friends were brought to open-admission shelters—and shelters don't have a magic wand that they can wave to create loving homes.
This name-calling hurts animals because it scares people away from surrendering animals to reputable shelters. It misleads people into thinking that taking cats and dogs to facilities that don't euthanize is the right thing to do, but animals at these places often suffer fates worse than death. These facilities are always full and have long waiting lists to accept animals, which results in people dumping animals to die on the streets, giving them away on Craigslist (a magnet for animal abusers), or abandoning them to starve in empty homes and yards after they move away.
There is no such thing as "high-kill," "low-kill," or anything in between when it comes to shelters. There are only open-admission shelters—those that provide refuge to every animal and must euthanize to ensure that their doors remain open to more needy animals—and limited-admission shelters—those that pick and choose only the cutest, youngest, and most adoptable animals and turn away everyone else.
For the sake of animals and the people who have devoted their lives to helping them, let's stop the name-calling and support shelters that are committed to doing what's best for animals— even when that's the hardest thing to do.
You would think that someone with the name Kat would know better, but Kat Von D committed a big Kat Von D, as in "Don't," when she bought a hairless cat from a breeder. Again.
In a recent episode of her reality TV series, L.A. Ink, Von D visits a breeder and plunks down a sizeable chunk of change for a sphinx cat. Oh, how we wish that the show's producers had followed up with a visit to the local animal shelter to show the cat who will have to be euthanized because he or she just lost the chance at a home.
While millions of animals are euthanized in shelters every year and millions more die on the streets, unwanted and abandoned, there is no such thing as "responsible" breeding—only greedy animal pimps who make money at animals' expense.
Here's hoping that Von D starts to L.A. think about what her money is supporting. For robbing yet another cat in a shelter of a chance at a family and contributing to animal homelessness, Ms. D earned herself an "F."
Written by Michelle Sherrow
As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and nowhere is this truer than when it comes to spaying and neutering dogs and cats. That's why I'm so excited to announce that 2010 was a banner year for PETA's mobile clinics, which spayed and neutered a record 10,683 animals. That includes 919 feral cats and 478 pit bulls (135 of whom were sterilized at no charge to their guardians). In addition, 1,372 surgeries were performed on the animals of indigent families. Our clinics have sterilized more than 69,000 dogs, cats, and rabbits in the last decade!
All those spay/neuter surgeries will prevent the births of hundreds of thousands of kittens and puppies who would have otherwise likely struggled for survival on the mean streets or been euthanized simply because there aren't enough good homes.
PETA's clinics also provide spay/neuter services to local animal shelters and rescue groups to ensure that none of the animals who are adopted contributes to the overpopulation crisis by having puppies and kittens!
2010 was a booming year for PETA's clinics, but I know already that 2011 is going to be even better, because PETA has secured funding for a third mobile clinic! The yet-to-be-named state-of-the-art clinic will join PETA's SNIP and ABC clinics, which work around the clock to fight the overpopulation crisis in PETA's own backyard.
Want to help? Check out PETA's ABC pages to learn how to promote animal birth control in your own community and reduce the number of homeless animals who need to be rescued in the first place. Please also join PETA in calling on elected officials to pass mandatory spay/neuter laws in your state, county, and town. Together, we can become a no-birth nation—which is the only way to become a "no-kill" nation.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) just responded to PETA's letter to Janet Napolitano urging the DHS to adopt dogs from animal shelters for its canine program instead of turning to breeders, and there is good news.
The DHS will now not only accept dogs from animal shelters for its program (provided they meet the criteria), it is encouraging animal rescue facilities to submit proposals for their eligible dogs. Candidates must be:
PETA president Ingrid E. Newkirk has helped place many dogs from animal shelters in mutually beneficial service positions that allow the dogs to live at home with their handlers when they aren't working, that teach dogs using positive reinforcement and respect, that provide excellent veterinary care, and that "retire" dogs to live with their handlers when they become old or unable to work—all criteria that the DHS has assured PETA that it meets.
One of these dogs was Kirk (named after Ingrid), the partner of Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police officer Thomas Delahanty. Kirk was with Officer Delahanty when Delahanty was shot during John Hinckley Jr.'s attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan in 1981. There was a fabulous retirement party for Officer Delahanty and Kirk, attended by many beloved K-9 dogs and their human partners, complete with dog-paddling in a backyard swimming pool.
"Working" dogs who are treated well can live fulfilling, interesting lives, and PETA encourages animal shelters and breed-rescue groups to submit proposals to the DHS for their eligible dogs to:
Att: Unsolicited Proposal OfficerTraining and Development DivisionProgram DirectorateOffice of ProcurementCustoms and Border Protection Agency1310 PA Ave, NWWashington DC
Posted by Lindsay Pollard-Post
It's so hot in the city, you'd think I'd be making another batch of lemonade—but I've got a hankering for some Internet Soup. It's been a while since the last batch, so dig in!
Oof! I don't know about you, but I'm full after all that soup—and guac. This Special K needs a siesta. Until next time …
Written by Karin Bennett
Thanks to a recent undercover investigation in which PETA revealed that the University of Utah (the U) had bought more than 100 homeless animals from animal shelters and subjected them to invasive, painful, and deadly experiments, a law was passed so that shelters in Utah are no longer required to turn animals over to laboratories. There is now only one animal shelter in the entire state—the North Utah Valley Animal Shelter (NUVAS)—that voluntarily continues to betray homeless dogs and cats by selling them to the U. The NUVAS is signing the torture-followed-by-death warrant for animals it hands over, as most are likely to suffer in the sort of archaic experiments documented by PETA's undercover investigator. A recent demonstration outside NUVAS sent the message loud and clear that this betrayal of trust cannot go on:
The demonstrators handed out leaflets to passersby, warning them about NUVAS' "pound-seizure" policy. They begged people who were surrendering animals to take their cats and dogs to a different shelter and personally rescued two surrendered cats, Angel and Libby, who might have otherwise ended up being tortured in the U's experiments. Let's keep the pressure on NUVAS and press for an end to its release of animals for experimentation.
There was no containing this prophylactic pair yesterday in Shreveport, Louisiana. The "giant condoms" were determined to let passersby know that the only way to save the more than 6 million unwanted cats and dogs who end up in U.S. animal shelters every year—half of whom are euthanized because there simply aren't enough good homes for them—is to spay or neuter their companion animals. Spaying one female dog can prevent 67,000 births in six years, and spaying one female cat can prevent 420,000 births in seven years.
Since cats and dogs can't wear condoms, it's up to their guardians to curb the overpopulation crisis.
Written by Logan Scherer
The latest animal-friendly news from California makes me want to shout the state's motto and make the big move ASAP.
First, the California Assembly overwhelmingly passed a law that would require that all fur products be labeled with the type of animal (or faux fabric) and the country of origin. This would close a loophole in federal law that allows clothing with less than $150 worth of fur to be sold without any label identifying it as real fur, and it will stop many people from mistakenly buying real fur when they intended to buy faux.
The fur labeling bill is now headed to the State Senate, so if you have the good fortune to live in California, please urge your state senators to vote for it.
And that's not all! If you live in San Francisco, get ready to celebrate the city's first Meat-Free Monday, aka "Veg Day." San Francisco's Board of super-savvy Supervisors approved a resolution that calls on the city's restaurants, grocery stores, and schools to recognize the health and environmental benefits of meat-free meals. A plant-based diet also saves animals from the horrors of factory farming and slaughter.
For all you non-Californians, encourage your state and local politicians to follow California's example and make a commitment to helping animals, the planet, and their constituents' health. In the meantime, you can celebrate your own cruelty-free closet and table every day of the week.
California, here I come!
Written by Heather Faraid Drennan
As the home of Western Europe's largest Muslim population, it's not surprising that France is experiencing a boom in halal food sales. But in their zeal to cater to the second-largest religious group in the world, food retailers are marketing so-called "halal" foie gras. Because Mohammed (PBUH) admonished his followers always to be kind to animals, good Muslims know that it is forbidden (haram) to deliberately harm an animal before taking that life. So how on Earth could it be remotely halal (approved) to produce foie gras, the "delicacy of despair," which requires ramming a metal pipe down birds' throats and pumping corn mush into their stomachs until their livers become diseased and enlarge to up to 10 times their normal size? I can't think of any way that force-feeding can be done so that it complies with Islamic law.
You can find out more about Islam and animals at IslamicConcern.com.
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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.