Written by PETA
The first day of summer hasn't even arrived yet, and at least seven dogs across the country have already died after being left in hot vehicles, including dogs in Virginia, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Maryland, and Ohio.
At Jacksonville University in Florida, campus security officers were too late to save a dog who was left in a parking lot for 90 minutes in a car with one window barely cracked. In San Antonio, a parking attendant called animal control after finding two dogs trapped in a car. By the time help arrived, one dog was already dead and the other was in severe distress.
As these cases tragically illustrate, dogs left inside hot cars can quickly succumb to heatstroke. On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can reach 160 degrees in minutes. When the temperatures are in the 90s, as they have been recently in much of the country, even a few minutes in a car can be fatal.
If you see a dog alone in a vehicle, immediately call animal control or 911. If there is a business nearby, try having the car's owner paged. Do not leave the dog until help has arrived. And unless you're visiting a store like Canadian Tire in Langford, British Columbia, whose owner, Tim Curry, invites dogs to come inside instead of staying in a hot car, let Spot stay at home in air-conditioned comfort.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
American Idol season seven runner-up Kristy Lee Cook is doing anything she can to get her "15 Minutes of Shame." In her new television show on Versus (formerly the Outdoor Life Network), Kristy is traveling around the country shooting animals. It sounds like she must have had those tired old defenses of hunting hammered into her as a kid, because she isn't embarrassed to float the incredibly old saw that hunters somehow help animals … by killing them while they're in the woods with their families minding their own business.
We hope Kristy will realize that her quest for fame would be better served by following in the footsteps of two of her fellow Idol alums-turned-country-stars. Vegetarian and Idol winner Carrie Underwood, for instance, has won five Grammy Awards and had 13 straight number one singles, while Kellie Pickler—our 2009 Sexiest Vegetarian winner—sold more than 800,000 copies of her debut album. And sensational Simon Cowell condemns fur, promotes spaying and neutering, and shot a public service announcement urging people not to leave dogs in hot cars.
Now is the time for Kristy to use her powerful voice as a weapon and hang up her gun collection for good.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
Ellen playing sweet to Simon's tart was reason enough to watch this season of American Idol, but ever since the Top 24 were revealed, we've also been tuning in to support vegetarian contestant Michelle Delamor, who easily made it through last night's vote to become one of the Top 10 ladies.
We haven't "Fallin'" this hard for an Idol hopeful since compassionate country star Carrie Underwood's now-iconic performance of "Alone."
Written by Logan Scherer
Simon Cowell's Idol judgments come out in quick-witted doses, but he knows that the decision to adopt an animal companion is a weighty one that must be given long and meaningful thought. When Simon heard that X Factor winner Alexandra Burke wanted a dog, he apparently convinced her to slow down and reconsider, telling her that she wouldn't have time to care for a dog properly.
With more and more celebrities succumbing to a fad that means dogs get passed around like knickknacks or abandoned in animal shelters, Simon's useful and kind message is a life saver: The responsibility of living with animal companions—who require veterinary care, love, and tons of real attention—is one that everyone should take seriously.
The internet is abuzz after Paula Abdul's shocking announcement that she won't be appearing on the next season of American Idol. With her plans for what's next up in the air, we've reached out to Paula and asked her to join the PETA crew as a celebrity judge for our next Cutest Mutt Alive contest.
Because Paula is a veteran at picking the (soy) cream of the crop from a slew of qualified contenders, she's obviously the perfect choice to be our judge. I bet you're thinking, "Hey, doesn't Simon Cowell already work with PETA? Why not get him to judge the contest?" Simon is an avid animal activist, but the hard truth that he doles out may be a little too honest for these lovable mutts. We need someone who can let each pup down easy. Obviously, Paula's the right woman for the job. So, Paula, what do you say?
Written by Liz Graffeo
Every Tuesday night, I grab a comfy couch, flip on American Idol, proceed to squeal and shout comments at the screen for the next hour, and then dial in incessantly to vote for my fave.
On the show, judge Simon Cowell is known for being a little harsh when he gives the contestants a dose of the hard truth, but in reality he is full of compassion, especially when it comes to animals. Not only has he lent his celebrity to important campaigns in the past (like when he recorded a video message to remind people not to leave dogs in hot cars or when he has spoken out about the importance of spaying and neutering (and against fur), but now he's taken the time to sit down and chat with us about everything from his thoughts on Michael Vick to Obama's new White House pup, and much more. Check it out below and let us know what you think!
Do you think it's important to adopt a dog or cat rather than buying one from a pet store? Well, I mean, if I was buying a dog, I wouldn't buy it from a pet shop, I'd go to a rescue shelter. Or I'd go to a friend who couldn't take care. … It's not where the dog came from, it's the dog. … I get really annoyed when people start telling me about the make and the model of their dog like [for] a car. … A dog is a dog, no matter what background they've got. … Often, the mutts, the strays have got more personality than a highly bred pedigree.
Why do you think some people are obsessed with buying purebred dogs? They are plagued with physical issues, and some breeds are so popular that folks can't tell their own dogs apart from their neighbors' dogs.Well, I think the fashion accessory thing has become quite the thing here. You've got the rap and pop stars carrying around the highly bred dogs …. They think it'd be embarrassing to be seen carrying a mutt … when actually it would be endearing—people would think they cared more about the dog than their image. The other thing which is a problem, as you know, is they'll make movies about, you know, Chihuahuas, and thousands of people will go out and buy Chihuahuas like in the movie.
Right. And we're concerned that the same thing might happen now with the first family. What do you think about their Portuguese water dog? I think we've got to be balanced on this. I think—on a positive note, I think it's nice that they have made an issue of buying a dog for the kids. What I think would be great would be if they also took in a shelter dog, just from anywhere, to balance it. I'll even pay for the dog food!
The Westminster and Crufts dog shows are always controversial because they promote purebred animals when so many mutts are dying in animal shelters. What do you think of these shows? Well, again, I have two thoughts about them, because I think the vast majority of people who go and watch something like Crufts or who are involved are animal lovers, not animal haters. The problem (in the U.K. at least) is that we have elitism in the dog world, which does bother me, for who's to say what makes the perfect dog? The fact that these judges are saying that a bulldog who can't breathe properly is the proper way to breed a dogâ€•that's just insane! Because, in their warped minds, that's what a dog should look like. I've got a show called Britain's Got Talent, where we have crazy dog acts, and I like those dog shows better. The dogs are having a blast, obviously having a great time.
We see a lot of dogs chained outside like bicycles, for life. What is your message to people who do that? That's disgraceful. The awful thing about what that person doesn't realize is that in the dog's mind, as he's being chained up … that dog has put his trust in the person who's chaining him. That dog would give up his life nine times out of 10 for the person who's chaining him up. … For a dog, under those circumstances, just to be left alone, starving to death, lonely and thirsty, is about as low as a person can go. You've got to have a really warped, disgusting personality to want to do something like that. That really disgusts me.
What makes you angriest when someone is cruel to an animal? I think the fact that they get an enjoyment out of it. I think the disrespect—a dog's sole purpose in life is to guard you, and it's your responsibility, and the dog will give up his life for you—would literally die for you—is unbelievable! It shows a really … like Michael Vick. He should never, ever be publicly supported again. Ever. If people really knew the gory details of what he was doing …. They think it was just a dogfight, but what do you do after the fights? The way they kill the maimed dogs ….
Right. And it came out last winter that Vick even threw his family pets into the fighting ring. That's not a human beingâ€•that's a sadist.
As you know, your image is posted on our mobile spay-and-neuter clinic, which rides around in low-income, rural areas of Virginia and North Carolina. People cheer when they see you on the van, and they bring their dogs out for their vaccinations. Thank you for that. Can you send some words to people who are having a hard time putting food on the table about why they shouldn't forget their dogs in these tough economic times? Well, I think that a life is a life, and I totally respect the fact that it's very easy for pampered celebrities like me to lecture, and sometimes I despise people like me because we don't do enough. But I can tell you that if you give an animal kindness, it will come back to you a thousand times over. … You get so much out of it, I cannot tell you. And for us, certainly, I am always willing to do—if I can help you financially, I will do that. If you need a donation anytime, we'll set it up straight away. Never hesitate calling me about that.
Did you know that several of your American Idol graduates have gone on to help animals? Carrie Underwood, Reuben Studdard, and Kellie Pickler are, for example, all vegetarians and are all on PETA's "sexiest vegetarian" list. If you know someone is good with animals, does that make you more inclined to be kind to them after they perform? Well, funny enough, there's normally something that connects me to them. Certainly with Carrie, the second she walked in, I sensed a real kindness about her, and I think it's part of her appeal. And to me, it just shows that you're a nicer person. So I'm not surprised to hear all of that, to be honest with you. I'll do more to encourage it. We'll put it on the questionnaire!
Written by Christine Doré
Unless you've been living under a rock, you've heard about Susan Boyle's knock-your-socks-off performance on Britain's Got Talent. Not only did Susan become an overnight singing sensation, she also spoke up about how much she loves her kitty, Pebbles.
Because they know that this down-to-earth international superstar won't forget the little guys, our lovely British friends at PETA Europe have asked her and Pebbles to consider starring together in a public service announcement with the tagline "Bring Harmony to a Cat's Life!" By raising her voice on behalf of cats, Susan would help homeless animals become winners as well. Yeah, yeah, it's cheesy—but it's true.
If Susan and her feline friend agree to the ad, they would be in good company too. Britain's Got Talent judges Simon Cowell and Amanda Holden have both starred in ads for PETA Europe.
By encouraging her fans to be responsible guardians by always adopting from animal shelters (never buying from pet stores or breeders) and making sure to spay or neuter their animal companions, Susan could help make a difference for the millions of homeless cats who end up in extremely crowded animal shelters around the world every year.
Written by Shawna Flavell
Since 2001, PETA's mobile "Spay and Neuter Immediately, Please" (SNIP) clinic has been providing free and low-cost spay-and-neuter surgeries (nearly 45,000!) in Virginia's Hampton Roads area, where PETA is located. Earlier this week, we doubled the size of our lifesaving fleet, rolling out a second animal birth control mobile clinic.
Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim, who was on hand to cut the ribbon during the official unveiling of the clinic, praised PETA's approach to the companion animal overpopulation crisis as intelligent and humane. That's right—we've got smarts!
Check out these pictures of the new lifesaving clinic!
Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that a boatload of cats and dogs (4 million) are killed every year in the U.S. because there just aren't homes for these animals. And you also know that when people don't sterilize their animals, that contributes to the problem.
We've all seen the population pyramids: one fertile cat can produce 12 to 18 kittens every year, and one fertile dog can produce 12 to 20 puppies every year (not doing it together, of course). When you do the math, that can translate to more than 11,000 cats and more than 12,000 dogs in five years. The flipside of these overwhelming numbers is that we can stop a lot of suffering just by spaying or neutering one animal. And when we spay or neuter more animals, the savings multiply.
Posted by Grace Friedan
I know I was just talking about how cool Simon Cowell is, but he is at it again.
This time he’s got some choice advice for American Idol hopefuls: Be kind to animals. Everyone knows Simon is notoriously harsh when Idol contestants deserve it, but he’s got a big soft spot for animal advocates. Simon opened up on the set of his new PETA ad, which is due out early this summer, saying:
“The people I work with … are all animal lovers. That’s part of the criteria for judging the show, you’ve got to like animals.”
And he applies the same standard to wannabe contestants as well:
“I once had an incident with a guy who auditioned who actually admitted that he likes killing animals. Didn’t go through.”
Considering that Cowell raked in a reported $36 million last year and has been ranked the second-highest-paid person on TV by OK! magazine, it might be wise to heed his suggestion . . .
Unless you live under a rock and watch Antique Road Show on PBS every night, I’m sure you’ve been hearing an awful lot about Simon Cowell lately. American Idol's ratings are higher than ever, and we couldn’t be happier for Simon. So what if he is honest with the out-of-tune wannabe trying to sing "Beat It"? Stick to singing in the shower and open mic nights at your local strip mall coffeehouse, dude . . . I guess you can see where I fall on the whole “Is Simon too mean?” debate.
Anyway, all the hype about Idol and Simon reminded me of the great work he’s done with PETA, so I dug out a couple of the ads he’s shot for us in the past.
Keep telling it like it is Simon!
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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.