Written by Michelle Kretzer
We Southerners are famous for getting a lot of use out of our porches. Maybe that's why a stray mother dog in Mississippi thought that the comfortably cluttered porch of an elderly couple would be the best spot to deliver her seven puppies.
When the surprised couple discovered their new tenants, they immediately gave them food and water as well as towels and blankets to burrow in for warmth. For eight weeks, the couple cared for the dogs, but they knew that with a limited income, no transportation, and several dogs of their own, they were in no position to permanently provide proper care for a growing litter of puppies. So they called PETA for help.
Through our network of supporters, we found a volunteer named Teresa, whom we came to think of as Mother Teresa. She drove two hours to the couple's home (they were just as impressed with her dedication as we were), gathered up all eight dogs, and delivered them to foster homes.
After vaccinations, check-ups, spay-and-neuter surgeries, and loads of love, the pups all found forever homes. And their mother? Well, she had an instant connection with another mother—Teresa's! And now she has a new indoor home as well. Are you like Teresa? Join PETA's Action Team to help us help animals in your area.
Written by PETA
In college, I volunteered at a small animal shelter in Ohio. I never thought much about the shelter's policies. Only later did I realize how much suffering its limited-admission policy caused. All "no kill" animal shelters—big or small—are limited-admission facilities.
The dogs no one wanted sat for years (yes, years) in solitary concrete and metal cages. The only bright spot in their day was when a volunteer would walk them for 15 minutes and give them a bit of time to wander in a dirt pen outdoors. Otherwise, they spent their days and nights confined to cages. On weekends, when everyone else was in the park or at the movies … on holidays, when everyone else was with their families and opening presents … 365 days a year, they sat in a cage. Occasionally, a puppy would be brought in and quickly adopted, but many of the older, bigger dogs sat hopelessly month after month.
I befriended a dog named Tigger, who probably weighed 80 pounds, was very cute, and had a wonderful personality. He was one of the sweetest dogs. (I suspect that he wasn't adopted because of his size, because he was a mutt, and because he didn't look like a dog you'd see in a magazine. I would have adopted him without hesitation, but animals weren't allowed in my dorm.) It broke my heart to leave him after our walks because I could see how lonely he was and how our walks were all that he looked forward to each day.
Looking back, I think of all the Tiggers languishing in limited-admission shelters and all the animals who are turned away from those shelters only to suffer on the streets or in abusive households. I wonder why people think those fates are preferable to giving animals a chance to be adopted at an open-admission shelter and, if no home can be found, a peaceful, dignified, painless exit in a loving person's arms. I sympathize with the folks who run limited-admission shelters—as I saw, many of them really do care about animals. But they often have such a fanatical fear of euthanasia that they will let an animal's spirit die for lack of joy or love or a home, just to keep them breathing for breathing's sake. The limited-admission model has proved over and over again that it isn't the answer—it's just sweeping the problem under the rug.
I have so much gratitude for people who work in open-admission shelters and have the thankless task of having to euthanize the animals they have fed, walked, cared for, and loved while constantly dealing with the question "Why aren't you 'no kill'?" We all need to speak out in support of shelters that accept every animal in need and support aggressive spay-and-neuter and "adopt—don't buy" campaigns. And next time you are chatting with staffers or volunteers at an open-admission shelter, thank them for their courage and compassion.
Written by Chris Holbein, associate director of special projects
Sophie is a rescued dog who accompanies PETA Vice President Lisa Lange to work at PETA's Los Angeles office. Not to be outdone by Bubbles, Sophie has also written to Kris Kringle, asking him to help less fortunate dogs.
Bubbles, one of the resident cats at PETA's Norfolk, Virginia, headquarters, has written a letter to Santa (with a little help from the author of 250 Things You Can Do to Make Your Cat Adore You):
PETA suffered a "van down" earlier this year, longtime President's
Circle members Adam and Leni Sender stepped up to the plate. The Sender family—tireless
animal advocates who have opened their home to numerous rescued animals,
including a refugee from Hurricane Katrina—donated the money for PETA to buy a
new and improved van, and we dedicated the vehicle to the memory of their
beloved cat Patti.
"Patti Wagon" will urge people to save lives by spaying and neutering their animals while it
ferries animals in need to and from appointments with PETA's no-cost to low-cost
We love the Senders as much as the Senders love animals. Thank you for being the animals' "Spay Santas"!
the van's namesake? Well, we think Patti would be purrfectly pleased with her mobile memorial.
Written by Heather Faraid Drennan
up songs about my cat, Wellington, set to holiday jingles
is one of the season's great joys. ("Wellie, the Pink-Nosed Kitty" is
a big hit at parties.) The best thing that we can do for our animal companions
this holiday season, though, is to keep them safe. Here are some tips:
are wonderful, but they don't make great gifts. And please always remember to
spay and neuter.
Happy holidays to you and your furry friends!
let your dog or cat appear on 16 Weeks and Pregnant. Spay and neuter.
Rocky, like so many
other pit bulls,
was used as a living burglar alarm. He was kept outdoors in all weather
to a flimsy doghouse, with no life, no love―no nothin'.
Brutus had broken
free of his chain and gotten his ear nearly ripped off by another dog, but his
owner was oblivious to the extent of the injury―not that he had made any effort
to find out how severe it was. Instead, he just chained Brutus up again and
went back inside his own warm, comfortable home, while Brutus cowered inside his
These are just two
of the countless pit bull cruelty and neglect cases that PETA's Community Animal Project and Emergency Response Team have dealt with recently, and the abuse and neglect
of pit bulls in particular seem to be getting worse. Everyone knows that animal
shelters are full of these vulnerable dogs. Pit bulls are left at shelters in
record numbers—and since they are difficult to adopt out, reputable shelters
(that don't slam the door in the dogs' faces) are finding that they must
euthanize more pit bulls
and pit bull mixes
than all other dogs combined.
That's why we are trying
to stop pit bull abuse at its roots by preventing pit bulls from being born
into a world that largely views them as cheap bodyguards, burglar alarms,
punching bags, and back-alley gladiators. No one needs to bring even one more
dog into this world while there are so many still homeless.
PETA's mobile clinics
provide no-cost to low-cost spay/neuter surgeries to hundreds of pit bulls every year, and we'd
like to push that number even higher. Love pits and don't want to see more of
them tied up by tractor-trailer chains or torn up like Brutus was? PETA has now
launched a special fund through which all donations
will go toward free pit bull spay
surgeries. Click here
to make a donation today to help prevent more pit bulls from falling into the
If you can't bear the thought of wrapping up another
video game or pair of gloves, why not give your loved ones the gift of alleviating
animal suffering? We've rolled out our PETA Presents website just in
time for the holidays, and the site features gifts from $5
that protect animals every time your loved ones pull off a big red bow.
You are guaranteed not to hear, "You
shouldn't have," when you wrap up a toy for a lonely chained dog,
a spay/neuter surgery,
or a day off for a working
We'll send your recipient a beautiful
e-card thanking him or her for helping animals. Or, if you prefer to have
something to put under the tree, you can print a picture and description of the
gift and create an attractive certificate suitable for framing.
Long after the gift
cards have been spent, the candy has been eaten, and the golf clubs are gathering
dust in the closet, your gift will still be helping animals. Visit PETAPresents.org to start giving today.
A big brouhaha
erupted after the Detroit Animal Control Center euthanized an emaciated, injured
and extremely ill dog named Ace
(after the hardware store into which he painfully stumbled before being rescued
off the streets) on Thursday. Photos of Ace make it abundantly clear that he
was suffering; they show him looking weak, hunched over, grimacing, bleeding
from a neck wound, and barely able to stand. He looks as if he can't get
comfortable, and there is obvious pain in his eyes. Unfortunately, Ace had to
endure the state-mandated four-day waiting period for strays, and no owner could
be located for him (or they surely would have faced cruelty charges). This suffering
dog didn't deserve to linger a minute longer.
We just have one question: The
shelters are overloaded with homeless dogs―if anyone is upset because this dog
was put down, why don't they stop screaming "Murder!' and do something
truly helpful, like adopting another dear dog who doesn't need as much vet care
and resocializing but just needs a home? There's certainly no shortage of
homeless dogs in every single animal shelter in the country―no, make that, in
the world! If you think that every single one―or even one in 20―can be placed,
then you're living in a dream that we all wish would come true, but picking one
dog and going nuts about his euthanasia is just a feel-good exercise not
grounded in reality. Shelters need financial help for spaying and neutering in
order to stop more dogs from being born and to find truly good homes even for
dogs with no problems, the "easy" ones. Meanwhile, "no kill"
shelters take in their quota and then leave the dirty work to everyone else.
back to Ace―for dogs who have been through so much and are obviously suffering
and miserable, a dignified release from their pain is often a blessing and the
most humane option. Let's not misplace our anger and
frustration, which should be directed at those who neglect animals so badly
that they end up ravaged with parasites and barely able to keep their heads up as
well as at those who cause animals to end up homeless and euthanized at shelters
because they buy from pet stores or breeders and/or fail to spay or neuter
And let's use our energy to save
lives by promoting spaying
and neutering and lobbying for legislation
that would restrict breeding so that we can arrive at a day when no
animal is born unless a loving, permanent home is waiting for him or her. Animal homelessness is a preventable tragedy.
by Lindsay Pollard-Post
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.