Written by Jeff Mackey
When PETA learned that a Florida man was trapping (and
perhaps killing) squirrels directly under a bird feeder, a PETA cruelty caseworker jumped into action. While
the trapping was legal under state law—which meant that Florida Fish and
Wildlife Conservation Commission officials couldn't help—the squirrels suffered
for hours from the intense Florida heat and from anxiety, especially since
squirrels prefer to burrow and minimize their exposure to humans and other potential
In addition to asking Fish and Wildlife to confront the man
trapping the squirrels, the caseworker called and e-mailed the man and encouraged
one of the man's neighbors to speak to the trapper, who ultimately agreed to
stop capturing the squirrels. The neighbor was also urged to stop feeding
squirrels, which attracted more of them to the area.
There's no need to resort to drastic measures: Learn how to live in harmony with our wild-animal neighbors. Even if you enjoy wildlife, please think
carefully before feeding them, as doing so can expose them to predators and other dangers.
Written by Michelle Kretzer
if we needed another reason why steel-jaw traps should be banned
outright, PETA received a call about a man in Georgia using the cruel devices
to injure squirrels who approached his pecan tree.
distraught neighbor called PETA when she saw a squirrel fall victim to one such
trap that the man had set on top of a nearby fence post. The animal was alive,
hanging upside down by a crushed leg and in agony.
the best efforts of PETA caseworkers to persuade animal-control officials to
assist this suffering squirrel, the agency refused, stating that it does not
respond to wildlife calls! But we persevered and got police to the scene
instead. The suffering, badly injured squirrel was released from the trap and
rushed for euthanasia.
law, the man is allowed to use these traps to harm squirrels if he considers
them a nuisance for eating some of his pecans—but rest assured that PETA provided
him with effective, humane alternatives for keeping squirrels away from his pecan
tree in the future.
For every situation
involving unwanted wildlife, there's a humane way to handle it. PETA's guide to living in harmony with
wildlife is a great resource for
Written by PETA
people ventured out after the hurricane, they started to find vulnerable
animals who had fallen from trees or hunkered down to hide when the hurricane
hit. Full-time animal-rescue work continues, even as the heavy metal
canisters that floated into our parking lot while our street was masquerading
as a river were taken away by men on forklifts and volunteers worked alongside
our Operations crew to clear up all the fiberglass, plaster board, metal pipes,
and whatever else had been blown out from the underside of our building, leaving
it all exposed. We worked, too, to get our Bea Arthur dog park cleaned up for
canine visitors, but our beautiful, solid (well, it used to be solid!) dog deck
buckled and was uprooted and shredded—and, unfortunately, it’s too pricy to
replace. But here's Mr. Jones, the dog who wandered into a fire department at the
tail end of the storm, all decked out in his new harness, inspecting the dog
park before going back to the vet. Thank you to everyone who has been asking
about these dogs―being so old and confused, Mr. Jones touched a lot of hearts.
All day Sunday, the emergency pager went off. At
the crack of dawn, we took in a dying kitten who had been picked up by a kind
ambulance crew; then came two wild bunny babies suffering from exposure and
starvation, followed by calls for help with baby squirrels, most of them found
on the ground and badly injured. Seeing those tree branches shake and twist
most of Saturday and into the night, it was clear that the local squirrel nation
was going to suffer some major casualties. We picked baby squirrels up out of
puddles left by the massive pounding of rain, many of them drowned, some on
their way out of this life. I will spare you the sad pictures. There were
some bright spots, as there always are in search and rescue: Here are two photos.
In the first one, these
three very cold, hungry, wet baby squirrels were found hidden inside the hollow
trunk of a tree by a man who had begun cutting it up because it had fallen onto
his house. It had obviously been
their home, but it had come crashing to the earth in the storm (our soil is
quite sandy and roots are often shallow). A long wait and watch ensued but
no mother was found, so the squirrel babies are now being fed by bottle. PETA
spay/neuter clinic fleet manager Cindy Emmanuel is still without power, but that
didn't stop her from feeding baby squirrels who were found in a wildly swaying
hanging plant squirrel formula all weekend, then getting the basket hung back
up again. Fortunately, their mother came racing back to them!
other photograph is of Victor, who came to us from El Salvador 25 years ago
this month and hasn't stopped working since. He thought cleaning up the debris that
fell off our building would be a good way to celebrate his anniversary—what a great
guy! You can help too. Please consider making a donation that will help with our rescue efforts after Hurricane Irene and beyond.
Written by Ingrid E. Newkirk
There's a lot of buzz about two new studies that reveal that chimpanzees mourn the deaths of loved ones pretty much as humans do. Scientists in Scotland found chimpanzees tending to an ailing elder during her final days—and after she died, her daughter spent the night next to her body. In the days that followed, the mood was somber among the deceased chimpanzee's friends and family. In the second study, scientists in Guinea observed two mothers who couldn't bear to part with their dead babies.
The buzz from the chimpanzee studies is getting a boost from a viral video in which a squirrel defends his deceased friend's body against a group of crows. Both news items have people describing how they've witnessed animals in mourning, and they have made people realize that humans aren't the only animals who grieve following the loss of a loved one. Of course, this behavior isn't limited to squirrels and chimpanzees. Elephants have been known to hold vigils over their stillborn children. And cows on dairy farms and their calves cry out for days when they are separated.
One of my most indelible childhood memories is of watching our sweet mutt, Ching, as he uncharacteristically snarled and snapped at anyone who tried to come near the lifeless body of his constant companion, Jessa. He stayed with her for hours. What about you? Have you ever seen an animal grieve the loss of a friend or family member?
Written by Karin Bennett
Our friends at PETA Europe are fed up with how "culling animals" is hailed as a solution to so-called population "crises." The latest proposal comes from Scotland, where plans are in place to conduct a £1.3 million cull (read "mass slaughter") of the gray squirrel population. To satisfy everyone's needs—both the Scots' and the squirrels'—PETA Europe has come up with a humane alternative.
The idea for the teeny-tiny tighty-whities wasn't PETA Europe's—the kudos goes to the Squirrel Underpants Company. But PETA Europe is urgently calling for squirrel lovers everywhere to help it purchase thousands of pairs of those pants, which are specially made to fit squirrels, so that the mischievous little creatures will find it exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to mate. Call them chastity pants, if you so wish.
Gray squirrels were introduced to the U.K. from the U.S. in the 19th century and have since been blamed for decimating the population of native red squirrels. But, in actuality, deforestation, epidemic diseases and harsh winters have all had an effect on red squirrels' numbers (not to mention hunters, who, let's face it, were killing them for bounties long before gray squirrels even arrived in Britain).
"The idea of exterminating millions of friendly and adaptable bushy-tailed squirrels is madness," says PETA Europe Director Robbie LeBlanc. "We want Americans also to help buy squirrel underwear and so stave off a Scottish attack on these little animals, as, after all, this is the peaceful solution to a problem that they created!" Mee-oww!
Written by Shawna Flavell
This Sunday, at Churchill Downs racetrack, thousands of spectators gathered to watch the Kentucky Derby, brought to you by KFC parent company Yum! Brands—kind of like a little mini convention for animal abusers, where the horse people and the chicken people could get together and talk torture tactics. A cruelty conference, if you will. Or a suffering summit. OK, I'm done, I promise. But one bright spot in the event came in the form of PETA's Bear, who has been following the Queen everywhere she goes on her U.S. visit to draw attention to the fact that her Guards' regiment wear dead bears on their heads, despite the fact that it is now the 21st century. The bear, as usual, was a big hit, and the pictures from the protest are awesome. Ten points for anyone who can identify the Houston Texans lineman in the bottom pic. Also, check out the great news coverage of the bear's nationwide tour here.
P.S. Don't forget that this week is Be Kind to Animals week. To get things started, you might want to have a look at some of the tips on how to keep your companion animals happy here.
A little bit of star-spotting for you today, this one courtesy of People magazine. The lovely Sienna Miller was photographed this week wearing a stylin’ sweater with an animal rights message. Three of my favorite things in one picture: Seals, Sandwiches, and Sienna. Amazing.
I know, I know. But this comic strip made me laugh out loud. Enjoy!
Thanks to Snaggy and Nitrozac for letting me post the strip!
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.