Written by PETA
A West Virginia man faces 29 charges of cruelty to animals after allegedly using various tools to torture and kill at least 29 dogs and puppies over the course of several months. According to reports, Jeffrey Nally Jr. told police that he got the dogs from ads in the local newspaper and that the animals were all free or just a few dollars. Apparently illustrating the link between cruelty to animals and cruelty to people, Nally is also charged with allegedly keeping his former girlfriend captive in the home for months, forcing her to watch him torture the animals, and then making her clean up the mess. West Virginia State Police rescued the woman, along with three live puppies whom they believe were slated to be killed.
As horrific as it sounds, cases like this are not uncommon. Perhaps the most famous case is that of Barry Herbeck, who tortured, sodomized, and killed nearly two dozen animals whom he obtained through "free to a good home" ads. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Classified ads are magnets for abusers who would not be approved for adoption from animal shelters. (Nally was reportedly a convicted criminal under home confinement when he allegedly obtained the dogs.) Animal dealers also target such ads as sources of animals they later sell to laboratories for experiments.
If your local newspaper runs "free to a good home" ads, please contact the paper's editors, warn them about the dangers of these ads, and ask them to stop running them. And if you see such ads, call the number listed and urge the animals' guardians to take the animals to an animal shelter instead.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
You think "coon on a log" is bad? Allow me to introduce you to the delightful sport of "fox penning," in which dogs are set loose on a fox or coyote confined to a pen and allowed to tear the animal to shreds.
The good news is that this despicable pastime is now banned in Florida, thanks to the efforts of PETA members and other concerned citizens, including several youngsters who were among 80 people who testified on the issue at a Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting.
"I am an athlete, a swimmer, and a basketball player," stated one 10-year-old girl. "If fox penning is a sport, I would be ashamed to call myself an athlete."
Meeting attendee Susan Hargreaves reports that the "[c]ommissioners were captivated by the children's eloquence and courage as they advocated on behalf of the foxes and coyotes who are chased by packs of dogs with no hope of escape and a certain, bloody death."
The commissioners voted to permanently prohibit fox penning earlier this week.
I hope this inspires everyone to speak up for animals. If a 10-year-old can do it, so can those of us who are all growed up! You can get started by contacting the wildlife departments in states where fox penning is still legal.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Shortly after PETA's German affiliate received information from a Bosnian whistleblower who claimed to have identified the girl caught on video hurling puppies into a river, Bosnian police reportedly also identified the girl, whose actions had prompted an international outcry. In the video (which was allegedly shot by the girl's brother), she can be seen cheerfully chucking the whimpering puppies to an almost certain death.
Earlier this week, PETA offered a $2,000 reward—and film director Michael Bay offered a $50,000 reward—for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for this heinous act.
If convicted, the puppy abuser would face a fine of $6,400 under a newly adopted Bosnian animal-protection law.
PETA is offering a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for drowning a litter of helpless puppies in the video above. Members of 4chan were able to track down the owner of the Bosnian YouTube account that originally uploaded the video and we currently have six possible leads, but the identity of the girl has yet to be confirmed. If you have information regarding this case, please contact PETA's Cruelty Investigations Department.
Written by Shawna Flavell
Update: Exotic animal smuggler, Anson Wong, sentenced! Six months in jail and a hefty fine for illegally exporting 95 boa constrictor snakes.
A broken suitcase at the Kuala Lumpur airport led to the discovery of a mata mata turtle and nearly 100 boa constrictors and other snakes who had been crammed into bags. Notorious international reptile smuggler Anson Wong was arrested by airport security and turned over to Malaysia's wildlife department. Does the name ring any bells?
Two companies owned by Wong were suppliers to U.S. Global Exotics (USGE), the wildlife trafficking company that went belly-up after a PETA investigation led authorities to seize more than 26,000 animals from the company's Texas warehouse and the federal U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to issue an arrest warrant for Jasen Shaw, who is still a fugitive hiding out overseas.
This isn't the first time that Wong has been suspected of slipping a little more into his luggage than duty-free liquor. In 2001, he pleaded guilty to trafficking in wildlife in the U.S. and was sentenced to nearly six years in prison. Yet here he is, nearly a decade later, still stuffing snakes into his Samsonite.
Next time, let's hope that Wong gets busted in China, where they are dead serious about wildlife smuggling (at least for now).
Horrifying photos that were apparently shot inside primate importer and torture-device manufacturer Primate Products, Inc., have recently surfaced. These photos show the consequences of animal experimentation—monkeys whose scalps and skulls have been butchered and crudely stitched up and who suffered from other injuries that appear to be from fighting or self-mutilation. Monkeys often bite at their own limbs and tear out clumps of their own hair because of the trauma of being confined, deprived, and tormented while being used as living test tubes.
PETA's friends at the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida have filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture seeking an investigation into whether the photos show violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. We'll keep you posted, but in the meantime, please help cut off the supply of primates to laboratories.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
What could be cuter than a rat with a cotton-ball tail? OK, cuter and real? I nominate this "Awww"-some video of Tinkerbell taking a bath:
Rats are not only adorably squeaky clean but also super sweet and smart—not that hygiene, looks, and/or IQ should ever be a requirement for caring about rodents or any other animal.
Written by Karin Bennett
Cops in Spokane are searching for a frustrated pop who is believed to have put his screaming son up for sale on Craigslist. Apparently the dad didn't know that the "baby & kid stuff" section is intended for the sale of clothing, furniture, and accessories only—and that peddling children is a felony.
But dogs and cats, well, they're a different story. While Craigslist agreed to post a warning about the dangers of "free to a good home" ads few years ago, it has refused to disallow them, so a quick scan of the "free stuff" listings reveals dozens of unwanted, unloved, and "inconvenient" soon-to-be homeless animals. And many of these ads read almost identical to daddy dearest's "free toddler" post: "I don't know what else to do other than find a good family with kids or a couple that wants a son. I just won't give him to anyone."
Make no mistake: PETA encourages adoptions of dogs, cats, rabbits, gerbils, and other companion animals to responsible, thoughtful, competent, and loving adult guardians—but not just anyone. Simply to hand the leash—and the dog—to the first smiling stranger who pulls into the driveway is not enough to ensure the safety of the animal. Anyone who offers an animal up for adoption should personally visit the home of the potential guardian beforehand and follow up on the adoption later. Bunchers and other cruel humans are all too eager to get their hands on cast-aside cats and dogs from unsuspecting persons looking to find new homes for animals—and the fates of these "free" animals are often tragic.
We've contacted Craigslist about this important issue, and now the site's managers need to hear from you.
We know that the Boston Strangler did it. So did Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer. Like so many others, all these serial killers tortured animals before "graduating" to humans.
That link has raised suspicions about an Oklahoma teen, Nikolas Kerr, who is accused of torturing and killing a 2-month-old kitten. A witness claims that she saw Kerr set the kitten on fire, repeatedly slam the tiny animal into a piece of furniture, and swing the cat by the tail. When asked why he did it, Kerr allegedly said, "'Cause I'm a sociopath." Those actions and words have piqued the interest of prosecutors who are trying to determine the extent of Kerr's involvement in the death of a homeless man known as "Bicycle Bob."
The link between violence against animals and violence against humans is well-established: It's why PETA developed a special booklet for law enforcement officials and prosecutors. It's also why actor Julie Benz—who played the wife of a serial killer who killed animals before moving on to people on Showtime's hit show Dexter—spoke out in a PETA public service announcement. And it's why we always urge anyone who knows of a violent crime against an animal to report it to authorities, pronto.
Every day, PETA receives reports from across the country detailing hideous acts of cruelty to animals for which law enforcement officials have no leads. Very often, PETA will offer a reward for information leading to an arrest, knowing that witnesses who might otherwise never come forward could be enticed to offer information.
PETA recently rewarded a tipster who offered information about a case of cruelty to animals that occurred last fall in Dillon, South Carolina. Brace yourself for the details: While Teofilo Falaniko was ransacking Bonnie Bowens' home, he forced her dog, Penny, into the oven and turned it on. To ensure that Penny's frantic pawing at the oven door didn't allow her to escape, Falaniko propped a chair against the door. When the elderly woman arrived home later that day, she and police discovered that her beloved dog was dead in the oven.
Because our tipster came forward and reported hearing Falaniko bragging about his heinous crime, Falaniko was arrested and charged. He was recently sentenced to 11 years in prison on burglary and cruelty-to-animals charges. Would Falaniko have been caught without the tipster's information? Who knows? But I get chills when I consider how many more victims—four-legged and two-legged—this violent criminal might have gone on to attack had he not been convicted of Penny's cruel killing.
Written by Karin Bennett
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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.