Written by PETA
An alert resident in Yorktown, Virginia, called PETA to tell us that a bird was caught in a glue trap set in the rafters of a Wal-Mart store. The trap was one of many that had been set by a bird-removal contractor to catch birds who wandered into the store. PETA staffers hurried to the scene and rescued the bird, and we rushed him to the local SPCA. The agency was able to remove the bird, a member of a protected species, from the glue trap, but the stress and injuries that he had endured were substantial, and he passed away overnight.
PETA alerted Wal-Mart headquarters to the sad incident, and Wal-Mart quickly terminated its contract with the bird-removal company for breaching a corporate policy, which prohibits birds from being harmed during removal. Local animal-control officers also ordered the bird-removal contractor to stop using glue traps for bird control, and they visited all local big-box stores with garden departments to inform managers that glue traps set for bird removal is cruel and will not be tolerated.
In a related victory, Bank of America announced that it is removing glue traps set for rodents. PETA apprised the bank of the cruelty and disease risks inherent in glue traps, so it agreed to test alternative tactics, which were found to be effective.
The kindhearted Wal-Mart customer helped prevent many birds from suffering in cruel glue traps. If you see glue traps set for birds or rodents in any establishment, please politely ask the manager to remove them and report any traps specifically set for birds to local authorities.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
Besides being cruel, using poison to control wildlife is dangerous because children and animal companions can easily ingest it—and this can have fatal consequences. Recently, seven children in San Francisco ate rat poison that they found at their middle school, mistaking the blue cubes for candy. The children were taken to nearby hospitals and, fortunately, are all right.
The only way to ensure that children and animal companions don't ingest rat, mice, insect, or other poisons is not to buy the deadly chemicals. Many great live traps are available, such as PETA's Humane Smart Mousetrap, which uses a small plastic hut and peanut butter to safely catch animals so that they can be released outside with no harm done to them or anyone else. There are also many effective ways to animal-proof a building so that critters can't get inside in the first place.
Back in June, appalled Tennessee residents alerted PETA to the fact that the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) was advising people to cruelly and illegally drown or starve trapped wildlife or to asphyxiate the animals using car exhaust. PETA pressured both TWRA Director Ed Carter and Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen to intervene. In response, TWRA agreed to PETA's request to develop humane guidelines for handling wildlife and to train staff members to advise residents who call about trapped wildlife only to use methods that are approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association!
This is a major breakthrough for wild animals who might otherwise be killed in torturous ways because property owners choose not to coexist peacefully with them.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
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).
Written by Alisa Mullins
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
Kudos to Kevin Costner. Haunted by images of the animals who were covered in oil after the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, Kevin has been funding a team of scientists for the past 15 years to develop a device that can help clean up oil spills by separating oil from ocean water. BP tested six of these machines last month in the Gulf of Mexico. Apparently the company was impressed by the machines' nearly 100 percent success rate at separating oil from water, because it has just ordered 32 more. Our hats are off to Kevin for his compassion and generosity. We hope that his machines will save many animals by preventing more oil from reaching the shore.
My "Things That Make You Go Aww" folder is thick with the obvious and the not-so-obvious.
Today that file is bursting at the seams, thanks to Sergeant Mark Fry, a caring cop in Toledo, Ohio, who raced to respond to a call about a pregnant deer who'd been hit by a car. Because of her severe injuries, the doe was euthanized, but her fawn was saved, thanks to Fry's swift, decisive action. He not only performed a C-section at the scene, he also administered CPR to the surviving fawn and then instinctively knew to nourish the weak baby with the doe's milk. Later, during a media interview, he admonished the unknown hit-and-run driver for fleeing the scene and abandoning the injured animals.
Sergeant Mark Fry's heroic efforts reflect his belief that "[a] life is a life, it doesn't matter if it's an animal or if it's a human being." For his compassionate actions, we're presenting him with PETA's "One Can Make a Difference" award. Please leave Sergeant Mark Fry a note of thanks in the comments section, and then read up on how to help deer and other animals in your city.
Animal abusers, be warned: You do not want to mess with PETA cruelty caseworker Kristin DeJournett. Not only is she relentless in pursuing justice against people who hurt and kill animals, she's also a second-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
After a rigorous series of tryouts that tested competitors' stamina, technique, and expertise, Kristin was recently chosen from among thousands of black belts across the country to participate in a prestigious international Tae Kwon Do tournament in England.
To prepare for the competition, Kristin and her teammates met twice weekly for grueling practice sessions that lasted up to four hours. Kristin also trained daily for at least an hour with jogging, sprinting, and calisthenics—all fueled by a vegan diet, of course.
"I was able to build lean muscle and shed fat by eating lots of vegetable protein (tofu, beans, and faux meat), whole grains, and a ton of leafy green vegetables and fruits," says Kristin. "I've noticed that a vegan diet helps me feel quicker and lighter on my feet."
Kristin reports that Team USA cleaned up—all the teams earned gold medals in their age groups—and Kristin captured the bronze in an individual event!
Are you a vegan athlete? Post a comment below to tell us how you fuel your workouts.
At PETA, we sometimes embrace things that others might call "bizarre," like Andy Dick's interview as Ronald McDonald with Jiminy Glick.
So when people started ringing our phones wanting our reaction to the recent news that Mike Myers is "kind of obsessed" with painting KFC's Colonel Sanders, we might have puzzled some callers who assumed we'd be alarmed or offended to learn about his muse. We're not. Monet may have had his water lilies but, hey, not all artists are inspired by foliage.
Besides, at the recent premiere of Shrek Forever After, the actor/funnyman/artist told our own Senior Vice President Dan Mathews that after watching a PETA video, he doesn't eat chicken anymore.
That's no surprise, really—after all, like art, many individual's attitudes are ever-evolving—and countless caring people have kicked KFC's unhealthy buckets from their diets.
So we're thankful that one more person has chosen not to support the appalling cruelty that's imposed upon billions of chickens, and we'll daydream that Mike Myers might one day honor us with a gift of one of his renderings of the Colonel. If we paired it with our crippled KFC chicken statue from artist Harry Bliss, we could add immeasurable artistic flair to our Kentucky Fried Cruelty campaign.
Calling all connoisseurs of cuteness: We need your help deciding which of the following pics from recent PETA demonstrations is the most aww-inspiring.
Personally, I'm rooting for my boy Chris P. Carrot and his sweet pea Penelo, who recently attended the Veggie Pride Parade in New York City. Then again, I really ♥ the picture of the little dude in diapers sharing his disgust over the abuse of dairy cows at a Land O'Lakes supplier. But how can you not love Ellie the Elephant, who travels around the country educating elementary school kids about Ringling's abuse of baby elephants? Dang, I can't decide. You decide for me:
Written by Amy Skylark Elizabeth
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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.