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Help! Dog Trapped in a Box!

Written by PETA | September 15, 2010

First, there was the jaw-dropping story of a British woman who was caught on camera tossing an affectionate cat into an outdoor trash bin. Then, it was an Eastern European girl who slung crying puppies into a fast-moving stream. Now, right here in America, some people have imprisoned a dog inside a box barely bigger than his own body. The box has solid sides, and the dog can only see out if he jumps up and peers over them. He has been locked in the box for months. To add to the mental torment, the dog has worn his teeth down to nubs from biting at his prison, so his owners occasionally take him out of the box to painfully drill holes vertically into his teeth in order to irrigate them. And right there by the side of the box, the dog’s keepers also manually extract sperm from him and use it to breed other dogs to sell. There’s more, but the abuse that I’ve already described should be enough to make any decent person sick.

Take a look at Google Maps, and you can look down into the container and see the dog lying there.

Why, you may ask, aren’t these people in jail? How is it that the local humane society has not swooped in and seized the dog?

Oh, I’m sorry. Did I write “dog”? I meant to write “orca.” And the people perpetrating this horror are SeaWorld executives. So why exactly does swapping one intelligent animal for another or swapping an average Joe for rich business executives lessen the horror of this orca’s ordeal or the injustice of the situation? Answer: It doesn’t.

Tilikum is the orca. He killed a human being—for the third time—earlier this year. Perhaps there’s a reason why killer whales are called “killer” whales. Tilikum didn’t give his keeper, Dawn Brancheau, a little playful toss or misjudge and hold her under water just a second too long for her to survive. He shook her like a rag doll, slammed her into the side of the pool, stopped her from surfacing, and tore her body apart. My bet is that he knew exactly what he was doing. Having seen how he is kept and knowing where he came from, it’s not hard to comprehend the depth of his anger and frustration.


milan.boers / CC by 2.0
Tilikum performing


Tilikum is 32 years old. When he was just 2 years old, he was caught by marine “cowboys” who kidnap dolphins and orcas to sell to amusement parks. He was taken from his family—his pod—in the open waters off Iceland, and he’s lived in a cement pool ever since, unable to use his echolocation, to swim away, to travel the oceans, or to hear or see his relatives. He is “trained” to eat what he’s given and do what he’s told. He is also trained to roll over, which allows trainers to masturbate him with a gloved hand and collect his semen in a container. His semen is frozen for later use or used immediately to inseminate female orcas at one of SeaWorld’s parks so as to provide additional animals to use in shows.

Life in a tiny concrete tank is no life at all for these animals, as evidenced by the death this week of Tilikum’s 12-year-old son at SeaWorld San Diego. Twelve! This orca would likely have lived to be 50 or 60 in the open sea, his rightful home.

After the third human being lost her life to Tilikum, SeaWorld reduced his meager “world” even further. Tilly is now relegated mostly, if not solely, to the “F pool,” a solid-sided concrete pool that measures just 36 feet long and 25 feet wide. Tilikum is 22 1/2 feet long with a wide girth. He weighs more than 12,000 pounds. So he has to scrunch just to turn around. And once turned, there he is again, nose against the other wall. He has been condemned to hang in place in the water indefinitely.

PETA is calling on the local humane society and the state’s attorney to free Tilly. After all, cruelty to animals, whether to a dog or to an orca, is illegal in all states.



Written by Ingrid E. Newkirk

Commenting is closed.
  • Amary-Event says:

    Lol @ sophia, read the whole post silly. Like the first commenter, I love the way this is written. I read it on the huffington post and it really got me. Good job you guys. It’s amazing how this is allowed to happen to an orca while at the same time if this happened to a dog people would be rallying in the streets.



  • Jacquie says:

    Very insightful approach. Yes, if this happened to a dog, no one would stand for it. But with a whale, hoards of people pay for it and governments allow it and collect tax from it. Think of all the other ways in which profiteering from animals occurs…

  • Sophia says:

    How can anyoen do that to a dog! Oh my god, those people should die, get the electric chair!!!!!!!!!!! Poor dog, please save him!

  • marie3099 says:

    Why don’t you make this info available where people can read them from the streets, in newspapers, magazines, shelters, humane societies, everywhere there are people moving, etc. Make sure Everyone sees this info, to be in front of them all the time.. In the meantime, please go after the courts to make them release these poor large animals Now……

  • darling123456 says:

    Can’t they just let him go?

  • Clarice Copia says:

    Poor animal! Are these people crazy? I can’t stand it! This sentient being is suffering and that enough is a reason to care!

  • Melissa says:

    These people make me sick, I will NEVER EVER take my children or my grandchildren to this type of place that people think is entertainment and all it is, is abuse! The people that allow this have made me so mad I can not even begin to explain what I would like to do to them or how I am feeling at this time. These people are only out to make a buck, but these animals will get the last laugh, you will not die with your money and you will have to face judgement day at the end of your timeline. God have mercy on your souls!!!!!!

  • Nila says:

    Well written. I really like the “dog-orca-thing”. So many people distinguish between “cute” animals such as dogs or cats, and other animals like pigs or orcas. This is kind of opens eyes. Well done!