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SeaWorld Uses Homeless Cats and Dogs

Written by PETA | February 14, 2011

As more and more people come to understand how marine animals suffer and die while held captive at SeaWorld, the cruel aquarium chain is increasingly desperate to find some way to make itself look less heartless. Now, it’s attempting to ride the adorable tails of dogs and cats by offering free tickets to its theme parks prisons to people who adopt homeless animals from certain animal shelters.

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Now, PETA’s all for adopting animals instead of buying them from breeders or pet shops, of course, but SeaWorld’s public embrace of adoption can’t make up for the miseries that it continues to inflict on animals in its parks. And if you think I’m being too hard on SeaWorld, consider this—other four-legged and feathered animals “rescued” by SeaWorld are forced to join their aquatic cousins in performing stupid tricks for tourists in the parks’ “Pets Ahoy” and “Pets Rule” shows.

If you live near a SeaWorld (and even if you don’t), then please, by all means, give an animal a loving home by adopting from a local animal shelter. But don’t give SeaWorld cover for its wicked, wicked ways by accepting its tickets.

Written by Jeff Mackey

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  • PETA says:

    Jesse- While SeaWorld touts its conservation efforts in slick television ads, it denies the animals in its care everything that is natural and important to them. Animals who are members of endangered species are no happier in cages and tanks than are animals who aren’t endangered. The ultimate hope for those animals lies in protecting their habitats, not in life sentences in a tank. For those animals who must be kept in captivity (e.g., those who have been born in captivity or are unable to be rehabilitated), a for-profit aquarium is far from ideal. Nonprofit sanctuaries that place the welfare of animals above “entertainment” or profits are far better. To read more about orcas and the problems associated with marine-animal parks, please see our factsheet at

  • Jesse says:

    EvilIsAsEvilDoes, yes, they are happy several months in. Animals need jobs if they are going to be domesticated. Those dogs especially. The big, sable rough collie in the San Diego show? I have played with that dog and there is immense happiness in that dog’s soul. That dog radiates happiness. You can feel it. My dogs do the same thing every day. My dogs herd sheep and protect my land every single day. All day, every day. MWD, Military Working Dogs have jobs as well. Bomb dogs, seeing eye dogs, drug dogs. They all have jobs. They work for most of their lives. This show is no different. They are happier than dogs who live on luxurious couches in nice homes. Dogs don’t care about the luxury. Their brains must be kept occupied and that is what this show does for these dogs in particular. Animals need to have an occupation or they become bored and destructive, especially dogs and cats. They “stupid tricks” that these animals are taught are no different than the ones my working dogs do. Dartanian, one of my collies, can flip a treat off his nose. That doesn’t make him a miserable dog. What would make him miserable would be to take him from the sheep and his work.

  • Michelle says:

    PETA should be happy because Shelter Dogs are getting a adopted!

  • Evil is as evil does says:

    You said it Shari! Love that saying and your are absolutely right! and shame on you Rev. Meg Schramm! This dog and cat show you seem to support may appear at first that the animals are happy, BUt WHAT HAPPENS LATER ON..IN 2 WEEKS, 2 MONTHS, 2 YEARS..yOU REALLY THINK THESE ANIMALS WANT TO DO THIS EVERYDAY, every night for the rest of their lives??????????? Would you? You need to see the full picturre and not whats in your narrow mind. By Sea world allowing more animals to perform, opens the door to more animal abuse. Just because you were there for a day, doesn’t mean this is what goes on every day. PETA sends under cover investigators to events like these and uncovers extreme abuse of these exploited animals. Sadly, people like you whom condone this are the same people contributing to animal abuse! and to John Jay, you’re a moran if you think sea world cares at all about animals and weather their adopted or not. Did either of you ever stop to think that these animals are being purchased from shelters- the same shelters that sell them to universities to be poked and proded and tortured? It comes full circle..and this is an evil one and you both are condoning it..just sick!

  • mah says:

    Just let the world be on it’s own . There r rules for everything on the planet earth . Since some cruel people r rulling it they r just ruining it .

  • mparis says:

    Right as always PETA! It is just their latest PR strategy to build awareness about Sea World. Save one animal and then go and pay to watch someone else abuse another one. Disgusting.

  • Jesse says:

    The few animals held in captivity is a small price to pay for the good of the species. I know of people who thought of killer whales as bloodthirsty savages and after visiting SeaWorld, see them in a whole new light. A group of them even banded together to start a fund to help the orcas in Puget Sound! Yes, I agree that the living conditions for the whales could be much better, but once people feel that they have a personal “connection” with these animals, they will do much more in the way of conservation to help orcas as a species. And anything regarding Tilikum is bs in my opinion. There have been HOW many whale attacks in the US in the past 5 years? 2. There are approximately 4.7 million attacks by dogs every year, yet we still keep them in captivity. Yes, I know they are not wild animals, but they are still animals. They still have a survival instinct and they do have aggression and violence in them. Everything does. We have taken dogs and forced them to fit into OUR world and OUR lives. Yes, they are “domesticated” but we cannot forget where they come from. Sorry for my rant. I just hate how PETA takes things like this way over the edge when there are bigger issues they could be worrying about, like the ANNUAL SLAUGHTER OF PILOT WHALES. The children are given the day off school to help the rest of the locals brutally murder hundreds of pilot whales for no purpose other than tradition. They are driven up onto the beach by boats and have metal pipes shoved into their blowholes. They aren’t even eaten for food. THAT is the kind of thing PETA should be worrying about. Not that SeaWorld is promoting dog and cat adoptions.

  • Mich says:

    This is no “step in the right direction”. This is complete hypocrisy on the part of SeaWorld. The only step for SeaWorld that will be acceptable is to stop having animals perform, and to start sending them to marine sanctuaries.

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    I don’t like Seaworld, but I have to take issue with this complaint. When I was training to be a veterinary assistant, our class was taken to Seaworld for a day of training. We trained in the backstage area of the Pets Rule show, with the dogs and cats. We were trained how to care for them, feed them, clean and sanitize their runs and bedding, check for injuries and illnesses, and make sure they were healthy so they could perform. We also got to watch the show. The dogs and cats were not asked to do anything other than what an owner with a lot of patience could not train their pet to do (catch a Frisbee, chase a ball, sit up, roll over, climb, jump on props or run through tunnels…the type of obstacle course PETA has no problem recommending owners train overactive dogs to negotiate) or in the case of the cats, balancing on fences that were lower than the average backyard privacy fence, walking on clotheslines that were so low a pair of jeans pinned on one was dragging on the stage, and mounting and dismounting these by jumping on their trainer’s shoulders. One of my feral cats (who is getting less feral every day) jumps on my shoulder for affection all the time, and I did not even have to teach him that. An animal at Sea World who is being abused behaves like Tilikum did; he does not jump up on the lap of his trainer or visitor, enthusiastically kiss their face, all the while wagging their tail like a helecopter blade or purring loud enough to drown out the sound of a Harley. Also, every dog or cat in that show was adopeted from a nearby animal shelter. An officer from that shelter was there making sure the animals were being treated well. She told us an officer was at Seaworld every day overseeing the Pets Rule show.

  • Emmy says:

    Bravo for this post. I am SO sick of places, especially Petco, pretending they’re helping animals by promoting animal shelters. When in reality, their business is abuse, exploitation and poaching wild animals.

  • Rusty Shackleford says:

    Yea, come on Peta. Even if you are opposed to Sea World, that doesn’t mean that good can’t come out of some things from it. Providing incentives and raising awareness for adoption of animals is a good thing. Hate Seaworld for everything else they do, but don’t crucify them for this. There’s no such thing as bad publicity, right? Isn’t that how you run?

  • Heather says:

    I agree that Seaworld should not be allowed to use shelter animals as a ploy to continue its inprisonment of wild creatures! And in all honesty it is a good thing to promote adoption but how many people do you think just might adopt a pet to get a discount and then not treat the animal they are adopting properly. I think if someone is going to adopt an animal, they will do it despite some type of monatary gain. I promote adopting any chance I get and I have two adopted pets now. I understand the commitment it takes to raise animal family members. I do not think that those that choose this for the tikets sake have that much sense in all honesty with no pun intended.

  • Viviana says:

    Those poor animals! I wish people just had common sense about animals. It doesn’t take a scientist to understand that animals don’t want to preform stupid tricks and be held in prison! It just isn’t right.

  • JohnJay says:

    Never good enough. Why can’t you just acknowledge a step in the right direction?

  • Shari says:

    There is a old saying that goes like this: Even Evil will do alittle good at times ( to deceive people) But Evil is still Evil. So everyone beware of SeaWorld and their low life P.R. tatic. SeaWorld … can they get any lower!

  • nancy says:

    O no! These pathetic PR spins that are so popular nowadays with these companies are really annoying. Sea World isn’t going to make us forget what they do to marine mammals by mentioning adopting cats and dogs.

  • Enough says:

    PETA, I love you, but this is too far. Any attempt to help helpless animals is good…

  • Don says:

    Although that there is no excuse for Seaworld’s actions and harm that it inflicts on its animals in its parks. It’s also a good thing that they are offering this, hopefully this would help a lot of cats and dogs get out of the shelters and into loving homes. Don’t get me wrong i’m not saying Seaworld is starting to have a heart, but this perhaps might be a start?

  • ocean17 says:

    wow. that’s a strange way to “greenwash” this issue. this “animals locked in cages and prisons” feel-good schtick is just too much. this is totally absurd, and hides the real problem : – animals and aquatic animals do not belong in themeparks and/or zoos and/or cages, which are really just deplorable prisons for these fine creatures. i wish more people would accept bottomline responsibility for their entertainment choices.