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A Week in the Life of PETA’s Cruelty Investigations Department

Written by PETA | August 5, 2010

On an average day, PETA’s Cruelty Investigations Department (CID) receives dozens of phone calls from caring individuals reporting cases of animal abuse. When an animal is in trouble, our caseworkers fly into action. Able to leap great obstacles for a single hound, they help fight injustice, collar bad guys, and rescue animals in distress. Seriously. In an average week, CID caseworkers process more than 300 reports of cruelty. Here are just a few of the many animals they recently helped:

  • Warning, not a nice picture: We got veterinary care for this Texas horse, whose eye injury had been rotting for weeks. Charges are in the works.
  • Chevy was shot by a Los Angeles cop. Since his guardian was broke, we got Chevy to a vet who patched him up.
  • We persuaded officials in Ohio to free a baby skunk from a trap in which he was being starved to death (and to seize the trap).
  • We worked with California officials to secure veterinary attention for this poor bull, who was suffering from a badly injured leg.
  • A deputy sheriff turned to PETA to help two starving pits bulls. Within hours, both were rescued and taken to a vet. Charges are being filed.
  • We convinced San Francisco authorities to go to a hellhole of an Asian market, where they seized 10 injured frogs and issued written warnings.
  • When we learned that some officials of a state department of natural resources were advising callers in how to drown raccoons (e.g., telling them to place the animal in a cage and submerge the cage in water for 15 minutes), we got involved—and now the agency will suggest only humane animal control methods.
  • A Las Vegas resident found a baby bird and was going to keep the animal as a pet, but with the help of her apartment’s janitor, we made sure that the baby and mom were happily reunited.
  • When a PETA member found this pigeon with a broken wing and leg, we helped her get the bird to a vet’s office, where the animal was quickly euthanized.
  • An Anaheim, California, landlord boarded up a nest of baby swallows in an attic and was going to bug-bomb the nest (the mother bird was frantic). We worked until we found officials to make sure that this didn’t happen, and the family was reunited.
  • A Virginia car rental company was using glue traps. We explained the cruelty of glue traps, and the company pulled them.
  • This bird had died and others were struggling in faulty deterrent netting at a Georgia shopping center. We made sure that all survivors were freed and the net was removed.
  • A 12-year-old Florida dog named Tiara was suffering from heart failure, and her owner was indigent. We got this poor dog rushed to a vet, and she was mercifully euthanized.
  • Some kind callers paged us when they found an injured piglet on a South Dakota roadside. The piglet will now be looked after at a sanctuary for the rest of her days.


These cases are a reminder of why it’s vital to report cruelty to animals immediately. PETA’s CID needs your help to prevent other animals from meeting a similar fate. Keep your eyes open for animals in need, be a nosy neighbor, trust your instincts, and always alert police or animal control officials right away if you know or suspect that animals are being abused or neglected.

Written by Amy Skylark Elizabeth

Commenting is closed.
  • Amary-Event says:

    The CID is incredibly. There is no way I could go to these places and stay in character. I would break down crying at the sight of these poor animals. You people are the strongest people I know. I would love to be a cruelty investigator but I know my emotions would get in the way.

  • Callan says:

    So a dog with heart failure was stolen from it’s owner and then killed nice. I admit the rest is exceedingly great work but removing a sick dog and killing it without giving the owner a chance to help it is horrible im sorry but it is.

  • Austin says:

    People make me sick how can you just leave that horse in pain.

  • yannick says:

    OMG ! poor horse thanks peta for the heads up but um like thats scary .

  • Beau Chaine' says:

    We have a feral license on this block having moved here ten years ago and finding the area over run with stray breeding cats. With CAWS coupons and NMHP help we have only 13 left some of which were abandoned by new conco owners on the corner. All 13 are fixed with current shots most have a clipped ear and microchips. We have a neighborNephi Kemmethmueller who lost a property line dispute with us a year ago. CAWS had gotten him to promise to stop trapping cats and taking them to animal control most of which were our ferals. Today is Sunday and he is doing that again this morning at 430 am I was awakened by a loud meowing from his locked garage where he has a cat in a trap that cannot get out that cannot be taken to animal control until tomorrow when they open. It will be over 89 today and that cat has no food or water…This is very frustrating.

  • Carol Forman says:

    Thank you for everything that you do to help animals! You much such a big difference in their lives.