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Worst American People

Written by PETA | August 28, 2008
americanelephant / CC

It’s called “adding insult to injury.”

A few weeks ago, we told you about an awful thing that happened on a new TV show called Greatest American Dog. It featured a sweet border collie named Leroy who was tormented by his trainer during a photo shoot so that he would look “angry.” ‘Cuz, you know, that’s what quality entertainment is all about, right?

Well, unlike dogs, some people never learn. Wednesday night’s episode featured a live elephant. Why elephants on a show called Greatest American Dog, you ask? They used the elephants to try to terrify the dogs. Since, apparently, the only thing more fun than getting dogs angry is to scare the hell out of them. Ugh!

Of course, it’s not exactly a party for the elephants either. They’re smart and dignified, and they don’t like to perform stupid tricks for our amusement. So instead of using treats to train elephants, trainers strike and gouge them with bullhooks—long, heavy rods with a steel point and a sharp hook at one end that resembles a fireplace poker—or shock them with electric prods. To see for yourself how elephants are trained, watch this.

Most elephants who are forced to perform were snatched away from their families and natural habitat in the wild, after which their lives are mostly made up of chains and intimidation. Baby elephants born on breeding farms are torn from their mothers, tied with ropes, and kept in isolation until they learn to fear their trainers.

Clearly the producers of Greatest American Dog know as little about elephants as they do about canines.

If you want to send an e-mail to the show’s producer, R.J. Cutler, about this issue, please click here.

Written by Jeff Mackey

Commenting is closed.
  • Richella says:

    People need to stop being creul to each other before they will consider not being creul to animals. Not saying it’s ok to harm animals but expecting people to stop eating meat, wearing fur, etc, you need them to learn acceptance and compassion to their own kind first. I find it ridiculus that race and seual orientation are still current isdues in todays world

  • Leah R. says:

    RaustBD – that’s not completely true. They have tied strings to bees and knocked them around trying to get them to lift at paper labtop. Apparently there’s a video on youtube where some guys have glued a lot of bees to an actual labtop to get it to fly and Mythbusters wanted to test it.

  • RaustBD says:

    Hey Amanda, I don’t think that’s really fair. The worst that mythbusters has done to animals amounts to corpse desecration. They make a conscious effort to never actually harm live animals in their tests. They always use dead ones.

  • jodi says:

    Anyone who calls themselves an animal lover would never subject their animals to this type of st The only entertainment I subject my cats to is playing with them the way they love. Attcking the strings on my clothings play fighting where they think its funny to attack my hands i have a lil tabby who loves to nibble fingers we even play a cats version of hide and seek. Plus one of my cats likes to watch TV with me

  • jodi says:

    One of the recent PETA blogs discussed Karma well how about the newest international karma called the international economy crisis. Human greed has hit an all time high. It seems there’s noting people wont do to make a buck what’s just as disturbing or more so is the millions upon millions of people who create the demand therefor the supply is created. Everyone should write letters to the producer and networks to get shows like this off the air get petitions signed to educate viewers to stop watching after all low ratings are what get shows canceled

  • Amy Rose says:

    Amanda Mythbusters must understand the error of their ways! I have seen some of their shows where I have been very hurt by the way that they are treating animals. What are they thinking? I also thought it was very gross how they put the hats on them were they trying to ignore the animal they were abusing? PETA should form a petition we can send them.

  • Terri says:

    Amanda those were bad but the Mythbusters episode trying to cut the pig in two with a cable was the worst ick.

  • susan says:

    This goes out to “PRIVATE”… Did someone just fart? Reading your post gave me a headache! I do not watch this show and even more so will not be tuning in after reading about what has been going on.

  • Ramya says:

    Animals are an integral part of our enviornment. We as human beings supposedly the most celebral species are supposed to protect and nurture them. At times I am shocked beyong belief as to how much of a rhino hyde we human beings have. Animals give us so much unconditional love. I am very pained to see any animal being killed for our selfish interests. We all need to do a reality check and put ourslves in their place. Mahatma Gandhi once said that a true measure of a society is how it treats its animals. By this yardstick there is so much of social decay happening around us.

  • Katie Chapin says:

    I used to like that show until I realized how horrible humans could actually be. It saddends me to read andor watch any type of cruelty to animals. Unfortunitly there is no way to stop it. Protesting won’t work because there will always be people out there with a bad sense of morality.

  • Dawn W. says:

    What a disgusting show. I’m glad I never watched it.

  • Leah says:

    I am sitting here on my couch with my 7 cats around. Knowing their different personalities and ability to feel physical and mental pain is so obvious. The way that people can treat animals in this way is beyond disturbing. If it was children human beings that they were doing this to they would be in jail! To me this is the same thing as racial discrimination we have been successful at crushing that and continuing to work on it. We need to be the MLK jr’s of this generation. We need to stop animals being treated in disgusting ways just because they can look and act different than us. The anger I feel toward these heartless human beings is overwhelming!

  • Ashley says:

    Those people are sick! I’m never watching that show! We really need to get rid of this show!

  • PRIVATE says:

    Ok. I like this show. And unless proof from this show is shown about abuse I will continue to watch. And yes I hate the fact that the girl put those bands on her dog but at least she won’t win the show that I am certain of. There is no proof that they tortured the elephant used in the episode. I can see getting angry but again no proof! I love PETA but sometimes situations get to far out of control and then it get’s stupid. The show again is fine no torture is done in the shpow and do you see the judges they use? They wouldn’t do any of that stuff unless otherwise told by the judges. Do you think they would have dogs get hurt on purpose? The trainers say they love their dogs and would leave because of them. The show is not bad unless proof is given. That linked proof I have no idea if that was from something else because you didn’t say if it was from the show or something else. It just seems your trying to make the show seem back. That’s what I think. So if I was you I would watch out.

  • Becky says:

    Wow I have never seen the show. AND I Never Will. How can people even think about watching it?? The producer should be treated like heshe treats the animals. Thats what I think. HeShe is a SICK individual.

  • Sara says:

    Okay everyone understands that using an elephant wasn’t the best choice. I agree completely that the whole episode was inappropriate and pointless and the producers are to blame for this not the contestants. These dog owners have put their time and efforts into making it onto a show they thought was going to showcase their dogs’ talents and I don’t blame them for not giving up and not performing these tasks. Give them a break! I want to know why the Humane Society wasn’t hired by the show 247 to oversee what was going on! Leave Teresa and Leroy alone they are still on the show bc they have one of the strongest bonds which was proven when Leroy faced his fears and jumped off the tower to get to Teresa. My top worst offenders Brandy who’s dog Beacon got so overworked and stressed that she shut down and wouldn’t respond to her again could be due to long work schedule set by producers Beth Joy who forced her dog Bella Starlet to do something that made her cry in pain JD who’s dog Galaxy is 9 and has arthritis and yet he pushes her until she can’t move from stiffness. Please you all need to get a clue. It is called editing and they have picked who they want to be the heroes and who they want to be the villain. If you haven’t read the post by PETA member Lynda Van Kuren on the last letter “Most Horrid Human on Greatest American Dog” you should great incite especially bc she knows Teresa and the real person she is not the one the producers have made up.

  • Lizzie D says:

    That is just so disgusting. Why do people continue to torture animals in this day and age. Its so typical of stupid heartless people to do something like that but as i always say What goes around comes around!!

  • jenna says:

    This stuff that people think is entertainment really angers me ! I mean there are some people who are animal lovers out there who may look at this show and say its not that bad as i’ve heard BUT to me these animals have just as many feelings as humans do and if one young boy or girl sees this show and thinks its funny may be persuaded that teasing and harsh behavior towards animals is okay or may overlook an animal being abused. If this happens THEN THE SHOW has further pushed animal rights movements back. we need to get rid of any show like this ASAP.

  • Nicole Plumlee says:

    I have emailed this producer and told him that he just lost at least one viewer because I planned on telling everyone I knew about the cruelty they were broadcasting as “entertainment” as an antic to capture viewers! Bad dog producer!

  • Deborah Kemp says:

    I have emailed this creep to let him know what I think of his pathetic show. Hopefully it will be taken off air very soon. Good on you PETA for bringing it to our attention.

  • kat says:

    Cruelty all around. I don’t like Animal Planet and its constant flipflop between activism and cruelty promotion. There’s a reason I watch shows like Criss Angel but I sent a comment to him to the effect of chastising him about wearing fur he hasn’t done it since and other “people” shows. I don’t want to risk the possibility of supporting CRA by watching some animal show.



  • Marsha F. says:

    We saw both episodes. Love dogs and the idea but what is wrong with the producers with these horrific ideas??? Saw the gal with Leroy and what she did to him for the “photo shoot” to make him “angry”. Someone should have been called on the carpet for consequences to animal abuse. When we saw the “elephant episode” last night we could not believe that a show promoting the supposed love for animals could include two horrible and disgusting things 1 a trained elephant approaching the dogs and 2 thinking that a dog would actually just sit in the circle with an elephant charging to get the banana??? Sick. I don’t know. Beginning to wonder seriously at who is behind this show. Very disturbing and disgusting tactics for these beautiful and wonderful dogs. If it were any of our three dogs I would have told the show “you’re sick and my dog and I are out”… It’s not about the animals it’s about the show making money what else??? Thanks PETA for bringing this to everyone’s attention. But how does the general public find out? Keep up the great work!!!

  • Amanda says:

    I am so mad at MYTHBUSTERS Television Show !! Can we figure something out to stop their animal abusing ways ?! I watched it once and they shot at fish in a barrel to prove a myth !! They use dead pigs to shoot at ! To hit ! To throw ! Just to prove a myth !! You guys have to help me do something about that show too !! TRY TO BUST THIS MYTH MYTHBUSTERS ANIMAL CRUELTY SUCKS!!!!! Go Team Peta !!

  • Rex's Mom says:

    I still watch this show but am angry at the elephant stunt. They are my favorite animal. AND that girl who abused her dog with the snarl band is STILL ON! She may even win since there are only 4 people left. Another stunt you guys will just love was when the competition was for the dog to jump off a platform on a zip line to their owners who slid down before them and encouraged their dogs to jump off to get to them and Teresa’s dog Leroy and two other dogs completed the stunt. Two other dogs didn’t jump. So of course they sent home the man whose dog didn’t jump. I am surprised at Victoria Stilwell who is on Animal Planet’s It’s Me Or the Dog that she wouldn’t see the cruelty in this. She did chastise one of the owners by saying that her dog was pacing back and forth and didn’t jump and told her that the dog was getting stressed. What about all the other dogs who must have been stressed by actually jumping to their owners? I will stop watching the show now due to the elephant stunt and the cruel stunts they make the dogs do. I dont even know what the grand prize is for whoever wins except the title Greatest American Dog.

  • Diane says:

    The Greastest American Dog show needs to be removed from TV. How can anyone knowingly put an animal in danger? And why for TV entertainment. I say we boycott TGADS.

  • Michelle says:

    I could not believe when I saw this and actually emailed you guys. We need to really get the word out to this producer. Abuse of dogs and elephants in one show! Very sad.