A Triple Threat (to Animals)

Published by PETA.

As you can imagine, PETA hears about lots of cases of cruelty to animals. For folks who love animals as much as we do, that’s never fun, but we can’t make things better if we bury our heads in the sand. Still, it takes a lot to really strike a nerve with us, but one recent case stands out.

Carrie Cagata, James Cullen, and Shannon Kraham of Fort Myers, Florida, have been charged with multiple counts of cruelty to animals and animal abandonment. Lee County deputies reportedly found more than 80 dogs, cats, and other animals who had been entrusted to the trio malnourished or dead. While that’s awful, it’s not entirely unusual (unfortunately), but this is: Cagata is the owner of My Best Friend Inc., a supposed animal rescue organization. Detectives are alleging that she adopted abandoned animals from animal shelters and then tried to sell them for a profit—if the animals didn’t sell, the detectives claim, they were apparently shipped off to “the farm,” where they were left to starve.

While starving and abandoning animals is horrible enough, to do so while allegedly pretending to be rescuing them is over-the-top hideous—and an insult to the wonderful people who operate legitimate rescue groups. We fired off a letter to the head of the felony division of the Florida attorney’s office, demanding that this case be prosecuted vigorously.

The letter also stated, “On behalf of our thousands of members and supporters in Florida, we respectfully ask that, if convicted and in addition to serving a period of incarceration, the three defendants (and any codefendants later named) be required to undergo psychological evaluations followed by mandatory counseling at their own expense.” You can read the full letter here.

Written by Jeff Mackey

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind