Written by Michelle Kretzer
A PETA staffer walking to the Los
Angeles office one morning spotted an opossum sitting in the middle of the road, bleeding from her mouth. Several men were
jabbing her with sticks.
Look closely: Even when injuries
aren’t obvious, an animal may be suffering.
With the help of several coworkers, the
staffer cleared everyone from the area. Then she gathered up the opossum and
drove to the nearest animal shelter so that the injured animal could be assessed.
Shelter staff determined that the opossum was a mother carrying a pouch full of
babies and that her injuries were quite severe: Euthanasia was deemed the most merciful option for
both the mother and her babies. The staffer's speedy response saved this opossum family from being hit by
another car, being further tormented by cruel people, or suffering and slowly
dying from their injuries or from heatstroke, dehydration, or starvation.
If you spot an injured animal on the road, please don't leave
the animal to suffer. If you can safely collect the animal, transport him or
her to the nearest animal shelter or vet's office for assessment and/or euthanasia.
If you don't think that you can contain the animal, call the police or animal
control, stress the urgency of the situation, and stay with the animal until
help arrives. If all local options fail, please call PETA.
My email explains why I am responding to this incident re: the Opossum. I worked with Opossums for 10+ years, rehabbing the adults and raising the Joeys to be released back into the wild. They are very sweet animals. But in that 10 years our wildlife hospital saw a very sharp decline in the number of animals. We went from over 400 a year to just over 100 animals that were brought in.
The decline, I am sure, is due to predation by humans who think they are stupid. The Virginia opossum has survived from the age of the dinosaurs to present day with very little change.
Too bad there were no knowlegeable wildlife people around who may have been able to tube the babies and saved them.
If I ever saw disgusting filth abusing an animal, I wouldn't give a second thought to giving them a good beating. Governments need to start cracking down on animal abuse and increase the consequences. In Canada, the maximum jail time you can receive for animal abuse is around two years.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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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.