Written by PETA
Elizabeth Carlisle—the former Petland employee who drowned two rabbits in the backroom of a store in Akron, Ohio, and then posted a now-infamous photo of the animals on Facebook—recently pleaded guilty to two counts of cruelty to animals.
Carlisle's case caused a media storm and drew attention to the epidemic of animal abuse at pet stores across the country. Time after time, undercover investigations have revealed that Carlisle's shocking behavior is par for the course at places where animals are bred and sold. Although the Akron store has been closed, Petland continues to sell animals at its stores across the country, meaning that many more animals just like Carlisle's victims are at risk. Take action now and urge Petland to stop selling rabbits forever.
Written by Logan Scherer
Last week, Elizabeth Carlisle appeared in court to face cruelty-to-animals charges for allegedly drowning two rabbits while she was working at a Petland store in Akron, Ohio. On the day of Carlisle's arraignment, local PETA members and other outraged members of the community stood outside the courthouse calling on Akron's chief city prosecutor, Douglas J. Powley, to prosecute Carlisle to the fullest extent of the law.
This incident is just one example of the abuses animals suffer in pet stores nationwide. For nearly 30 years, PETA has fielded complaints regarding sick or unwanted animals who were cruelly disposed of by pet store employees, all because the cost of caring for or treating the animal exceeded the animal's "price tag." This trial offers an opportunity to send a strong and desperately needed message to the pet-store industry: Pet stores have no business selling animals.
Written by Liz Graffeo
We already loved Kathy Freston for her wonderful books, Quantum Wellness and The Quantum Wellness Cleanse, which promote a vegan diet as part of a healthy lifestyle. (Even Oprah tried the cleanse!) Now we have yet another reason to love Kathy: Her animal-friendly fashions have earned her a spot in Vanity Fair's 2009 International Best-Dressed List.
And that's not all. Kathy also defines her personal style as "cruelty-free" and her cause as "animal protection." Favorite shoes? Why, Stella McCartney, of course!
"Best-dressed" Kathy Freston is yet more proof that nobody has to die for fashion. Just wait—I'm sure we'll see a whole slew of cruelty-free fashion mavens on 2010's list.
Written by Amanda Schinke
PETA Files readers were outraged by yesterday's story about an Akron, Ohio, Petland employee who allegedly drowned two rabbits in the store's back room. Our readers are not alone, and thanks to the overwhelming public outcry, the store where Elizabeth Carlisle was photographed holding two sopping-wet, dead rabbits by the scruff of the neck has been permanently closed.
In other good news, Elizabeth Carlisle has been charged with cruelty to animals and is scheduled to appear in court later this month. We have written to the authorities and are urging them to throw the book at her—hard.
While it's great that this particular hellhole has been shut down, Petland still has a lot of cleaning up to do. PETA receives many complaints alleging abuse and neglect of animals in Petland's stores. Here are just a few examples:
One person claiming to be a former Petland employee writes, "[I] used to work at a Petland … and [I] can totally relate to this picture … The stores … have puppies dying all the time, due to not having water and food. [T]he kennel techs are untrained and underpaid and they get back at the company by not taking care of the animals! … [A]ll Petlands should be shut down or the animals should all be taken away. [A]ll they care about is money, money, money!"
Another writes, "I used to work for Petland … I ended up being let go, because I refused to … [p]ut dying hamsters, parakeets, … kittens, [and] small puppies in plastic bags and put them in the freezer, and let [animals] breed rampantly. I also got in trouble for … wasting company money by cleaning animal cages that were out of customer sight …"
And yet another writes, "I opened the freezer once and there were frozen snakes in there. I asked what they were … They said they weren't paying the vet to treat [the animals], so they put them to sleep in there. Rats and mice, hamsters and gerbils, and other small critters were always committing cannibalism, because of lack of food, and not having enough space."
Petland is unable to monitor all its employees all the time, which means that other animals are bound to suffer as a result. We would like Petland to stop selling animals in all its stores, but if the company isn't willing to make that leap immediately, what it can do right now is stop selling rabbits in order to ensure that these small, vulnerable animals are spared death at the hands of people like Carlisle.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Lookin' fierce with her new do, Freeda Fish—er, I mean Sammy the Sea Kitten—has hit the road and is handing out plush sea kitten toys across the country to children visiting aquariums. She wants the kiddies (and their parents) to know that sea kittens, like land kittens and puppies, are sensitive, intelligent animals who feel pain and deserve respect—and who definitely shouldn't be cruelly confined to aquariums, violently killed for food, or painfully hooked for "sport."
So far, kids have been eager to embrace Freeda's new persona, but who do you prefer—Freeda Fish or Sammy the Sea Kitten?
Reflecting Hynde’s commitment to animal advocacy and vegan living, VegiTerranean’s gourmet menu will include no meat or animal products. Hynde wanted Akron to be part of the national trend toward meatless dining, and at nearly every stop of her recent concert tour, she visited vegan hotspots, including Sublime in Ft. Lauderdale and Veganopolis in Portland to make sure her menu features the most delectable veggie dishes possible. The eatery will have a modern, Italian flair, and will feature three distinct areas: a coffee bar, bakery and lounge.
Of course, Hynde arrived at the ribbon cutting ceremony on the back of a Harley—and wearing a waitress uniform, just like in her "Brass in Pocket" video. Outside the restaurant she passed out hors d'oeuvres, implored the crowd to consider going vegan, and gave a speech, along with Akron mayor Donald Plusquellic and PETA’s Dan Mathews.
Here’s a great story about the whole event. Weekend road trip to Akron, anyone?
Since we began preparations to launch our new initiative to fight animal overpopulation a little while ago, I've learned an awful lot about animal breeders—who positively swarmed to my recent entry about shelter animals in order to leave lengthy comments trying to dissuade readers from adopting. These folks came from online forums with descriptions like the following: "We discuss how to fight bills or laws negatively affecting pet ownership … Federal, state, local legislation, zoning, breed bans, mandatory spay and neuter, breeder registration, breeder licensing, breeding bans, etc." It became fairly evident to me that these people are going to fight any attempts to reduce animal overpopulation at pretty much every turn, but we're more than ready to get down into the trenches, and our new Animal Birth Control (ABC) Campaign is the first step in a long-term plan to help bring an end to animal homelessness.
Putting the breeders in their place is only one part of the battle here. We need to do everything we can to encourage people to spay and neuter their pets—which means extensive education campaigns and pushing for mandatory spay/neuter legislation—and ultimately, the choice lies with the pet guardians themselves, since anyone who decides to bring an animal into their homes has the opportunity to save a life instead of funding the breeders and the pet stores, who couldn't care less that they're a huge part of the problem in the first place. You can check out our new ABC video below, and there's more info on the campaign here.
For years, singer-songwriter Melissa Ferrick has worn her emotions on her sleeve, and used her music to draw attention to issues that are important to her. Well, now she’s speaking up for the millions of homeless animals killed in shelters each year in this stunning new ad promoting responsible animal guardianship. The shot may look familiar to die-hard Ferrick fans; she donated the cover of her 2006 release, In the Eyes of Strangers, for us to use in the ad.
Speaking out on important issues is nothing new for Ferrick, who is openly gay and talks about it in her songs. She burst onto the national scene after she was booked to open for longtime PETA pal Morrissey in the early '90s, and later started her own label, Right On Records. Ferrick is currently gearing up for a fall tour with alt-folk icon Ani DiFranco.
As if anyone needs another reason to not buy Australian wool, a damning new report about live export was just released. The report found, among other things, that on one recent voyage from Tasmania to the Middle East, many of the sheep loaded didn’t even meet the extremely low minimum export standards, that many sheep developed the condition “pink eye” during the voyage, and that about 1,600 out of the 75,000 sheep aboard died on the four week voyage.
The worst part is that the sheep who died en route may have been the lucky ones, as in the Muslim nations of North Africa and the Middle East, ritual slaughter is exempt from humane slaughter regulations. Some sheep are slaughtered en masse in lots, while others are taken home, often in the trunks of cars, and slaughtered individually by the purchasers.
If you need a little background info on the whole live export thing, click here. And please, if you haven’t done so already, join actor Joaquin Phoenix in pressuring Oz Ag Minister Peter McGauran to put an end to this horrible abuse.
Sometimes photos just speak for themselves, so I’m going to let this one do just that. Okay, just a few words first: Kudos to everyone at PETA Asia Pacific for putting together this demonstration at the Manila Zoo, in the Philippines. It really says it all about zoos in just a few words, don’t you think?
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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.