Written by PETA
What do you call it when a KFC is "closed for cruelty"? A goreclosure!
For more than a year, dedicated animal advocates have been holding monthly demonstrations outside a KFC in North Carolina to spread the word about KFC's tormented chickens—and watching the restaurant's business dwindle. Now, so many people have washed their hands of KFC's blood that the location has recently shut down!
The only thing better than vegan party food? Knowing that no chicken will ever leave that building in a KFC bucket again. Inspired to instigate a goreclosure in your community? Start organizing your own KFC protest today!
Written by Logan Scherer
The following is a guest post from PETA Prime's Scott VanValkenburg.
Did you know that February 23 is Spay Day? Leading up to this very important "holiday," PETA Files readers are going to be treated to a series of posts that are aimed at highlighting the importance of making sure that animal companions are spayed or neutered.
In my time at PETA headquarters, I can honestly say that nothing has changed the situation more for dogs and cats in the border region between North Carolina and Virginia than have PETA's mobile clinics. The original "Spay and Neuter Immediately, Please!" (SNIP) clinic has been joined by the Animal Birth Control DogDoc clinic. Last year was a banner year for the struggle to end companion animal overpopulation in the poor urban and rural communities served by PETA's clinics.
In 2009, our mobile clinics performed 8,677 spay or neuter surgeries, preventing the birth of as many as 62,472 kittens and 55,536 pups in the next year alone. That's easily equal to the local animal shelter intake for one year! The local shelters (where they exist in these areas) are bursting at the seams—so no adoption program can possibly solve the problem—and exporting pups and kittens to shelters in areas with a lower population also doesn't address the root of the issue.
PETA not only drives the clinics to towns where there are no veterinary services at all (let alone a low-cost clinic) but also uses creative grassroots work to reach people. Volunteers from PETA's Community Animal Project (CAP) march in the "Peanut Parade" (this is the South, after all) and go door to door trying to help "backyard" dogs. Many of the animals who receive free doghouses from PETA are also spayed or neutered by SNIP. PETA now has a full-time employee in North Carolina who drives a small van to remote residences (many on roads with no street signs) to pick up dogs and cats to take to the clinics. Last year, 562 animals got a free round-trip ride to the clinics. It was definitely the first ride that many of these animals had ever had!
PETA has also worked to have legislation passed that promotes spay and neuter surgeries.
PETA's clinics are among the few that provide "early" spaying and neutering, which not only prevents accidental litters and helps the shelters we serve with pre-adoption sterilization but also helps the individual animals avoid many health problems. Last year, 2,917 puppies and kittens were "snipped" so that they'll never have a litter! Our clinics also helped the most abused breed of dog by providing 210 low-cost or free surgeries to pit bulls. And feral cat caretakers brought in 735 felines, moving us closer to the day when there are no outdoor cats.
One local animal shelter reported that it received 100 fewer pups last year than it did in 2008, attributing the decrease almost entirely to PETA's mobile clinic services. The flood of dogs and cats needing homes continues, but PETA's local and national programs are helping to stem the tide. Have you waded into this issue?
Written by Scott VanValkenburg
A 75-year-old woman who is a "caretaker" at Chief Saunooke Bear Park (one of the concrete bear pits in Cherokee, North Carolina) was bitten by a bear earlier this week. The bear grabbed her coat through the cage as she and her son, who owns the facility, were giving the animals water. She suffered a serious injury to her arm and lacerations near her mouth and hairline.
Neurotic and hungry, the bears who are imprisoned in the Cherokee pits exhibit unnatural behavior such as pacing and begging as a means of coping with life inside a concrete pit. In this dismal environment, they are unable to forage for food, explore their surroundings, create dens, or receive any of the necessary stimulation and enrichment that bears in captivity require.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investigating the recent attack, and we've asked the agency to revoke the facility's license, but we won't rest until we see these bears retired to sanctuaries. Luckily, we've got some compassionate star power behind us. Bob Barker, friend to animals and proud descendent of Native Americans, has worked tirelessly to shut down the hideous bear pits—from meeting with the Tribal Council for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to advocating for the bears' freedom in the blogosphere. Help Bob Barker end the suffering by urging the USDA to close Chief Saunooke's cruel bear prison immediately.
Written by Logan Scherer
In preparation for tonight's American premiere of the BBC documentary Pedigree Dogs Exposed, this morning's Today Show featured a segment on the horrors behind the rampant breeding of purebreds.
Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
Sylvia, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, suffers from syringomyelia—a condition in which the dog's brain is too big for the skull, resulting in a nonstop, crippling headache that's been deemed by humans who endure it the worst kind of pain imaginable. And she's not alone—after years of inbreeding, at least one-third of all King Charles spaniels suffer from syringomyelia and other incurable genetic deformities, a common problem among purebred dogs.
Breeders around the globe are guilty of spreading these deadly defects, contributing to what Dr. James Serpell, associate professor of humane ethics and animal welfare at the University of Pennsylvania, deems "institutionalized animal cruelty," and they—along with the individuals who continue to buy purebred companion animals instead of adopting from animal shelters—are at fault for the animal overpopulation crisis and the deaths of millions of homeless animals each year.
Don't miss the sure-to-be-heart-wrenching Pedigree Dogs Exposed tonight on BBC America.
H&M is an industry leader in all things stylish and cruelty-free—which is why we were thrilled to announce that, because of its recent decision to implement a permanent policy against selling any exotic skins, including those of snakes, alligators, crocodiles, lizards, ostriches, and other animals, H&M is the recipient of our Company of the Year Proggy Award. H&M's announcement to no longer sell exotic skins came after we sent a copy of our new exposé to the universally loved retailer. (Seriously, H&M is like apparel candy: affordable and deliciously fashionable, and I don't know anyone who doesn't love them.)
Many animals who are stripped of their skin for fashion are skinned alive and then tossed onto a pile where they writhe in pain until they succumb to shock or dehydration. Some animals live in agony for up to four days after they lose their flesh. H&M's new policy sends the message that kindness is always chic. Follow this company's lead: Take our pledge and declare that the only skin you'll ever wear is your own.
Victory Update: Following a national PETA campaign against Brookstone's sale of Frog-O-Spheres —tiny plastic boxes containing two African dwarf frogs—the retailer has discontinued the sale of these little frog prisons in its stores. Learn more about this victory for frogs.
Last month, a PETA investigator worked undercover inside Wild Creations—the supplier of frogs for Brookstone's Frog-O-Spheres—and documented unsanitary living conditions, rampant starvation, and gross mishandling of thousands of frogs. Frogs were left to languish in stagnant water that was murky with feces and molted skin. They were so desperate for food (our investigator worked there for weeks before anyone was seen feeding the animals) that they were chewing on each other's legs, causing wounds, infections, and, eventually, loss of limbs. Live frogs were left on the floor to die or—mistaken for dead—tossed aside, including into the trash, by employees who had received no training.
Share on Facebook | Viewing OptionsEmbed<embed src="http://www.mediapeta.com/videoplayer/video.swf?v=frog_o_sphere_web_peta_high" _mce_src="http://www.mediapeta.com/videoplayer/video.swf?v=frog_o_sphere_web_peta_high" quality="high" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="240" height="180" allowScriptAccess="always"></embed><br>Watch undercover footage from inside <BR>Brookstone's frog supplier. <BR> Find out more at <a href="https://secure.peta.org/site/Advocacy?id=2737" _mce_href="https://secure.peta.org/site/Advocacy?id=2737" target=_blank">PETA.org</a>.
We showed the disturbing footage to world-renowned experts in biology and herpetology, and their message was clear: Distribution of Frog-O-Spheres must stop forever. Clifford Warwick, a fellow at the Institute of Biology and one of the world's leading authorities on herpetology, said, "The advice given by the 'technical' staff [of Wild Creations] about this product is less than amateuristic. It is blatantly false, and dangerous and will lead to the suffering and death of many animals, and possibly also lead to human disease and death. … [S]ales staff and workers … are being guided by superiors whose 'knowledge' is more dubious (and frankly dangerous) than even common sense would dictate."
Tom Langton, who runs the frog conservation organization Froglife, reacted by saying, "The housing indicates gross negligence and effective intent to cause suffering and death of frogs and is in fact a breeding factory for pathogens. Such pathogens could spread beyond the immediate factory and into the external environment creating new criminal offences."
You might not be a biologist or even know what a herpetologist is, but what do you think about PETA's latest investigation?
Every day, PETA receives reports from across the country detailing hideous acts of cruelty to animals for which law enforcement officials have no leads. Very often, PETA will offer a reward for information leading to an arrest, knowing that witnesses who might otherwise never come forward could be enticed to offer information.
PETA recently rewarded a tipster who offered information about a case of cruelty to animals that occurred last fall in Dillon, South Carolina. Brace yourself for the details: While Teofilo Falaniko was ransacking Bonnie Bowens' home, he forced her dog, Penny, into the oven and turned it on. To ensure that Penny's frantic pawing at the oven door didn't allow her to escape, Falaniko propped a chair against the door. When the elderly woman arrived home later that day, she and police discovered that her beloved dog was dead in the oven.
Because our tipster came forward and reported hearing Falaniko bragging about his heinous crime, Falaniko was arrested and charged. He was recently sentenced to 11 years in prison on burglary and cruelty-to-animals charges. Would Falaniko have been caught without the tipster's information? Who knows? But I get chills when I consider how many more victims—four-legged and two-legged—this violent criminal might have gone on to attack had he not been convicted of Penny's cruel killing.
Written by Karin Bennett
This week Windsor, North Carolina, officials cut the red ribbon that wrapped PETA's very special gift to animals in this small Southern town. For nearly a decade, PETA has been working with Windsor and other area towns to provide homeless animals in their care with better housing conditions and a peaceful end when euthanasia is the most humane option.
In 2000, PETA was alerted by a caring police officer to terrible suffering and appalling conditions at several "animal shelters" in North Carolina, some of which were nothing more than outdoor shacks, like the one in Windsor. Dogs and cats left inside these outdoor "coops" suffered without heat in the winter and air conditioning, or even fans, in the scorching summer. As a result, some animals literally drowned or froze to death at some town facilities. When no homes could be found for them, many were killed by gas poisoning or gunshots.
Today, we are thrilled to announce that this week, PETA representatives were joined by Windsor's mayor, Robert Spivey, and several other county officials to celebrate the town's new animal shelter, funded entirely by PETA, to ensure that homeless animals in Windsor are housed comfortably and humanely from here on out. Get ready for a pretty amazing reveal:
As for the old shack, we're planning a very special demolition party that will take place soon.
Since receiving that initial complaint nearly a decade ago, PETA has become a lifesaving presence in many impoverished areas near our headquarters in Southern Virginia. We have provided hundreds of doghouses, free and low-cost spay/neuter services, food, toys, no-spill water receptacles, and more to local citizens and their animal companions, and we regularly work with local law-enforcement officials to prosecute those who harm animals. Every dollar PETA spends helps to ensure that a needy animal receives warmth during winter, shade during summer, fresh food, and clean water. Considering the difficult economic situation and winter's frigid temperatures, we—and animals—need your help now more than ever. Visit HelpingAnimals.com to learn how you can help neglected and homeless animals in your own neighborhood and beyond.
Written by Karin Bennett
Shark finning is one of the most disgusting practices of the already disgusting fishing industry. Sharks are caught, their fins are cut off, and they are either left to suffocate or are thrown back into the water to slowly bleed to death or be eaten by other marine animals. All this suffering is inflicted in order to produce horrid "delicacies" such as shark-fin soup.
Worldwide, there is (happily) a movement toward stopping shark finning, but fishing interests in Virginia and North Carolina are, well, swimming against the tide by putting pressure on legislators to exclude some sharks from a proposed federal law banning shark finning.
If you live in North Carolina or Virginia, please contact your senators and ask them to support the Shark Conservation Act of 2009 with no exemptions. To learn about more ways to help sharks and other endangered marine animals, read this and this.
Written by Jeff Mackey
… from a miserable life under a pile of heavy cinder blocks and plywood?
This makeshift pen was "home" for a sweet 5-month-old mutt named Dollar, who was discovered by a PETA fieldworker in North Carolina.
Our relentless efforts to educate people about the terrible mental and physical suffering endured by backyard dogs—as well as the dangers posed by cruel humans and occasionally other animals—almost always make an impact. Occasionally, the owners agree to bring the dogs inside. Other times, they shrug and hand us the leash.
In this case, our fieldworker was canvassing a North Carolina neighborhood and signing up needy dogs for PETA's spay-and-neuter and doghouse programs when she spotted Dollar's head poking out of his ramshackle "fence." It was a dangerous barricade that possibly could have collapsed and crushed him. Dollar's guardian refused to bring Dollar inside or to let us take him.
Dollar's owner did agree, however, to let us neuter him and to clear the cinder blocks from around his doghouse.
There is no doubt that Dollar's life is better than it was. He's no longer forced to eat and sleep in that feces-littered cinder-block prison that was about to cave in on him. He's also scheduled to receive a in the coming days. But there's also no doubt that Dollar's life, like that of so many other backyard dogs, could still be so much better.
Backyard dogs spend every moment of their lives yearning for a family who loves them and keeps them indoors where it's warm and dry—and you can help them by taking action. If your neighbors keep backyard dogs, talk to them and educate them about the animals' social, physical, and mental needs. Investigate chaining laws and shelter requirements in your area, and work with legislators to strengthen the laws. Our information about anti-chaining ordinances can help.
Fall is here, and winter is right around the corner. Make a decision to be a person who refuses to give backyard dogs the cold shoulder.
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.