Written by PETA
Less than two weeks after four dozen wild and exotic animals
were shot to death in Zanesville,
there's still somebody out there who didn't get the message that privately
owning exotic animals is a recipe for disaster—and that somebody is Marian
Thompson, the wife of
the man who owned (and released) all the animals in the first place. Ms.
Thompson is demanding that four of the six survivors—a grizzly bear and three
leopards—in temporary quarantine at the Columbus Zoo, be returned to her
PETA has sent urgent letters to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service (FWS) and the Muskingum County prosecutor imploring them not to return
the animals until investigations into whether the animals were harmed or
harassed in violation of the Endangered Species Act and/or Ohio's anti-cruelty
laws are conducted. It appears that the animals may have been obtained without
proper permits in the first place and that they were kept in filthy conditions
with insufficient food, water, and/or shade—all violations of the law. On top
of it, public records indicate that there are nearly $70,000 in liens hanging
over Ms. Thompson's head, leaving her ill-equipped to properly take care of the
While we continue to fight to keep the survivors safe, you
can help by e-mailing the Ohio Department of Natural Resources
to politely urge the agency to exercise its authority to implement emergency
regulations to prohibit the keeping of exotic and wild animals.
Written by Amanda Schinke
last week's killing of dozens of wild animals in Zanesville, Ohio, PETA
supporters gathered in front of the Ohio statehouse today calling on Gov. John Kasich
to ban ownership of wild animals as "pets" immediately, before other
tragedies occur. Earlier this year, the governor refused to extend an emergency ban on keeping
captive exotic animals that had been put in place by his predecessor.
a letter to Gov. Kasich,
PETA noted that there are at least 10 wild-animal facilities in Ohio that are accidents
waiting to happen. One facility in Massillon that holds more than 100 animals—including
tigers, lions, pumas, jaguars, bears, and wolves—was found this year to be
keeping tigers in an enclosure that had no top and was not tall enough to keep
the animals contained. Another facility, in Perrysburg, was found to be keeping
adult lions and wolves in enclosures that would not prevent them from jumping
dangerously lax laws about wild-animal ownership have already resulted in human
deaths, including a man who was mauled by a bear
kept by notorious wild-animal exhibitor Sam Mazzola.
To help prevent additional tragedies involving captive wild animals, click here to urge the Ohio Department of
Natural Resources to exercise its authority to implement emergency regulations prohibiting
private citizens from keeping wild animals.
Written by Heather Faraid Drennan
PETA is calling for reckless homicide charges to be filed against Sam Mazzola, the former operator of notorious "wrestling bear" shows and the owner of a bear who mauled a 24-year-old Ohio man to death in August of 2010. The recently released autopsy report for Brent Kandra, who was reportedly feeding the bear when he was fatally attacked, shows that the extent and duration of the mauling was far greater than originally thought.
Kandra suffered 658 wounds, including a laceration to his left brachial artery, two broken ribs, a puncture wound to his heart, and lacerations of his spleen, left kidney, and left lung. According to the autopsy report, the young man died from "multiple blunt impacts and sharp force injuries to the head, torso and extremities."
In a letter to the Lorain County prosecuting attorney, PETA writes, "This compelling new evidence, coupled with Mazzola's evasive 911 call …, call into question Mazzola's claim that he was with Brent when the attack occurred, instead suggesting that Brent was alone with the bear when he was attacked, and that Mazzola failed to timely intervene and seek assistance for Brent."
Kandra's parents say they feel Mazzola was negligent and are closely watching the case. They are also asking the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Governor John Kasich to enforce the ban on exotic animals that former Governor Ted Strickland enacted. Governor Kasich suspended the ban after complaints from exotic-animal owners, but Kandra's parents feel the ban is necessary to prevent future tragedies like the death of their son. Who can argue with them?
Written by Michelle Sherrow
You could hear a collective sigh of relief throughout the PETA building when outgoing Ohio Governor Ted Strickland signed an executive order banning people from owning, selling, breeding, or trading wild animals. The move came after several incidents in which frustrated captive animals attacked their keepers.
The order also required current owners of exotic animals to register the animals annually, and it prevented people from keeping exotic animals if they had been convicted of animal abuse or neglect or if their license to exhibit, breed, or possess animals had been revoked. This provision of the law meant that notorious animal abusers such as Sam Mazzola (whose Animal Welfare Act license was revoked in 2008), could no longer keep the exotic animals who were suffering in their care.
But now, the new governor, John Kasich, has requested that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) not enforce the ban. Instead, he would like the agency to further study the issue and decide how to keep Ohio residents safe without hurting "small business owners" (read: exotic-animal pimps). The ODNR website states that Kasich "is aware that there are questions and concerns by the public and small business owners regarding the emergency rules."
Don't let dealers of exotic animals keep Ohio from enforcing this important ban. It will protect Ohio residents and keep wild animals out of backyards and dismal roadside zoos. Please e-mail Governor Kasich and urge him and the ODNR to enforce this crucial ban.
Way to go, Ohio! Gov. Ted Strickland issued an executive order today prohibiting Ohio residents from owning, breeding, selling, or trading wild exotic animals. People who already own exotic animals will not be allowed to breed, sell, or trade them and will have to register them with the state each year, making it easier for law enforcement to monitor the animals.
The ban comes none too soon. Ohio has had its share of captive animal attacks—the most recent being the fatal attack by a black bear on a handler last August. Wild animals who are kept in captivity are denied everything that is natural and important to them, and this causes many of them to lash out in frustration.
Barely a month ago, lawmakers in Oregon passed a similar ban designed to protect both animals and humans from the often dire consequences of keeping wild animals in captivity. Hopefully, more states will quickly follow suit. In the meantime, we'd like to remind you never to patronize roadside petting zoos, traveling shows, or "take-a-picture-with-a-tiger" exhibits. True wildlife sanctuaries aren't open to the public, don't take animals on the road, and never breed animals.
Sometimes I consider myself a hardened PETA veteran. With each new investigation I force myself to watch, I convince myself that that I've seen the worst abuses that animals are subjected to. But then something like this new video, which was shot by an undercover worker at an Ohio dairy factory farm, hits my desk, and I am again moved to tears by the way people exploit and abuse animals:
In the video, which was recorded over the past few weeks by Mercy For Animals, workers at Conklin Dairy Farms are seen beating cows with crowbars and stabbing them with pitchforks. One worker wires a cow's nose to a metal bar and then repeatedly beats the cow with another bar as she bleeds.
These findings are similar to what PETA revealed when we went undercover at a Land O'Lakes supplier in Pennsylvania. Over the course of several months, PETA's investigation documented that cows who had trouble standing were kicked and electro-shocked. One cow's gangrenous, infected teat ruptured while she was being milked by a machine. Another cow collapsed in a deep pool of liquid manure and was left to languish there for hours as the urine and manure covered her body and coated her eyes, nose, and mouth.
The next time someone asks you, "What's wrong with eating dairy products?" tell them, "Everything!" and then show them these videos.
Please take a minute to share this investigation via e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter. Then let your friends and family know that the best way to help prevent cows from suffering these abuses is to go vegan. If you haven't already taken that leap, check out these cruelty-free alternatives to dairy foods to get started.
Update: A man who police believe to be one of the dairy farm workers who was recorded on video beating cows with crowbars and poking them with pitchforks was charged yesterday with 12 counts of cruelty to animals!
Billy Joe Gregg Jr., 25, was jailed in Mechanicsburg and was to be arraigned on Thursday. Each cruelty-to-animals charge he faces carries a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $750 fine.
Written by Shawna Flavell
My "Things That Make You Go Aww" folder is thick with the obvious and the not-so-obvious.
Today that file is bursting at the seams, thanks to Sergeant Mark Fry, a caring cop in Toledo, Ohio, who raced to respond to a call about a pregnant deer who'd been hit by a car. Because of her severe injuries, the doe was euthanized, but her fawn was saved, thanks to Fry's swift, decisive action. He not only performed a C-section at the scene, he also administered CPR to the surviving fawn and then instinctively knew to nourish the weak baby with the doe's milk. Later, during a media interview, he admonished the unknown hit-and-run driver for fleeing the scene and abandoning the injured animals.
Sergeant Mark Fry's heroic efforts reflect his belief that "[a] life is a life, it doesn't matter if it's an animal or if it's a human being." For his compassionate actions, we're presenting him with PETA's "One Can Make a Difference" award. Please leave Sergeant Mark Fry a note of thanks in the comments section, and then read up on how to help deer and other animals in your city.
Written by Karin Bennett
Animal abusers, be warned: You do not want to mess with PETA cruelty caseworker Kristin DeJournett. Not only is she relentless in pursuing justice against people who hurt and kill animals, she's also a second-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
After a rigorous series of tryouts that tested competitors' stamina, technique, and expertise, Kristin was recently chosen from among thousands of black belts across the country to participate in a prestigious international Tae Kwon Do tournament in England.
To prepare for the competition, Kristin and her teammates met twice weekly for grueling practice sessions that lasted up to four hours. Kristin also trained daily for at least an hour with jogging, sprinting, and calisthenics—all fueled by a vegan diet, of course.
"I was able to build lean muscle and shed fat by eating lots of vegetable protein (tofu, beans, and faux meat), whole grains, and a ton of leafy green vegetables and fruits," says Kristin. "I've noticed that a vegan diet helps me feel quicker and lighter on my feet."
Kristin reports that Team USA cleaned up—all the teams earned gold medals in their age groups—and Kristin captured the bronze in an individual event!
Are you a vegan athlete? Post a comment below to tell us how you fuel your workouts.
Written by Alisa Mullins
At PETA, we sometimes embrace things that others might call "bizarre," like Andy Dick's interview as Ronald McDonald with Jiminy Glick.
So when people started ringing our phones wanting our reaction to the recent news that Mike Myers is "kind of obsessed" with painting KFC's Colonel Sanders, we might have puzzled some callers who assumed we'd be alarmed or offended to learn about his muse. We're not. Monet may have had his water lilies but, hey, not all artists are inspired by foliage.
Besides, at the recent premiere of Shrek Forever After, the actor/funnyman/artist told our own Senior Vice President Dan Mathews that after watching a PETA video, he doesn't eat chicken anymore.
That's no surprise, really—after all, like art, many individual's attitudes are ever-evolving—and countless caring people have kicked KFC's unhealthy buckets from their diets.
So we're thankful that one more person has chosen not to support the appalling cruelty that's imposed upon billions of chickens, and we'll daydream that Mike Myers might one day honor us with a gift of one of his renderings of the Colonel. If we paired it with our crippled KFC chicken statue from artist Harry Bliss, we could add immeasurable artistic flair to our Kentucky Fried Cruelty campaign.
Calling all connoisseurs of cuteness: We need your help deciding which of the following pics from recent PETA demonstrations is the most aww-inspiring.
Personally, I'm rooting for my boy Chris P. Carrot and his sweet pea Penelo, who recently attended the Veggie Pride Parade in New York City. Then again, I really ♥ the picture of the little dude in diapers sharing his disgust over the abuse of dairy cows at a Land O'Lakes supplier. But how can you not love Ellie the Elephant, who travels around the country educating elementary school kids about Ringling's abuse of baby elephants? Dang, I can't decide. You decide for me:
Written by Amy Skylark Elizabeth
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.