Written by Jeff Mackey
As the BP
oil-spill civil case unfolds in New Orleans, we thought this would be a good time to update you on some
of the companion animals PETA rescued as people fled the region in the wake of the catastrophe.
Disasters such as the one in the Gulf flood animal shelters with
dogs and cats whose families lose their jobs or see their businesses go bust. With
support from the fabulous Pamela
Anderson, PETA workers drove a Winnebago carrying more than 40 homeless dogs and nearly 30 special-needs
cats from New Orleans–area shelters to Virginia, where they were placed in permanent
homes, including three who live in PETA's Norfolk headquarters, the Sam Simon Center.
It's a testament to their resilient spirits that these animals
have rebounded from abandonment and are now thriving in their new homes. Here's
where some of them are now:
PETA's rescue work is made possible by the support of kind
people like you. To help PETA save animals in danger, become a member today.
In August 2012, PETA was contacted by a whistleblower who had
been volunteering for several months as an animal care assistant for a licensed
wildlife rehabilitator operating out of her Florida home. Cruelty Investigations
Department staffers urged the whistleblower to document her report that ill, injured, and
orphaned wild animals taken into the home were living in utter squalor and that
the rehabilitator left animals to languish without food or water.
The shocking conditions depicted in footage taken by the
whistleblower over the course of three weeks included the following:
PETA alerted state and federal wildlife officials, sparking
an investigation whose findings corroborated the whistleblower's reports and led
to the confiscation of numerous suffering turtles, tortoises, and birds.
With PETA pushing for action, the Florida
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission filed 23 charges against the rehabber for animal neglect, improper animal housing, and
unsanitary conditions. The state attorney's office also charged her with one
count of maintaining wildlife in unsanitary conditions.
Following a plea bargain, the woman
ceased the pretense of rehabilitating animals, and the survivors were removed
from her care for release back into the wild or transfer to other facilities
better equipped to meet their needs.
Even well-meaning animal rescuers can become overwhelmed.
Worse, many out-of-control hoarders use rescue as a pretext, causing massive suffering for the animals who fall
into their hands. If you become aware of animals suffering in a supposed rescue
or rehab facility, please document conditions with a camera or camera phone and
report the perpetrators to
With so many out-of-control hoarders claiming to be animal rescuers, "rescue" has become a buzzword to
beware of—especially when combined with irresponsible "no-kill" promises. The strength of their compulsion also makes it vital that, when
convicted, hoarders be stopped from possessing any animals in the future in order to break the cycle of abuse.
The latest reminder comes from Alabama, where Sharlotte
Marie Adams, the operator of Animal Aid and Rescue Resources Inc., and her
husband were arrested after a complaint was filed alleging misuse of funds and other donations to the
"organization." When police searched the Adamses' home, site of the purported
rescue, they reportedly discovered atrocious conditions. Andalusia Animal Shelter
Director Christin Ball, whose staff is rehabilitating and housing some of the
seized animals, said this about their condition:
They were all sick. There's one that we're not sure if he's going to make
it or not. They've had no care whatsoever. It's sad. She claimed she'd taken
them to the vet, but no one had.
suspect that Adams exploited people's "generosity by using cash donations
– solicited under the guise of treating sick animals – to pay for personal
items such as electric bills and groceries for the family."
The couple was reportedly booked on charges of theft, endangering
the welfare of a child, and cruelty to animals. But while police may have been
shocked by what they found inside the house, PETA's investigations often reveal
nightmarish conditions at many so-called "rescue" facilities, such as
Caboodle Ranch and Sacred Vision. And, as in those cases, it will be critical to seek a prohibition on animal
ownership as part of the penalty if the Adamses are convicted.
What You Can Do
If you learn of any hoarding case—whether posing as a rescue
or not—please contact the prosecuting agency and/or attorney's office to ensure
that any sentence or plea bargain include a clause forbidding the hoarder from
owning or possessing animals.
Written by Michelle Kretzer
We've learned, haven't we, when you are
told "You're a winner!" that there's some fine print and a catch. The
same is true with the magic words that imply that dogs and cats are winners,
too: "no kill"! Here, too, there is fine print, and it can be much
more damaging than finding that you are being billed for a subscription you
didn't want. The fact is that many limited-admission shelters, now often given
the great-sounding, dressed-up title "no-kill shelter," actually hurt animals every single day. Not necessarily the ones they take in,
who may or may not be well cared for, but rather, the ones they don't. The
animals someone else has to decide what to do with or who just end up abandoned
or worse when the "no-kill" shelter is full, as it inevitably
These glorious-sounding shelters generally
turn away many more
animals than they accept, picking, choosing, and admitting only the youngest,
healthiest, prettiest, and most adoptable, if any, because on most days, they
will tell all comers, "We're full." The rest are sent away to suffer
on the streets or to be left in the hands of people who don't want them. Some "no-kills" do accept
animals when they shouldn't, by which I mean when their facilities are already
crammed beyond capacity, subjecting all of the shelter's tenants to crowded, unsanitary
conditions, illness, and often a painful death from parvovirus or from fighting.
And if the animals they do take in are not adopted, many so-called "no-kill"
shelters warehouse them in cages for years, unwanted and unloved, even after
they are driven "cage crazy" from the stress of confinement. I've seen them
sit with their back to visitors, withdrawn into a world of depression and lost
"No-kill" advocates are quick
to throw stones at open-admission
offer refuge to every animal who comes through their doors and euthanize animals when they are
not adoptable, when they run out of appropriate living space for them,
or when the animals brought in are injured, aggressive or gravely ill. So in
return, PETA is quick to expose the cracks in the rosy picture that "no-kills"
try to paint. Here are just a few of the recent additions to our long, ever-expanding
list of "no-kill"
failures that cause animals to suffer:
September 13, 2012/Corpus
Christi, Texas: Area animal
shelters report that they are filled to capacity and that homeless, roaming animals in the
area are at “epidemic” levels. The
shelter director at no-kill "Pee Wee's Pet Adoption World and Sanctuary"
stated, "I get 75 calls a day, and people get angry because I can't take
75 animals a day .… If you multiply 75 times 365 days a year, I would have to
take in 27,000 plus animals a year." The Gulf Coast Humane Society
director reports that his shelter "turn[s] people away right and
2012/Northeast Mississippi: Area open-admission animal shelters
are suffering from the effects of some private shelters' picking and choosing in
order to limit admissions in a ploy to call themselves "no-kill"
for fundraising appeals. A local news outlet reported that, while the [no-kill] policy keeps
current shelter residents alive, it limits the number of pets those facilities
can house and means new arrivals routinely are turned away. Some then are "dumped
alongside roads, abandoned at a neighbor's house or shot and killed," according to representatives of no-kill
shelters citing what jilted pet owners have told them. The writer spoke with a woman taking
three unwanted dogs to an open-admission shelter and whose husband had made his
family's options and intentions clear: "It was either that or shoot them."
July 17, 2012/Willis,
Texas: "Considered one
of the country's [premier] sanctuaries for pit bulls," was the no-kill Spindletop Dog Refuge was raided
by authorities who seized approximately 300 pit bulls found in tiny plastic
carriers with no water and unable to fully stand up. Some dogs were seen
drinking their own urine and a police news report revealed that "[o]ne dog's
feet were so scalded it was laying on its back in its own urine in feces,
presumably to take the pain off of its feet."
As long as outspoken "no-kill"
proponents continue to criticize open-admission shelters even
in the face of the animal
homelessness crisis, PETA will continue to save
animals by exposing "no-kills" for what they really are: "slow-kills."
Anyone who has a hard time understanding why PETA hasn't hopped
onto the "no-kill" bandwagon should have a look at this long list of failures of limited-admission
(i.e., "no-kill") shelters and rescues. There have been so many raids, busts, and seizures that we can't even be sure that
we have kept up with them all.
Rescued From a 'Rescue'?
One of the latest tragedies comes from Muncie, Indiana,
where 63 dogs and puppies were seized from a single-story house operating as "Adopt a Lab Rescue and Adoption."
Living conditions were so foul that one official characterized it as being "like a dungeon in the
basement." Some of the dogs had reportedly been bought from a "broker." This
same facility had also been raided in 2010, when 30 dogs were removed because
of poor conditions, including keeping animals in crates without food or water
for up to 21 hours a day.
No one wants to euthanize animals, least of all people who dedicate
their lives to helping them. And we should all be deeply upset that in this day
and age, shelters must still resort to euthanasia—but breeding and buying
animals from pet shops is still legal (in most places)! The reality is that there
are more animals in need
of homes than there are people ready to adopt them. Even if we could build enough shelters to hold all of them, these animals need real
homes and families to love them. They can't be warehoused forever just to make
us feel better.
Euthanasia prevents suffering—it is, by definition, humane.
But turning away animals in need of shelter is anything but humane. Forcing animals to exist in cages, joyless, for months
or years or their entire lives, is inhumane, too, as is allowing animals to
suffer in squalor, loneliness, deprivation, and illness.
There is an answer, and it lies in prevention! We can reduce
euthanasia and the need for it by taking the smart, effective approach: animal birth
control (ABC). Please start
an ABC campaign in your community, and never be silent when animals are at risk.
Written by PETA
Today marks PETA's 32nd birthday. Over
the past three decades, PETA
has saved countless animals from abusive situations. Here are just a few of the animals we will never
forget and who can thank the millions of supporters who make the work of PETA and
its affiliates possible:
was adopted into a loving home after a PETA undercover
investigation at Professional Laboratory and Research Services, Inc., got the workers
indicted on felony cruelty-to-animals charges, the 250 dogs and cats at the
facility surrendered, and the place shut down!
© Kip Malone
a horse used for racing, was sold to a meat buyer when she stopped winning races and was hours from
being sent to slaughter when PETA rescued her.
Ruby and Rusty
© Wendy Cassidy/Phoenix Herpetological Society
After a PETA
investigation got international exotic-animal dealer U.S. Global Exotics shut
down, a record-breaking 26,000 animals were seized, including Ruby and Rusty, two kinkajous, who were sent to the beautiful, spacious Phoenix
Herpetological Society sanctuary.
© Rachel Cobb
nearly blind from an eye infection, and infested with lice, Jerry was
rescued in the nick of time by a PETA investigator from a dairy factory farm and
retired to a spacious sanctuary for lots of long-overdue TLC.
© Sean Noronha
PETA India staffers rescued Parineeta from the
side of the road, where she had been abandoned with a broken leg after spending
years hauling building materials for railroads. She now lives in the beautiful
Nilgiri hills with other retired working animals.
Nudge spent nearly 10 years confined to a tiny cage in a filthy "no-kill" warehouse.
A PETA investigation got the hoarder shut down and the animals removed forever.
Now Nudge has a wonderful home and all the snuggling that she can handle.
Miranda's owner was going to eat Miranda
and her sisters until a PETA staffer came along and talked the man out of the idea. Now,
instead of being on the dinner table,
Miranda and her siblings happily run and play around it—and the rest of the
forced to live in a cramped cage and perform for the Suarez Bros. Circus in
temperatures that topped 100 degrees, until a PETA complaint resulted in her
confiscation by the federal government. She was retired to a comfortable
compound at the Baltimore Zoo, where she could play with a formerly lonely male
in one filthy tank after another, and no one knew how to fulfill even the most
basic of his turtle needs. A PETA staffer discovered Pancake's appalling living
conditions and had him sent to a sanctuary.
Gracie's first owner
bought her to feed to a snake, but Gracie was too big. A PETA staffer adopted
her, and now sweet Gracie loves to go outside to play with her adopted rabbit
© Alan T. Smith
After Sheena's reluctant guardian surrendered the mutt to a Utah animal shelter, Sheena was
purchased by the University of Utah for use in experiments. Sheena's guardian alerted
PETA, and we were able to get Sheena out of the laboratory and stop all
seizures of dogs and cats from Utah pounds.
Someone burned the beaver lodge in which
beaver Puff lived and shot the beavers as they fled. That's how Puff found
himself in the yard of a kind couple who located a wildlife rehabilitator for
him. PETA's wildlife biologist drove Puff the eight hours to the rehabilitator,
who nurtured him until he could be released.
Dovi was a
sick and malnourished puppy, abandoned along a rural road in North Carolina
when PETA's Community
Animal Project workers
found him. Now, he is a happy, healthy dog who loves harmonica music and bounding
about in the dog park.
© Chip Vinai
Muff spent 15 years in a tiny cage at a
roadside zoo with nothing to do but pace endlessly back and forth. But just two
days after PETA rescuers took him to the Texas Snow Monkey Sanctuary, he had
stopped pacing and made friends with a female baboon.
© Peter V. Chetirkin
Herman was abandoned on
the beach near PETA's Norfolk, Virginia, headquarters. Knowing that the warm-weather
animal would never survive the winter, a PETA staffer arranged for him to be
transported to a Florida wildlife sanctuary.
Cem, Zoe, and four other geese were found
languishing in muddy ponds on a run-down property. PETA took them in, and now the
six friends float on two large and beautiful ponds on wooded property at a
sanctuary for rescued waterfowl.
undercover investigation at a University of North Carolina laboratory, PETA
found mice and rats suffering from gaping wounds, tumors, and other illnesses
and injuries. One of them was sweet Tulip, a mouse
whom the investigator took home with her to
live safely forever.
To be a part of the next 32 years of animal rescues, become a PETA member today.
Jennifer Aniston is proving that dogs may very well be the best dates. Much like her character in Marley and Me, Jen is a devoted guardian. Her four-legged love bugs, Norman and Dolly, are a constant presence on her movie sets and are often seen taking walks with her on the beach. Both rescues, Norman is a 15-year-old Welsh corgi-terrier mix, and Dolly is a creamy white 4-year-old German shepherd."Really, the most unconditional form of love that you can encounter is with a dog," the actor raves. "They're excited the minute you come home, and they show the same amount of excitement every day. They're loyal, and they're always, always faithful." We didn't interview Jennifer's dogs, but we're sure that the sweet sentiments are mutual. Written by Michelle Sherrow
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.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
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.