Written by Michelle Kretzer
Update: Midnight has
been adopted! Her gloomy past behind her, this free-spirited gal has now been renamed
Indie. Her new family reports that she is relishing the safe, comfortable
indoor life and that she acts like she has known her canine sister, River, who
is also a PETA rescue, for years. Indie has discovered catnip, and she is so
photogenic that her new family has started an all-Indie scrapbook. If you are interested
in adopting a PETA rescue, e-mail us at Adopt@peta.org.
Originally posted September 20:
Midnight the cat had been trapped in a
tree for 10 terrifying days. Her owners couldn't be bothered to lift a finger
to help her. She had likely been frightened up the tree and didn't know how to
get back down, which should have been apparent after the first few hours. A
concerned construction worker reported the stranded, distressed cat to PETA.
Seeing as the people responsible for her
seemed not to care one bit, one of our Community Animal Project fieldworkers climbed about 35 feet up the tree, secured Midnight in her arms,
and made the slow, careful descent. After 10 days without food or water, Midnight
was lucky to be alive and was shaken and severely dehydrated, but once on the
ground, the grateful cat began to purr. Her owners never allowed Midnight inside and had no plans to do so now, even after her brush with death, but they agreed
to allow the fieldworker to find her a new home where she would be safe indoors.
Now Midnight is settling in at PETA's
Norfolk, Virginia, headquarters and is waiting patiently for the right adoptive
family. She will be microchipped and spayed before adoption. If you are ready to make a lifetime commitment and give Midnight the safe,
loving home that every cat deserves, please e-mail Adopt@peta.org.
Each month, PETA's mobile spay-and-neuter clinics alter
many hundreds of animals, preventing hundreds of thousands of unwanted ones from
being born. Every animal we help has a story. Here are a few of the many patients
who made it a September
Frieda's guardian is 80 years old, but
his love for his dog keeps him young at heart. He was thrilled that we could
spay Frieda and even give her a ride to and from our clinic.
Blue isn't blue anymore. This beautiful
pit bull, who lives indoors with her guardian, had sustained an eye injury.
Blue's guardian had planned to breed her, but since she didn't have the money
to treat Blue's injury, she agreed to let us spay the pup if we would treat her
eye. Now Blue is pain-free and litter-free.
RJ is a bouncy, happy pup. We
transported this young 80-pound ball of energy to our clinic, and now we are happy that he is not contributing to the animal-homelessness
Cotton wasn't a big fan of being driven
to our clinic and getting her free spay surgery, so this feisty kitten was super-happy
to get back into her guardian's waiting arms.
Magic is feeling a lot more magical
after PETA gave him a lift to our clinic, a flea bath and flea medicine, and a
little "snip" surgery.
If we saw someone choking, shocking, or
dragging a dog, we would intervene, right? But chances are, we have—and we didn't.
It can be intimidating to tell another dog
guardian that he or she is being cruel, but people who rely on choke, prong, or
shock collars to control their dogs need to know about the harm that they're
inflicting. Dogs who are made to wear these collars experience a fear of pain
that often results in psychological stress, anxiety, and displaced aggression.
And the potential physical injuries are just as serious.
and prong collars can cause dogs to suffer from spinal cord injuries, including intervertebral
disc protrusion or paralysis as well as nerve damage, a crushed trachea or
larynx, and bruising and damage to the esophagus and the skin and tissue in the
Depending on the size of the dog, how hard the dog pulls, and how forcefully the person holding the leash yanks, prong collars can cause serious injuries.iStockphoto.com/cringuette
collars can cause burns, cardiac fibrillation, and changes in heart and respiratory rates,
as well as behavior problems.
"Gentle Leader" or
"Halti" head halters aren't ideal, either, because they wrap around
the dog's muzzle, which most dogs find uncomfortable—it reminds them of the
feeling that they get when another dog bites down on their muzzle in a warning
gesture. And when the dog tries to pull, the halter pulls the dog's head
downward and to the side, which could potentially cause a neck injury if the
dog is pulling hard or moving quickly. A better "no-pull" alternative
is the Sense-ation harness, which has a ring located at the dog's chest, not the neck, for attaching the
leash, allowing you to redirect your dog back toward you when he or she pulls
or lunges without causing pain.
mamamusings|cc by 2.0
We each have a responsibility to explain
as diplomatically as possible to dog owners that positive, reward-based training methods are kinder and more effective than painful choke or shock collars and that having
dogs wear harnesses while out walking is much easier on their necks than using
any kind of collar.
Dogs are safest and most comfortable wearing a nylon harness when outside.© PETA
We can use ourselves and our dogs as
examples. I show people my dog's harness and I explain to them that I trained
my dog by giving her praise and treats when she walked calmly on the leash and
withheld them when she did the opposite, and she soon figured out that good
behavior has its rewards. I also planted my feet and refused to move forward as
long as she was pulling, and that sent a very clear message that she understood
in record time. Now when I walk her, she does really well, and I'm so proud of
No dog deserves to be choked,
shocked, and dragged. Let's make sure dogs are treated better than that.
New York state man was shocked to see a tiny kitten drag himself into his yard
by his two front paws. The lower half of the kitten's body was smashed and limp,
so he had likely been struck
by a car and the driver had failed
to stop and check on him. There is no way to know how long the kitten had been
suffering, dragging his broken body.
man called local authorities, but they showed little interest in helping the
injured animal. Frustrated, he called PETA for help. We contacted local animal-control
officials, but because it was after hours, they told us they couldn't send an
officer out until the next day. We persisted, stressing how badly injured the
kitten was and how imperative it was that he get immediate help. Animal control
relented, and within an hour of the man's worried call, the kitten was
mercifully euthanized and freed from his agony.
one hour is all it takes to save an animal from immense suffering. It may
require persistence and patience, but you will prevail if you refuse to take "No"
for an answer. And if all else fails, call PETA.
animal companions give us all the time, attention, and affection that we want,
and in return, they deserve the best care that we can provide. Here are the top
six ways to return the favor:
people, animals need high-quality, nutritious food, which is the basis for good
health. They also benefit from having moist food, which is more palatable and
helps prevent urinary tract infections. If you are concerned about supporting
factory farms when you buy pet food, check out PETA's factsheet on feeding dogs and cats vegetarian
or vegan food. And, of course, we
wouldn't want to drink out of a dirty glass, and our animals don't want to
drink out of a dirty bowl, either. So give them fresh water daily in a clean
It's Potty Time
Have you ever
walked into a public restroom stall only to turn around and walk right back
out? Cats prefer a clean bathroom,
too, so scoop at least twice a day. Similarly, a backyard filled with "land
mines" is no fun for people or
dogs, so be sure to scoop regularly. And dogs shouldn't be expected
to "hold it" all day (not only is this painful, it's also harmful to
their kidneys), so if someone can't go home at lunchtime to let the dog out,
hire a dog walker or, if you have a yard with a secure privacy fence, install a
Don't Keep the
An annual veterinary
visit for a check-up is a must, but if your animal shows any signs of not
feeling well, be sure to schedule an appointment right away. Fleas and ticks
torment dogs and cats, so they must be controlled (try using natural, nontoxic products), and heartworms and intestinal
worms can be easily prevented with once-monthly medications. Additionally, spaying and neutering not only eliminates the
risk of reproductive organ cancer but also prevents females from suffering
through heat cycles and reduces the risk that animals of both sexes will contract
contagious diseases. And why not take an animal CPR class to make sure that
you'll be ready in case of an animal health emergency?
Dogs need regular
brushing to keep their coats clean and to prevent matting. Avoid giving them too
many baths, though. Dogs need to retain the oil in their coat to keep it
healthy, and if your dog has a chronic "doggie odor," that usually
means that a change in diet is called for.
Tiny Chip = Safe
Tags are a great
way to I.D. your dog or cat, but they can fall off or be removed. However, a microchip is permanent, as
evidenced by the recent story of a woman who was reunited—thanks to a microchip—with the dog who had
been stolen from her seven years earlier.
Hannah and I have found our favorite activity: enjoying the sun and surf at the beach.
care is important, what our animals appreciate most is quality time—playing
fetch, taking a walk, chasing a piece of string, or having a cuddle session. You
and your dog could even enroll in a fun, rewards-based agility class. Our
animals depend on us for their exercise and enrichment. By trying out various activities
and toys, even simple items like balled-up paper or an empty paper towel roll,
we can discover what our animal companions really enjoy and have a lot of fun
in the process.
Written by Alisa Mullins
One day 18 years
ago, I was out walking my dogs along a bike trail when I saw a bicyclist stop
and do something peculiar: He took out his water bottle, and instead of taking
a swig, he opened up the top and dumped a pile of cat kibble onto the ground.
He was immediately swarmed by cats, who, I later learned, were being fed scraps
by a trio of elderly brothers who lived nearby in a dilapidated shack (which
dated back to the days when the trail was a railroad track).
weeks, I trapped the cats, who were initially terrified, having had very little
human contact. But all of them were born lap cats and quickly decided that life
in a warm, cozy house with three square meals a day beat hiding under piles of
junk and scrounging for scraps of stale bread and days-old meat.
whom I adopted along with three of his relatives, was the fastest to decide
people weren't such a bad lot, and today, he acts as ambassador to all human
and animal visitors. If he's awake, he's purring (and sometimes he even purrs
in his sleep!). I've had many cat companions over the years, but only Ziggy has
earned the title of Best Cat in the Universe for his unfailing graciousness,
dignity, and sunny disposition. If he were a human, he would be Prince
© KencredibleBest Cat in the Universe
As Ziggy can
attest, life for "outdoor cats" is no walk in the park. Over the
years, Ziggy has had several bouts with diseases that could have led to a
lingering, painful death if he had not received veterinary care. That's why it
is vital always to trap stray and feral cats and either bring them indoors or take them to a reputable animal shelter. Even
if homes can't be found for them, at least they are safe from the many dangers that
they face outdoors, including attacks by dogs and wildlife; being poisoned,
shot, or hit by cars; and contracting deadly contagious diseases.
Today, as Americans from sea
to shining sea celebrate the Founding Fathers' determination to be free from
British rule by setting off fireworks and hosting backyard barbecues, how many
of us will notice that some Americans remain in bondage—sometimes just a few
feet from the grill?
Alex E. Proimos|cc by 2.0
Millions of dogs live their
entire lives—24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year—in chains. They get food when their owners remember to toss it
out the back door. They get a drink whenever they manage to avoid tipping over
their water bucket (if they even have one). James Madison was in the White
House the last time that they got a walk. Entertainment options? Counting the
flies circling their heads, gnawing on rocks or the chains that bind them, or watching
their families flip burgers and twirl sparklers on the deck from a distant
corner of the backyard.
Like us, dogs are social
animals. They crave contact with humans and other dogs and can go insane if
they are denied it. If you know of a "backyard dog," why not do what
you can to make his or her life a little better? Here are just a few of the
ways you can improve a chained
Being stuck outdoors on a
chain is like being a prisoner of war—only dogs are not our enemies, we are not
at war with them, and they are never going to be set free. That is, unless
those who think that chaining a dog is an act of betrayal on a par with that of
Benedict Arnold do something about it.
Our servicemembers aren't the only ones
who make sacrifices for our freedom. Their companion animals often endure frequent
moves, months of not seeing one of their beloved guardians, and all the other
hardships that come with life in the military. To celebrate Independence Day,
PETA honored the loyal four-legged companions of servicemembers in Southeastern
Virginia by offering to spay
or neuter and vaccinate them for just $4 each.
Partnering with the Virginia Beach SPCA
(VBSPCA), one of our mobile veterinary
clinics performed the spay and neuter surgeries, and the VBSPCA administered the
vaccinations. Here are just a few photos from this event, after which many military mutts and freedom felines can now declare their independence from unwanted litters and many health problems:
Written by Jeff Mackey
Is the normally docile Fido suddenly starting to act hostile
when you handle him? A new study may explain why: Dogs may become more aggressive when they're in
GIANTsqurl|cc by 2.0
The researchers looked at dogs who had abruptly attacked
their guardians and discovered that, in each case, the aggressive behavior was
caused by pain. Many of the dogs were suffering from the onset of hip
dysplasia, an often-crippling disease common in many purebred dogs. (Thanks for nothing, breeders!)
A number of factors—including continuous chaining or crating—can
cause dogs to become aggressive. But if Fido suddenly turns fierce when you
touch him, an immediate trip to the veterinarian is in order—for your sake and
Today is "Take
Your Dog to Work" Day. That's celebrated every day in PETA's offices,
but many workplaces aren't yet welcoming canine companions. If your workplace is one of those, here are five great ways to make sure your dog stays happy
and healthy year-round while you toil away at the office:
Is in Style: Keep your dogs inside while you're away. Dogs left unattended
in their own yards, even for a few minutes, have been stolen, poisoned, and otherwise abused. They're also at risk for heatstroke in the
summer and frostbite, hypothermia, and dehydration in the winter.
the Crate: Locking dogs in a cage all day is simply cruel. It deprives
dogs of basic necessities, such as the freedom to walk around and look out the
window, the opportunity to relieve themselves, and the comfort of stretching
Water Everywhere: A thirsty dog is an unhappy—and, eventually, an unhealthy—one.
Make sure you leave plenty of fresh water for your faithful tail-waggers.
Need Companions, Too: If your pup is all alone, consider adopting another
dog from a shelter. That way, they can keep each other company and
chase away boredom together.
Out: A full-time workday is much too long for dogs to put their bodily
functions on hold—and they need their exercise, too. If you can't get home
often enough to let your dog out, hire a professional dog walker or engage the
services of a qualified doggie daycare center. Consider putting in a doggie door if your yard is securely privacy-fenced and locked.
Plus, of course, be sure to give your dogs plenty of love and attention when you get home. After all, they'll do the same for you!
Emma is focused on the day's next project: getting a treat!
Josie spends her days getting lots of attention in the office and lots of playtime in PETA's dog park
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.