Written by Alisa Mullins
who supplies tigers for the UniverSoul
Circus, is in hot water with the law … again.
The latest available U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection report details several serious violations, including cramming tigers into cages where
they couldn't even stand upright and calling in a veterinarian with no
experience with big cats whatsoever to assess a tiger who was limping.
(Kalmanson called only after
inspectors saw that the tiger was having difficulty, after having insisted that
the cat was fine.) The vet did not even let the tiger out of the cage, much
less diagnose or treat her condition. This same tiger was housed with a chain dangling
from her neck, something that the inspector rightfully noted could "present
a serious risk of … injury or strangulation."
Keep in mind that
the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) is so minimal that it only requires cages to be "large"
enough for an animal to make "normal postural and social adjustments."
Kalmanson's cages did not even rise to that pitiful level. The tigers, who are
genetically adapted to roam over vast territories, climb trees, and leap, are
getting no exercise at all.
of the Iceberg
Kalmanson already paid
a civil penalty of $6,000 in 2008 for two tiger escapes that took place while he
was supplying the tiger act for UniverSoul, and in 2011, PETA filed a complaint
and included video of a tiger Kalmanson was exhibiting with UniverSoul whose foot was trapped under a sliding cage door. That incident resulted in another two citations for
AWA violations. Kalmanson has also been repeatedly cited for additional
violations while with UniverSoul, including for failure to supply adequate
veterinary care; failure to meet even minimum space requirements for tigers,
lions, and chimpanzees (the chimpanzees' cages had barely half the floor space
required); improper food storage; failure to have an exercise plan; inadequate
veterinary care records … and the list goes on and on.
You Can Do
It's simple: Never
buy a ticket to any circus that still exploits animals. Talk to family, friends,
and coworkers, especially those with small children who may be inclined to attend.
Explain to them that every ticket purchased is directly contributing to the
animals' miserable lives.
Written by Michelle Kretzer
Update: The bank
claimed ownership of the bankrupt couple's property and wanted to sell the cows
to slaughter. But the original whistleblower stepped in and saved the cows'
lives, this time tenaciously pursuing a deal with the bank to allow her to assume
all responsibility for the animals' care. Now the cows will live out their days
in peace and safety, never to be harmed for milk or meat. The cows' original
owners still face cruelty-to-animals charges.
Originally posted on March 6th:
people are still laboring under the illusion that animals are somehow treated
better on farms that label their products "organic," but a recent
cruelty case that PETA was involved with shows that animals on organic farms
often fare no better than those on non-organic farms.
whistleblower alerted PETA to a dairy farm
where hundreds of cows were starving and two or three were dying every week. The
whistleblower had tried to get the owners of the farm to feed the cows, but the
owners were bankrupt, and with no money to feed the animals, they had simply
left them to die.
This cow was
too weak to stand.
contacted local law-enforcement officials and, with the help of the district attorney,
got state veterinarians to go out to the farm. The vets confirmed that this was
indeed a case of cruelty and neglect, and police arrested the owners and
charged them with cruelty to animals. The owners were later released on the
grounds that they had to do whatever it took to care for the cows or they would
face felony charges. Some people in the community have donated food, and the
owners are juggling their finances to make food for the cows a priority. PETA has
confirmed that the cows' health is improving.
these animals are doing better, across the country, cows are still suffering on
organic dairy farms. Often crowded into cramped sheds or onto mud-filled lots, cows
are repeatedly impregnated and have their babies taken away so that people can
drink the milk
that nature intended for calves. Don't let your friends and family be fooled—"organic"
does not mean "humane."
Birds of a
feather flocked to PETA's L.A. office this weekend for what was quite possibly
the world's cluckiest adoption fair. Seventy-eight hens made themselves a
comfortable roost in the Bob
Barker Building while adopters listened to the hens' story and snacked on vegan egg-salad
The hens had
been used by egg producer A&L Poultry until the company went out of business last February and simply left 50,000 hens
to die in battery cages without any food or water. Two weeks after A&L shut
its doors, Animal Place sanctuary and other animal advocates got wind of how
A&L ran afoul of the fowl and rushed in to rescue the hens. Many had
already died or were too ill to save, but rescuers were able to save nearly 4,500
hens and nurse them to health.
At the adoption
event that PETA hosted, the blissful birds got a Hollywood ending when they
were whisked away by SoCal families who will let the birds be birds and finally live the life that they deserve.
Written by PETA
a huge victory for animals, Judge Greg Parker of Florida's 3rd Judicial Circuit
has ordered that Caboodle Ranch not get back any of the animals who were seized
following a PETA
undercover investigation. Just as importantly, Judge Parker
ruled that Caboodle cannot possess or
have custody of any live animals!
ruling comes after three days of evidence presented by both the Madison County attorney
and Caboodle's attorney. Judge Parker noted that Caboodle never adequately
explained why it informed county officials that it had 400 animals when more
than 600 were seized—fewer than 200 of whom had veterinary records. The judge observed
that numerous lethargic animals, laboring to breathe, were found in desperate
need of veterinary care in a deteriorated building among blood- and
mucus-smeared windows; that there was a "noxious" odor; and that similarly
sick animals were found across the property. In other words, the court
described a reality at Caboodle starkly similar to that documented by PETA's investigator.
Parker ruled that the evidence indicated "clearly and convincingly"
that the animals were not receiving proper care and concluded that Caboodle "is
not able and fit to have custody of the animals."
have been cared for in a temporary shelter and finally given the veterinary
care that they so desperately needed and the compassion that they always
deserved, have been turned over to the custody of the Madison County Sheriff's
We want to thank the Madison County Animal Control Department, the
MCSO, and the 3rd Judicial District of Florida State Attorney's Office for
pursuing this case with the seriousness that it deserves. We're also grateful
to the many humane agencies and responders who have labored tirelessly for
months to care for these animals and give them a clean, safe place to stay. Let's
hope that once they recover, they will find happiness with responsible families
who will give them all the love and attention that they need and deserve.
charges based on PETA's evidence—including a felony count for the neglect of one
cat, Lilly—are still pending against Caboodle founder and operator Craig Grant. Grant and
Caboodle continue to ask the public for donations, including money to defend
Grant against a felony charge of scheming to defraud those who already gave him money!
urge the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to end this by
canceling Caboodle's registration to solicit contributions.
Update: On May 15, 2012, officials filed 17 additional charges of cruelty to animals against Susan Marino, based on evidence gathered as a result of PETA's undercover investigation. Animals like Tuxie—the cat whose gaping neck and head wound Marino picked at and who, PETA learned, died last fall after suffering terribly for many months—will finally be granted a chance at justice. Marino now faces a total of 22 cruelty charges as well as a drug-related charge.
The Delaware County, New York, District Attorney's Office has filed charges of cruelty to animals as well as a drug-related charge against Susan Marino, the woman responsible for the horrific suffering of hundreds of animals at Angel's Gate, Inc., which she founded, operates, and dares to call "a hospice and rehabilitation center." PETA's investigation of this hellhole exposed the daily neglect and terrible suffering of disabled, elderly, and ailing animals, many of whom had been shipped to Marino by well-meaning but severely uninformed individuals and agencies, including the New York Center for Animal Care and Control (NYCACC), which doomed Malcolm the Chihuahua and hundreds of other animals to die slowly at Angel's Gate through its "New Hope" program.
PETA had provided the District Attorney with the evidence that our investigator gathered while volunteering at Angel's Gate. Our investigator saw Marino allow animals to suffer, sometimes for weeks, from treatable conditions as well as terminal illnesses without providing veterinary care, medication, or pain relief. Paralyzed animals dragged themselves until they developed bloody ulcers. Animals developed urine scald after being left in soaked diapers for up to two days. Dehydrated animals were denied water, and others were forced to stay outside in freezing temperatures. The bodies of dead animals were left among those of the living for days. While Marino has been charged, the nightmare is not over for the animals at Angel's Gate, as they have not yet been seized. Please help us ensure their welfare and the safety of future victims by joining us in urging the New York State Attorney General to revoke Angel's Gate's nonprofit status and ensure that the animals are removed from Marino's custody. Please click here to send a letter to the Attorney General, and please, when your animal companions become elderly or ill, let them live out their final days with dignity in the comfort of their own homes, surrounded by their families, not at the mercy of a conniving stranger.
Update: After being placed on
administrative leave, Officer J.N. Snoddy was convicted of one count of
misdemeanor cruelty to animals and fined.
The original post ran on December 15, 2011:
When Harrisonburg, Virginia, police
officer J.N. Snoddy was dispatched to render emergency aid to a cat who had
been hit by a car and was partially paralyzed, he apparently decided that,
instead of promptly and speedily driving the injured animal to the nearest
emergency veterinary hospital (just 30 minutes away), he would instead beat the
animal to death with his police-issued baton.
Good Samaritan and eyewitness Wayne
Meadows, who originally called to get help for the injured cat, was so
horrified by the officer's alleged conduct that he vowed to publicize what had happened
and make sure that no animal would ever be beaten and killed like that again.
Meadows called news outlets and
contacted PETA to share what he witnessed. Thanks to his actions, which prompted
a letter from PETA to
officials and enormous public outcry, the Virginia State Police
have launched a criminal investigation into Snoddy's alleged conduct.
This case shows the power of one
individual to bring about justice for animals. With an investigation now underway,
PETA is hopeful that the Harrisonburg Police Department (HPD) will take us up
on our offer to provide free training to all field staff in the humane and
legal handling of animal emergencies. HPD is also being pressured to establish
standard operating procedures for officers who evidently can't always be trusted
to use good judgment in animal-related cases.
If you ever witness cruelty to animals, and
authorities don’t do their job, don't hesitate to contact PETA for help.
Written by Jeff Mackey
PETA has learned that Casey, a young, paralyzed St. Bernard,
died recently at Angel's
reportedly after suffering from a long-term urinary tract infection. Casey
spent most of her short life at the mercy of Susan Marino—the founder and
operator of the hellhole, which continues to keep hundreds of ailing and
disabled animals in conditions that you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy. Marino
faces criminal cruelty-to-animals
and other charges;
her next court date is March 20. We will be there.
Casey was among the animals whose systemic neglect we
documented in our undercover investigation of the self-proclaimed "hospice
and rehabilitation center." Our investigator routinely found Casey covered
with her own waste and confined to a filthy crib, often without access to water.
Routinely spending hours caked with excrement scalded the paraplegic Casey's skin
around her hindquarters and genitals. We learned that in recent months, Casey
was mostly kept on a mattress surrounded by baby gates, where she often lay in
her own waste; that at some point, she had bloody urine; and that Marino often
bemoaned Casey's "stink."
Casey as a pup, in September 2010.
Casey was not alone in her suffering. Several of the animals
whose suffering we caught on video have since died, including Tucker, a sweet
little beagle-hound mix with hydrocephalus who allegedly drowned a few weeks
ago, evidently after being left unsupervised. Our investigation exposed the following:
The Delaware County, New York, District Attorney's Office
filed charges of cruelty to animals and criminal possession of a controlled
substance against Marino, but hundreds of animals still remain in Marino's
How You Can Help
Please urge the New York Attorney General's Office to
dissolve Angel's Gate as a nonprofit corporation and make sure that Marino's
victims are immediately
A frantic PETA supporter contacted us after she witnessed an
underweight horse collapse and thrash around on the ground. It was clear to our
caller that this poor animal was in agony and likely suffering from colic.
Law enforcement was contacted immediately, but according to
our caller, when the officers arrived, "they just stood around her, watching
her suffer." A PETA staffer worked on getting a veterinarian out to the
horse, while the caller tried to track down the horse's owner. Within
an hour of the call to PETA, the horse was gently released from her suffering.
At our urging, detectives are now investigating the cause of
the horse's illness
as well as the condition of the other horses on the owner's property.
If you encounter an animal in imminent danger
and local officials won't help, call PETA to receive immediate assistance.
a rare case of legal
protection for a rat, a Denver woman has pleaded
guilty to a cruelty-to-animals charge for torturing and killing a rat. Tashaya
Abbott and Alison Milke bought a rat from a pet store to feed live to a snake,
but the snake did not eat the animal for four days—during which time the
terrified rodent was confined to a tank with the snake. So the young women
reportedly electroshocked, shot with blow darts multiple times, and finally crushed
the rat to death. Evidently thinking that this animal's horrific suffering and
death were something to laugh about, Milke posted a photo of the rat to her
Facebook page and boasted about the crime that they had committed.
supporter alerted us, and we immediately notified law enforcement and pushed
for the women to be prosecuted.
judge ordered Abbott to pay
a $125 fine and complete 50 hours of community service and banned her from
owning any animals for a year. There is still an outstanding warrant for Milke,
who is believed to be in Florida now, and PETA is pushing hard for her prosecution
you spot any evidence of potential animal abuse on social-networking sites, contact PETA right away, and we will
work to have the offenders prosecuted.
may remember the real life story: As Hurricane Irene pummeled the East Coast,
one Newport News, Virginia, man left 12 dogs and puppies alone
in his yard to fend for themselves, some tied up with no
way to escape the rising water. Newport News Animal Services and a PETA fieldworker drove through the
rising water and increasing winds to
rescue the dogs, and cruelty-to-animals charges were filed against the person
who left them behind when he packed his bags and evacuated.
case went to court last week. The dogs' owner pleaded guilty to six counts of
cruelty to animals and received a suspended sentence of 60 days in jail for
each count, which he must serve if he has even one more run-in with the law in
the next two years. He was also sentenced to 120 hours of community service and
a $455 fine for the costs that animal control incurred in housing and caring for
the seized dogs, and most importantly—the punishment that we always press for
the hardest—he was prohibited from
owning companion animals indefinitely!
rescue was a blessing for one of the police officers who joined us on the call:
He found his new best friend among the rescued pups and adopted him soon afterward.
If you ever see an animal in trouble, please contact the authorities immediately.
If they are unresponsive, call PETA for help.
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.