Written by Alisa Mullins
For at least three long years, Nigel's "home"
was a dark, waste-filled, and dank garage in Hampton, Virginia. Chained to a
wall, the dog was never let out of the garage—ever—and was forced to live amid his
own urine and feces.
The chain had become rusty and corroded
after years of being dragged through his waste, and his feet were covered with
sores and urine burns. His eyes oozed pus, probably from irritation caused by
ammonia fumes from the urine-covered floor.
After the home was foreclosed on, Nigel's
owner moved out—but Nigel was left behind. His owner stopped by occasionally to
dump some kibble into a plastic tub. A compassionate neighbor alerted PETA's Community Animal Project to Nigel's plight, and our fieldworker, finding the elderly dog surrounded by pools
of urine and piles of feces, unable to reach his food, and with only brackish
water to drink, immediately got permission to free him from his prison and
swore out cruelty charges. After taking Nigel outside to give him some food,
she realized that his back legs were so atrophied from lack of exercise that he
could barely stand.
Because of Nigel's advanced age, his
many serious medical problems, and his having gone mad from years of solitary
confinement in what was essentially a filthy, stinking cave, it was decided
that this terrified old fellow had endured enough, and he was euthanized to end his suffering.
This week, Nigel's owner went before a
judge. After seeing the photographic evidence that PETA's fieldworker had
provided of Nigel's horrific living conditions, the man pleaded guilty. The
judge sentenced him to 90 days in prison but suspended the jail time as long as
he stays out of trouble. He was also ordered to reimburse PETA for Nigel's
medical care and, most importantly, was prohibited
from ever owning animals again.
What You Can Do
If you ever suspect an animal is being abused
or neglected, alert the authorities right away. Your call could free an animal
like Nigel from solitary confinement and get his or her owner sentenced to jail instead.
Written by Michelle Kretzer
a dog, being forced to spend every night alone in the dark, locked inside a grimy
auto-repair shop, would be bad enough. But Coco's situation was far worse. The
tiny poodle was also almost
constantly confined to a crate that was so full of
dust, dirt, and feces that anyone looking at her would think that her fur was
gray or brown—even though it had once been white.
two patrons of the New Jersey garage spotted Coco on a frigid winter day, the
shop was so cold that the water in her bowl had frozen solid. They asked for permission
to give her a bath and fresh water and to take her for a walk. The owner
agreed, and Coco relished every second of her freedom, sniffing everything in
sight, playing with other dogs, and bounding about. The pair begged her owner
to surrender her, but he refused, claiming that the crated, 15-pound
one of Coco's advocates contacted PETA. The owner wasn't willing to cooperate
with us, either, so we tried a different tactic. We recruited several PETA
supporters in the area to drop by the shop to check on Coco and suggest to her
owner that she would be happier in a home. We also alerted the local police
department, and officers helped by stopping by and talking to Coco's owner about
her situation and whether it met legal standards.
tired of people "bothering" him, the owner turned Coco over to the
police. Now she has a loving home, and
her filthy crate is a distant memory.
you like to help dogs like Coco? Join PETA's Action Team to volunteer to assist animals
in your area.
a PETA staffer left her desk for a few minutes, she returned to find that the sweetest
case of theft ever had occurred. The
culprit was Franco, a 7-week-old puppy who is greatly increasing the office's
cuteness quotient while he awaits his forever home.
Franco was first surrendered to PETA, we feared that he might have parvovirus.
Thankfully, it turned out that his lethargy and anemia were caused by a severe
case of intestinal worms, and he is recovering nicely with treatment. And the
better he feels, the more his rambunctious personality comes out to play. He stumbles
around the office on his wobbly puppy legs, grabbing pant legs and skirt hems
and making a toy out of everything.
most puppies, Franco has tons of energy. When he wants attention, he will
readily let people know by following them around and "talking," and
he rewards everyone's affection with a thousand kisses.
He is searching for a family that will take him on long walks, give him plenty of playtime
and attention, and housetrain him gently. If your home is the
perfect place for Franco, please e-mail Adopt@peta.org.
Janice and her son, Jayke, didn't know
where else to turn. Penelope, a dog they had adopted from an animal shelter, had
gotten out of the yard, been hit by a car, and had injured her right front leg
so severely that it dangled uselessly, all nerve sensation lost. Although she had
been treated by a veterinarian after the accident, there was nothing more that
could be done for her permanently nerve-damaged leg.
Unable to use the numb limb, Penelope
simply dragged it around, and it quickly became covered with bleeding sores.
The only solution was amputation, but Janice is a single mother on a limited
budget who couldn't afford the surgery. Heartbroken, she and Jayke were faced
with euthanizing their otherwise healthy, happy dog.
In a letter to the editor of the local newspaper, Jayke describes what happened next: "Finally, I called PETA to see if they could help. They agreed to
do the amputation in their mobile clinic and worked with us to make the cost
manageable—about a tenth of what I had been told by the vet it would cost me.
They saved my Penelope's life and helped us when no one else would. I am
forever grateful to PETA for all they have done."
Happy to oblige! We're just glad that Penelope is on the road to
recovery and back to greeting Janice and Jayke at the door with her signature
hugs, albeit minus an "arm."
Please support PETA's no-cost to low-cost mobile spay/neuter clinics, which also provide low-cost vaccinations, flea
treatment, and the occasional emergency surgery. Because the clinics offer services
below cost, they operate at a loss and therefore rely on donations to keep the
doors open and the wheels rolling.
A driver in southern Georgia was shocked when she spotted a pitiful-looking dog hanging on for dear life to the top of a crate in the back of a pickup truck that was careening down the interstate. A heavy chain around the animal's neck that was hooked to the top of the crate looked as if it could have choked the dog, but it may well have been the only thing that kept the pup from flying onto the asphalt as the truck whizzed in and out of traffic.
Thinking quickly, the woman immediately got behind the truck and snapped pictures of the dog and the vehicle's license plate. She was shocked to see that the dog was underweight, covered with wounds, and wearing a hunting vest. As soon as she got home, she contacted PETA and forwarded the pictures to us.
PETA's Emergency Response Team traced the license plate to a county in Florida, a state that has a law against transporting animals inhumanely. Forcing a dog to try to hang on for fear of falling out of a speeding vehicle certainly qualifies, so PETA shared the evidence with law-enforcement officials without delay.
In no time, officers were knocking on the teenage driver's door. He admitted that he had used the dog for hunting and then chained the animal in the back of the truck. The teen agreed to turn over the dog as well as five others and was sentenced to 150 hours of community service. The officers took the dogs to a local animal shelter, where they have been put up for adoption.
If you ever see an animal being cruelly transported in the back of a pickup truck, alert authorities. Even if it isn't specifically illegal in your area, you can still ask police to intervene, arguing that not only does it jeopardize the animal's safety, other drivers on the road could also be seriously injured or killed if the dog fell out and caused an accident.
gets requests from people
for free doghouses for dogs of all shapes and sizes. But when our fieldworker laid
eyes on 7-pound Chloe, she did a double take: This little dog was chained up
to bear the thought that the tiny Chihuahua would spend the rest of her life outdoors
simply because her guardians said that they couldn't housetrain her, our
fieldworker decided something had to give. Small short-haired dogs like Chloe are
especially susceptible to hot and cold weather, so she would be miserable outside.
She might not even survive the upcoming hot summer months.
a relief that Chloe's family agreed that she would be safer and happier
indoors. When we ran an adoption ad, we heard from a sweet woman who had recently
lost her Chihuahua because of complications from diabetes. Since our potential
adopter described herself as a retired, "stay-at-home dog mom" able
to housetrain her properly, we knew Chloe was in luck.
enough, Chloe has mastered housetraining
in her new home and is sticking to her new mom like glue,
even claiming a satin pillow on the couch as her special spot. Sounds like the
magnet on her new mom's refrigerator that reads, "I'm owned by a Chihuahua,"
isn't far off base.
Written by Jeff Mackey
In February, two PETA staffers volunteering with our Community Animal Project's straw-delivery program came upon a malnourished pit bull caged in a Portsmouth, Virginia, backyard,
and living in filth.
The pen in which Blackie was kept 24/7 was "wall-to-wall"
trash, filth, and feces. There was no food, no drinkable water, and no adequate
shelter from the elements. A bucket inside the pen contained disgusting, murky,
partially frozen rainwater and algae. The only "shelter" available to
Blackie on this cold and rainy day was half of a plastic doghouse turned
upside-down. The man who identified himself as the person responsible for
Blackie told our volunteers that he was looking to "get rid of the dog"—so
we gladly obliged and whisked Blackie away. Blackie was elated to be out of his
own waste and happily hopped right into our rescue van. He never looked back.
At PETA's shelter, Blackie enjoyed a heated room, a sofa to
lounge on, fresh food and water (which he gobbled up!), and regular walks. He also
got—no doubt for the first time ever—a bath. Our veterinarian found Blackie to
be 20 percent underweight and suffering from a severe hookworm infestation. After
a few days of treatment (and plenty of TLC) at PETA, Blackie—since renamed
Jabber—was transferred to the Portsmouth Humane Society. He's gained 11 pounds
since his rescue and now awaits adoption.
You'll be glad to know that Jabber's former owner isn't
faring nearly so well: After PETA's witnesses testified in court, a judge found
the man guilty of cruelty to animals, saying that he found the evidence
"shocking" and that it was "no condition to keep a dog in."
He was sentenced to pay a $250 fine and spend one month in jail and is also
forbidden from owning "pets of any kind" for two years. If he does
not maintain good behavior for two years, his sentence will increase to a $500
fine and six months in jail.
Jabber is just one of the many dogs and cats who've had
rough starts in life but are now ready for adoption at shelters. If you're
looking to add an animal (or two) to your family, please give them the homes
they so richly deserve—never buy animals from breeders or pet shops. And if you ever see an animal in distress, please, be ready to help.
Written by PETA
people talk about PETA's euthanasia statistics, those aren't just abstract
figures to me—my dog was one of those animals. Kodah, aka "Bug," was technically
"taken into custody and euthanized within 24 hours." It was more like
euthanized in minutes. That's because she was dying.
was diagnosed with cancer on a Friday and went downhill quickly. By 1 a.m. the
next night, she was suffering, struggling to breathe. I called PETA, and without
a moment's hesitation, someone met me at the building in the wee hours of the
morning. The PETA staffers who are certified to perform euthanasia are the most
caring, compassionate, gentle people I know. My sweet girl deserved the most
peaceful and painless end possible. She found it at PETA.
Almost a year after Kodah's
passing, a PETA worker found a dog running loose on the streets. She was a
starving, terrified stray who had to be lured with food morsels over the course
of several hours. I fostered Emma for several months, getting the word out by
putting up fliers, posting her picture on social media, and blogging about her and
her need for a good home. No takers. Luckily for her (and me), I was in a
position to adopt her. What would have happened to Emma had PETA not rescued
euthanasia numbers are decried by "no-kill" fanatics and others in
order to upset people. But behind those numbers, there are animals who need
help, and they wouldn't get it elsewhere. No one seems to talk about the much
higher numbers of animals helped by PETA's spay-and-neuter program—PETA has sterilized more than 90,000 animals for free or at a fraction of a standard vet's office fee since 2001, preventing
millions of animals from being born into a world already overflowing with
homeless ones. But those numbers aren't as "sexy." "PETA Saves Countless Dogs and
Cats From Abandonment, Abuse, and Neglect" just doesn't have quite the
same shock value.
PETA's mobile spay-and-neuter
clinics can't get to all the animals in need, and there just aren't enough good homes out
there for the millions of animals who need them. The shelters are full, and people
keep buying from breeders or giving up
their animals when their lives change.
you're angry about euthanasia, volunteer at an animal shelter or donate to PETA's spay-and-neuter
efforts—go out and do something. No one should point
fingers and complain because everyone is
needed to do something good, to take action and make a difference.
Written by Kristen Stine
If you've ever wondered why we have a
dog and cat overpopulation
crisis, which is so bad that 6 to 8 million "pets" enter animal shelters every year—and that's not even counting the millions of strays
who never make it to shelters—look no further
than Halley. This mother dog was left to survive as best she could after her
owners moved away and left her behind like an unwanted sofa on the curb.
Halley miraculously managed to survive
by herself for several months until a passerby called PETA to report having
seen her roaming the streets. She appeared to be nursing puppies, but neighbors
who had heard the puppies crying weeks earlier hadn't heard a peep out of them
in nearly a month. We feared the worst.
Our cruelty caseworker advised the
passerby to set up a feeding station for Halley at a vacant home in order to discourage
her from straying further away, and we got in touch with local members of
who set about trying to trap the skittish dog. When they arrived at the
property to set up a humane box trap, they found the puppies hiding under the
The little ones were whisked off to a
veterinarian. After several days, the volunteers managed to trap Halley, and
she was spayed and reunited with her pups. The family—minus two puppies who
have already been adopted—is being boarded while permanent homes can be found. (You
can see more photos of them on Unchain Oklahoma's Facebook page.)
If you suspect that an animal has been
abandoned or is being neglected or abused, please err on the side of compassion.
Always call authorities. If you're mistaken, the worst that can happen is that
you'll put a few more miles on an officer's odometer. And if the authorities
don't respond, contact PETA.
little dachshund was allowed to roam, and that's what he was doing when he probably
got attacked by another dog, sustaining an eye
injury that became painfully abscessed and swollen. Untreated, Slim's infected
eye bulged grotesquely out of its socket.
PETA learned about Slim, we pressured local animal control officials to compel the
owner to get veterinary care for the suffering dog. The owner made a vet appointment,
but the cost of the recommended surgery was beyond his means. When animal control
told the owner that his only two options were to get Slim the surgery that he desperately
needed or to surrender him to people who would, the owner relinquished him.
72 hours, Slim had the surgery.
Now, he is on the mend in a foster home, and as he awaits adoption, he is finally receiving
the loving care and attention that every dog deserves.
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.