Written by Jeff Mackey
From Abigail Adams' dogs, Juno and Satan, to Bo Obama, the animal companions who live at the White House become such a part of our country's
collective culture (there is even a Presidential Pet Museum!) that everyone, regardless of political affiliation, mourns their passing.
When we heard that President George W. Bush's dog Barney, famous
for his annual
"BarneyCam" Christmas videos, died,
PETA sent a letter of condolence to the Bush family, mentioning that a leaf
with Barney's name engraved on it would be added to the Tree of Life memorial
sculpture at our Norfolk, Virginia, headquarters:
PETA received this gracious response from President Bush:
Whether you're an ordinary Joe (or Jane) or the leader of
the free world, when a dog takes hold of your heart, it's the start of
something very special. Make sure that your dogs know just how special they are to you before
they turn off the lights forever by treating them right—and that includes making a proper
fuss over them on a regular basis.
Written by Alisa Mullins
How did you celebrate your last birthday? Did you have dinner at a nice restaurant? Take in a ballgame? Go to your friend's house for a surprise party? PETA Foundation staffer Kendall Bryant—aka "The Straw Boss"—would have none of that. She spent her birthday delivering straw bedding to cold dogs in North Carolina with her accomplice Dan "CircusesHurtAnimals.com" Carron. And because Kendall is a talented photographer and videographer, she documented her trip and turned it into a must-see video:
Kendall and Dan met pit bulls Tyson, Diamond, Pretty, and Tiger, who were all struggling to stay warm as best they could during the first snowfall of the winter. You can tell by their furiously wagging tails that they were nearly as thrilled to get some attention as they were to get fluffy straw, a hearty meal, and, in the case of Tyson, a lightweight tie-out to replace his heavy logging chain.
The pair also helped Bear, a golden retriever mix whose drinking water had frozen solid, and a pack of beagles, possibly used for hunting, who eagerly gobbled up the food that they were offered. (Many people don't realize that dogs kept outside in the wintertime burn more calories to keep warm and therefore need more food.)
In total, Kendall and Dan helped 18 dogs, three rabbits, a cat, and a rooster that day. I'd call that a birthday well spent.
Written by Michelle Kretzer
In just one week, we could require the Obama administration to address the fact that animals are still being killed in gas chambers. It's up to us.
Currently posted to the White House's "We the People" petition site is an appeal asking for federal attention to the suffering that animals endure when they are gassed. It can take as long as 45 minutes for a dog or cat to die in a gas chamber. He or she may convulse, vomit, gasp for breath, attempt to claw through the walls, void his or her bowels, howl in panic, and even be bitten by other frightened animals. And some animals do not die, like Daniel, the Alabama dog who has become the face of the movement to ban gas chambers.
Compare this to an intravenous injection of sodium pentobarbital, administered by trained professionals, that assures that the animal "falls asleep," the same quick, painless loss of consciousness that we feel when we are given anesthetics before surgery.
But despite the cruelty of gas chambers and the affordability of humane injections, it is still legal to gas animals in 31 states. Let's change that. We have until February 18 to collect 100,000 signatures.
I'm going to add my name to the petition right now. Will you please join me?
PETA first learned about Boomer when his owner was seeking a
new doghouse for the 4-year-old Rottweiler, who was left outside 24/7 in the
Pacific Northwest. A PETA cruelty caseworker urged her to allow Boomer to live indoors
or else give him up so that he could have a chance to be adopted by someone who
would. When she balked at doing either, the caseworker worked with a local
animal advocate to try to persuade her to act in Boomer's best interests.
Happily, Boomer's owner eventually opted to give him up so that
he wouldn't have to spend the whole winter shivering outside all alone. Now the
personable pup is in a foster home, and his foster mom is so smitten with him that
she says if she can't find the "perfect, perfect home" for him, she
will just keep him herself.
It's the best possible outcome for a dog or cat—a bright
future filled with care and affection instead of cold and loneliness.
What You Can Do
Please help dogs like Boomer by working to pass anti-chaining legislation in your community, and if you know of any animals left outside all the time,
don't assume that the owners won't listen to you—speak up and try to make a
When a PETA staffer found this dog named President Obama two
years ago, he was stuck on a tangled lead in a trash-strewn yard without proper
food, water, shelter, or attention of any kind.
He was fed table scraps by his owner, who would not consider
allowing him indoors. Our staff member visited Obama frequently over the next two years, each time
offering to find him a new home but always getting turned down. So PETA did
what we could to keep the little guy healthy and comfortable, including
providing him with a new
doghouse and neutering him.
Recently, when a snowstorm was approaching, PETA's staffer
took Obama some straw for warmth and found him wet and shivering in the freezing-cold
backyard. But this time, the little tyke's owner finally agreed to let PETA
take him, which just goes to show why it's so important never to give up when a chained dog needs help.) Here is Obama in his wonderful new home with his adopted "sister":
As you can see, Obama has made himself right at home with his
new family—and, just like someone else we know, is taking full advantage of his
The strain of months of neglect showed
on the horses' emaciated frames and in their sunken eyes. Confined to muddy
pens that had long since been grazed out, they could only stare at the grass
out of reach beyond the fence. They continually checked their dry water
troughs, hoping that the rainy Washington weather would leave them a sip of water. Two
dogs on the property fared no better. They waited listlessly for the once-a-week
drop-by from their owner, when they would finally get to eat.
People who lived near the property where
the animals were kept had called law enforcement time and again to report that
the seven horses and the dogs
were being neglected.For months, officials had been trying to get the
animals’ owner to improve their living conditions, but the situation was
getting worse. Finally, a neighbor called PETA and, at our urging, law
enforcement seized all the animals. Several community
residents stepped up to foster the horses and help them recover and the local animal shelter took in the dogs. A
confirmed that one of
them was a full 40 pounds underweight.
Now, the horses and dogs are eating well and regaining
their strength. And PETA is working with
the district attorney to get cruelty charges filed against the animals' neglectful
owner and we will push for the court to ban her from owning any more animals.
UPDATE: Santa Paws brought a gift early this year! We're delighted to share some
great news to kick off the holidays—and what could be better than a happy
ending for puppies?
Following the dynamic campaigns of PETA and its affiliates worldwide, the 70 4-month-old
beagles sent for horrible experiments in an Indian laboratory have just been rescued!
A huge "thank-you" to the more than 50,000 compassionate people around
the world who e-mailed Indian officials through the websites of PETA and its
international affiliates urging them to take action. The dogs have been removed from quarantine and handed over to animal protection groups with the permission of the Ministry of Environment & Forests and through efforts made internally in government by MP Maneka Gandhi.
During its campaign, PETA India discovered that Beijing Marshall Biotechnology Co., Ltd. (a
branch of the notorious animal-breeding facility Marshall BioResources), had sent a letter to the airline used for the animals' transport—which has a longstanding policy against shipping animals
to laboratories—giving false assurances that the beagles "won't
be hurt or killed as Lab Animal [sic]."
70 lucky dogs have been spared lives of misery and pain in a laboratory, there's
still work to be done to keep more animals out of the hands of experimenters in
India. Air India recently resumed shipping animals to laboratories; please urge airline officials to
stop delivering animals to their torturers and executioners.
Originally posted November 13:Thanks to a whistleblower, PETA India found out that 70 beagles exported from China into India and falsely labeled as "pets" are actually to be used in deadly experiments. PETA India is calling on the Indian government to conduct an urgent investigation. It has also asked officials to confiscate the dogs and allow the organization to give them a chance at living in peace in adoptive homes instead of facing caging, poisoning, and death in a laboratory.
As I write, the beagles are being held at Animal Quarantine and Certification Services in Chennai. Their falsified import paperwork should render the shipment illegal, as PETA India has learned that the animals, sent from commercial breeder Beijing Marshall Biotechnology Co. Ltd., are actually meant for a laboratory at Advinus Therapeutics.
People may generally picture mice, rats, and rabbits when they think about animals used in experiments, but a great many dogs—including puppies and homeless animals from shelters—are tormented and killed in laboratories as well. Dogs are often used in toxicology tests in which they are force-fed massive amounts of a drug, industrial chemical, pesticide, or household product, causing a slow, excruciating death from poisoning.
Oddly, experimenters particularly favor beagles because of their size and their eager-to-please nature—a quality that would normally make a person want to protect and care for them, not torture them.
Even though I have lived with beagles and beagle mixes since childhood—including my current companions, Beau and Oliver—when it came to understanding the inexcusable cruelty of experimenting on animals, I never quite "got it" until I saw this picture during a PETA conference. That's when I realized that there could be never be sufficient justification for inflicting this kind of suffering on a dog so much like Beau.
Then I realized something else: No animal deserves to be burned, poisoned, mutilated, or killed in a laboratory. They're all living beings with thoughts, feelings, and desires—including the desire to live free from harm—just like my dog. Just like me. Even if animal experimentation produced reliable results (which it doesn't), it's no more ethical to torture a mouse, a rabbit, or a monkey in a laboratory in the name of science than it would be to torture us or our animal companions.
PETA and its international affiliates are 100 percent committed to ending the torture of animals in cruel tests and experiments, and they've already won many victories. But there's more to be done—and they need your help. Learn how you can help keep animals out of laboratories.
Want to have a New Year's celebration that's "off da
chain"? Start by getting dogs off theirs. (Chains, that is.)
Since it's time to make resolutions, make one of yours a pledge to see an end
to chaining in your community by year's end—all it takes is persuading local
officials to make (and
then pass) a kind of resolution of their own!
Need more convincing? Meet Ziggy. This was his life before
PETA—and a caring animal advocate, Alexis Tsiouris—came into it:
Alexis and PETA worked together over the course of a year to
get Ziggy (then named Gizmo) off his chain and into a true home. After PETA
alerted Alexis to Ziggy's plight, she delivered straw and treats to him. Both
Alexis and PETA contacted his owner, who finally surrendered him to Alexis. Ziggy
now lives indoors with his loving family, including three other dogs:
Ziggy's life is as bright now as it once was bleak. But with
so many "backyard dogs" on chains and ropes, one-dog-at-a-time rescues—while worthwhile and often necessary—can't effectively help them all.
That's why it's so vital that tethering (chaining) bans become law in every community. While Ziggy was chained up, for example, PETA
had sent law-enforcement officials to check on him twice, but they determined
that his situation was legal so nothing could be done about it. A chaining ban
would give authorities the
necessary tools to help dogs like Ziggy.
This year, put "Get a tethering ban passed" at the
top of your list of New Year's resolutions and get it done before 2013 comes to
a close. Learn how and then make your resolution: no more chained dogs!
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.
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.
Hurricane Sandy's gale-force winds
rattled buildings and its driving rain flooded roads, most people probably
weren't thinking about spaying and neutering animals. But that's exactly what
the folks who staff PETA's
Mobile Clinics Division (MCD) program were thinking. Natural
disasters should strengthen our resolve to spay and neuter because fewer
unwanted animals born means fewer stray animals left to suffer on the streets.
not being able to provide low-cost spay-and-neuter services in the middle
of the hurricane—or over the Thanksgiving holiday, when people had other things
on their minds—the MCD team altered almost 700 animals in November—699, to be
are just a few of them:
dear pit bull's guardian is undergoing cancer treatment and wasn't able to take
her dog to the vet. PETA got Sasha spayed, vaccinated,
and back home again to comfort her guardian.
and Beanie might not have been as desperate to be spayed as they were to get
cookies—but fortunately, they got both.
was already in heat, so her guardian knew that there was no time to waste. We
quickly got Teepee spayed before she could add to the overpopulation crisis.
just one year, one unspayed cat can give birth to 16 kittens and an unspayed
dog can produce 12 puppies. Please help us stem the animal-homelessness crisis by supporting your
local spay-and-neuter initiatives.
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.