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 Jeff Mackey
It was a truly great year for PETA—and for the many animals whose lives were improved and saved by the string of victories won over the past 12 months, all made possible by the vital support of its treasured members. Take a look at the highlights:
A new year means new opportunities to help animals, and we all hope 2013 brings even more brilliant victories—but to make that happen, PETA needs everyone to offer as much support as possible. Don't miss out—become a member today. Your tax-deductable year-end gift will support PETA's crucial work and make
2013 the brightest year yet for animals!
Written by Michelle Kretzer
The following was written by Emily Allen, CAP Associate
As Forrest Gump might say, fieldwork
performed by staff of PETA's
Community Animal Project (CAP) is kind of like a box of chocolates—because
on this job, you never
know what you're going to get. We rescue abandoned, abused, and neglected
animals in the areas surrounding PETA's Norfolk, Virginia, headquarters. It's a
big task, and we are looking to expand our team.
On any given day, we could be
crawling through a sewer, climbing
a tree, or digging through a
junkyard to rescue a terrified animal; shuttling animals of low-income families
to our no-cost to low-cost
spay and neuter clinics; or traveling into an
impoverished neighborhood to deliver doghouses, bedding, food, and toys to
animals who have been left outdoors.
We often come to the aid of neglected "backyard dogs"
like Rambo, whose owner
had left him trapped in a filthy pen with no food or water and whose every bone
stood out like bare limbs on a tree. We worked with police to get him
confiscated, and the owner was convicted of cruelty. That sweet dog, so
trusting despite having been betrayed, was adopted by a fantastic family,
gained 30 pounds, and now relishes the safe, comfortable indoor life—except for
romps in the park, of course—that every dog deserves.
We are also called upon to help suffering stray and feral cats.
One old cat was so severely
injured that his image will stay with me forever. His side was practically
covered by an open wound that was teeming with maggots. A woman had been feeding strays in her yard but was
apparently oblivious to the cat's condition. We whisked the dying animal back
to our office and gave him a peaceful
release from his suffering.
day and every story are different, but I leave work each day feeling that, like
the tale of the child who was saving the starfish who washed up on the beach, I
may not be able to help them all, but I can help this one and that one and this
one and …
Do you have what it takes to rescue
abandoned, abused, and neglected animals? Apply to be a CAP fieldworker.
Tired of giving your family and friends
neckties, candles, and pairs of gloves every year? Most of us already have
overstuffed closets, and really, how much cinnamon aroma can one take? This
year, think outside the tie box and give a PETA Present.
Make your friends and family all warm
inside by letting them "deliver" comfort to a cold, lonely "outdoor dog" this winter,
help save a rabbit from losing
his or her fur for a collar, or help get an animal released
from a laboratory. Or make personalized gifts—just
choose the campaign that you are most passionate about and specify what you
would like your donation to be used for.
Your gift recipients will receive an
e-card on the date that you choose to let them know that they have helped an
animal in need, and if you need to make use of all those tie boxes, you can
print out the description of the gift to put under the tree.
It's the season for
tidings of comfort and joy—and we can help make it a little bit more
comfortable and joyous for animals, too. Thank you!
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.
What You Can Do
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!
Staffers from its Norfolk, Virginia, headquarters and Washington,
D.C., office have endured the impact of Hurricane Sandy's winds and storm
surge, but that's not stopping PETA from doing everything in its power to help
the animals in the storm's path. Community Animal Project fieldworkers are on call
24/7 and have already been hard at work helping animals left to fend for
themselves against the storm and the flooding.
Of course, the best way to protect animals is to prevent them
from being put in harm's way in the first place. That's why PETA sent out
emergency-preparedness alerts to media across Virginia, North Carolina, New
Jersey, and other at-risk areas before
the storm to remind guardians to be ready to allow animal companions to stay indoors
and to take them along if forced to evacuate.
Unfortunately, not everyone has heeded this advice, and
frightened, vulnerable animals like the dog you see here in Newport News,
Virginia, have been left tied up outside to face the storm's onslaught. So PETA
has sent urgent requests to the governors of all states likely to be affected
by Sandy asking them to protect all their citizens—including the
four-legged ones—by issuing immediate "no chaining" orders for their
The orders should require that all dogs be allowed to stay
indoors and not be left chained
outside, where they may drown, freeze, be strangled, or get hit by flying debris in the
midst of the hurricane, as happened to Smokey, who died alone
outside during Hurricane Irene on the chain that he had been attached to since
No matter what the governors decide, though, if Sandy is
headed your way, please allow your dogs and cats to stay indoors with you, be
prepared to take them with you if you have to leave, and urge your neighbors to
do the same!
By now, we hope everyone is prepared as Hurricane Sandy batters the
eastern United States and Canada with gale-force winds, massive walls of water, and, in some spots, snow. While we wish
that everyone who evacuated
would have taken their animals with them and that those who are staying will have allowed their animals indoors to ride
out the storm in safety, we know that not everyone understands that domesticated
animals cannot survive "on instinct" and that they stand little chance
if left outside. Especially during natural disasters, animal advocates must be
vigilant about helping chained
dogs, "outdoor cats,"
and rabbits left outside in hutches.
If you know of animals kept on chains or
in hutches or pens, please look out for them! You may be their only hope.
People do not always do what's needed, and animals die miserably during these
weather emergencies. If necessary, beg guardians to allow their animals indoors
until the storm is over. If the guardian refuses, be persuasive and ask to take
the animals to your home and then return them when it's safe. If all else
fails, note the animals' condition and location and call animal control, the police,
or other local authorities and implore them to use their power to rescue the
animals. If people have left and you must take emergency action to save an
animal in rising waters or another situation, then you must do what you need to
PETA's vans at our Norfolk, Virginia,
headquarters and Washington, D.C., offices are stocked with food, medicine, and
other supplies, and we will be diligently combing the surrounding areas searching for any animals in
need. In times of disaster, we rely on our generous Animal Emergency Fund donors to make these rescues possible. If you are able, please consider supporting
our Hurricane Sandy rescue efforts.
The story is a common one but still heartrending: Deuce's
owners bought him as a puppy, but when he got big—although still full of energy
and enthusiasm—instead of giving him gentle guidance and abundant exercise,
they kicked him out of the house and chained him to a tree.
Fortunately for Deuce, one kind soul saw that he was tied up
in the mud without shelter on a rainy day and took pity on him. After other
rescue organizations refused to help Deuce, PETA was contacted and immediately
arranged to have the pup picked up—the uninterested family surrendered him to
the rescuer—and taken to a
reputable animal shelter.
That would be enough of a tail-wagger for many animals who
are facing a similar plight, but Deuce's good fortune continued: Shortly after
arriving at the animal shelter, he was adopted by a loving family, and now he
spends every day indoors as a cherished member of the household.
Both dogs and cats are happier and safer indoors. Please, if you spot an animal left outside, be ready to help—and don't take "no"
for an answer!
After observing a large number of dogs who were living in
filthy conditions, chained, breeding, fighting, or confined to hot areas—and getting no help from local animal
control—a caring person notified PETA, and one of its caseworkers jumped into
The miserable pups were covered with fleas and living
without veterinary care or socialization. Two of the dogs were kept inside a
trailer that had no air conditioning or any other kind of ventilation. One was
significantly underweight. Those responsible for the sad conditions of the dogs
clearly didn't care about their welfare, so the caseworker persuaded them to
surrender the animals and arranged for an area resident to pick up the 13 dogs
and carry them to a reputable local animal shelter—from which one has already
been adopted into a loving home.
PETA will continue to monitor the situation to make sure the
dogs' former owners don't
acquire more animals, but this case again illustrates the importance of speaking up when you see animals
in trouble and being persistent until they get the help they so desperately need.
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.
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.