Written by Michelle Kretzer
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.
Written by Jeff Mackey
After learning that the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County in
Connecticut had put out an
urgent call for Thanksgiving food donations following Hurricane Sandy, PETA has sent the hunger-relief organization 20 delicious vegan Tofurky roasts.
Vegan Food: The Taste
PETA's donation should make the season brighter (and
healthier) for the region's hungry
as well as for animals. PETA also hopes the Tofurky will offer food for thought, showing that compassion
knows no species barriers.
More than 250 million turkeys are killed in the U.S. every year—45 million for Thanksgiving dinners alone. Yet turkeys
are sensitive, smart,
social, and resourceful birds, who deserve to be treated as living beings, not centerpieces.
Tofurky and other vegan faux turkey provide great alternatives, savory taste, and plentiful protein, with none of
the cruelty or cholesterol that comes from eating real birds.
What You Can Do
Delicious, healthy vegan foods offer both hungry humans and
exploited animals reason to give thanks. Enjoy fine vegan holiday dining with
PETA's free recipes.
It wasn't as if experimenters at New York University (NYU)
didn't know for days that Hurricane Sandy was approaching. It wasn't as if they
didn't know that federal policy requires them to at least try to protect the animals they torment and kill in experiments
from also becoming victims of a natural disaster. But the experimenters either made
no evacuation plan for the animals in their "care" or they failed to
follow through with it. Instead, they abandoned 10,000 mice and rats in a basement laboratory, who remained trapped in their cages as the floodwaters rose. Many animals—panicked,
afraid, and desperate to escape—drowned to death, while others suffocated from
the toxic diesel fumes of a leaking fuel tank. NYU was unable to give an exact
figure for the number of animals who died—remarking instead that the facility
lost 7,660 cages of mice and 22 cages of rats, with each cage holding
one to seven animals.
filed a complaint with the National
Institutes of Health, the government body that oversees federally funded
experiments, calling for an investigation into NYU's irresponsible and
unconscionable actions and inaction. In our complaint, we pointed out that the
university will likely acquire
thousands more animals to replace those who died, multiplying the
suffering caused by the experimenter's negligence.
It's not the first time that animals were left trapped in
laboratory cages during natural disasters. At the University
of Texas Medical School
at Houston, 35 dogs,
78 monkeys, 300 rabbits, and 4,000 mice and rats
drowned during tropical storm Allison in 2001. The storm also killed 30,000
mice and rats who were left in the basement at Baylor College of Medicine. Hurricane
Katrina killed 8,000 animals trapped in Louisiana State University's
laboratories, and thousands more died at Tulane.
official with the National Academy of Sciences remarked: "This happens
again and again and (research labs) never learn. Anybody with half a brain
knows you do a site-specific analysis [to understand the risk of disasters],
and it's really stupid to put your animals in the basement if you're in a flood
cruel, and inexcusable.
Our hearts have been saddened by the shocking news that Jessie Streich-Kest—who worked closely with PETA on campaigns to end the use of horse-drawn
carriages in New York City—was killed along with a friend by a falling tree in Brooklyn's Ditmas Park during
Hurricane Sandy while
walking her dog, Max, who is recovering
from his injuries. Jessie was just 24 years old. PETA is paying tribute to her
memory by adding her name to a leaf plaque on our Tree of Life.
Jessie was a dedicated advocate for animals who served as a
field organizer for NYCLASS (New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets). She
was outspoken about the need to shut down the horse-drawn carriage trade
because of the miseries
inflicted on the horses—including extreme weather, chaotic traffic, hard pavement, exhaust fumes, loud noises,
inadequate care, and eventual slaughter—as well as the dangers to the public. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family at this difficult time.
Although our hearts mourn the loss of Jessie, PETA is more determined
than ever to realize her goal of improving the lives of New York's horses—and
you can help. Please help us pay tribute to Jessie by urging City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to support legislation to phase out the use of horse-drawn carriages in favor
of humane, safe, and eco-friendly electric versions of classic cars.
Slogging through floodwaters, mud, and debris, PETA's Community Animal Project fieldworkers were out and about during and in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy to respond to calls about animals left outside in some sort of endurance test imposed on them by their owners. Here are just two of them—dogs who are very lucky to be alive after their owners left them chained to trees during the hurricane.
Brownie had to ride out up to 60-mile-per-hour winds and buckets of rain in a toppled-over airline crate. The chain he was on had become wrapped around a tree, and he was surrounded by scattered debris and mud puddles. Brownie's neglectful owners decided that he was too much trouble when asked to take him indoors, so they gave him to PETA's fieldworkers, and we delivered him to our friends at the Virginia Beach SPCA, who offered him a warm, dry, indoor residence right away while they search for a far better family for him.
Tipsy's small, filthy doghouse didn't offer much protection from the hard-driving weather, and when CAP workers found her, she was soaked to the bone. We gave her a roomy new doghouse, moved her to a grassy spot, covered her yard with dry straw, cleaned her food and water bowls, and gave her a much-needed toweling off. We are in talks with her owners, hoping to get them to change their ways and become real guardians now.
As the Eastern Seaboard recovers from Hurricane Sandy, we will undoubtedly hear the stories of animals who, unlike Brownie and Tipsy, were not found in time and lost their lives because their owners couldn't care less about their safety.
Natural disasters aren’t preventable,
but the tragic deaths of companion animals during disasters certainly can be.
Please sign PETA’s petition urging the governors of each state to ban chaining
during extreme weather.
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.
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.