Written by Michelle Kretzer
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.
Written by Alisa Mullins
One day 18 years
ago, I was out walking my dogs along a bike trail when I saw a bicyclist stop
and do something peculiar: He took out his water bottle, and instead of taking
a swig, he opened up the top and dumped a pile of cat kibble onto the ground.
He was immediately swarmed by cats, who, I later learned, were being fed scraps
by a trio of elderly brothers who lived nearby in a dilapidated shack (which
dated back to the days when the trail was a railroad track).
weeks, I trapped the cats, who were initially terrified, having had very little
human contact. But all of them were born lap cats and quickly decided that life
in a warm, cozy house with three square meals a day beat hiding under piles of
junk and scrounging for scraps of stale bread and days-old meat.
whom I adopted along with three of his relatives, was the fastest to decide
people weren't such a bad lot, and today, he acts as ambassador to all human
and animal visitors. If he's awake, he's purring (and sometimes he even purrs
in his sleep!). I've had many cat companions over the years, but only Ziggy has
earned the title of Best Cat in the Universe for his unfailing graciousness,
dignity, and sunny disposition. If he were a human, he would be Prince
© KencredibleBest Cat in the Universe
As Ziggy can
attest, life for "outdoor cats" is no walk in the park. Over the
years, Ziggy has had several bouts with diseases that could have led to a
lingering, painful death if he had not received veterinary care. That's why it
is vital always to trap stray and feral cats and either bring them indoors or take them to a reputable animal shelter. Even
if homes can't be found for them, at least they are safe from the many dangers that
they face outdoors, including attacks by dogs and wildlife; being poisoned,
shot, or hit by cars; and contracting deadly contagious diseases.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
A cat was found in the back of someone's garage, emaciated,
anemic, and suffering in the final stages of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), which attacks cats'
immune systems much like HIV does in humans. Several people in the neighborhood had been feeding her and noticed that she
was eating less and losing weight, but no one had bothered to take her to a
Cruelty Investigations Department gave the cat a merciful release from her suffering, but countless other stray
and feral cats—and even cats who have homes but are allowed to roam outdoors—suffer
agonizing deaths after contracting FIV, feline leukemia virus (FeLV), feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), and other contagious and
diseases are incurable and almost always deadly, and they are easily
transmitted from one cat to another, often through saliva or feces. (Catfights
are the prime mechanism for the transmission of these illnesses.) Infected cats
may not show symptoms for years and may even test negative for the diseases
initially, only to test positive later. If you let your cat roam outdoors, he
or she is at risk of contracting these diseases and contaminating other cats
(including the other felines in your home) before you even know he or she is sick.
protect your cat from these terrible diseases as well as the many other dangers cats face outdoors, such as traffic, cruel
people, poisons, attacks by animals, parasite infestations, and weather
extremes. Keep your cats indoors and allow him or her
out only on a leash and
harness (with you at the other end of it, of course) or into a securely fenced yard
while under your constant watchful eye.
This cat was hit by a car
Shamanic Shift|cc by 2.0
if you see a cat hanging around your neighborhood, don't assume that someone
else is taking care of him or her. Instead of leaving the cat to take his or
her chances on the streets, take
the animal to a shelter, where he or she will
have a chance at finding a loving home with people who care enough to keep the
cat safe indoors.
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.