Written by Michelle Kretzer
Left out in the cold with no food, water, or shelter, Noel likely
wouldn't have survived more than another two or three days. But thanks to PETA,
the Virginia Beach SPCA, and a local judge, all her days now feel like
A compassionate neighbor called us last
December when she spotted bone-thin Noel, who had been left outside to suffer in the frigid winter
weather. We raced to the residence and found the young dog under a thorn bush, tethered,
tangled, and shivering violently. Not only had Noel's owner failed to take her
inside or even provide her with a doghouse, it appeared that she had also been
denying the dog food and water. The few pieces of stale kibble that had been
tossed her way were scattered across the ground beyond her reach.
When a vet examined Noel, he confirmed
that she had been starved and, at 25 pounds, was barely over half her healthy
weight of 40 pounds. Our friends at the wonderful open-admission Virginia Beach
SPCA found an experienced foster guardian who could nurse Noel back to health,
and she thrived in her new home, quickly gaining 17 pounds and starting to
trust people again. Shortly after Christmas, Noel's new adoptive guardians described
her as the "sweetest, sloppiest kiss-giving, bedtime snuggler."
This week, a judge heard our case against
Noel's former owner and sentenced the woman to 40 hours of community service and one year of
supervised probation, but most importantly, she has been banned for life from ever owning animals again.
You don't have to have the magic of Santa
Claus to help a chained dog. PETA offers a list of lifesaving actions that anyone can take.
routine trip by PETA volunteers to deliver straw bedding to "outdoor dogs" in Newport News, Virginia,
uncovered a horrifying secret: a female
pit bull lying dead in a backyard. Someone had removed her chain,
which meant that the person knew that she was dead, but left her body in full
view of the two surviving chained
The dog's hip bones jutted
prominently through her skin, and every rib in her body was visible.
A PETA staffer took
of the body, and when a veterinarian examined the remains,
that the dog had been starved to the point that she didn't have even an ounce
of fat left. Considering that the dog was only seven months old, she had likely been slowly starved
for her entire life.
Her owner's other two young pit bulls could have starved to death as well, but PETA
got custody of them, too. We collected all the evidence and then filed cruelty charges against the dogs'
fieldworker and veterinarian testified against the owner in court, and the
judge sentenced him to four months in jail, probation for two years, eight more
months in jail if he violates probation, 100 hours of community service, and a
$1,000 fine. Most importantly, the judge barred him from ever owning animals
again, something that we always seek in cases like this.
What You Can Do
Any time that you see a chained dog, please take a minute to
make sure that he or she has food, water, and shelter, and alert authorities if
you suspect abuse or neglect.
Written by Alisa Mullins
a woman driving along a muddy rural Virginia road stopped at an intersection,
she spotted a soggy, disintegrating cardboard box sitting on the shoulder.
Curious, she got out to investigate. Imagine her surprise when she opened the
box and saw nine pairs of eyes staring back at her.
called animal control officers to report the abandoned kittens but was told
that they "don't handle cats," an appalling but not uncommon policy
among rural animal control agencies (and also among a growing number of "no-kill" facilities).
then called PETA to alert us to the kittens' plight, and one of our stellar volunteers
immediately rushed to the scene an hour and a half away. Miraculously, the
kittens had not escaped from the box and been hit by a car.
kittens are now safely ensconced at PETA's Sam Simon Center in Norfolk, Virginia, and stealing hearts right and left. They are about 6 weeks
old and, despite everything that they've been through, are friendly and playful
and appear to be in good health. They are mostly brown and gray tabbies and are
all 100 percent adorable.
on or near the East Coast and want to adopt one (or two)? Drop us a line at Adopt@peta.org. The $75 adoption fee includes
spay/neuter surgery, vaccines, testing for feline
immunodeficiency virus and feline
leukemia virus, and microchipping.
you ever see a box or bag on the side of the road, stop! You never know what—or
who—may be inside. And of course, stop to
help any strays you see running alongside the road as well. Keep a rescue
kit—including a cardboard carrier, leash, towel, and treats—in your car for just
such an emergency.
always, always, always spay
and neuter your animal companions, and urge everyone you know to do
the same. Cat homelessness
is at crisis levels, so it is vital that all cats be spayed and neutered, even
kittens (females can come into heat at just 4 months old) and cats who never go
outside (they can slip out accidentally). If a friend can't afford the surgery
or has no car, offer to help with the cost and transportation. Cats need you—don't let them down!
Bea, the extremely cute
dog we told you about last month?
we featured her on this blog and on our Facebook page, a kind woman spotted her irresistible mug and, well,
couldn't resist it. But what really sealed the deal was the fact that Bea was
the woman's grandmother's name, so she figured that adopting this winsome
little gal was "meant to Bea."
only hitch in the plan? The adoptive family lives in Massachusetts, 550 miles
from Bea's foster home near PETA's headquarters, the Sam Simon Center in
Norfolk, Virginia. But PETA fieldworker Kelly Kercheval rose to the challenge
and volunteered to make the 12-hour drive to Bea's new home. Fortunately, the
pup proved to be an eager traveler and seemed to relish the chance to relax and
see the sights.
now has a spacious new 1-acre fenced yard that she enjoys running around in.
She has three canine siblings to play with and has already claimed the prime
real estate on the couch. Her family reports that she loves having her tummy scratched more than just about anything else in the world.
If you are
interested in adopting an animal, visit your local shelter or keep an eye on
this blog for available animals. E-mail Adopt@peta.org if you would like to
be added to our list of potential adopters.
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.
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.
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.
might have been burned, either by accident or intentionally by a cruel person.
Or he might have been hit by a car and dragged. No one knew exactly how the feral cat had gotten so horrifically injured, but it was clear that
the huge, severely infected wound—with dead and
dying flesh—that covered most of his side would spell a slow,
woman who had spotted him on her wooded property in rural Virginia called her
county animal control office for help but was told that it handled only dogs.
The officer suggested that she call PETA—and she did.
A PETA fieldworker went to the
residence the same day to set a humane live trap. Within hours,
cat was caught and mercifully freed from suffering.
This cat suffered for a very long time before
someone alerted PETA. We urge all guardians to keep their own cats safely indoors and to get immediate help for those they see who are suffering.
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.
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.
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.