People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is the largest animal rights organization in the world. PETA's blog is your source for up-to-the-minute information about PETA's campaigns; breaking news about victories, new initiatives to help animals, and animal rights information from across the globe.
As low temperatures are affecting your area, animals, who can suffer from deadly frostbite and exposure, become dehydrated when water sources ice over, and die, are at risk. Last winter, there were at least 50 cold weather–related animal deaths—and these are just the ones that have been reported. Most are not.
These are some of the additional dog deaths across the U.S. that have been reported:
While responding to a complaint in Butler County, Ohio, the local dog warden found a German shepherd dead inside his doghouse. Although there were four bales of straw on the owners’ front porch, they hadn’t put any straw bedding in the doghouse.
Keep animals indoors. Freezing temperatures spell extra hardship for “backyard dogs,” who often go without adequate food, water, shelter, or veterinary care. If you see animals left outside without shelter from the elements and are unable to help, note their location and alert authorities immediately. (For information regarding what constitutes adequate shelter, click here.)
In cold weather, you can provide birds and other animals with access to water by filling a heavy nonmetal water bowl (tongues can freeze to metal) and breaking the surface ice twice a day. When weather improves, be sure to remove any food offerings to encourage animals to move on to warmer areas.
Anyone who leaves animals outside to suffer in severe weather may be prosecuted.
Today, Louisiana State University (LSU) alum Holly Reynolds—whose 100th birthday is on Sunday—sent a letter on PETA’s behalf with a birthday request for her alma mater: Pull the plug on LSU Assistant Professor Christine Lattin’s harmful, ineffective experiments on wild-caught birds and redirect university resources to superior, non-animal research methods.
“Abusing animals in pointless experiments was wrong 100 years ago, and it’s no less so today,” writes Reynolds. “Please make my 100th birthday a happy one by taking a stand against cruel experiments on wild sparrows at our university.”
In studies that don’t apply to humans or even to other bird species, Lattin has caught wild birds and wounded their legs, frightened them by rattling their cages and restraining them in cloth bags for 30 minutes at a time, fed them crude oil mixed with feed, and subjected them to injections that damaged their adrenal glands. After enduring these experiments, the birds were killed.
PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on.” For more information, please visit PETA.org.
Just because animals look cute under the Christmas tree doesn’t mean they make good holiday gifts. Caring for animals is an enormous responsibility, and they should never be carelessly given as gifts to anyone. Many people who receive animals as gifts find that they’re unable to make the lifelong commitment to caring for their new animal companion, no matter how much they’d like to make it work. Animals deserve the best lives possible, but being given as a gift will make that outcome less likely.
The Worst Gift You Can Give This Christmas - YouTube
These PETA holiday ads highlight some of the many reasons why you should never give animals as presents:1. A child’s attention span may be better suited to a stuffed animal.
Animal shelters are filled beyond capacity with homeless animals, many of whom were former “pets”—all because a child lost interest and no one else stepped in and took the time to provide training and care. Dogs need outdoor exercise every single day, and a huge time investment is required to train (and housetrain) a puppy—children are not mature enough to handle this responsibility.
2. Many people don’t want an animal for Christmas.
Has the person expressed an interest in adopting an animal? What type and species of animal would be a good fit? (For example, a well-mannered adult dog or a middle-aged lap cat is often a better fit than a high-energy puppy or kitten.) If a family decides to adopt an animal, every member of the family should go to the local animal shelter together to choose the animal after having discussed the obligations and long-term commitments involved. If you give an animal as a gift, there’s a good chance that the recipient never wanted an animal in the first place, which could result in neglectful treatment.
3. You may also be giving the “gift” of debt.
Does the person have the space, time, and money to care for an animal? (Caring for an animal companion requires a lifelong commitment, which could go on for over 20 years.) Costs can add up quickly, not only for food but also for vet visits and emergency care when the dog swallows a sock or the cat takes a few bites from a toxic houseplant. Is the recipient a busy person? If so, a regular pet sitter and/or dog-walker may be needed. Forbes estimates that the cost of caring for a cat will be “at least $780 a year and $16,800 over [the cat’s] possible 15-year existence.” For a larger dog, it estimates a price tag of “$1,570 a year and, over a 12-year lifetime, [total costs] ranging from $22,025 to upwards of $82,929 for folks using dog walkers.” Forbes’ high estimate for a small dog is even pricier!
4. You don’t have a crystal ball.
No one knows what the future holds. Are there any foreseeable life changes that could make caring for an animal difficult? (And what about the unforeseeable ones?) For example, some people don’t realize that they are allergic to animals until the animal is already in their care. Many people will leave their animal companion at a crowded shelter, or they’ll pass the animal on to a series of homes, which can lead to behavioral problems and cause trauma and psychological scarring.
A lot can change over the years that could affect a person’s ability to provide proper care for an animal.
5. There is only one safe way to give an animal as a gift.
If you know someone who really wants an animal companion and is ready for the responsibility, how about giving a gift certificate for the adoption fee at the local animal shelter? Wrap up a food dish and some toys to give along with the gift certificate and put them under the tree. Or you could buy a dog bed or cat carrier and wrap it up with a stuffed animal and the gift certificate. After the holidays, you can all go down to the shelter together and pick out an animal companion who’s just right for the recipient.
Below, please find a statement from PETA Foundation Deputy Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Rachel Mathews in response to the death of an elephant at Grant’s Farm this week, marking the fourth such fatality at the roadside zoo this year:
A bleak roadside zoo in frigid Missouri is no place for intelligent, sensitive elephants, who are meant to socialize, forage, play, and roam vast habitats in tropical climates. As zoos across the country accept that it’s impossible to meet the complex needs of these animals in captivity and shut down their elephant displays, PETA is calling on Grant’s Farm to follow their example and never again condemn any elephant to a short, miserable life of captivity.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—is also calling on Grant’s Farm to be transparent about these deaths by making the elephants’ necropsies (animal autopsies) and veterinary records public.
“Growing up, I thought my grandmother’s farm was heaven,” says PETA’s Diana Mendoza, a lifelong Los Angeles–area resident. “But my parents didn’t.” Mendoza tells her story in a new PETA video in which she describes how her grandmother’s house in Palmdale, California, filled up with dogs, cats, and any other animals dumped at the door—until the urine-soaked newspapers inside made it unlivable and her parents had to spend each visit burying all the animals who’d died of sickness or malnutrition.
Mendoza now uses the memories of her grandmother’s hoarding as motivation to try to fix the dog and cat overpopulation crisis in Los Angeles in the only way that will work long-term: spaying and neutering. She goes into the community to help Angelenos get the resources that they need in order to comply with the city’s mandatory spay/neuter law so that animals don’t end up homeless on the street or warehoused by hoarders disguised as “no-kill rescues.” She says, “The only way we’re going to get to a world with no more homeless animals is by focusing on stopping the flood of animals being born, instead of arguing about what to do with them once they’re already here.” She urges people to support Los Angeles’ open-admission shelters, “the ones doing the real rescue work, where injured, sick, and unadoptable animals are never turned away like they are by so-called ‘no-kill’ facilities.”
Mendoza and her crew of volunteers have visited over 1,000 homes in L.A., reminding folks that having animal companions spayed or neutered is the law. She regularly carries PETA’s national emergency pager and responds to calls about injured, sick, and neglected animals in and around the city; she organized demonstrations against Mayor Eric Garcetti when he failed to take action to improve the lackluster performance of the city’s animal services department; and she attends city government meetings to push for changes to help companion animals with and without homes in L.A.
Her video is included in a new 10-part series titled “PETA Reveals: Everybody’s Got a Story,” which highlights 10 individuals’ “Clark Kent moments”—times when a life-changing experience or personal revelation awakened their sense of social justice and triggered their evolution into activists. The full series from PETA—whose motto is “Animals are not ours to experiment on, eat, wear, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way”—is available here.
In a landmark victory, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed Nosey’s Law, which bans the use of wild and exotic animals in circuses and other traveling acts! The law was named in honor of Nosey, an elephant who was forced to give rides at fairs in New Jersey despite having painful arthritis. In 2017, authorities in Alabama finally seized her and placed her in a sanctuary, where she’s recovering from years of abuse. PETA’s determined advocacy for her and other wild animals exploited in traveling acts laid the foundation for this unprecedented law.
With New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s signature, “Nosey’s Law” is officially on the books! Despite a setback for the bill under the former administration, the Garden State is now the first state ever to enact a ban on traveling wild-animal acts.
The Elephant Sanctuary
This monumental victory for animals comes after more than a decade of persistence by PETA activists, who worked resolutely to save the elephant whose story inspired this ban—Nosey.
Our efforts to save Nosey inspired one of the most progressive bans on wild-animal acts to date.
Nosey’s former handler, Hugo Liebel, caused outrage in 2015 when he took her to the New Jersey State Fair. People were horrified to see this lonely, stressed, and painfully arthritic elephant plodding in circles day after day, and they called for the fair to stop the act. Raymond J. Lesniak, then a state senator, called on the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife to investigate but realized that further measures were needed. So he introduced Nosey’s Law in order to ban traveling elephant acts in the state—and the law has since been expanded to cover other wild and exotic animals as well.
Nosey’s Law overwhelmingly passed the legislature just as the 2017 session closed. But to the dismay of animal advocates everywhere, exiting Gov. Chris Christie “pocket vetoed” the bill.
Nonetheless, in 2018, Sen. Nilsa Cruz-Perez and Assemblymembers Raj Mukherji, Andrew Zwicker, and Jamel Holley cosponsored the bill and gave it new life. Nosey’s Law passed the state’s General Assembly with a vote of 71 to 3 and passed unanimously in the Senate.
PETA thanks the animal advocates in New Jersey for standing against the exploitation, isolation, and physical violence that so many animals still endure in the entertainment industry. New Jersey has become a model for every state to follow!
The Elephant Sanctuary
It’s only a matter of time before abusing animals so that they’ll perform is a thing of the past.
In 2017, both Illinois and New York banned all traveling elephant acts. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus shut down. Hundreds of venues and dozens of communities across the country now prohibit wild-animal acts. The public has made it clear that it doesn’t want to see feeling, thinking, sensitive animals be bullied into performing uncomfortable and often painful tricks. But we still have work to do.
You can help animals who are beaten, electrocuted, and confined to tiny cages in the circus.
No living being exists simply to be a spectacle or to entertain humans—yet all circuses and traveling shows that use animals treat them as mere props, denying them their freedom and an adequate standard of living.
Using our action form below, please write to venues and urge them to allow any scheduled circus performances to go forward only if they do so without animal acts.
As graduates and their families arrive for Texas A&M University’s (TAMU) commencement ceremony on Friday, a “mad scientist” will stand in front of a banner proclaiming, “TAMU: Close Dog Torture Lab Now,” and reenact the school’s cruel canine muscular dystrophy (MD) experiments on a plush toy golden retriever.
When: Friday, December 14, 8 a.m.
Where: Main entrance to Reed Arena, 730 Olsen Blvd. (near the intersection with Recreation Center Drive), College Station
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—has released eyewitness video footage from TAMU’s laboratory where dogs are deliberately bred to develop a crippling and painful form of canine MD that leaves them struggling to walk, swallow, and even breathe.
“Texas A&M’s graduates are starting the next chapter in their lives, but for the terrified dogs in the school’s laboratories, there’s no escape,” says PETA Vice President Alka Chandna, Ph.D. “Decades of indefensible experiments haven’t produced a cure for muscular dystrophy, and PETA is calling for this cruel and ineffective laboratory to be shut down.”