All across the country, people are hearing calls to raise the "save rate" at animal shelters. But beware: As warm and fuzzy as that sounds, a shelter's high "save" rate does not reduce by one puppy or kitten the number of unwanted animals born every minute in private homes, in puppy mills, in breeders' kennels and catteries, on the street or under a porch. In fact, it can increase that number, to the detriment of dogs, cats, taxpayers and law-enforcement officials.
Shockingly, pressure to raise shelter "save rates" actually increases the "pet" overpopulation crisis. How? To reduce the number of animals it euthanizes, a shelter must reduce the number of animals it takes in by charging high "surrender" fees, putting people on waiting lists, sending unsterilized animals to "foster" homes and more. Many people cannot afford high fees, and those evicted from their own homes or entering a women's shelter or nursing home can't wait for weeks or months for their animal to be admitted.
Cities learn the hard way that to play the "high-save-rate" game, something has to give. Because the number of homeless animals far exceeds the number of available homes, no matter what is done to try to conjure up more adopters, facilities are always full. Sick, injured, old, aggressive and other "unadoptable" animals are turned away – since accepting them would hurt the "save" statistics.
Shelter operating hours are also often reduced to decrease intake, leaving anyone who can't take time off during the day out of luck. Elderly people on a fixed income and others who cannot afford the fees charged by veterinarians for euthanasia are left with nowhere to take their old and ailing dog or cat for a merciful release.
In San Antonio, Texas, where the shelter has gone "no-kill" and many strays are left to fend for themselves, animal wardens report that thousands of stray animals are breeding, forming packs and dying on the streets, with more than 28,000 dog and cat bodies scraped up in the last year alone.
Shelters trying to achieve a high "save" rate invariably stop requiring verification that previous animal companions have received veterinary care and stop conducting even basic home checks – vital safeguards that prevent animals from falling into the hands of people with evil intentions. And animals are handed over to anyone who can "foster" them, including to animal hoarders who stack cages in their house, basement or garage. This situation creates nightmarish scenarios, such as the recent Florida case in which 100 cats burned to death inside individual plastic crates, unable to flee as the plastic melted onto them, and the Angel's Gate "animal hospice" in New York, where police found caged animals who had died in agony without veterinary care. Every week brings news of more little houses of horror.
Shelters that cram more animals into runs and cages than can safely be accommodated become so severely crowded that the dogs fight and injure themselves, the cats contract upper respiratory infections and disease outbreaks sicken healthy animals, as has happened in Washington, D.C., and is happening in Hillsborough and Miami-Dade counties in Florida now. In Austin, Texas, the city shelter stopped accepting cats and then, two weeks later, dogs. Where do they all go? In parts of Oregon where shelters have stopped accepting stray cats, they go into the woods or into a bucket of water.
There are literally hundreds more unwanted animals born every minute of every day. Once every available home or basement has been filled with animals from the shelter, where are all the new animals and their litters going to go?
What's a community to do? To truly save dogs' and cats' lives, let's reject this shelter "save-rate" nonsense and get to the root of the problem: the population explosion. Open-admission shelters, solid animal-control services, community education and reduced-cost spay-and-neuter programs are the keys to a real "save" rate.
Proudly wearing an "I Am a Vegan Badass" T-shirt, Patrik Baboumian (aka "Germany's Strongest Man") set jaws agape at the Toronto Vegetarian Food Festival on Sunday when he harnessed himself to a yoke loaded with more than 1,220 pounds—roughly the weight of a thoroughbred horse—and toted it across a stage. The feat unofficially set a new world record (Guinness can verify the record only after it receives documentation) and added to Baboumian's growing list of world records, including for log lifts and overheard beer keg lifts (he does live in Germany, after all).
Photo from Rich Roll's Instagram
Inspired to become a weightlifter because of the violence that he witnessed as a child in his native Iran, Baboumian went vegetarian in 2006 and vegan five years later because he wanted to help stop violence against animals. "One day, I just thought, if you see a bird with a broken leg, you really have the urge to do something about it and help the bird," he says. "Then, at the same time, you go to a restaurant and eat a chicken or something. It doesn't make any sense."
As for the point of his record-breaking feat, which even he admits was a little crazy, he says he did it because he wanted to inspire people and break stereotypes about meat-eating tough guys. Mission accomplished, Patrik.
Reports about the Rim Fire that destroyed nearly 400 square miles in and around Yosemite National Park indicate that hundreds of cows and calves who were grazing nearby are missing and presumed injured or dead. And the wildlife death toll could reach into the millions, including animals who were burned alive and the many more who could potentially suffer or eventually die, as they are forced to relocate and try to find food, water, and shelter. PETA is calling on the Tuolumne County, California, district attorney to investigate and to charge the hunter who started the fire with felony cruelty to animals.
According to the California Penal Code, "every person who causes or procures any animal to be … tortured, tormented, deprived of necessary sustenance, drink, shelter … or cruelly killed ... is, for every such offense, guilty of a crime." It certainly seems that the hunter who lit an illegal fire that burned out of control and became the third largest in California's history is in violation of this statute. He's directly responsible for the confirmed deaths of dozens of cows killed by the fire as well as the presumed deaths of hundreds more cows, deer, coyotes, bears, birds, and other wildlife. This is not the first time that a hunter's carelessness has cost thousands of lives and millions of dollars in damage. In 2003, deer hunter Sergio Martinez lit a fire that eventually scorched 430 miles of forest, killed 15 humans and thousands of animals, and became California's largest fire on record. Martinez was sentenced to six months in a work-furlough program, 960 hours of community service, and five years of probation.
The hunter who started the Rim Fire should also be held accountable for his actions. And the public deserves to know that in addition to killing animals for "sport," hunters often do significant damage to the environment.
When Randy Jackson saw Ukrainian sensation Mika Newton perform, he knew that her exuberant style would resonate with people in the States. And when PETA learned that Mika was a big animal advocate, we were instant fans.
"We came to the Earth like equal[s], animals and people," Mika says.
Taking a cue from her debut single, "Don't Dumb Me Down," she asks people to use their heads and treat animals with respect in her interview with PETA:
Please follow Mika's example and never be silent when using your voice could save animals from suffering.
Chief Michell Hicks has demonstrated total disregard for the laws that the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission is charged with administering. So why was he appointed to it? That's the question that PETA is demanding that North Carolina's governor, speaker of the House, and president pro-tem of the Senate answer.
Hicks is the principal chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI), and he has defended the Cherokee Bear Zoo, a decrepit roadside zoo on EBCI land that keeps bears in inhumane conditions that are completely contrary to the commission's standards of animal care—and even the protections of the tribal laws regarding bears. The zoo confines two black bears to an approximately 560-square-foot concrete pit, and four black bears to a 1,080-square-foot pit. The pits are devoid of any vegetation or anything else to enrich the animals' environment.
It's a far cry from the wildlife commission standards, which require that "[b]lack bears held in captivity … shall be held without caging under conditions simulating a natural habitat." The standards also require at least 1 acre of space for one or two bears and additional space for more bears and that at least half of the space be "wooded with living trees, shrubs and other perennial vegetation." Cherokee Bear Zoo's pits are a mere 1.3 percent and 2 percent of these space requirements.
The bears pace back and forth, a sign of chronic psychological torment. Two other bear zoos on EBCI land have been criticized for chronic abuse, and one of them was shut down following a PETA investigation.
PETA wants North Carolina officials to nullify Hicks' appointment. Animals need friends in high places—abusers do not.
What You Can Do
Please join us in expressing your opinion about this appointment by e-mailing Gov. Pat McCrory.
And e-mail Cherokee Bear Zoo owners and ask that they let the bears retire to a reputable sanctuary.
Rubén Albarrán has been known as the lead singer of legendary Mexican rock group Café Tacvba for 24 years, but even before that, he was known as a vegetarian and an animal advocate. And in his new PETA Latino ad overlooking Sunset Boulevard, he's the leader of the "Revolución Vegetariana":
Rubén unveiled his ad for the media today outside PETA's Bob Barker Building in Los Angeles and talked about why he's proud to have been sparing animals for a quarter-century.
In an exclusive interview with PETA Latino, he talked about his "aha moment":
"My impulse came from a documentary about rastros, which is what they call slaughterhouses in Mexico," he says. "And in this documentary, you could see the cruelty that the animals suffered and the way in which they kill them and how they leave them to bleed out. And from that moment on, I decided to stop eating them. Animals are our brothers, and we can't keep using them and causing them pain."
Rubén is hopeful that Latinos will embrace cruelty-free eating, both to spare animals and for their own health. And to encourage them, he handed out signed copies of his ad—with tips on how to go vegan included.
There she was, loping down a rural road. Had she gotten lost while hunting, or had she been dumped? No one knows, but the minute that PETA's volunteer spotted this sweet, velvety hound mix, Anna—as she came to be known—was home free.
We filed a "found" report with the local animal control agency, tapped our fingers, and waited patiently, but no one ever claimed this sweet dog. She was initially confused, hungry, and wary of strangers, but now that her bubbly personality has emerged, she is looking for love.
Anna may have been intentionally turned loose at the end of hunting season—a common practice in rural areas and something that this beagle-rescuing country-dwelling blog writer sees every year.
Anna's foster mom calls her "25 pounds of happy" and says that she loves to watch movies—as long as you serve her popcorn! This good-natured youngster plays gently with children, dogs, and even daring kittens:
Are You in Love Yet?
Anna is ready to find a permanent home. Could that be with you? To learn more about her, please e-mail us at Adopt@peta.org.
Have you ever heard of an artichoke fish? Neither has Howard Cosby, who is currently incarcerated at the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center in Uncasville, Connecticut. A practicing Buddhist, Cosby has repeatedly asked to be provided with vegetarian meals in accordance with his nonviolent religious beliefs. The prison has accommodated him—sort of. It provides him with vegetarian meals, except for three times a week, when he is served fish. When Cosby objected, he was told that the prison does not believe that fish flesh is meat.(Please visit the site to view this media)
This week, PETA wrote to the prison in Cosby's behalf, pointing out that a) fish are not vegetables, as most of us learned in high school biology class, and that b) there is ample legal precedent for granting prisoners the right to vegan and vegetarian meals under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, which prohibits correctional facilities from imposing substantial burdens on inmates' religious exercise.
In one such case, the judge chided prison officials for their refusal to provide an inmate with vegan meals, saying, "[W]hy make a federal case out of it? ... [W]hat the State did here, digging in its heels and saying no, seems quite unreasonable to me."
Pushing aside greasy chicken wings in favor of guacamole and other tasty vegan snacks, PETA and PETA Foundation staffers are bringing healthy competition with a side order of compassion to their brand-new all-vegan fantasy football league.
The 12 veggie-powered team managers of this league have sharp minds and healthy hearts on their side. But to up the stakes, this fantasy football league is pitting brother against brother, as the league co-commissioners (and brothers), PETA Director Justin Goodman and counsel to PETA Jared Goodman, duke it out, hoping their days spent winning battles for animals will prepare them to select winning draft picks, earning them the right to take home this:
The Plant-Based Primacy trophy may be smothered in bragging rights, but it's not smothered in cruelty and artery-clogging cholesterol. That's because PETA's vegan fantasy football leaguers will be fueling 10-hour game-watching marathons with healthy snacks such as vegan sliders, vegan buffalo wings, football-ready chili, and nachos covered with delicious Daiya vegan cheese.
The NFL is no stranger to compassion. Football players have perfected their game on and off the field while standing up for animals. Fantasy football favorites Arian Foster and Tony Gonzalez are big advocates of vegan eating, and Terrell Suggs, Willis McGahee, and Bret Lockett prefer wearing ink to mink. After going vegetarian, now-retired NFL running back Ricky Williams said he felt lighter, had more energy, and dropped an unwanted 20 pounds.
Join the Vegan League
California's groundbreaking ban on the production and sale of foie gras has been upheld by a federal appeals court, which unanimously rejected a bid by a southern California restaurant, Hot's Kitchen, and out-of-state foie gras producers, including Hudson Valley Foie Gras and Rougié, to strike the law down.
Earlier this year, a PETA investigator documented workers at Hudson Valley dragging ducks by their necks along the wire floor and pinning the ducks between their legs before ramming metal tubes down their throats and pumping food into their stomachs. PETA's investigator also documented that during slaughter, at least one bird was still moving after his throat had been cut.
What You Can Do
If you ever see foie gras being served or sold, complain to the manager of the restaurant or store and assure him or her that you will never patronize the establishment again as long as it sells this delicacy of despair.
The Cove shined a bright spotlight on the Taiji dolphin slaughter, and now people around the world are protesting the killing and the marine animal parks that keep it going. NASCAR driver Leilani Münter drove a Cove-themed racecar at Daytona and has travelled to Taiji three times to help film the slaughter. And as the slaughter begins on September 1, Leilani will be in Tempe, Arizona, joining one of more than 100 protests taking place around the world. We wouldn't be surprised to see Hayden Panettiere demonstrating this weekend as well. Her constant activism for dolphins and other marine life just earned her an Environmental Media Award.
In other celebrity news:
And advocating for animals on Twitter this week? Everyone from vampires to Nickelodeon stars and from wrestlers to adult-entertainment pros:
And a big congrats goes out to our friends Alec Baldwin and Hilaria Thomas, who welcomed their first child, Carmen Gabriela. PETA is helping the newest member of the family follow in her parents' compassionate footsteps with her own animal rights gear:
To keep up with what your favorite stars are doing for animals, follow @PETA on Twitter.
After China Southern Airlines reneged on its promise to stop shipping primates from China to laboratories in the U.S., dozens of local activists and PETA supporters gathered outside the airline's Los Angeles headquarters to pressure the company to do the right thing and reinstate the ban.
Every year, more than 10,000 primates are imported into the U.S. to be experimented on in laboratories, and most of them originate from China. The traumatized monkeys are crammed into small crates and loaded into the dark, terrifying cargo holds, sometimes on passenger flights just below the feet of unsuspecting flyers. Once they arrive, the monkeys may be injected with experimental chemicals or hit and choked before being force-fed chemicals, as documented during a PETA undercover investigation.
Almost every major airline in the world—including Air China, American Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Delta Air Lines, El Al Airlines, Philippine Airlines, TAM Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways, and dozens of others—refuses to transport primates to laboratories. Some carriers, including UPS, FedEx, Cathay Pacific, and Korean Air, won't transport any animals to laboratories.
What You Can Do
Urge officials at China Southern Airlines to join every other major airline in China by refusing to ship primates to laboratories, and let them know that you won't fly with their airline until they do so.
She worked at The Mobile Zoo for only three months, but that was long enough to figure out that the animals at the decrepit roadside menagerie were subjected to appalling neglect. After the whistleblower brought her concerns to PETA, we filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and we have just learned that the agency has cited the unaccredited zoo with 17 violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), including having filthy enclosures littered with feces and stale food, having rusted and otherwise insecure cages, and denying animals adequate veterinary care.
Rani © Alan Abraham
The whistleblower told us that at times, only one person was employed to care for the zoo's more than 45 animals, which meant that their cages often went uncleaned for weeks at a time and that their shelters were never cleaned. She said that the animals were often fed rotten, moldy, expired, or inappropriate food (bears were fed dog food, for example). An ostrich who had fallen into a water tank was reportedly denied veterinary care and died of hypothermia, and even though she observed animals vomiting and showing other signs of illness, the whistleblower never once witnessed a veterinarian visiting the facility during her three months of employment.
The USDA inspector backed up the whistleblower's claims of systemic neglect, noting that several enclosures were filthy and infested with cockroaches. Bears panted in the 90-degree heat because they were denied adequate water for bathing, pathetically trying to dip their paws in the small plastic trough that they were provided with.
Primates were kept in isolation and otherwise denied adequate enrichment, in violation of the AWA. A solitary chimpanzee showed signs of psychological distress by jumping, banging, spitting, and throwing dirt. Canines, felines, and bears were denied proper veterinary care. Several enclosures were dangerously insecure and lacked proper drainage, causing water to pool. The prairie dog enclosure had a gaping hole, and the inspector couldn't even verify if the animals were still in there!
This damning report is nothing new for The Mobile Zoo. In fact, every regularly scheduled USDA inspection since 2010 has found violations, and all but one of these inspections noted repeat infractions.
What You Can Do
If you see a sign for a roadside zoo on your next road trip, just keep on driving. Your ticket purchases keep these places in business. They'll shut down only when the ticket sales dry up.
On every visit to the Theater of the Sea in Islamorada, Florida, a visitor noticed something strange: One dolphin, named Sherman, was always by himself, isolated from the other dolphins. He reportedly appeared to differ from the dolphins in another way, too: He seemed to be the only dolphin who was forced to perform in multiple shows and during boat tours daily.
PETA believes that the reported treatment violates Animal Welfare Act requirements that dolphins be "housed in their primary enclosure with at least one compatible animal of the same or biologically related species" and that performing animals be given an adequate rest period between performances, so we've filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture calling for an investigation.
In the wild, dolphins are highly social and swim up to 100 miles a day in pods. In captivity, they can swim only in endless circles. Living in cramped chlorinated tanks while being forced to perform unnatural tricks is so stressful that many dolphins develop ulcers, exhibit neurotic behavior, and die prematurely.
What You Can Do
Never patronize marine-mammal parks or aquariums—your ticket purchase helps pay to keep marine mammals in prison. Also, keep an eye out for the critically acclaimed documentary Blackfish, which may be coming to a theater near you, and take all your friends and family members to see it!
In fact, the words "I have a dream" originally weren't even in the speech. He had drafted a good speech, a nice speech, with the working title "Normalcy—Never Again." But when he rose to speak, with 250,000 people watching him on the Washington Mall and millions more tuned in on television, King let the words flow straight from his heart. It was brave. It was daring. And it was one of the greatest speeches in American history. He spoke of freedom, of justice, and of the bond that we all share.
A lot has changed in the 50 years since King addressed the crowd in Washington, D.C. But a lot has stayed the same. Many people still turn a blind eye to—and participate in—the things that King decried: oppression, subjugation, and abuse. In addition to continuing human rights injustices around the world, other species are also often treated as if they are beneath contempt. Circuses keep elephants in chains for as many as 100 straight hours. Cows on dairy farms are repeatedly impregnated to make them produce milk, and their babies are taken away within a day of being born. Animals who are killed for their fur are electrocuted, hanged, bludgeoned, or even skinned alive. Rabbits are held down while chemicals are dripped into their eyes so experimenters can measure how long it takes to burn away their corneas.
Like many leaders of the civil rights movement, Dr. King's widow, Coretta Scott King; his son Dexter Scott King; and his friend Rosa Parks, all knew that in order to advocate for an end to injustice, they had to stop being unjust to all living beings—and that included animals. Rosa Parks went vegetarian, and Coretta and Dexter Scott King went vegan.
Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed about the end of injustice. It is the duty of everyone who believes in his message of hope to continue the work he started. We have to be brave. We have to be daring. We have to fight cruelty in all its forms until every one of us is, as King dreamed, "free at last."
He may be the leader of an ultra-orthodox Jewish sect, but when it comes to fur, Rabbi Shlomo Pappenheim is pretty progressive. At an animal rights conference in Israel attended by prominent religious leaders last week, Rabbi Pappenheim called on Hasidic Jewish men to stop wearing real fur shtreimel hats, which they traditionally wear on Shabbat and other special occasions.
According to Rabbi Pappenheim, wearing real fur shtreimels, each of which may be made of up to 30 sables, minks, martens, or foxes, violates the Jewish law of tza'ar ba'alei chayim, which prohibits causing animals unnecessary pain. He even went so far as to say that flaunting real fur hats amounts to Chilul Hashem, or desecration of God's name, since the cruelty of the fur industry is so widely known.
"[W]e must stop this custom of hurting animals," he said. "We should get to a point where people would be ashamed to wear anything but a synthetic shtreimel."
Rabbi Pappenheim echoes the sentiments of Jewish reggae singer Matisyahu, who has also spoken out against fur and even believes it should be banned in Israel.
Please, take Rabbi Pappenheim's words to heart and never wear any fur, not even a "little trim." Take PETA's fur-free pledge, and urge your friends to do the same.
In just three months at the Portland Aquarium, more than 200 animals have reportedly lost their lives. Bamboo sharks, sea horses, stingrays, garden eels, and many species of fish have died from starvation, infections, a power outage, attacks by incompatible tank mates, getting caught in drain screens, being hit by falling rocks, escaping from their tanks, and unknown causes. A marine biologist at the facility stated that it was "cutting corners to save money" and that "so many deaths … were … preventable."
The Oregonian newspaper reported that since February—almost seven months ago—the aquarium has not had a veterinarian on contract to care for the approximately 10,000 animals it confines. Also according to The Oregonian, the aquarium owners, Ammon and Vince Covino, "acknowledge that the facility has gone without regular veterinary services." The Oregon Humane Society has launched an investigation, and PETA has asked it to pursue criminal cruelty-to-animals charges against everyone responsible, including the Covinos.
Meanwhile, we've turned our attention on the new aquarium that the Covinos want to open in Austin, Texas. Even though they apparently haven't obtained all the required building permits, reports indicate that they have started construction and may already be holding animals at the site, including sharks, iguanas, lizards, a kinkajou, and possibly a crocodile. PETA has contacted Austin Animal Services and asked it to conduct an inspection to determine whether the animals are suffering as a result of abuse, neglect, or stress from the loud construction noise.
We're also calling on the City of Austin's Health Authority to get involved because the agency is charged with enforcing Austin's prohibition on keeping dangerous animals, which the law defines as any animal who is "capable of inflicting serious bodily injury to a human." Iguanas can suddenly charge and bite without warning, sometimes causing serious injury, and captive kinkajous are also known to bite and scratch humans. Crocodiles are reported to be 168 times more dangerous than sharks, killing 2,500 people every year. PETA is urging the City of Austin's Health Authority to take custody of all the dangerous animals being held at the site.What You Can Do
While we go after marine-animal prisons through legal channels, you can help go after them via the accountant's office by never buying a ticket.
The carriage company that owned Jerry forced him to spend his days hauling tourists through dangerous, congested streets in the scorching Salt Lake City heat. And when Jerry finally collapsed and was so weak that he couldn't even stand up again on his own, they tied ropes around him, dragged him into a trailer, hauled him back to his barn, and hoisted him inside with a forklift. And that's only the beginning of this sad, sordid story.
PETA snapped pictures of Jerry's ordeal and publicly released them. After the ensuing outcry, the carriage company sent out a picture of a standing horse, proclaiming that Jerry was once again standing on his own and on the road to recovery. There was just one problem: It wasn’t Jerry.
PETA called the carriage company out, and once cornered, it admitted that the picture was a fake. The company then changed its story, claiming that Jerry was fully recovered and living "on a farm" in an undisclosed location. Despite repeated requests from the media, the company refused to let anyone see him. PETA was skeptical, so we set up a $1,000 reward for anyone who could give us information about Jerry and his whereabouts.
After public pressure continued to mount, the carriage company finally admitted that Jerry was dead. Given the company's history of secrecy and deception, PETA is now seeking a thorough investigation and demanding that it release Jerry's veterinary records and allow a necropsy so that we know when Jerry died and what killed him.
Regardless of why the company tried so hard to deceive the public, poor Jerry’s collapse and death are tragic evidence that horses don’t belong on sweltering, traffic-filled streets. Just like animals forced to perform in the circus and dogs made to race for money, horses used to pull carriages are grist for the mill, a source of income. Disposable. Replaceable.
What You Can Do
Jerry's death might not be in vain. Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and the City Council are now examining whether horse-drawn carriages should be banned in the city. Local residents are also holding a vigil for Jerry this evening. Please take a moment to e-mail the City Council or leave it a message at 801-535-7600, and let the council members know that you support a ban, especially if you live in the city. Please be sure to keep all comments polite and respectful.
Thank you to those who were present for Jerry's vigil.
Please support PETA’s ‘Free the Horses’ campaign! We are aiming to raise $40,000 to expose the ugly truth about horse drawn carriages. We have until September 24. All we need is you!
For at least eight years, this is what Itchy called "home":
PETA's fieldworkers have been watching over Itchy in Suffolk, Virginia, since 2007. Through the years, Itchy has survived on his own, stuck in a garbage-strewn pen outdoors, eager for our visits and for the attention that he knew would always come with them. Late last month, one of our fieldworkers noticed that Itchy's persistent cough—the result of an advanced, untreated case of heartworm disease—had gotten markedly worse. Itchy managed to survive the rain and winds of notorious Southeastern Virginia nor'easters, hurricanes, and sweltering summer heat waves with the aid of his PETA-donated doghouse, but we knew he wouldn't survive this.
After we let his owners know that Itchy's condition was serious and that he needed immediate, long-term, intensive veterinary care, they gave him to us. The first thing that we did was remove him from his filthy pen, and even though he was ill, he acted like a puppy, having fun sniffing and exploring. We are happy to announce that although many neglected "outdoor dogs" do not meet a happy end, Itchy has.
As you'll see, after weeks of TLC and aggressive veterinary treatment for a severe whipworm infestation, Itchy has gained more than 20 pounds. He got a bath and flea treatment, which helped soothe his irritated skin. He also had his teeth cleaned and was recently deemed well enough to be neutered.
Itchy's sponsors throughout his recovery recently welcomed him into their lovely home in Middleburg, Virginia, where he has joined two other rescued dogs and will spend his twilight years in doggie paradise. This week, Itchy began treatment for his heartworm disease, and his guardians report that he is already showing signs of improvement, although he will have to take it easy until he is entirely worm-free.
Itchy may be an elderly gentleman, but he is strong and energetic and has much pep in his step. He loves exploring, eating, and being told that he is a dashing, handsome boy.
It's been a banner year for PETA India. First, after lengthy discussions with PETA India's scientists, the nation banned tests on animals for cosmetics and their ingredients. And now, thanks to the hard work of PETA India and scientists with our international affiliates, decision makers in India have officially proposed a ban on testing household products and their ingredients on animals, too!
PETA India Science Policy Adviser Dr. Chaitanya Koduri is a member of the Bureau of Indian Standards committee on household products. With his guidance, the committee recently proposed an amendment to testing regulations that would ban the last cruel test on animals still required and replace it with a superior non-animal testing method. This means that the days of smearing chemicals on guinea pigs are nearly over. The test will be replaced with the more sophisticated—and humane—Human Repeat Insult Patch Test. The committee also proposed that household product manufacturers submit safety data based on non-animal test methods for new ingredients.
The final approval for the ban is expected soon from the Drugs Controller General of India. PETA India, with the help of scientists from PETA and PETA U.K., used a similar strategy when it succeeded in getting cosmetics testing on animals banned.
In the U.S., tests on animals for cosmetics and household products are still legal, although not required for cosmetics and most household products. However, more than 1,300 compassionate companies have pledged never to harm an animal anywhere in the world for their products, so until North America is cruelty-free, at least your household can be. Just check out PETA's online database of companies that do and do not test on animals, or order your free Cruelty-Free Shopping Guide today.
The TOS-USA does not assume responsibility for the accuracy of statements posted. Opinions expressed in postings do not necessarily represent the opinions of TOS-USA.