Meet the Animals Behind the Numbers
I wanted to share this really important blog from PETA president Ingrid E. Newkirk. Please read, and then take action for these animals and all others.
WARNING: Graphic Photos.
This blog may shock you, but it is the blunt truth. It’s also a call to action. This is your chance to weigh in for the unloved, the unwanted, and the throw-aways from our convenience-oriented society. I want to ask you to look at some photographs that may haunt you, but they may also prompt you to act.
After crawling inside a car engine, this kitten suffered gruesome injuries but was still alive and screaming in pain.
PETA never turns away an animal for being “unadoptable.” Ever
. In fact, in our area, as is likely the case in yours, the “no-kill” facility
is usually full—full of dogs and cats who have been sitting in cages for months and in some cases years
. And that facility, while basking in the light of its “no-kill” pledge, often refers animals to us and to the city pound. We receive calls from desperate people who cannot afford the “no-kill” shelter’s admission fee or can’t cope with its waiting list. We do not turn our back on these animals. Never have, never will. So we take in the animals whom no one wants, and we ease their pain so that they don’t languish unaided or fall into the wrong hands—which often would mean going right back were they came from. We will always be here for animals who need and deserve a kind hand, a loving word, and a peaceful exit from a world that has treated them like trash.
A passerby called PETA after spotting this dog, who had a chain deeply embedded in her neck and reeking of infection.
Last year, PETA did many things: We helped countless dogs and cats in “our own back yard.” Our phenomenal mobile spay-and-neuter clinics sterilized 8,677 animals
(562 of whom we picked up for surgery and then took back home in PETA’s Animal Birth Control van). We built and delivered more than 300 sturdy doghouses and delivered about 5,000 bags of straw
to warm up cold dogs who were chained
or penned outside in all extremes of weather. We provided free veterinary care for animals with infections, wounds, and illnesses
. And we did something else that made a difference: Our shelter of last resort took in 2,352 injured, ill, elderly, and unwanted animals for euthanasia
. Our Community Animal Project
staffers gave each of them love in their final moments, sometimes their first-ever touch of a kind hand, their first kiss, and their first “good boy.”
These two starving, abandoned puppies were suffering from a severe case of demodectic mange covering about 80 percent of their bodies. They were surviving off scraps that neighbors and passersby left for them. A veterinarian recommended immediate euthanasia to end their suffering.
No one feels anything other than crushed to euthanize animals; those who hate euthanasia the most are the truly kind people who are tasked with performing it—people on our staff and in other animal shelters. It’s so easy for some people to turn away, to condemn, or to create the very problem that these brave souls deal with. But they are only cleaning up after the people who neglected those animals; who never showed them a shred of commitment or an ounce of compassion, who thought nothing
of crating, penning, or chaining them up with a tractor-trailer chain because it was inconvenient to walk them or secure daycare for them; who didn’t think twice about leaving them behind when their house was foreclosed or dog food became expensive or they left the door open and the dog or cat was hit by a car. Our staff is grateful that people in our community know to call upon us when someone needs to do what’s necessary.
This rat’s guardian came to PETA to have the terminally ill animal euthanized after a local animal shelter turned her away.
The animals who come through PETA’s doors are but a tiny fraction of the estimated 6 to 8 million homeless dogs and cats
who are handed over the counter in animal shelters nationwide every year. These animals are abandoned and many are left to languish in cages—waiting, looking up anxiously and hopefully at every person who enters, in the hope that he or she will save them and take them home. A whopping great half of them will be “put to sleep” because that someone never comes (the girl who stopped at the cage and giggled, the man who said, “Isn’t he weird-looking”—they moved on with their lives). The people who are kind enough to hold these animals and stroke their fur as they take their last breath are not to blame for any of it. The blame falls squarely on the shoulders of each person who refuses or “forgets” to have his or her cat or dog sterilized and everyone who has purchased an animal from a pet shop or a breeder instead of adopting from their local shelter.
After being hit by a car, this cat suffered a prolapsed eye and serious internal injuries but was still alive when a passerby found her.
PETA is calling on the governors of all 50 states to endorse mandatory spay-and-neuter laws
that would require dogs and cats to be sterilized unless their owners purchase an annual breeding permit, the cost of which would fund low-cost spay-and-neuter services
. You have a governor, and you may know a state senator or council member—or perhaps you could get to know one. Please join us in this effort
, and please recruit everyone you know to do so as well. We will provide language for model legislation, but please, talk to everyone in the dog parks, in the vet’s office, and on the street. Download our posters and fliers
and hand them out and pin them up; pick a low-income block and help the people there spay and neuter their animals; and please, go down to city hall or up to the state house and lobby, so that next year the nation’s homeless animal population will be lower. Individual dogs and cats would ask you to do this if they could.
Posted by Ingrid E. Newkirk