Animal Cruelty is one of the most horrifying things imaginable. And there is a proven link to animal cruelty and violence towards humans later in life. Be the change you want to see and advocate for animals in your area by supporting anti-cruelty bills. Read about animal cruelty stories, laws and legislation, and more.

Archive for the ‘Animal Cruelty’ Category

NY Times Best-Selling Author Rory Freedman “Begs for Change” for Animals

Posted on June 22nd, 2013

Rory Freedman, co-author of the #1 New York Times mega-seller “Skinny B-i-t-c-h,” returns.

Her latest rallying cry?

Well it’s just in time for this month’s Animal Rights Awareness Week, which is going on now through June 25, 2013.

A tried and true call-to-arms to all animal lovers is what “Beg” is… Although I have not read the full copy yet for myself, I was lucky enough to get the below excerpt from the publisher. Essentially, Freedman is “begging” for a more humane look at the animals that make up our lives – from the ones we love and live with to the ones we consume.Beg

Freedman has successfully captivated the attention of animal lovers worldwide and has made appearances on national media, such as “The Today Show,” “Ellen,” “Tyra,” and “The O’Reilly Factor,” for her well-known book “Skinny B-i-t-c-h,” which looks at the benefits of a vegan diet. (This book skyrocketed to the #1 spot on the bestseller list in no time at all..)

Freedman’s new book Beg: A Radical New Way of Regarding Animals (Running Press Publishing Group, April 30, 2013), is a battle cry on behalf of all animals, as well as an inspirational, empowering guide to what we can do to help them.

Here’s the excerpt (my favorite parts are in red):

“Beg: A Radical New Way of Regarding Animals” – Apples to Oranges (p. 135-136)

All animals have unique personalities, the desire to live, and the ability to experience pain. I constantly hear people saying humans are “superior” to other animals, which always baffles me. Yeah, we’re better at being humans and doing human stuff than they are. Agreed. But that doesn’t make us smarter—it just makes us human. Would we say that sharks are superior to lions because they can swim? Or that kangaroos are superior to horses because they can jump higher? It’s absurd. So what if we can build airplanes and use computers? What use does a zebra have for either? Cows are only stupid if we’re measuring them by human intelligence. No, they don’t speak human. And when I was in Paris, I didn’t speak French. It doesn’t mean I’m stupid; it just means I communicate in a different language. Perhaps if we took the time to learn the languages of these animals—instead of assuming moral superiority that they don’t speak ours—we would see their intelligence and sensitivity. Animals have figured out how to live in harmony with each other and the planet. We’re the only species that has completely mess up the earth—air pollution, and degradation, rainforest destruction, ocean decimation, and climate change. We’re the ones suffering from addiction to alcohol, food, drugs, tobacco, work, TV, sex, pornography, cell phones; we’re the ones depressed, anxious, angry, and lethargic; we’re the ones who seem to have it all, yet cant make our lives work. Our so-called complexities and intelligence haven’t done us any good. It’s my opinion that animals are much smarter than humans. But their intelligence is irrelevant. They systematic confinement, exploitation, and murder of living, and feeling beings is wrong. Jeremy Bentham, and eighteenth-century English philosopher and social reformer hit the nail on the head when he said, about all animals, “The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but Can they suffer?

According to a survey of nearly 2,000 people, 92 percent agreed that it’s important that farm animals are well-cared for; 85 percent said that the quality of life for farm animals is important, even when they’re used for meat; 81 percent agreed that well-being of farm animals is as important as the well-being of pets; and 75 percent agreed that farm animals should be protected from feeling physical pain. Fantastic—at least three-fourths of us agree on paper that animals should be spared from suffering. Can we put that compassion into action and make different choices? Because unfortunately, sympathy alone doesn’t help animals.

Reprinted with permission from BEG: A Radical New Way of Regarding Animals © 2013 by Rory Freedman, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group.

Urge Your Reps to Vote NO on Farm Bill NOW!

Posted on June 20th, 2013

In a disappointing late-night move, the House leadership refused to allow debate on any animal welfare amendments when the Farm Bill goes to the full House. Bipartisan amendments on horse slaughter, horse soring, and protecting egg-laying hens were left out of consideration, while the dangerous, overreaching “King Amendment” remains in the Farm Bill.

The King Amendment seeks to repeal state laws regarding agriculture production and could nullify measures on farm animal confinement, horse slaughter, puppy mills, shark finning, and a wide range of other concerns including food safety, child labor and the environment.

This provision is so potentially harmful, and with no amendment or debate allowed to consider the King provision on the House floor, we must now stop the entire Farm Bill in its tracks.

It is critical for every member of the House to hear from concerned advocates like us ASAP – like, today.Animal Welfare

To block the King Amendment, please call your representative and urge them to vote “no” on the Farm Bill.


Please make a brief, polite phone call to your U.S. Representative ( urging opposition to the Farm Bill, which in its current form would include the King Amendment that could nullify many state laws that protect animals.

Here is what you say:

“As a constituent concerned about preventing cruelty to animals, I’m calling to urge you to please vote ‘no’ on the Farm Bill because I want animals to have protection from cruelty.”



Threat to Dog Protection Introduced in Farm Bill: CALL YOUR REPS NOW!

Posted on June 17th, 2013

We’re now facing one of the most serious threats to dog protection laws ever—and we need your help to stop it.

The House of Representatives’ Farm Bill contains an amendment from Rep. Steve King (R-IA) that could wipe out dog protection laws nationwide. Laws banning dog meat sales and those cracking down on puppy mills are all in jeopardy.

*And it doesn’t stop there: this amendment could also repeal laws banning horse slaughter—along with environmental protection, worker safety, and other important laws.

The Congressional Farm Bill amendment would nullify every state law that cracks down on puppy mills and bans the sale of dog meat.

If the King amendment passes, these could all could be nullified.

Please make a brief, polite phone call to your U.S. Representative urging support of the Denham-Schrader amendment, which would strip the King amendment from the Farm Bill.

Here’s what you say: “As a constituent concerned about preventing cruelty to animals, I’m calling to urge you to support the Denham-Schrader amendment because I want animals to have protection from cruelty.”

This will only take five minutes of your time and it means SO much. Every call made equals a vote in favor of animals everywhere.

Trouble for Booming Pet Sector…?

Posted on December 22nd, 2012

The $53 billion Americans are spending on pets and pet businesses will skyrocket in 2013. But experts warn the boom is empowering ruthless puppy mills. Take steps to protect yourself and the animals.

$350 million spent on pet costumes in October? We did, according to the National Retail Federation.

Despite the lingering economic crisis casting a shadow over the holidays, pet spending is exploding. From $37.3 billion in 2001 to nearly $53 billion in 2012, a 42 percent increase in 11 years according to a 2012 APPA study. But experts warn the trend is causing unprepared pet buyers to get in over their heads, which is creating opportunities for shady operations.

You’re not seeing double. Wugadogs are the toy versions of a real-life Boston Terrier named Angus. They’re part of a nationwide ‘Petrepreneuer’ trend in pet commerce.

And despite the gloomy outlook for jobs and overall finances, pet spending is rocketing into 2013 and showing no signs of slowing down.

So why the shopping spree? “People are more interested in pets than ever before,” says San Diego veterinarian Dr. Jessica Vogelsang. Her statement reflects the long-held belief that pets improve human health. How? A neat little chemical called oxytocin, says Kit Yarrow, who chairs the psychology department of Golden Gate University in San Francisco.

Oxytocin is a naturally-occurring hormone in our bodies that makes us feel good and evaporates stress. We get a charge whenever we think about, play with, or snuggle up to our pets, says Yarrow. And in these unstable times, a feeling like that is more than welcome to stay awhile.

Pet businesses skyrocket in 2012

The trend is titilating consumers partly because of new pet-focused businesses and services. Buffalo, NY-based ex-graphic artist turned toy designer, Darrin Wilson, 44, agrees. “I think we will see more of a focus on pets in 2013,” he says. “Especially if the economy remains tepid. Pets give us a safe place to hide.”

Wilson created a successful plush toy modeled after his own rambunctious Boston terrier. Interest in his toys, Wugadogs, began in July when he and his wife gave over 300 of the fuzzy critters to the Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. He has now grown the line to include five more Wugadog designs in 2013.

In Danvers, MA, Rev. Thea Keith-Lucas takes pet devotion into the pews. The Perfect Paws Pet Ministry, which marked its second anniversary in April 2012, usually sets aside dog cupcakes and chewies for pooches who accompany their owners for Sunday service. In the Parish hall, you’ll see folding chairs. “It’s easier to clean,” explains the minister.

‘Petrepreneurialism’ is not just limited to creative pet owners and clergy; the trend has taken over big name companies. Paul Mitchell, Harley Davidson and Old Navy are now offering lines of pet products ranging from dog shampoo, pet attire, and name-brand toys to gourmet treats and food.

With all this attention on pets, and the surge of pet-focused spending, the lure of a cute kitten or puppy to a first-time buyer can be too tempting to resist, especially if there are children involved. And that’s where all the cuteness can get ugly.

Puppy mills thrive on uninformed buyers

Many first-timers don’t know that the kennel or pet store they’re buying from is being honest. “Federal care standards are so minimal and enforcement so irregular that licensed kennels still include many so-called puppy mills, which breed and house animals in inhumane conditions,” says Cori Menkin, senior director of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals puppy mills campaign. “Most pet store puppies come from puppy mills,” she says.

According to one well-known animal rights organization, the premium cost consumers pay for pets out of a pet store pales in comparison to the cruelty and abuse the animals suffer in the bowels of a puppy mill.

Puppy mills, according to PETA, can consist of anything from small cages made of wood and wire mesh to tractor-trailer cabs to simple tethers attached to trees. In the April 13, 2009 issue of Newsweek magazine, a Pennsylvania breeder confessed that he kept his dogs in cages because it was “the only way to keep a lot of dogs—to keep them penned up.”

In 2010, Chris Sweeney of DVM Newsmagazine reported in a feature entitled, “Inside the Black Market: Puppy Smuggling,” confirmed that dealers looking to avoid releveant U.S. laws concerning puppy mills can do so relatively easily by simply picking up and moving elsewhere to continue to do business.

While investigating what he called this “multi-million dollar industry,” Capt. Aaron Reyes of the Southeast Area Animal Control Authority was horrified when he found “puppies stuffed in speaker boxes, screwed into the car door panels and wrapped in blankets with their little legs taped to their bodies and stuffed under seats.”

According to The Humane Society of the United States, there may be as many as 10,000 puppy mills operating across the United States.

To avoid empowering these malicious operations, one of the most important steps to take is diligence. Instead of a pet store, consumers may want to look at either a reputable local breeder or an adoption group, says Melanie Kahn, senior director of the Humane Society’s puppy mills campaign. If we can stop the flow of money to these individuals we can help end these practices.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have pet buyers who discover their newly-purchased pet isn’t for them. “Live animals aren’t often returnable, and so they may end up at shelters when the family discovers, say, that their new puppy is too energetic or that baby Easter bunny grows into a rabbit,” says Kahn.

Adopt a dog from a reputable adoption group to avoid puppy mill dogs. Also by carefully researching the breeders that supply pet stores.

Patti Strand, national director of the National Animal Interest Alliance, offers these tips:

  1. Ask the pet store for detailed information on the breeder and their location.
  2. Check those records against its inspections at the USDA’s website.

With homework you can protect yourself and deny puppy mill operators the cash they need.

But despite the dark side of this skyrocketing interest in pets, there is a light side: many abandoned animals will go to good homes thanks to committed pet owners. “Animals have always been a big part of our lives as humans,” says Wilson. “They have often been the only medicine that can truly cleanse our souls. It’s only right we adore them as much as they adore us.”

(Thanks to for this story.)

Is Global Warming Putting Our Pets at Risk on Both Sides of the Atlantic? How the Weather Can Affect Animals

Posted on September 9th, 2012

Global warming, it’s a complicated issue. Whilst the naysayers continue to search for conspiracies against climate change, this year the North American heat wave highlighted the very stark potential of our collective futures.

With more than 40,113 temperate records broken this year, the US and Canada have suffered 82 heat-related deaths and a further 22 deaths due to the resultant destruction of the derecho in June.

This loss of life allows us a small insight into the true power of extreme weather, but how is it affecting the nation’s pets?

Doggie in a Car

Appallingly, hundreds of cats and dogs have died this summer due to insufficient care and dehydration. During times of severe environmental change, it seems that pets are usually the last priority and this is having a serious impact on their standard of care.

One of the most notorious (and deadliest) issues facing pets during a heat wave is overheating in cars.

“It doesn’t take any time at all,” veterinarian Andy Morton with Roswell’s Chattahoochee Animal Hospital told WSBTV-Atlanta, “30 seconds is all that’s needed for them to die.” Unlike humans, dogs cannot sweat to cool themselves down and this leads to heat stroke and suffocation.

Thankfully, policemen across the states have been actively clamping down on this kind of animal neglect. Tickets are being issued left, right and center, and whilst the amount of the ticket is down to the officer’s discretion, they can be as high as $1,000.

In worst case scenarios, it can lead to one year in jail for committing “animal cruelty” depending where you live, and a ban on owning dogs in the future.

Grey Skies over Great Britain

However, across the other side of the Atlantic, things are quite the opposite. Thanks to the Atlantic conveyor, the heat wave in the US has forced damp and muggy conditions towards the UK. Consequently, they have suffered more than their usual deluge of rainfall. It was the wettest June since records began, and is set to be one of the wettest summers, with 366.8 mm of rainfall.

Nonetheless, this wet weather isn’t without its bugbears. Due to the humidity, biting insects have been extremely prevalent and this summer has witnessed the rise of the super-bug (one that’s

Itchy, Scratching Pup

built-up a resistance to conventional treatments). This flea and mosquito influx has left pets and people itching for relief.

Whilst super-insect problems might seem like a trivial issue in comparison to the US heat wave, the influx of bugs can signal some very real, and highly dangerous, problems.

Fleas spread diseases like tapeworms, and can create considerable allergic responses in some pets. After all, the flea was responsible for spreading the Great Plague in Europe.

With winters becoming milder and pest populations increasing, the New Scientist reports that, “the European dog tick is transmitting a malaria-like disease, canine babesiosis, into countries where it was once rare including Belgium, Germany, Poland and the Netherlands. Meanwhile, ixodes ticks are living at greater densities across Europe, increasing their risk of passing tick-borne encephalitis to horses and dogs.”

Changes to the Environment Means Changes to Behavior

Indeed, it seems the consequences of climate change not only effect people. With this in mind, it’s extremely important to heed the changes to your environment and behave accordingly, especially when the care of vulnerable animals is concerned.

Under absolutely no circumstances should a dog be left alone in the car, regardless of the weather conditions. However, this is especially the case during a heat wave. If you have to take your dog out with you, ensure that where you’re going allows dogs and, if not, get a family member to sit in the shade with them, ensuring the dog drinks plenty of water. You could face a criminal conviction, a hefty fine and the guilt of your dog’s death on your shoulders.

Let that be deterrent enough.

If you suspect a dog is suffering with heat stroke, call your vet immediately. You can check for symptoms and relief methods here.

If you see a dog locked in a car, call the emergency services.

(Sadly, you will be liable to pay damages if you smash a window and the owner presses charges).

Where super-fleas are concerned, it’s crucial that all owners receive the correct advice, tailored to their pet and his/her individual needs. Animed Direct is a fantastic website for vet advice (plus they have a wide range of flea treatments). They have a qualified vet engaging in live chats every single day and they are ready to answer your medical questions and concerns.

It’ always best to have a vet suggest the best course of treatment for your dog, it’s no good just guessing.


By Guest Blogger, Emily Buchanan