Category Archives: Animals Around the World

Prayers for Oklahoma - Don't Be Cruel Animal Cruelty Awareness

Prayers for Oklahoma and all of Midwest

Here at Don’t Be Cruel, our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and their pets affected by the tornadoes that touched down in Oklahoma.

A massive, mile-wide tornado with winds up to 200 mph killed at least 51 people Monday afternoon during 40 terrifying minutes of destruction across southern Oklahoma City and its suburbs. Two elementary schools were destroyed, including one that took a direct hit killing several children.

Less than 24 hours after a devastating tornado ripped through Moore, Okla., more Midwestern states are bracing for the wrath of potential natural disasters. The National Weather Service (NOAA) announced Tuesday morning that dangerous weather conditions are expected to hit regions ranging from the Great Lakes to central Texas late Tuesday.

However, all is not tragic as small miracles exist. Here is a video of the CBS news crew conducting an interview when they find a dog under the Oklahoma rubble.

 CBS News Crew finds dog in Oklahoma tornado rubble as they conduct an interview

Cloud from Shiloh's Horse Rescue in Las Vegas with Daria and Robin - Don't Be Cruel Animal Cruelty Awareness

Cloud is a Healthy Horse Thanks to Don’t Be Cruel Sponsorship

Thanks to everyone who purchased from the Don’t Be Cruel store last month, we were able to sponsor a horse in need from the Shiloh Horse Rescue and Sanctuary in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Cloud, the beautiful white horse, put on some weight and now is much stronger than he was a month ago. He’s so healthy he can now be used to give riding lessons to kids and adults! That’s right! As a Guardian Angel “graduate,” Cloud prepares to come out of retirement and become a lesson horse.

Check out pictures from Cloud’s session with Daria, Shiloh’s resident basic horsemanship trainer.

We are happy that Cloud is doing well. To sponsor a horse, please visit Shiloh’s website.

Remember, 100% of proceeds from Don’t Be Cruel sales go to animals in need like Cloud here.

April is the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month

April is Animal Cruelty Prevention Month

This month we are happy to celebrate the prevention of animal cruelty. According to, cruelty to animals is the infliction of physical pain, suffering or death upon an animal, when not necessary for purposes of training or discipline or (in the case of death) to procure food or to release the animal from incurable suffering, but done wantonly, for mere sport, for the indulgence of a cruel and vindictive temper, or with reckless indifference to its pain.

Facts and Statistics

Domestic Pets
Although there is no national reporting system for animal abuse, media reports suggest that it is common in rural and urban areas. However, according to, there are 19,262 known cases of animal abuse. In media-reported animal cruelty cases, dogs—and pit bull-type dogs, in particular—are the most common victims of animal cruelty.  Here are other stats as it appears on the HSUS site:

  • 64.5% (1,212) involved dogs
  • 18% (337) involved cats
  • 25% (470) involved other animals
  • Reported abuse against pit bull-type dogs appears to be on the rise: in 2000–2001, pit bull-type dogs were involved in 13% of reported dog-abuse cases; in 2007, they were involved in 25% of reported dog-abuse cases.
  • *some cases involved multiple species


  • According to the American Horse Council, Americans own more than 9 million horses, up from more than 6 million in the mid-1990s. Backyard breeding fueled the boom in pet horses. Of the more than 2 million Americans who own horses, more than one-third have a household income of less than $50,000.
  • Neither the total number of horse neglect cases nor the percentage of total animal abuse cases classified as horse neglect has risen since the closure of all U.S. horse slaughter plants.

As Humane Society of the United States investigations into slaughterhouses and cattle auctions have revealed, animal abuse abounds in the factory farm industry. Despite increased feed prices, they found no indication in the news media that the number of livestock neglect cases is increasing, other than a few shocking, high-profile cases. This may, however, simply be a reflection of the weak protections afforded to livestock under state animal cruelty laws.

What Can You Do

If you are looking for a furry companion, please consider adopting from your local animal shelter or community rescue organization. If you need help to get started, is an excellent place to look for homeless pets. In addition, you can check out our list of Don’t Be Cruel partners who have wonderful pets in need.

If you can’t adopt, foster. Many animals are in need of temporary homes while finding a forever family.

Ask your local shelter if they need help. Remember, many places not only need people to physically take care of the shelter or animals but need people with certain skill sets like fundraising, marketing, public relations, etc. The more the public knows about adoptable pets, the better the chances are of finding them a home.

Shelters and rescue organizations depend on you to keep their mission going. Most of these places solely depend on donations. If you can’t donate money, please consider other types of donations like towels, blankets, food, toys, etc. Check a shelter’s website for a wish list or call ask about about it.

Many rescue organizations have farm animals that depend on monthly sponsors. If you are interested in helping large animals, consider sponsoring one. Rescues like Shiloh’s Horse Rescue in Nevada and For the Animals Sanctuary in New Jersey have wonderful animals in need of your help.

Spread the Word
The prevention month is officially through the ASPCA and they wear orange to show their unwavering decision on the matter. Encourage your friends to spread the word about the month-long ‘Go Orange’ campaign!

Shop our Don’t Be Cruel Store
Lastly, we want to remind you that for every purchase you make at our Don’t Be Cruel store, proceeds will go to local shelters and rescues. We are proud to say that in the past two years, we donated over $8,500.

On behalf of all the members of Team Patrick - Happy Re-Birthday, Patrick. Abusing Don't Be Cruel Animal Cruelty Awareness site

Happy Birthday, Patrick!

We have a very special place in our hearts for Patrick who will be turning “two-years-old” tomorrow on St. Patrick Day.

For those not familiar with the story, Patrick was the dog that was found stuffed down a trash chute of a high-rise in Newark right before St. Patrick’s Day 2011. After he was rescued and taken to the Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls, Patrick made a miraculous recovery.

Today Patrick is a healthy thriving pitbull. New Jersey New 12 recently caught up with Patrick on their segment of The Pet Shop.

In honor of Patrick and what he represents to many animal advocates, Don’t Be Cruel designed their first t-shirt called “Team Patrick.” Proceeds from t-shirt sales and other merchandise go to local shelter and rescues that want to help abandoned pets like Patrick.


Remembering Riley: The Iconic 9/11 Dog Hero

As we remember those who lost their lives on September 11, eleven years ago, we want to take this time to acknowledge all the wonderful canines who helped with rescue missions especially a dog named Riley.

Unfortunately, Riley passed away on February 26, 2010. Riley lived a good life with his Dad, Chris Selfridge, and the entire family for a little more than 13 years.

He is one of the most famous dogs of Sept. 11 because of this photo taken of him at the World Trade Center site a few days after the attacks. In the photo, Riley is in a basket being sent over a 60-foot-deep canyon to search the rubble of the North Tower.

A book entitled, Dog Heroes of September 11th: A Tribute to America’s Search and Rescue Dogs, details the stories of Riley and 76 other handlers and their Search and Rescue dogs who responded at the World Trade Center & Pentagon following the terrorist attacks.

“Normally when we send a dog, the handler goes with him,” said Riley’s trainer and owner, Chris. “This time we decided it was more practical to just send the dog.”

Watch Riley in action.

Celebrate National Dog Day with Canine Assistants by American Dog: A Web Series with Victoria Stilwell

Today is National Dog Day and it is celebrated annually to help galvanize the public to recognize the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year, and acknowledges family dogs and dogs that work selflessly each day to save lives, keep us safe and bring comfort.

To honor dogs that show deep connection and appreciation to human bonding, we would like to celebrate this day with a special video from American Dog called Canine Assistants. American Dog is a new web series hosted by Victoria Stillwell and is her latest collaboration with eHow Pets, a Demand Media channel created exclusively for YouTube’s original programming initiative. It will follow her as she travels the country finding the most fascinating stories about dogs and the dog world.

On this episode, American Dog highlights Canine Assistants, a non-profit organization that trains and provides service dogs to people with medical conditions and disabilities. The results are nothing short of amazing. Recipients experience a freedom that would be otherwise impossible. The dogs change people’s lives. And all of it free of charge. Founded in 1991 by Jennifer Arnold, Canine Assistants now places 75 to 100 dogs annually.

Watch the video below, and be sure to subscribe to eHowPet’s channel to catch up on tips, amazing stories and pure entertainment!

Happy National Dog Day!

Man Faces Animal Cruelty Charge After Abandoning Dog on Colorado Mountain – ABC News

A 29-year-old man is expected to face a charge of animal cruelty after he abandoned his dog on Colorado mountain, the Clear Creek Sheriff’s Office officials said Friday.

Anthony Joseph Ortolani told The Denver Channel earlier that he was forced to leave his German shepherd named Missy on the snow-capped peaks of Mount Bierstadt Aug. 5, when a storm moved in and he became worried for the safety of a younger hiker who was with him.

He said his dog’s feet were cut up from walking on sharp rocks and it could no longer walk.

ABC News’ previous efforts to reach Ortolani were unsuccessful.

Scott Washburn and his wife, Amanda, found Missy Aug. 11, while they were on a leisurely hike up Mount Bierstadt.

“We were hiking to this ridge and we got off course and I was a little ahead of my wife,” he said. “She called out to me and said, ‘Hey I found a dog,’ and figured I misheard her ’cause there was no way a dog was where we were.”

Washburn and his wife were incredulous at how this dog, tucked into a tiny nook between rocks, could have ended up where it was. The whimpering dog was, as Washburn said, “in awful shape.” He was convinced it would have died if left without food or water for much longer. The couple tried to coax the dog up out of the rocks and down the mountain but it was clear the dog was too injured and weak to move.

“We knew we weren’t going to be able to get her out by herself,” said Washburn. “Her paws were completely raw and her elbows were torn up.”

Washburn got together a group of eight volunteers and the group headed back up the mountain that Monday morning. The group found the dog with all of its wounds Washburn had tried to bandage reopened. The rocks around the dog were covered in blood, and the dog was back cowering beneath the surrounding rocks.

The group of eight hikers traveled through a full-blown snowstorm that broke out during their hike. Eventually, after a nine-hour rescue mission, the group successfully managed to bring back the broken and bruised dog in a hiker’s oversized backpack.

Read more at Man Faces Animal Cruelty Charge After Abandoning Dog on Colorado Mountain – ABC News.

Hope the Dog Recovers Well

We have been following the story of Hope, a female mix pug who was found with a swelled tongue and snout shut tight by electrical tape in the harsh Texas weather. At first, medical personnel didn’t think she could make it but just 3 days later she was energetic and full of life. And there’s more good news!

According to CBS19, The sheriff’s department and the animal clinic both say they’re overwhelmed by the support they are receiving. Some of which has come from places as far away as London.

People have been calling into the Bowie Drive Animal Hospital in Weatherford since the story ran Tuesday. More than $3,000 has been donated to her care and to cover her medical bills. This far exceeds her bills to date; Dr. Kevin Buchanan says he’ll donate the surplus money to animal services inside the county.

People have also been calling into the local sheriff’s office as well. Hundreds called just Wednesday to up the ante on the reward money. Currently the reward is at $10,000 for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the dog’s injury.

Animal cruelty is a state felony offense. A call into the sheriff’s department this afternoon says much more money has been pledged but they can’t guarantee the bigger payoff until the money is received.

CBS 11 visited Hope Wednesday. Her vet is forecasting a complete recovery. She started using her tongue again this afternoon and even tried some solid food.

They believe by Saturday she will almost ready for adoption. She currently is under sheriff’s custody. However, she will be in foster care at one of the hospital staff’s homes.

The staff at South Bowie says almost all abused dogs that come under their care become very skittish or defensive after their trauma. Hope is none of that.

She greeted everyone who walked into the clinic with a gentle sniff and plenty of eye contact. Having meet Hope, I can tell you that this is a very peaceful and calm dog. Amazing when you think what’s been through. Hope indeed.

As her caregiver said, we can learn much about forgiveness. And (for) Hope becomes a promise, the bad days are over.

If you have any information on Hope or on the person or people who might have done this to her please call the Parker County Crime Stoppers network, 817.599.5555.

Gwen Gurmack wearing a Don't Be Cruel Team Patrick T-Shirt

Team Patrick T-Shirts on New Jersey Channel 12

More than a year later, Patrick is still making headlines. New Jersey Channel 12 news reporter, Alice Gainer, was at the scene on July 9 to give us an update on Kisha Curtis, Patrick’s previous owner. Her public defendant request for another court date, which was granted. Her next court appearance is July 31st. Alice spoke to Kisha who says she still is very much hated everywhere she goes receiving Facebook threats and harassments. In addition, Alice also caught up the animal rights activists including Gwen Gurmark who was seen wearing a Don’t Be Cruel Team Patrick shirt! See the video below.

Buy your Don’t Be Cruel Women’s Team Patrick shirt.