I love PETA. They do amazing work and save so many animals, without them, animals would go through way more suffering. But there's just one thing, that I really can't stand about PETA: PETA says that dog crates are cruel. Dog crates can be cruel, if not used correctly, but if used correctly, it can be your dog's safe place to sleep and have some quiet time. And also a place where owners can leave their dogs (after a little training) while they go shopping , knowing that the dog (or in this case, most likely a puppy) won't destroy their house. A crate is an amazing tool, *if used correctly*. That's why the Humane Society of the United States has a page on their website with a video and some information about how to properly, humanely use a crate.
This is what PETA says:
What if, at your local pet-supply store, you could purchase a dog-training tool that would make your dog weaker, klutzier, and less intelligent? And what if this tool increased your dog's frustration and fearfulness about the world and made him or her less likely to bond with you? Would you buy it? Of course not! Yet, millions of these "tools" are sold every year to unsuspecting American dog lovers who want the absolute best for their dogs. The tool is a "crate," which is just a euphemism for a cage. In fact, dog crates are substantially smaller than the cages that are used to house dogs in laboratories.
None of this is true!
I sent an email to PETA about this and this is the answer I got:
Hey ********, Thanks for writing and for sharing your story! We definitely appreciate hearing from you about this, for sure. While it's great that you had a good experience with them, it's important to know that most people leave their dogs in crates as a way to warehouse them during the day while they're at school, work, or just out running errands (now she says that only most people use crates in a cruel way). As my co-worker has already said, crating dogs is really no different and no less irresponsible than a parent leaving a baby in an unattended crib or a locked room when they need to leave the house for whatever reason (she is comparing this with leaving a baby unattended in a locked room). A crate should never be used as a "babysitter," and this is what they are used for a vast majority of the time. Keep in mind that we don't oppose keeping a dog confined to a small area as necessary if it is in the dog's best interests (e.g., when complete rest is ordered by a veterinarian or when confinement will keep the dog safe during travel). In such cases, guardians should always take steps to ensure that dogs are provided with bedding and the opportunity to relieve themselves and that they are given access to water, fresh air, food, companionship, and other basic necessities. Please let me know if you have any more questions about this! If you're looking for other ways you can help animals, you should join the Street Team! It's totally free, and all you have to do is sign up at http://www.peta2.com/street-team/register/. You'll be joining hundreds of thousands of other people all fighting for what you're fighting for, and after you've joined, you'll be able to submit points reports for everything you do for animals (just fill out the form at http://www.peta2.com/actions/) and then exchange the points for Street Team goods, like animal rights tees, stickers, and more! Thanks for all you do, and be sure to check out our blog for all the latest ways you can help animals! Sincerely, Whitney Calk Street Team Coordinator, peta2 People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals peta2.com Add me on Facebook! "Activism is my rent for living on this planet." -Alice Walker From: Hope For Animals [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 12:21 AM To: Megan Vasiles (PETA Foundation) Subject: Re: PETA Thanks for taking the time to reply, I am appalled to see that PETA is so uninformed about dogs and dog training. This is my story: I had wanted a dog since I saw puppies for sale at a market when I was 5 years old. Of course I was way too young to take on that responsibility so my mom got me a rat instead. I was homeschooled and as soon as I learned to read I read books about dogs and dog training. I would research dogs on the Internet and walk the neighborhood dogs. I still didn't know much about positive dog training. When I was 11 years old I was even more into dogs than I ha ever been, I wanted to go watch dog training lessons even though I didn't have a dog. So my mom contacted a dog clicker trainer in our area, ****** **** (look her up if you want). She was super nice and let me come and watch the classes. I learned a completely new way of training, where the dogs would have to think and really get their minds working to get treats. It's so cool what you can teach dogs to do with a clicker and its entirely positive. I even got to take ******'s assistant's dog out during the classes to do the exercises. I learned so much. After a couple months of going to classes I asked my neighbors of I could take their hyper-active, crazy, jumpy Labrador to class. They agreed! Bella learned very quickly, she responded very well to the style of training (more than her usual training from her owners who were constantly yelling at her). I went to classes with her for 6 months. My mom then decided that I was ready for a puppy of my own. So that spring I started my search for a Lab-X puppy (not purebred of course!) I ended up (after a long search, because I didn't just want to jump on the first puppy I saw, I wanted to be completely sure) finding the perfect puppy. I had spent all my Christmas money on toys, a leash and collar, a crate, a clicker, a blanket... So I was all ready. Nova was a super cute Labrador and I loved her to death! I went to training classes as soon as I got her! She quickly surpassed Bella's level even though she was just 3-4 months old! The crate was an active tool in her training, but only on an entirely positive way. No force was ever used. She was never left in her crate alone for more than 30 minutes right after she had gone outside to play and was dead-tired. You said: "Crate training does not speed up the housebreaking process and may even prolong it. Regardless of the training method, puppies do not develop full bladder control before 6 months of age." Well, Nova only had 1 "accident" in the house. During her entire life. I was homeschooled and spent all of my time with her. She actually preferred her crate over the couch! It was and still is her "safe area". One time we were camping and we found a dead bear, she was absolutely terrified and quickly ran into her crate shaking like a leaf. That is what she has always done! Whenever she's scared she goes into her crate. And don't tell me it's because "she just wants to please me", I am not stupid, I have enough commonsense to know that my dog likes her crate. And I know that if the myth that says "dogs just want to please their owners" was true no one would have any trouble with their dogs. It's A MYTH!!! And PETA should know that! I am now ** (almost **) years old and Nova is 2 1/2 years old. She is a healthy and happy dog who loves her crate! Me and my friends have an Animal rights group and, trust me, if crates were even slightly cruel I would never use one. Please reply. Thanks for our time. Hope For Animals
Part of an article on crate training:
I have used this method with my dogs. I am a die hard animal lover, and if this was cruel in any way I would be the first one screaming to stop this practice. My current dog is a German Shepherd we adopted at 5 weeks of age. He was badly injured and abandoned at an Emergency Vet. To make a long story short, they fixed him up and offered him to us. We started Crate Training him right away. When he was about 2 years old we decided to take his crate down. Buster (our German Shepherd) cried and moaned the entire night. We actually had to put his crate back up. That night he slept like a baby all night long.
Now, does that sound cruel to you?
This is a petition I started just to show PETA (in a nice way, because we love PETA!) that crates are not cruel.
Thanks for your help!