Animal Rights

  • Blogs

    October 9, 2014

    PETA Asks For Roadside Tombstone to Honor Dead Chickens

    Passing a roadside memorial down a barren stretch of road can be a brief, somber reminder of how fragile life is. How in an instant, a distracted or drunk driver can take away someone's mother, father, or daughter forever. Naturally, the folks at PETA want you remember the dead chickens. Among o ... More >>

  • Calendar

    October 2, 2014
  • Blogs

    August 11, 2014

    UPDATED Officials: Spindletop Owner Tortured, Drowned Injured Dog

    See the end of this post for more from the chief animal control investigator's affidavit. Former Spindletop dog refuge owner Leah Purcell poured water down a pit bull's nose while its mouth was held shut, "intentionally, knowingly or recklessly" torturing it to death in December 2011, according to ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 16, 2014

    Leah Purcell Charged in Spindletop Dog Refuge Case

    Former Spindletop Dog Refuge owner Leah Purcell has been charged with four misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty. Filed July 15, the charges stem from the shuttered dog refuge where, in 2012, local authorities and Humane Society of the United States personnel seized nearly 300 dogs who they say were ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 14, 2014

    Tickets on Sale Now for July 20 Sassafras Beer Dinner to Benefit Oak Forest Animal Advocates

    Oak Forest has a stray animal problem, and neighborhood residents are rallying to do something about it. It's not an original problem; the entire city of Houston shares it. Our streets are home to about one million stray animals, and BARC has neither the money nor the manpower to handle these sta ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 7, 2014

    Leah Purcell: Former Spindletop Owner Arrested for Illegal Dumping

    Former Spindletop Dog Refuge owner Leah Purcell was arrested July 5 in connection with an illegal dumping charge. The Texas Department of Public Safety was the arresting agency, but we have no further information regarding the arrest. We're waiting to hear from the Montgomery County District Attotn ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 3, 2014

    Brad Woodard: Beloved Houston Newsman Found Dead

    Reporter Brad Woodard, an award-winning former reporter for KHOU, was found dead Wednesday. We have no word yet on the cause of death. He would have turned 52 at the end of the month. Woodard was admired and respected by his peers, and racked up 26 Emmys during his time at KHOU and outlets in Minne ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 25, 2014

    Time Running Out for Charges in Spindletop Dog Refuge Case

    If Montgomery County authorities wish to file animal cruelty charges against Spindletop dog refuge owner Leah Purcell, they only have three weeks left: July 17 marks the expiration of the two year statute of limitations. That will be the anniversary of the day sheriff's deputies and personnel from ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 20, 2014

    USDA, PETA Go After Dude Whose Monkey Hit Deborah Duncan

    It was the slap seen 'round the world: a capuchin monkey bopped Great Day Houston host Deborah Duncan in the face in April, and almost everyone thought it was super-cute. Of course, the party-poopers at PETA didn't think it was cute, especially given the track record of Brian Staples, the guy who r ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 27, 2014

    Who Are These Texas Animal Welfare Groups Protecting, and Why?

    The Texas Humane Legislative Network pushes for animal-friendly laws, and encourages responsible ownership, a la spaying and neutering your pet. But it appears that the Network itself is neutered when it comes to supporting its dedicated volunteers. We're talking about an alleged incident where the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 22, 2014

    Prominent East Texans Get Nekkid for Local SPCA

    A fundraising calendar for the SPCA of East Texas is raising some eyebrows for its photos of regional officials and business owners posing in the buff. KLTV reports that a board member of Tyler's Meals on Wheels resigned after the group's president posed in the calendar. The board member explained ... More >>

  • News

    September 12, 2013

    Animal Magnetism

    You Have 51 animals in your home, claim to run a no-kill shelter and you write notes to your dead veterinarian? Sounds fine.

  • Blogs

    May 23, 2013

    The Undercover Animal Cruelty Videos that Spurred Big Ag's Censorship Crusade

    This week's story, "The Ag Gag War," goes behind the scenes of the guerilla fight between animal rights groups and Big Agriculture. For years organizations like the Humane Society and Mercy for Animals have being going undercover at America's largest farms, using hidden cameras to show exactly how ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 15, 2013

    Cover Story: Federal Animal "Crush" Law Tested in Houston

    In December 2012, two Houstonians became the first defendants charged under the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act of 2010, which criminalizes the production and distribution of images of animal cruelty. Ashley Nicole Richards and Brent Wayne Justice were originally charged in Harris County Distric ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 10, 2013

    D'AHHHHH: Largest Donation Of Pet Food In Houston History Set For Today

    The husband and wife team behind local pet store chain Natural Pawz are set to donate 100,000 pounds of pet food to the Houston Humane Society today at their new Almeda Road location. Biff Picone and his wife Nadine Jolie-Coeur collected the lion's share of the food from vendors they work with, in ... More >>

  • News

    August 16, 2012

    No Sanctuary at Spindletop

    People dropping dogs off at the refuge trusted they were sending them to the best place possible. Not exactly.

  • Blogs

    August 15, 2012

    Spindletop Dog Refuge For Pit Bulls: What Went So Horribly Wrong?

    For at least twenty years, Spindletop Dog Refuge was known as one of the few places in the country where rescued pit bulls had a second chance for a happy life. But somewhere along the way, Spindletop's owner, Leah Purcell, lost control and the refuge appears to have turned into a place where dogs w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 12, 2012

    Comment of the Day: PETA Sucks, But the Circus Does Too

    We have some great commenters here on Hair Balls, and it's time we paid some damn attention to them. So we'll be highlighting a Comment of the Day each morning or afternoon from the previous day's work. Maybe two comments, even. This will all be determined by a highly rigorous scientific formula i ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 11, 2012

    The Circus is in Town, Can PETA Be Far Behind? (No)

    At high noon today, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) protesters will rally outside Reliant Stadium to speak out against what it says is bad treatment of elephants by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus. "Houston residents would run screaming from the big top if they knew how ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 7, 2011

    UTMB Forced to Give PETA Documents on Animal Experiments

    UTMB must hand over more than 1,000 pages, AG says.​Attorney General Greg Abbott has ruled that the UT Medical Branch in Galveston must turn over documents sought by PETA regarding experiments done on animals. A PETA whistleblower alleged in January that animals were used in painful and dead ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 5, 2011

    PETA's New Target: UT-Medical Branch in Galveston

    UTMB gets hit by PETA complaints about experiments​PETA, fresh off claiming a victory over NASA about monkey experiments, has a new target in its sights: The University of Texas medical branch in Galveston. PETA has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture alleging "abuse and ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 9, 2010

    PETA Says NASA Ending Monkey Experiments (UPDATED with NASA response)

    Photo courtesy April EvansApril Evans quit NASA over the experiments​PETA is proclaiming victory in their ongoing battle to stop radiation experiments on monkeys that had been planned by NASA. Well, folks, you did it. After scores of protests and more than 100,000 letters, phone calls, and e- ... More >>

  • News

    October 7, 2010

    Intelligent Life

    When NASA employee April Evans questioned animal experiments, her career fell apart.

  • Blogs

    September 10, 2010

    FAIL: Morrissey, Scott Weiland, Whitesnake, Conspiracy Theorists

    ​Morrissey Loves Animals So Much It Makes Him Racist: Morrissey has been one of the biggest ambiguously snarky pussies in all of rock music for some years now, popular among 15-year-old bisexuals of all races and creeds. Sometimes, however, the former Smiths frontman likes to make a straightf ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 22, 2009

    More Allegations Of Sexual Harassment And Abuse At The Houston Humane Society

    Edward Perez​In the wake of a sexual harassment lawsuit against Houston Humane Society Shelter Director Edward Perez, former HHS employees have told Hair Balls they were driven to quit because of Perez's verbally assaultive behavior, condoned by Executive Director Sherry Ferguson and at least one ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 11, 2009

    This Is One Way To Report A Story, We Guess

    ​All the BARC brouhaha today brought us an interesting bit of e-mail correspondence, forwarded to us from a chain that began with a Houston Chronicle reporter.Rebecca Maitland, a freelancer who writes occasionally for the Chron's Fort Bend zoned edition, was doing a story on animal shelters in tha ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 25, 2009

    The Foie Gras Problem

    Photo by J.C. ReidI love foie gras. Is that bad? Foie gras is the fattened liver of a goose or duck. The fattening is brought about through the technique of gavage, or force-feeding the animal, in this case with corn. The resulting food product is a true delicacy which has a rich, meaty/salty flavo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 28, 2009

    Nathan Winograd, No-Kill & BARC

    Since its inception, Houston's Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care has been defined by mismanagement. Relegated to an unsightly corner of Houston's Fifth Ward, the facility, which operates with a staggeringly high 80-percent euthanasia rate, has been a historically low priority for Houston's leader ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 24, 2008

    The Houston Zoo's Got More Herpes Than A Motley Crue Groupies' Convention, PETA Says

    People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals protested at the Houston Zoo Saturday, demanding that the zoo stop breeding elephants after the death of two-year-old Mac from the elephant herpesvirus.Hair Balls caught up with PETA spokeswoman Lindsay Rajt at the protest. "PETA is appalled that yet anoth ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 21, 2008

    Those "Rescued" Dogs Are Dead, Or Lining Up To Die

    When the feds and local law-enforcement agencies busted a big dog-fighting ring a while back, there was much talk of the more than 100 dogs that had been "rescued." If by "rescued" you meant "Sent to Doggie Death Row," then they were indeed rescued. A commenter to our item on the arrests said the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 22, 2008

    Two Houston Athletes Donate Their Brains To Science

    Have you ever wanted to win an award from the good folks at PETA? Well, here’s a way to do it without actually having to deal with filthy stinking animals: agree to donate your brain to science when you shuffle off this mortal coil. PETA has awarded its Compassionate Action Award to two Houstonia ... More >>

  • News

    October 16, 2008

    Ike's Fuzzy Animals

    All kinds of cuties are showing up

  • Blogs

    October 6, 2008

    Pit Bull Laundering By The Houston SPCA

    The Houston SPCA, in the form of Meera Nandlal, who’s in charge of public relations, got back to us finally today and made it clear there has absolutely been no change in policy by the SPCA about adopting out pit bulls. The Houston SPCA, as we've noted, makes a big point of saying they do not ado ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 21, 2008

    Humane Society Helps Galveston Animals After Hurricane Ike

    Kyle Held came from St. Louis to help. Kyle Held and Catherine Raymond must have driven Galveston’s west end back and forth 100 times this past week. They’re from the Humane Society of Missouri in St. Louis; just two of the dozens of animal rescue personnel who flocked to the island from Michi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 27, 2008

    Some Success On The Pet-Adoption Front

    More than 300 pets found new homes over the weekend -- not to mention that $300,000 was raised in pledges -- as the Houston SPCA enjoyed a big success with its annual telethon. "Hours before the live broadcast (on Channel 39), the parking lot at the Houston SPCA was at capacity, leaving a line of p ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 15, 2008

    Open Season on Pit Bulls’ Genitals

    OK, let’s face it, pit bulls have a certain reputation and it’s not a good one. Yes, they’re loyal, strong, intelligent, but you have to balance that with the possibility that if your 2-year-old smart-talks them, they may rip his throat open when you step out of the room. For years, local an ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 3, 2008
  • Blogs

    July 26, 2007

    Dog Day Afternoon. Evening and Morning, Too.

    A puppy run over by a lawn mower. A stallion shot in the neck. A pit bull puppy with 13 broken bones after being beaten by its owner. Houston has plenty of animal cruelty stories, many of them documented on the Discovery Channel’s Animal Cops: Houston program. The show paints a depressing picture ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 23, 2006

    Re: Breaking News: Death to the Dogs

    The dogs are still for sale. But to whom? Yet another update to this seemingly unending story of the 320 pit bulls in Liberty County. Courtney Frank of the Houston Humane Society says her offices have been fielding angry calls and e-mails about the fate of the pit bulls after the judge's recent ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 18, 2006
  • Blogs

    August 14, 2006

    Beating a (Nearly) Dead Horse

    Dixie Wilson/ARTEX Some of the horses endured much more than a bumpy ride and exhaust. In April, Press staffer Josh Harkinson told a sad tale of horse slaughterhouses and horse abuse. On the coattails of that story, we have a depressing follow-up. On Thursday, Bryan Morgan was been charged wit ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 7, 2006

    Death Becomes Them?

    "Worried? Why? They said we all have a good shot." The Chron reports today that 300 pit bulls have been seized from a Liberty County residence. Some of the dawgs — suspected to be part of a large dogfighting ring — were left in outdoor kennels. Thomas Weigner, the owner of the property ... More >>

  • News

    December 9, 2004

    The Last Ride

    The HSPCA has tightened controls on its lethal "blue juice." But it's too late to matter for Anthony Helzer.

  • News

    March 20, 2003

    The Dogs of War

    Foster programs try to save departing soldiers' critters from becoming casualties

  • Best of Houston

    September 26, 2002

    Best Dog Trainer

    Patricia E. Mercer

  • Calendar

    October 14, 1999
  • News

    October 14, 1999

    Pet Net

    Max's uncertain plan: Matching you with that cute mutt in Maine

  • Calendar

    April 22, 1999

    Night & Day

    April 22-28, 1999

  • Calendar

    January 1, 1998
  • Calendar

    May 2, 1996
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