Paul McCartney is on a mission: after a PETA US exposé revealed that 150 or so greyhounds were suffering in squalor at a Texas outfit called The Pet Blood Bank, Inc, the company that distributed its blood products (Patterson Veterinary, which operates in the UK as National Veterinary Services Limited, the UK’s largest veterinary distributor) pledged to support efforts to ensure the dogs’ care. But less than a week later, the company reneged on the pledge, prompting McCartney to send a letter on PETA US’ behalf calling on Patterson’s billion-dollar parent company to step up and help rescue the dogs.
“I have had dogs since I was a boy and loved them all dearly, including Martha who was my companion for about 15 years and about whom I wrote the song ‘Martha, My Dear,'” writes McCartney. “I join my friends at PETA in asking you to pay these greyhounds back, and to let them retire from the dirt-floored, barren conditions in which they are kept isolated and alone.”
PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” – notes that dogs at The Pet Blood Bank were denied veterinary care for severe oral infections, painful and infected wounds, an apparent broken leg, and other health issues. Most canines at the facility are solitarily confined to barren kennels, in which they display severe stress-induced behaviour patterns, including pacing, spinning in circles, cowering, and even urinating on themselves in fear when approached.
Since PETA US’ exposé was published, more than 110,000 people have urged Patterson to use its resources to secure lifetime care for the dogs, and a mobile billboard has appeared outside the company’s Minnesota headquarters.
For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk.
McCartney’s letter to Patterson Companies CEO James Wiltz follows.
10 October 2017
Dear Mr. Wiltz,
I am writing to appeal to you to step up, make good on your earlier pledge, and rescue the dogs whose blood your company has used for many years, knowing that these 150 or so dogs—who were allowed to get into appalling shape and who are now kept in a-mileless-than-ideal conditions—helped your business at a cost to their wellbeing.
I have had dogs since I was a boy and loved them all dearly, including Martha who was my companion for about 15 years and about whom I wrote the song “Martha, My Dear.” I’m sure you know that dogs need affection and comfort—a bed to lie on, warmth in the winter, the opportunity to run and play, and just like you and me, they crave happiness and companionship.
I join my friends at PETA in asking you to pay these greyhounds back, and to let them retire from the dirt-floored, barren conditions in which they are kept isolated and alone, some of them cringing at the footfall of the person coming to take their blood again and again. They had a hard life on the racetrack, and they will die without love if left where they are. I’ve seen pictures of how they have suffered from nails that have grown back into their paw pads, as well as from infected gums and rotted teeth, and I’m told that some have apparently even died from a lack of water.
Good people, professional greyhound rescuers, are standing by to place these dogs in good homes and to transport them to those homes at no cost to anyone. Please do the right thing and win the support of all kind veterinarians and all kind souls the whole world over.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Sir Paul McCartney