Paul McCartney Urges Pet Blood Bank to Take Better Care of its Dogs

Paul McCartney performs during Desert Trip at The Empire Polo Club on October 15, 2016 in Indio, California.
Paul McCartney performs during Desert Trip at The Empire Polo Club on October 15, 2016 in Indio, California. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Desert Trip

A man’s best friend. Paul McCartney is using his voice to speak up for animals that are allegedly not being properly cared for at The Pet Blood Bank in Cherokee, Texas. The former Beatles member teamed up with PETA to pen a letter on Tuesday, October 10, urging the company to properly care for the 150 Greyhounds that are under their supervision.

After Patterson Veterinary Supply — the company that distributes the blood products — backed out on its initial promise to ensure better care for the dogs, the singer urged the CEO, James Wiltz, to step in.

“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 condition — helped your business at a cost to their wellbeing,” McCartney wrote.

“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,” the 18-time Grammy Award winner wrote. “They had a hard life on the racetrack, and they will die without love if left where they are.”

An exposé published by PETA and The Washington Post detailed the conditions at the facility, including photographs that were taken by a former employee. The singer added: “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.”

He continued, “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 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,” McCartney concluded.

In his interview with The Washington Post, Pet Blood Bank owner Shane Altizer didn’t deny that the photos were taken at his facility, but said they were taken prior to his 2015 purchase of the company and they didn’t represent its current conditions.

“If a dog isn’t healthy, they don’t produce a product. And if they don’t produce a product, they’re an expense,” Altizer said, insisting that they have made changes since taking over ownership. “It’s cheaper to keep a dog healthy.”

Read Paul McCartney’s full letter here and you can help by signing PETA’s petition here.

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