Olympian Marlen Esparza joins anti-animal abuse campaign

Friday, January 18, 2013
[PHOTO: ©PETA/Robert Sebree] 
Houston: Wearing "PETA"-emblazoned boxing gloves and standing protectively next to a canine friend, Olympic boxer and Houston native Marlen Esparza appears in a brand-new PETA ad that reads, "Animals Need You in Their Corner. If You Suspect or Witness Animal Abuse, Call the Authorities Immediately." 

The ad, which is part of PETA's "Never Be Silent" campaign, was shot by top celebrity photographer Robert Sebree .

Esparza, who medaled in the 2012 London Games and was the first female American boxer ever to qualify for the Olympics, also sat down for an on-set interview in which she stressed the importance of immediately reporting animal abuse whenever it is suspected or witnessed. 

"It's totally unfair what we do to animals who have no voice, who can't say anything, who can't do anything about it. And since they can't help themselves, someone needs to," she says. "Call the police …. Just make sure that you don't forget about the animal, because you wouldn't want anyone to forget about you if you couldn't talk."

PETA's "Never Be Silent" campaign urges the public to speak up and alert authorities if they see or suspect animal abuse in their communities and never to assume that someone else will take action. An animal's life may depend on it. Thanks to compassionate, concerned citizens who reported horrendous cruelty witnessed on the Internet, PETA was able to alert Houston authorities to two abusers who were torturing and killing puppies, kittens, and rabbits in "crush" fetish videos. These abusers were recently indicted by a federal grand jury on felony cruelty-to-animals charges, and both of them face up to 45 years in prison.

Esparza is part of a long list of athletes—including Maureen Shea, "Sugar" Shane Mosley, Candace Parker, Tito Ortiz, K.J. Noons, Amanda Beard, Mac Danzig, Hannah Teter, and Jake Shields—who have teamed up with PETA to fight animal abuse.
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