Written by Jeff Mackey
Once upon a time, there was a sweet little girl named Coco.
Like Cinderella and Snow White before her, Coco faced true hardship. When Prince
Charming PETA's fieldworkers found her, she was chained to a trampoline—which served as her only "shelter"—and
her coat was badly matted, as you can see:
The fieldworkers, though, instantly recognized the princess
beneath the tangled fur and, with some persistence, persuaded the owner to
surrender the little poodle. She was whisked away to be bathed, groomed, spayed, and vaccinated before finding her happy ending: being placed into a wonderful
home. She now has more than an acre of kingdom fenced-in area to explore
and enjoys watching TV, staring at herself in the mirror, and—most of all—snuggling
with her human family. Here she is today, in royal repose:
Here's the moral of Coco's story: You don't have to be a
godmother with a magic wand. For abused, neglected, and abandoned animals, a helping hand can turn a potential tragedy into a fairy tale—and adoption provides the "happily
What You Can Do
PETA is always looking for people who can give animals loving
homes. If you are an East Coast resident and are interested in adopting a
companion animal from PETA, contact Adopt@peta.org. No matter where you live, please never buy
an animal from a pet store
or breeder—for a real fairy-tale ending, always adopt from an animal shelter or rescue.
Written by PETA
the terminally ill Oregon man who approached his cancer with a wry sense of acceptance, has died. He left the world with grace, humor, and purpose.
When PETA learned last year that Aaron wanted to sell advertisements on his urns in order to
reduce the financial burden on his wife, Kristin, we offered to buy two ads, and
Aaron, who had a wonderful sense of humor in addition to being a kind and
practical man, accepted our offer. One of the ads we suggested reads, "I've
Kicked the Bucket—Have You? Boycott KFC." We explained to Aaron that KFC's
suppliers cram the birds slated to end up in all those buckets into huge sheds,
where they live amid their own waste and are bred and drugged to grow such
unnaturally large upper bodies that their legs often become crippled under the weight.
We informed him that many birds suffer broken bones when slammed into shackles
at the slaughterhouse before their throats are cut. Yet the company refuses to
adopt the common-sense improvements recommended by its own animal welfare
Aaron was also an advocate of adopting homeless, mixed-breed
dogs and cats from shelters. He wrote on his blog, Judas Forgiven, about the
importance of donating to shelters and the joy that his beautiful dog, Belle,
brought into his life. Since PETA shared Aaron's concern that every puppy or
kitten born means one home fewer for dogs and cats desperately waiting in a
shelter or roaming the streets, PETA's other urn ad reads, "People Who Buy
Purebred Dogs Really Burn Me Up. Always Adopt."
We ask everyone who knew Aaron or was influenced by this
kind man to honor him by "choosing joy," as he put it, and by doing everything that we
can to allow animals—who are capable of experiencing such unfettered happiness—to
choose joy too.
Several years ago, I added a Siamese cat to my family. Mochi had been picked up as a stray by a local animal control agency. When no one claimed him, he was turned over to a Siamese cat rescue group. The first time I took him to my veterinarian, a man at the vet's office peeked into Mochi's carrier and then said to his wife, "He's a Siamese." "I just adopted him from a rescue group," I explained. Incredulous, the man responded, "Siamese cats don't need rescuing!"
June is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, and for people with the energy, resources, patience and love to devote to a feline companion, it's the perfect time to save a life by adopting a cat from an animal shelter or reputable breed-rescue group. Whether you have your heart set on a rambunctious kitten or a more sedate "lap cat," a regal Persian or a sassy tabby, animal shelters are overflowing with cats of every stripe.
I'll never understand why some people still turn to breeders, classified ads or pet stores—all of which contribute to the animal overpopulation crisis—when animal shelters and rescue groups are filled to the brim with lovable, affectionate cats (and dogs) who would make wonderful companions. With so many more animals than there are good homes, shelters have no choice but to euthanize many healthy and friendly cats. Every year, 3 to 4 million cats and dogs are euthanized in animal shelters.
If you're determined to have a specific breed of cat, you can still rescue an animal in need of a loving home. Having a pedigree doesn't protect cats or dogs from being tossed out like old furniture when they're no longer wanted. I recently adopted a second Siamese cat who, like Mochi, was a stray. Romeo had been neutered and declawed, so obviously he was once someone else's companion, but no one had come forward to claim him.
Despite being extraordinarily handsome, Romeo still ended up homeless—until he was rescued.
The rescue group from which I adopted Mochi is currently caring for several Siamese cats who were left to fend for themselves when their owners moved away. One cat was stuffed into a box that was taped shut and left outside an animal shelter.
Another older Siamese was given up because his owner didn't want to spend the money to find out why he was sick. Then there are the Siamese kittens who were born homeless because someone didn't bother to spay or neuter his or her cat and an unwanted litter was the result.
These same sad scenarios are repeated time and time again all over the country, and they affect mutts and purebreds alike.
There are other reasons to visit an animal shelter or rescue group rather than supporting breeders and pet stores. Pre-loved cats are more likely to be litter box-trained, and they're pros at sharpening their claws on a scratching post instead of your favorite sofa. Shelters screen animals for specific temperaments and behaviors, and most have trained adoption counselors available to help you find the perfect fit for your family. Animals in shelters and rescue groups are also checked out by a veterinarian when they arrive, and they leave spayed or neutered, microchipped and vaccinated.
Mochi and Romeo went from life on the street to a loving home where they lounge on windowsills on sunny days, playfully chase each other up and down the hallway and snuggle in bed with me at night. If you're ready to share your home with a feline companion, why not give a homeless cat—or two—a second chance at life? Your new best friend could be as close as your local animal shelter.
Written by Paula Moore
Just think—the next Best Cat in the Universe could be waiting for you at your local animal shelter. Kinda gives you goose bumps, doesn't it? If you have the energy, resources, and, most importantly, lap time to devote to a feline companion, you can't go wrong by adopting a cat from an animal shelter. But just in case you need some convincing, here are the top 10 reasons why shelter kitties rule:
Written by Alisa Mullins
P.S. After you've given a kitty a forever home, you should check out this book: 250 Things You Can Do to Make Your Cat Adore You.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.