Written by Michelle Kretzer
Food and Drug Administration just lowered the age at which girls can get the Plan B oral contraceptive without a
prescription to 15. Critics argue that that's too young, but PETA insists that birth
control should start as early as 8 weeks—for puppies and kittens. It's
called "prepubescent sterilization," and to illustrate our point, we're
planning to place this billboard in Oklahoma, which has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the country:
can't unwrap a condom, open a package of birth control pills, or walk into a
pharmacy and request Plan B. So responsible animal guardians should start their
young charges off on the right paw—by spaying and neutering them as
soon as possible. This prevents "oops"
litters before guardians realize that the animals are sexually mature. Cats,
for example, can become pregnant as young as 4 months old.
Sterilization ensures that your animal companions won't contribute
to the animal-overpopulation crisis. Just one unaltered female dog and her
offspring can produce 67,000 puppies in only six years. In seven years, one
female cat and her offspring can produce 370,000 kittens.
Early spaying and neutering has health benefits, too: It reduces
animals' risk of some forms of cancer and other diseases. A study by
the University of Georgia found that spayed and neutered dogs live an average
of about a year and a half longer than unaltered animals.
let your animal companions qualify for the next Teen Mom cast: Spay
and neuter them.
Written by PETA
In my first year working at a grossly substandard animal shelter in Maryland, I forced myself to go in early to euthanize dogs by holding them in my arms and gently helping them escape an uncaring world without trauma or pain and to spare them from being stabbed haphazardly—while they were fully conscious, terrified and aware—in the general vicinity of their hearts with needles blunt from reuse and left to thrash on the floor until they finally died by the callous people who would arrive later to do the job.
I always wonder how anyone cannot recognize that there is a world of difference between painlessly euthanizing animals out of compassion—aged, injured, sick, and dying animals whose guardians can't afford euthanasia, for instance—as PETA does, and causing them to suffer terror, pain, and a prolonged death while struggling to survive on the streets, at the hands of untrained and uncaring "technicians," or animal abusers.
It's easy to point the finger at those who are forced to do the "dirty work" caused by a throwaway society's casual acquisition and breeding of dogs and cats who end up homeless and unwanted, but at PETA, we will never turn our backs on neglected, unloved, and homeless animals—even if the best we can offer them is a painless release from a world that doesn't have enough heart or homes with room for them. It makes it easy for people to throw stones at us, but we are against all needless killing: for hamburgers, fur collars, dissection, sport hunting, the works. PETA handled far more animals than 2,069 in 2012. In fact, we took in more than 10,000 dogs and cats and work very hard to persuade people to spay and neuter their animals and to commit to a lifetime of care and respect for them. We go so far as to transport animals to and from our spay/neuter clinics, where they are spayed or neutered and given vet care, often for free! Since 2001, PETA's low- to no-cost spay-and-neuter mobile clinics, SNIP and ABC, have sterilized more than 50,000 animals, preventing hundreds of thousands of animals from being born, neglected, abandoned, abused, or euthanized when no one wanted them. And on a national level, PETA is focusing on the root of the problem through our Animal Birth Control (ABC) campaign.
If anyone has a good home, love, and respect to offer, we beg them: Go to a shelter and take one or two animals home. The problem is that few people do that, choosing instead to go to a breeder or a pet shop and not "fixing" their dogs and cats, which contributes to the high euthanasia rate that animal shelters face. Most of the animals we took in and euthanized could hardly be called "pets," as they had spent their lives chained up in the back yard, for instance. They were unsocialized, never having been inside a building of any kind or known a pat on the head. Others were indeed someone's, but they were aged, sick, injured, dying, too aggressive to place, and the like, and PETA offered them a painless release from suffering, with no charge to their owners or custodians.
Every day, PETA's fieldworkers help abused and neglected dogs—many of them pit bulls nowadays and many of them forced to live their lives on chains heavy enough to tow an 18-wheeler—by providing them with food; clean water; lightweight tie-outs; deworming medicine; flea, tick, and fly-strike prevention; free veterinary care; sturdy wooden doghouses stuffed with straw bedding; and love.
What we see is enough to make you lose faith in humanity. One pit bull we gained custody of, named Asia, looked like a skeleton covered with skin when PETA released her from the 15-pound chain she had been kept on for years. Asia suffered from three painful and deadly intestinal obstructions, which prevented her from keeping any food down. She faced an agonizing, lingering death, so our veterinarian recommended euthanasia to end her suffering. We pursued criminal charges against those responsible for her condition, leading to their conviction for cruelty to animals. That is just one of the dozens of cases we see every week.
The majority of adoptable dogs are never brought through our doors (we refer them to local adoption groups and walk-in animal shelters). Most of the animals we house, rescue, find homes for, or put out of their misery come from miserable conditions, which often lead to successful prosecution and the banning of animal abusers from ever owning or abusing animals again.
As long as animals are still purposely bred and people aren't spaying and neutering their companions, open-admission animal shelters and organizations like PETA must do society's dirty work. Euthanasia is not a solution to overpopulation but rather a tragic necessity given the present crisis. PETA is proud to be a "shelter of last resort," where animals who have no place to go or who are unwanted or suffering are welcomed with love and open arms.
Please, if you care about animals, help prevent more of them from being born only to end up chained and left to waste away in people's back yards, suffering on mean streets where people kick at them or shoo them away like garbage, tortured at the hands of animal abusers, or, alas, euthanized in animal shelters for lack of a good home. If you want to save lives, always have your animals spayed or neutered.
See more about how PETA saves animals.
Written by Ingrid E. Newkirk
Written by Jeff Mackey
article on CNN's website helps explain why many animal advocates—PETA included—support policies
requiring in-depth assessment before placing companion animals into new homes:
By screening properly, rescue workers and animal shelters can help make sure
that animals who have often survived cruelty, neglect, or abandonment will find
safe homes in which they will be treated with love and respect for the rest of
As a result of carelessness or negligence, adopted animals have
been killed, horribly tortured, fed to snakes, and sexually abused, among other things. And in response to pressure from "no-kill" supporters, there has been a push to increase adoption numbers and manipulate euthanasia
statistics, causing children and others to be harmed and killed by adopted animals, which is a tragedy for families as well as for
adopted animals and serves only to frighten people away from adopting vulnerable
animals from shelters.
Animals deserve to be treated like individuals, not
discounted merchandise, yet more and more animal shelters are resorting to a
variety of ill-advised tactics in order to increase adoptions, including free or grossly discounted
adoptions, black cat giveaways during Halloween, buy-one-get-one-free kitten promotions,
and other nonsense meant to make for more appealing adoption statistics—without
really checking where (or with
whom) the animals end up. These irresponsible "bargain adopt-a-thons" send
the message that animals' lives are worth little to nothing—the very mindset that
causes millions of animals to be relinquished to animal shelters in the first
If you or someone you know can no longer care for an animal
companion, never advertise the animal
on Craigslist or in a "Free to a Good Home" ad, and never adopt out an animal who
has not been spayed or neutered. Follow our other tips here to seek out a permanent home for your animal friend. A reasonable fee, an
application, a contract, and a home visit are essential to ensuring that animals
are placed in truly forever homes—after all, anyone not interested in being
part of the process to adopt an animal can hardly be expected to spend the
time, money, and energy needed to care for an animal for his or her entire life.
Want to help? Become an ABC (Animal Birth Control) volunteer today to help reduce the number of unwanted animals who need to be adopted in
the first place!
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.