Written by PETA
dog, Pete, attracts lots of attention on our walks—he jumps for joy like his
legs are made of pogo sticks, seeming to defy gravity as he launches his
sizable frame skyward. Along with "Did you teach him to do that?!"
(answer: no), people are always asking me, "Where did you get him?" I
guess they just assume that I bought Pete from a breeder, because his flowing
mane resembles a golden retriever's. It's fun to see their surprise when I tell
them that Pete is a mutt and that I adopted him from an animal shelter.
is "Adopt a Shelter Dog" Month, and if you're ready to commit to
caring for a canine companion, there is no better place to find your new best
friend than a shelter or rescue group. Shelters
are overflowing with dogs of all ages, personalities, and sizes—mutts and
purebreds. Just make sure that your lifestyle,
activity level, and experience will make you a good fit for the animal you're
considering. For a nominal adoption fee—hundreds less than what breeders
typically charge—your new family member will likely go home neutered, vaccinated,
dewormed, and microchipped.
has become such an important part of my life that it's difficult to think about
what might have happened if I hadn't adopted him. Every year, shelters must euthanize
3 to 4 million dogs and cats because breeders, pet stores, and people who don't
have their animals sterilized bring more animals into a world that is already tragically short on good homes.
Let's help change that this October by having our animal companions spayed and neutered
and opening our hearts and homes to a lovable, one-of-a-kind dog from a
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
wife says I could live without a wife but I could never live without dogs,"
jokes Kirk Douglas. The Oscar-winning actor, producer, director, and
author recently shared with PETA the lessons in love and friendship that he has
learned from his two beloved Labrador retrievers,
Danny and Banshee, who are rarely far from his side.
Photo courtesy of Kirk Douglas
all the busy years of his impressive career, Douglas says that he has found joy
and solace with his dogs. "I've had dogs all my life …. They have never
failed to give me friendship."
a lively pup, is the newest member of the Douglas family and proved to be a
great comfort to Danny and the rest of the Douglases after they lost their
beloved Foxy about a year and a half ago. "[Foxy] always had health
problems, and he could only see with one eye," Douglas says. "Danny became
his Seeing Eye dog. [Foxy] is buried in our garden in Montecito."
relationship that Douglas shares with each of his dogs is irreplaceable. "If
I come home and the dogs are not there (they may be at the vet), the house
feels empty. If you don't have a dog, you are missing a lot in life."
you're ready to be a dog's best friend, visit your local animal shelter or check
out Petfinder to see the many adoptable dogs in your area.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
As someone who has spent years volunteering at a wonderful open-admission animal shelter, it breaks my heart when people use the term "kill shelters" to refer to shelters that accept every needy animal—no matter how beat up, old, ill, or behaviorally unsound they are—and that have no choice but to give some animals a painless, dignified release through euthanasia.
This mean-spirited, misleading label is a slap in the face to the brave people who pour their hearts and souls into helping animals at open-admission shelters. I wish that those who use this term could spend a day at the receiving desk of their local full-service shelter so that they could see firsthand how badly we need open-door shelters. A steady flow of people arrive with battered, broken animals of all shapes, sizes, and species: "We call her Matty because she's full of mats," said one person who was surrendering a dog whose matted fur was infested with maggots. Matty's family was getting rid of her because they wanted a puppy.
Other reasons people have given for taking animals to the shelter include "He's sick, and I can't afford to take him to the vet," "He's chewing up everything, and my dad said he's gonna shoot him," "She's just old," "He was great as a puppy, but now he's just too big," "We just have too many animals," "They have been hanging around the house, and we don't want them," "Someone dumped them at my house," and "We're moving."
Nearly everyone leaves the shelter saying the same thing: "You won't kill him, will you?" What else can shelters do when they have a limited number of cages and an unlimited number of needy animals pouring through their doors? There is no huge farm for unwanted animals—a fantasy that many people's parents told them existed when their childhood animal friends were brought to open-admission shelters—and shelters don't have a magic wand that they can wave to create loving homes.
This name-calling hurts animals because it scares people away from surrendering animals to reputable shelters. It misleads people into thinking that taking cats and dogs to facilities that don't euthanize is the right thing to do, but animals at these places often suffer fates worse than death. These facilities are always full and have long waiting lists to accept animals, which results in people dumping animals to die on the streets, giving them away on Craigslist (a magnet for animal abusers), or abandoning them to starve in empty homes and yards after they move away.
There is no such thing as "high-kill," "low-kill," or anything in between when it comes to shelters. There are only open-admission shelters—those that provide refuge to every animal and must euthanize to ensure that their doors remain open to more needy animals—and limited-admission shelters—those that pick and choose only the cutest, youngest, and most adoptable animals and turn away everyone else.
For the sake of animals and the people who have devoted their lives to helping them, let's stop the name-calling and support shelters that are committed to doing what's best for animals— even when that's the hardest thing to do.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
President Obama released the "long version" of his birth certificate today, which proves that he is a Hawaiian-born American. One might say he is much like millions of American mutts who are unfairly criticized because of their lack of "papers." In fact, PETA is saying it—in an ad we plan to run in Obama's birthplace, Honolulu:
Obama declared, "We do not have time for this kind of silliness." Dogs in animal shelters don't have time for silliness either. Every second that passes—and every purebred dog purchased on a whim from a breeder or a pet store—brings shelter dogs one step closer to dying for lack of a good home.
If you must have a dog with "papers," please adopt a purebred from a shelter. And if you just want a Great American Mutt to love, shelters are full of those too.
Goldendoodles, cockapoos, cockadoodledoos, and whatever else they're called, "hybrid" dogs fetch—a pretty penny, that is. And breeders and puppy mills are cashing in on the craze. It's really silly that some folks are shelling out as much as $1,600 for one of these dogs when animal shelters and rescue groups are overflowing with dogs in every combination of breeds imaginable, often without the costly health problems of dogs who are purebred or close to it. Perhaps rescuers could convince people to adopt if we started touting our dogs as "designer," too, like my lovely "German Huskweiler."
Insisting on designer sunglasses is one thing, but buying a designer dog is deadly to a dog in an animal shelter. If you know someone considering a hybrid dog, please encourage him or her to visit the local animal shelter (and note that an estimated 25 percent of shelter dogs are purebred) or look at Petfinder.com and see the hundreds of stunning mixed-breed pups with great personalities who are waiting for a family to love.
After reading the last few posts about animal homelessness, euthanasia, and hoarding, some people might be wondering what they can do to help. Perhaps a few of you have even considered starting your own animal rescue group. If so, thank you for caring so deeply, but please—help us focus attention on stemming the flow.
Think of it this way: The animal overpopulation crisis is like water flooding into a sinking ship. We don't need more people bailing; we need to fix the gaping hole in the bottom of the boat! When it comes to ending animal homelessness, the most humane and sustainable solution is to pour our time, money, and effort into having animals spayed and neutered. Preventing more animals from being born stops the problem at its source. Here are some creative ways that we can work toward a no-birth nation:
Another crucial component of ending animal homelessness is educating the public about why it's so important to adopt animals instead of buying them from pet shops or breeders. If you are considering adding a cat or dog to your family, your decision will literally mean life or death for an animal waiting in an animal shelter. If you choose to buy from a breeder or a pet store, an animal at the local shelter must be euthanized. Please, always choose to save a life by adopting your animal companions from animal shelters or reputable adoption groups.
PETA has teamed up with dozens of celebrities—including Justin Bieber, Yvonne Strahovski, Lance Bass, Kellan Lutz, Joanna Krupa, Audrina Patridge, Patricia Arquette, and others—for pro-adoption public service announcements (PSAs). You can help encourage people to adopt animals, never buy, by sponsoring or obtaining free placement for one of these PSAs in a newspaper or magazine.
Thank you for caring. Animals like these are counting on compassionate people like you:
Like so many other rabbits, Bobbi was acquired on a whim and surrendered after her owners discovered how much time and effort are required to care for a rabbit. PETA found Bobbi a loving home, and she now enjoys playing with three other rabbits and sleeping in a bed with her new family.
Julie was once trapped at the end of a chain—one of the worst punishments possible for a dog, especially a collie—but PETA's fieldworkers convinced her owners to surrender her and helped place her in a wonderful home with a family who adores her.
For many Americans, Fourth of July celebrations represent copious amounts of barbecue, beer, and fireworks. But for animals, the holiday means terror, thanks to the thunderous explosions that typically start days before the official holiday and never seem to end. Desperate to escape the ear-shattering booms of fireworks displays, even the coolest cats will scatter and the most docile dogs will chew, dig, claw, and otherwise try to break free from their confines and run for the hills. After all, their hearing is much more sensitive than ours.
Such escapes take place all over the country, and one story made national headlines last year: Knowing that their dog, J.J., feared fireworks, Spokane police thought it would be a good idea to lock him in a kennel. Wrong answer.
J.J. was so terrified by the fireworks that he used his teeth to bend open the steel latch to his kennel in order to escape. J.J. was found the next day—but countless dogs who flee are lost for days—or forever. Any animal shelter employee will tell you that the number of lost dogs and cats skyrockets every year after Fourth of July fireworks celebrations.
PETA needs your help as we collect data to strengthen efforts to convince communities across the country to celebrate with spectacular laser light shows instead of noisy fireworks displays. Until my city cans the explosions, I'll celebrate Independence Day inside, practicing these helpful tips for calming my dogs and cats. My curtains will be drawn, and I'll be playing Beethoven to drown out the neighborhood noise. After all, it's no holiday for me if it's a helliday for my animal companions. Don't you agree?
Written by Karin Bennett
The following post was originially published on PETA Prime.
Just in time for "Adopt a Shelter Cat" Month comes some great news: In an Associated Press-Petside poll, more than half of respondents said that they plan to adopt their next cat or dog from an animal shelter—that's more than seven times the number of people who say they would be likely to purchase an animal from a pet store. And with age comes wisdom, apparently—people over age 30 were the most likely to adopt an animal from a shelter.
The reasons they give are even more heartening. We're apparently getting the word out—with a little help from our friends—that pet shops usually obtain their animals from puppy mills and that these animals often suffer from a variety of physical and mental problems. By contrast, many respondents say that shelter animals, many of whom are mixed breeds, are less likely to suffer from the congenital defects that plague purebreds.
Colton, California, resident Sandra Toro, 62, summed it up nicely: "I believe [pet shops and puppy mills] couldn't care less about the pets, they're really in it for the money. I think you are more likely to get a pet at a pet store that is ill or has problems." Toro, who is the proud guardian of a rescued mutt, went on to say that she doesn't understand how anyone can buy an animal from a pet store or breeder instead of adopting a homeless dog or cat. "There are so many wonderful pets out there that will be euthanized," she said. "There's no reason for it."
We couldn't have said it better ourselves, Sandra!
How about you? Will your next cat (or dog) come from an animal shelter or rescue group?
Written by Alisa Mullins
Update: On Saturday, March 27, Utah's governor signed the bill into law, formally amending the state's pound-seizure law. This means that animal shelters are no longer required to turn over animals for use in cruel experiments. Hooray!
Thanks in large part to e-mails, letters, and phone calls from thousands of compassionate supporters, Utah legislators voted by an overwhelming majority to amend a state law so that government-run animal shelters will not be forced to sell dogs and cats to laboratories for use in cruel and deadly experiments upon request. Once the governor signs the bill, Utah will no longer have the dubious distinction of being one of only three states in the country that still mandate that animal shelters engage in this shameful practice. The new law also lengthens the required holding period for animals in shelters and mandates that shelters make greater efforts to find the guardians of lost animals.
These positive changes come on the heels of a recent PETA undercover investigation inside laboratories at the University of Utah. The shocking investigation revealed that each year, more than 100 homeless cats and dogs from government-run animal shelters in Utah are sold to the university for use in invasive, painful, and deadly experiments. In one instance, the university bought a pregnant cat from a local animal shelter and injected chemicals into her kitten's brains, causing fluid to build up inside their heads. All the kittens died.
With this new law, companion animals in Utah—and the people who care for them—can rest a little easier.
Please take a moment to contact the University of Utah and urge it to stop buying animals from animal shelters once and for all.
Written by Shawna Flavell
It's a fact: the Westminster Dog Show aggravates the already dire animal overpopulation crisis and contributes to the deaths of homeless animals by encouraging people to buy purebred dogs from breeders and pet stores. That's why PETA's Grim Reaper showed up on Monday to usher in the dark event:
This year, dedicated PETA supporters gathered outside the dog show to tell passersby that Madison Square Garden should be the final resting place for Westminster—and that keeping shelter dogs out of early graves is as easy as choosing to adopt from a worthy rescue group rather than buying from a breeder.
Written by Logan Scherer
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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.