Written by PETA
© Digital Vision/Cats & Dogs/Getty Images
In a trailblazing move that would earn
tail-wagging approval from dogs everywhere, shopping mall developer Macerich has
banned pet stores that
sell animals in its more than 70 malls
across the U.S. and is offering up the pet stores' old spaces as adoption
centers for homeless animals instead. This compassionate decision follows
another the company made at PETA's urging last year to ban the hideous "Pocket
which sell sugar gliders—tiny, exotic, nocturnal marsupials who often die as a
result of improper care and the stress and loneliness of captivity.
Proving that one can make a difference,
the pet-store ban is largely thanks to the efforts of California resident Jennifer
Peterson, who informed Macerich that pet stores
essentially fronts for cruel puppy
mills and worked with the company on a
plan to evict the stores.
Hopefully, many other malls will follow
Macerich's humane lead and ban sales of live animals. Each of us can help, too,
by never buying animals from pet stores and giving a grateful dog or cat from a shelter
a loving, lifelong home instead.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
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
Labor Day meant a long weekend for many nine-to-fivers, but some laborers
can't close up shop and forget about their jobs, even for a day. For animal
shelter workers, the stream of battered and bruised animals in need of refuge
never ends. Few people have a more emotionally challenging job than those who
punch in every day knowing that they will likely have to euthanize the animals
they've devoted themselves to helping.
We can all help ease shelter workers' burdens by doing our part to slow the
stream of homeless animals. That means always having our cats and dogs spayed
or neutered and adopting animals instead of buying them from breeders or pet
As one who has spent years volunteering at my local animal shelter, I know
that shelter staffers are some of the hardest-working people around. They scrub
poop-strewn kennels, comb animals who are matted and crawling with fleas, and
give belly rubs to dogs who have been chained up like old bicycles their entire
lives. They heft dogs onto examination tables, unload vans of 50-pound bags of
food, get bitten by petrified dogs who have known nothing but cruelty, and get
scratched by cats who are frantic after having left the home they've always
known to live in a cage surrounded by other crying felines. They cuddle cats,
throw balls for dogs, slip treats through cage bars, speak kind words, and give
many scratches behind the ears. They do their best to make the animals' stay at
the shelter as full of love as possible.
But shelters don't have a magic wand that they can wave to create loving
homes for all the animals who need them. Those who work in open-admission
shelters must also perform the thankless, gut-wrenching task of holding the
animals they've played with and loved in their arms while the euthanasia needle
slides into a vein and the light in their eyes softly flickers out. These
people are heroes for doing the right thing for animals even though it takes
such a toll on them personally.
Breeders, pet stores, and people who haven't had their animals spayed or
neutered put shelter workers in this tragic position. Every new puppy or kitten
who is brought into the world takes the chance for a home away from one of the
thousands of animals waiting in shelters. And every new puppy or kitten means
another broken heart for a brave shelter worker.
Shelter workers' jobs will never be cushy, but if more people spay and
neuter their animals before that first litter and if more people adopt the
eager-to-please dogs and cats waiting in shelters instead of buying animals, we
could dramatically reduce the number of animals euthanized for lack of a good
home. We could save thousands of lives—and make shelter workers' lives a little
bit easier too.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
This coming Sunday, July 31, has been dubbed "Mutts Day," and I can say from personal experience that nothing beats an adorable one-of-a-kind mutt. When you adopt a homeless mutt from a shelter, you not only gain a best buddy, you also save a life. But don't just take it from me—take it from these famous shelter-dog fans:
Of course, mutts aren't the only ones who are abandoned at shelters—it's estimated that a quarter of shelter dogs are purebreds who were dropped off after being purchased from a pet shop, puppy mill, or breeder. No matter what kind of dog you're looking for, you can find one at a shelter.
Maybe you can't buy love, but you can certainly adopt it.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
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.
A survey conducted by the U.K.'s Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals found that one in five purebred puppies purchased from a breeder was given up before his or her second birthday. Not only did many of these puppies end up in already crowded animal shelters, but 36 percent had health problems and 3 percent died.
Purebreds make up at least 25 percent of all animals in U.S. animal shelters, and virtually any breed can be found at a shelter or through a breed-specific rescue group. So there's no excuse for patronizing breeders, who profit from contributing to the animal overpopulation crisis. When you're ready to add a new a new member to your family, please remember the 4 to 6 million animals who are euthanized in animal shelters every year, and consider opening your home to one—or two!
Written by Michelle Sherrow
UPDATE: The University of Utah has announced that it no longer will purchase animals from North Utah Valley Animal Shelter or any other shelter for experiments!
If the folks at the North Utah Valley Animal Shelter (NUVAS) were hoping to quietly continue betraying the animals in their care, they've just had their bubble burst. The billboard that we've placed on the interstate less than a half-mile from NUVAS says it all.
Utah County residents who don't happen to drive this stretch of highway won't miss the message. We're taking it to their front door—literally—in the form of a door hanger with photos of some of the dogs who should have found a haven at the shelter but were instead sold like pieces of laboratory equipment. Anyone who lives in the area is welcome to help distribute the door hangers.
NUVAS has no excuse. Following a PETA investigation of the University of Utah (the U), Utah legislators amended state law so that animal shelters would not be required to sell animals to laboratories. NUVAS is the only shelter in the state that still engages in this shameful practice. Shelter dogs recently purchased by the U are currently being used in an experiment in which their chests and necks are cut open and pacemakers are implanted in their hearts to induce an irregular heartbeat. All 45 dogs used in this experiment will be killed and have their hearts cut out and dissected.
You can help by sending an e-mail to Utah County officials urging them to force NUVAS to end this unethical and outdated practice.
Uh oh! Is it happening again? Could politicians please stop promising that, if elected, they'll get their kids puppies? "Sorry, Suzie, you didn't shake enough hands or kiss enough babies so … no puppy for you!"
The latest politician to offer his kids this Faustian bargain is Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, who is reportedly out looking for a new puppy after being elected to another term on Tuesday. To be fair, he may have intended to follow through on his promise whether he was re-elected or not, but we still have to take issue with a reporter’s use of the term "shopping" to describe adding a new canine to the family.
Let's hope that Sen. Bennet is planning on adopting, not mall-hopping. Just to be sure, we've written to the senator and urged him to limit his puppy perusal to shelters and rescue groups. If he opts to fulfill his campaign promise by saving the life of a shelter dog, everybody wins.
Written by Alisa Mullins
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?
We were already crushing on The Biggest Loser's tough-love trainer Bob Harper after he went vegetarian and then signed on to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine's 21-Day Vegan Kickstart program. But we're in full-on love after learning that Bob adopted his new canine companion from an animal shelter, saying, "It just kills me when people spend money on a dog when there are dogs in shelters waiting for someone to take them," adding, "I want to tell them, 'No! Those are puppy mills!'"
We couldn't have said it better ourselves!
Written by Jeff Mackey
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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.