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Don’t Dump Kids OR Kitties

Written by PETA | October 20, 2008

Nebraska has a unique new “safe haven” law. Most states have laws that allow panicked parents to leave their infants in safety—better to surrender a baby to a hospital or police station than to leave him or her in a dumpster (or worse)—but Nebraska’s law doesn’t place an age limit on surrendered children.

Since this law went into effect three months ago, a total of 18 children—many from out of state—have been abandoned at hospitals and police stations in Nebraska. The children, whose ages range from 20 months to 17 years, include a 13-year-old boy from Michigan whose mother drove more than 12 hours last week to leave him at a Nebraska hospital.

This is obviously an upsetting situation, and the law is already under fire across the nation. And although we at PETA are also upset by the lack of responsibility demonstrated by this level of abandonment, we’re not surprised. After all, 25,000 unwanted animals are abandoned at animal shelters in Douglas and Sarpy counties in Nebraska each year.

And think about it: The dogs and cats who end up in animal shelters are the lucky ones. There are countless others who end up abandoned on the streets—neglected, starving, and sometimes abused, with no “safe haven” at all.

This is why PETA has created a billboard that stresses the importance of taking care of all who depend on us—animals and children alike.




Dogs and cats can live for 16 years or longer—almost the same amount of time, you might note, that responsible parents spend raising a child. Bringing an animal into your home is a lifetime commitment—and as PETA Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch says, “Children and animals deserve better than to be dumped on a doorstep when they become inconvenient.”

To learn how to provide better care for your animal companions or to find out how spaying and neutering keeps dogs and cats out of animal shelters, please visit

Written by Amanda Schinke

Commenting is closed.
  • Annie NIes says:

    ya i think animal testing is wrong we should have animals fixed so there wouldn’t be any dogs or cats in animal shelters and stuff like that

  • michele6933 says:

    Let’s be rational a nokill shelter is UTOPIA . A time comes when there must be a triage and some will be executed and the reasons are many age ailmentsunsociabilitycrowding food shortage plus some animals simply don’t appeal to prospective adopters and languish to death . All is due not so much to human cruelty but to thoughtlessness.

  • Sam says:

    I have always had sympathy for dogs and cats who have been abandoned and unloved. I also have sympathy for kids who have been abandoned and unloved. I am a former foster child and I have always felt like a throwaway kid. The minute a foster parent would grow tired of dealing with me they would just call my social worker up and tell them to find me somewhere elso to go. I remember many times I cried and wanted so bad someone to come in and hug me and pay attention to me. I assume that is how a lot of lost and forgotten dogs cats feel as they sit in shelters. As a result I am now in my midtwenties and having a very hard time adjusting to adult life responsibilities and relationships. I almost feel like a ferral cat. It is so very easy for someone to give up on a whiny toddler a defiant teenager a difficult puppy or a pregnant cat. What has this world come to?

  • Maria says:

    How can someone just dump their kid in a hospital like that? What do they tell their kid about what they’re doing? Do they just say “Okay I’m going to drop you off here and I’ll never see you again. Now kiss your mother goodbye.” I equate it with dumping your cat or dog at a shelter. How could someone do that to their companion and just abandon them like that?

  • christina lundry says:

    Shelters do turn animals away where I live. Some of the local vets save some space for overflow but it’s never enough. The county sheriff will tell you if an animal is a nuisance shoot it because the Humane Society NEVER answers repeated calls in my area. I want to start a NOKill shelter at my home but I don’t have the financing to build a place for them. I take in all I can and give to good homes when I can. It’s truly a sad world when an innocent anything has to die for human stupidity.

  • Michele says:

    If shelters are full shelters are full. They run on donations so what are they supposed to do? Take in every animal that comes along and run out of money for food for all of them? Run of of space so they are all crammed in? It’s unrealistic to say “shelters should HAVE to take in every animal”. Spaying neutering and adoption rather than buying is the ONLY way to help his situation. Getting the population down so we can actually take care of them all.

  • Dana says:

    I know a lot of these problems also evolve from people not being able to have pets where they live. My sister just had to find a home for her puppy because she had to move. The more the people that allow pets in their rentals the more good homes there are for the homeless animals.

  • Jess says:

    It’s true that you can tell how a nation treats their people by how they treat their animals. It’s no surprise if people don’t care enough for the safety and well being of their own pets animals they welcome into their homes that they should let the safety and well being of other family members slide. I heard a very sad story once about a couple who abandoned their dog because they had a baby and “the dog wanted too much attention.” What happens if they have another baby and the oldest child wants some attention? Not very responsible at all.

  • 4 the Animals says:

    What can we do? The nokill shelters in my area are completely full and they are saying that it’s cats and kittens that have filled these up. My heart breaks for the animals. I have asked the nokill shelters what they do if animals are outside their door when they go to work the next day and they say they have to take them in but if someone calls and asks if they will take any animals they say they are completely full.

  • patty says:

    If I were an animal being dumped the Nebraska Humane Society is definitely the place I would want to be. I have volunteered there and adopted our dog from them. They are one of the best animal shelters in the country. They show so much love and compassion to the animals. They go far and beyond when it comes to care adoption and medical services. As far as the safe haven law it is a tragedy and needs to be readdressed. But don’t bash our animal shelters we take good care of the abandoned and unwanted animals PD

  • Cristine says:

    I adppted a stay very small kitten who was thrown out of a car and hid under my house…she was so small too small to be away from her mother…she was scared I wooed her out with food…and now she turned out to be the best loving pet Ive ever had!

  • Helena Gunnulfsen says:

    Im so impressed by the work you do to help animals. I can go on this website and just read and read for hours. Often I feel that I should be avoiding this website because the videos of animals being abused makes me cry som much. But that is how the world really is! When it comes to animals the world is a horrible place for them to live! I think we should face that and do everything in our power to stop these heartless people. I love animals and right now Im studying to become a veterinary. I really do want to stop all this cruel actions but I feel so helpless living in Norway. I feel that there is nothing I can do. And what I really want is to go to America and be a part of you! Give my life to help animals who are treated badly. I do really feel love and passion in animals. Without them the world is not what it should be. Love Helena Gunnulfsen Norway

  • Darlene Barry says:

    I have four beautiful kittens in the wild given birth by a very polite siamese mix. I don’t want to send them to our local shelter becaus4e they will kill them . I need help in domesticating them because their mom was obviousy dropped off because she was obviously a beautiful house cat dumped because she was pregnant. Please comments or advice! Please call us at 4103923796

  • kelly says:

    There needs to be a “safe Haven” at shelters for animals that people don’t want. Shelters MUST take any and all unwanted animals. Shelters MUST take in these animals because otherwise they will be dumped to die on the streets or worse! One of the worst things happening today is the No Kill fanaticals that are refusing to take animals at animal shelters. These animals are just dying in horrible terrible ways outside of the shelter.