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Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

From Lifesaving to Lame

Written by PETA | June 20, 2008

What was the California Healthy Pets Act has become “Dogs and Cats—Nonspayed or Unneutered: Civil Penalties”—a far cry from the lifesaving legislation that was originally presented to the California Legislature last year.

Although we can support the amended and nearly not recognizable bill because it implements some spaying and neutering of animals (only following running at large and impoundment multiple times), it completely ignores the breeders who are bringing more animals into this world when 6 to 8 million enter our nation’s animal shelters each year. These shelters must put to death nearly 4 million dogs and cats every year because of simple math: too many animals and not enough worthy adoptive homes.


Learn more about PETA’s ABC campaign here.

This new bill sends a message that the overpopulation of cats and dogs isn’t at a crisis level and isn’t something that every single litter impacts in a very negative way. Buying an animal from a breeder adds up to killing a homeless animal in an animal shelter. Yet vital legislation that will help reduce the overpopulation crisis in California was changed so drastically that it doesn’t even address a major component of the crisis: Breeders kill shelter dogs’ chances.

It’s time we hold accountable those who are major contributors to the death of millions of animals each year. Organizations like the American Kennel Club (AKC) continue to oppose lifesaving spay/neuter legislation, even though there are exemptions that allow breeding with permits, as AB 1634 did. No one hates euthanasia more than the shelter workers who are forced to hold the syringes, yet it is really folks like the breeders from the AKC who are responsible for the killing. Really, breeders, how do you sleep at night?

See our animal birth control (ABC) campaign for more information.

Posted by Christine Dore

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  • Tabitha says:

    YOU’RE A PEARLS FAN! That’s it. I’m joining.

  • Maya, CVT says:

    You are so sweet! You should totally join Vox. Anyone can sign up but it’s a closed community of really super smart folks. Click on my name and you can read my blog seriously you should start a Vox blog yourself and I’ll add you to my ‘hood.

  • tabitha says:

    That I TOTALLY TOTALLY TOTALLY agree with. My guy was found on the banks of the Mississippi River. He was a pretty big fellow so I assumed he was at least a year old. We attempted to find the owner for a couple of months before he decided he was keeping us…er…we were keeping HIM…anyways… So we took him to the vet for shots and neutering and I told his story and asked if there was any way to tell how old he was…it revealed that when he came to us he was only SIX MONTHS OLD. He was just a baby! He’s just big boned. But anyways he was the one that opened my eyes to how cool it was to have a more mature animal even though he wasn’t quite as mature as I thought and has spurred me to get involved more in local shelters. And I’m a noob. I’ve learned more from you than anybody.

  • Maya, CVT says:

    Thank you Tabitha! Likewise! Absolutely older ones. Not only that but once an animal reaches the age of 2 their chances of getting adopted plummet to the same chance as a 17 year old animal. People will come in and I will show them a 3 month old animal. They will say “NO I wanted a kitten”. And I say “Om that is a kitten” But they don’t look like little figuines any more so people don’t want them. We regularly had our adoption floor filled with 25 to 30 gorgeous friendly and healthy one and two year old cats and I would actually see people stand there and fight over the last 8 week old kitten. Unbeleiveable. Maybe attitudes will change one day. Until then I think shelters should be stray only. Peace!

  • Tabitha says:

    Maya I have to say I really enjoy reading your posts! I know this is off topic but which animals are the hardest to adopt out? Older ones?

  • Maya, CVT says:

    Vaclav Funny my ancestry is Czech I would love to visit some time! Having worked in a shelter I can tell you we have plenty of information and history on every animal! Surrendered animals always come with detailed hisories from their owners. We take detailed inventory of where the animal came from originally. We have the place of origin and the dog or cat’s veterinarian transfer all records to the shelter and the owner fills out paperwork about any and all information about the pet. Even strays have detailed history once they are ready for adoption. Staff behaviorists assess personality. We as shelter workers vaccinate deworm and give general care to the cat or dog. Then a shelter vet gives a thorough exam of the cat or dog and puts it in our records. We also see how the cat or dog is with children and other animals. Adopting an adult animal is the way to go because their personality shines through.

  • Vaclav Benedikt says:

    Well the math in the article is somehow incorrect Not everyone buying a puppy from a breeder would have been willing to take a dog from a shelter me for example. I wouldn’t have taken the risks of dog with unknown history with nearly no previous experience with a dog. Furthermore I wanted a dog with predictable characteristics size behaviour. On the other hand if there was a sheltie puppy in a shelter at that time in Czech republic maybe I would have taken the risk. The situation here is not so bad there are much less animals in shelters and breeds like GSD BSD Dachs LR GR and these common ones prevail. But its hard to blame anybody that she’s not willing to take a chance on a shelter dog. It needs at least experience.

  • kelly says:

    Dog breeders were involved in the human eugenics movement one of the Nazis favorite hobbies

  • Tabitha says:

    Jess…I find it more disturbing that you aren’t getting “flippity.” I’m well aware what metaphors and similes are. Ever heard of compassion and taste? Comparing ANYBODY to KKK btw..speaking of ignorance…do you know they are terrorized the Jews Catholics and Native Americans? lacks both. And this is coming for a Southern white female.

  • Maya, CVT says:

    Rose You are obviously a very intelligent open minded person to consider both sides. It’s really refreshing to see.

  • jess says:

    whoever compares this video andor the kkk imagery as an insult to the plight of african americans are insane. this video is simply equating the preference of one race over another in comparison to the preference of one breed of dog over another. those who get all flippity over the racial issue are just showing how completely ignorant and stupid they are. ever heard of a metaphor? what about a simile?

  • rose says:

    Maya OK I think I am starting to see your point now. I do have to say that there is no shortage of people who want to buyadopt a purebred for all the wrong reasons. breed is cool dog fights protection etc

  • Maya, CVT says:

    Hi Rose I would say that it really does not matter whose “fault” it is. When I worked at the MSPCA we had thousands of gorgeous young friendly stray cats come in. We had a total of 7000 cats come in to the shelter in the year 2000. Just over 50 percent were strays. We euthanized between 50 and 60 percent of the cats. Every single stray cat was destroyed. Not one of them was adopted. Every single purebred though found a home. Purebred dogs and cats made up about 30 percent of the surrendered animals. People said that they came in to adopt mixed breeds but they “just couldn’t resist” the purebreds. It doesn’t matter whose fault it is. I personally killed 800 of the strays and it is a tragedy.

  • Tabitha says:

    Lover….I’m still not gonna get it. WHY? Cause I’m too busy being insulted.

  • kelly says:

    The AKC makes its money from PUPPY MILL REGISTRATIONS. Without puppy mill registrations the AKC would go broke. The AKC supports some of the most heinous dog abuse imaginable in the name of making money. The AKC is the American Killing Club.

  • lover says:

    Personally I’m offended by people who cannot see past PETA using modern advertising to get their point across. Yes it may offend some people what a suprise! It’s hard to take hard cold facts and give them to people these days without a bit of bravado with meaning behind it I might add. Sadly this is happening due to the entertainment and media industries Go watch the Century of Self documentaries. Do you really think anyone would listen if there was just a bunch of everyday people in a room talking about the facts? Unfortunately the answer is no. Don’t blame PETA they’re using the ends to justify a means. Just look at how much they’ve accomplished along the way by doing this. Any of you people putting your time and effort into hatred of this video are just adding to what you’re against. Brilliant.

  • Marie says:

    Dear Unknown as a minority i find the ad right on target. Kindness and compassion towards all living beings is a mark of a civilized society. Racism economic deprival dog fighting and cock fighting bullfighting and rodeos are all cut from the same defective fabric violence. Only when we have become nonviolent towards all life will we have learned to live well ourselves.” We need in a special way to work twice as hard to help people understand that the animals are fellow creatures that we must protect them and love them as we love ourselves…We know we cannot be kind to animals until we stop exploiting them exploiting animals in the name of science exploiting animals in the name of sport exploiting animals in the name of fashion and yes exploiting animals in the name of food.” upon acceptance of a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1992 from In Defense of Animals Cesar Chavez

  • rose says:

    Maya yes it does happen where owners who brought a dog from a breeder surrender it to a shelter. But isnt that the owners fault and not the breeders?

  • Maya, CVT says:

    Well said by people here it is a slap in the face to the black community to use the KKK images. Animal suffering can be compared to racism but it verges on mocking slavery and bigotry. All breeders contribute to pet overpopulation and the shelter crisis. “Responsible” breeders have no way of knowing which of their clients will surrender their pets to shelters. I can’t count how many times people brought me their purebreds to give up at the shelter and told me “I can’t bring it back to the breeder because I’m embarassed about this”. Or “She would be furious with me if I took the dog back to her”. 30 percent of our shelter were purebred cats and dogs and killed the chances of our other adoptable animals. Breeders are responsible for so many euthanized shelter animals it should be a crime.

  • Tabitha says:

    I can’t wrap my head around you people throwing the KKK and the Nazi’s into animal breeding.

  • Aleasha says:

    The AKC tried to fight the California Healthy Pets Act. They only care about the money they get from breeders. I love PETA’s ABC Campaign. Everytime a person buys a puppy they kill a homeless animal. Breeders are to blame for all the dogs in shelters that die every year. The AKC is the root cause. I hate breeders! The Animal Birth Control ABC campaign is wonderful!

  • Ashton says:

    haha! that video is hilarious and very effective. many people don’t generally think of dog breeding as a bad thing in the sense that it is singling out a specific quality and breeding for it. but in fact it is the same concept that the KKK and nazis believed.

  • Soliel says:

    Hi. I don’t have sound on my computer so I really don’t know what the “Klansman” said in the video. This is one time when I don’t like a PeTA antic. People are so so so tired of race and racism issues brought up at the drop of the hat. It really turns them off NOT because they are racists but because they are tired of having EVERYTHING boiled down to race issues when it is not. No one likes the clan…they are history and just a handful in number. They have no power no one cares about them. It just irritates people to bring this up when it has nothing to do with racism.

  • Unknown says:

    I am personally offended by this add. How dare you people compare breeding a DOG to RACISM! I’m sooo tired of this organization and its antics. I personally love meat and will not EVER stop eating it. Everyone has their choice of what to eat but I draw the line when you would go as far as to compare the treatment of an animal to the treatment of minorities! The problem I have with this organization also is that there are HUMANS in horrible situations and circumstances who go neglected yet you people find it necessary to attack people for what they choice to eat and wear! You people are absolutely unbelievable. As much as you attack celebrities and regular people who choose not to bow down to animals its a shame that no one has attacked your poor excuse of an organization. I think its completely bogus and a waste of energy! This commercial is a slap in the face to minorities and it needs to be taken down. I’ve been holding my peace for a long time but this blog was a longtime coming. Loving animals is one thing but putting them on the same level of humans is absolutely ridiculous!

  • Dingo says:

    AKC breeders aren’t the problem here. I don’t know why you keep blaming breeders. Responsible breeders aren’t bad. Its backyard breeders that are the bad ones. And the MSN in California didn’t help at all…more animals were killed in the end. All of my dogs are adopted from shelters and I love them and all but that doesn’t mean I won’t not get a puppy from a responsible breeder. You should have more information on responsible breeders that way when people who don’t want to adopt but still want to help can tell when a breeder is good or bad. I don’t like the video that much…it doesn’t make sense. AKC is there to help dogs. They don’t intentionally kill dogs at all. It’s IRRESPONSIBLE BREEDERS and OWNERS that are the reasons so many animals end up killed in shelters. A good breeder should really investigate what home the pup is going to. They look for people who are comitted to taking care of a pet. BYB breeders don’t care although they may think they might. My friend breeds his dogs because he loves dogs. He is whats called a backyard breeder. However I have another friend who shows dogs and breeds them. She knows everything about the breed and goes into careful VERY careful screening of potential homes for her puppies. She makes sure that they check in. She is a very good breeder in many other ways and doesn’t produce mass amounts of puppies with her dogs. Please make a page or something about irresponsible owners or breeders. Or a page that tells how to investigate a breeder to tell whether you should get a pup from there. I am truly ever so truly for spaying and neutering pets… But not to the point where every single animal must be spayed or neutered. I beleive that RESPONSIBLE breeders should be promoted by PETA. They’d get a lot of postive attention from that I’m sure. As most of us are I am disgusted at how some owners can just throw their pet away…I think that PETA should focus more on irresponsible owners…they are the ones commiting the crime after all. Sorry for the long post!

  • kelly says:

    The problem here is dirty politics and a dirty politician. Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod Negrete McLeod has pets’ blood on her hands Negrete McLeod masquerades as a liberal but with regard to animals and the environment she is a shill for the extreme right wing that the BREEDER lobby is involved in Right now dogfighters puppy millers AKC breeders and related animal abusers are posting things like this “Thank you thank you thank you State Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod for driving a stake through the rotten heart of AB 1634 the socalled Healthy Pets Act. The name is dead and the bill is too” Yes these groups are involved in extremist rightwing political activity but Negrete McLeod is a willing tool for them. How and why leaked out thanks to a lobbying group called NAIA. NAIA is a proanimal abuse lobby run by an AKC board member who is also on the AKC puppy mill committee the one who sets up the deals with the abusive mills so the AKC can pull in the dollars they need from puppy mill registrations. For obvious reasons the AKC wants to protect the puppy mills and NAIA does the heavier AKC dirty business without the AKC having to get their hands dirty. NAIA falsely represents itself as promoting “animal welfare.” Quite the opposite. The president of NAIA was also promoted by the sheep industry agriculture lobby onto the National Wildlife Services Advisory Committee NWSAC to advocate the irresponsible slaughter and trapping of wildlife. She now hides her affiliation with the agriculture lobby and falsely and deviously represents herself on that committee as representing “animal welfare.” NAIA has connections to CCF or the Center for Conumer Freedom run by Rick Berman an extremist right wing lobbyist for the meat industry agriculture slaughter industry even dog fighters and puppy mills. Here is Rick’s activities httpwww.consumerdeception.com NAIA frequently uses propaganda from CCF to promote its propuppy mill probreeder proanimal abuse interests and oppose animal welfare and anticruelty laws. Remeber that Berman of CCF also lobbied for the Tobacco Industry? Negrete Mcleod has been involved with the Dolphin Group a rightwing public relations and public affairs government consulting firm that pushes legislation or opposes legislation that its corporate clients don’t like. One tactic is to promote bills that hurt the environment or the poor or public health while claiming to “help.” The Dolphin Group is the same company that spent more than $5 million of Phillip Morris’ money in a failed effort to pass a prosmoking California ballot initiative Proposition 188 in 1994. The Dolphin Group also promoted an agricultural industrybacked alternative Proposition 135 to undermine the “Big Green” environmental initiative in 1990 that resulted in the labeling of hazardous materials in everyday products. More on the Dolphin Group httpwww.democraticunderground.comdiscussduboard.php?azshowmesgforum132topicid1154535mesgid1155698Thank And….the Dolphin Group has been involved with Negrete McLeod before getting Negrete McLeod to support an antienvironmental bill to benefit its Big Agriculture clients. Here is a bill that Negrete McLeod wrote for her friends the Dolphin Group and their clients Big Agriculture to pollute for money. httpinfo.sen.ca.govpub0506billasmab07010750ab728cfa20050824143715senfloor.html Notice that the Sierra Club California and the Clean Power Campaign opposed this bill and pointed out that this was a propullution antienvironmental bill. Didn’t stop Negrete McLeod from writing a bill to benefit right wing Big Agriculture friends and their Dolphin Group. Sadly for pets in California The Dolphin Group is still working with Negrete McLeod for their animal expoliter clients. The puppy mills and breeding industry remember are part of the Agriculture Industry NAIA the propuppy mill lobbying group revealed that THEY HIRED THE DOLPHIN GROUP to represent their interests and that of their puppy mill etc cohorts and put pressure on Negrete McLeod. And emails leaked out reveal that NAIA operatives and the Dolphin Group and SENATOR NEGRETE MCLEOD were having secret meetings about how to undermine the Healthy Pets Act AB1634 and gut it and rewrite it in a form that breeders and puppy mills and dogfighters would approve of! One person even claimed that NAIA rewrote the Healthy Pets Bill AB1634 FOR Negrete McLeod. So Negrete McLeod seized control of this bill rewrote the bill herself and gutted it to benefit the corrupt breeding industry. And the corrupt breeding industry is now publicly thanking her. Perhaps Negrete McLeod does not know how rightwing her friends are? Is she aware that these various breeding lobbies in addition to supporting and engaging in animal abuse routinely insult what they call “commie” groups like gays and minority groups on their web boards and forums? And campaign against Democrats? Who knows. She certainly knows what the Dolphin Group has been up to and she approves. But the breeding industry knew it only needed to hire a friend of Negrete McLeod’s the Dolphin Group to use her for their own devices. And Negrete McLeod willingly and happily complied. And as for her friends the Dolphin Group here is another activity they were involved in. “The Dolphin Group has a long history in the initiative process having as far back as 1976 run the campaign defeating Proposition 14 which would have protected the hardfought gains made by Cesar Chavez’s United Farm Workers.”

  • Dave says:

    Well said Christine Dore!!! The breeder tax evaders better watch out as the Board of Equalization may be coming for you!!!

  • Shar says:

    Hehehe you people are brilliant D Great job on the vid funny and got the point across well