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Business Could Help Solve Dog and Cat Overpopulation Crisis by Helping Animal Shelters Out and Still Make Money From Ethical Consumers, Says Group
For Immediate Release: June 8, 2010
Contact: Michael Lyubinsky 757-622-7382
Queens, N.Y. -- This morning, PETA sent a letter to Donald Dalessio, owner of U.S. Pet Discounts, a Queens pet store that was destroyed in a May 31 fire. Thirty dogs and cats were saved in the fire, and PETA is urging Dalessio to turn the store into an adoption center for those animals and for other homeless cats and dogs if he decides to rebuild. In return for helping homeless animals and shifting to sales of pet supplies instead of pets, PETA has offered to place its celebrity pro-adoption posters, which feature The Hills star Audrina Patridge and Twilight star Kellan Lutz, on reconstruction scaffolding and to promote the store to the group's thousands of supporters in the New York metropolitan area. In the letter, PETA points out that pet-store suppliers have a bad reputation for treating animals as if they were supplies, failing to provide adequate veterinary care, and breeding dogs for exaggerated physical traits such as squashed faces or long bodies. Also, every time someone buys a cat or dog from a pet store, it's tantamount to a death sentence for an animal who is awaiting adoption in an animal shelter.
"Breeding and selling animals cannot be justified when millions of homeless cats and dogs in animal shelters are literally dying for a good home," says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. "Up until now, U.S. Pet Discounts has been part of the animal overpopulation problem, but the tragedy of this fire has provided the store with an opportunity to become part of the solution."
For more information, please visit PETA.org.
PETA's letter to Donald Dalessio, owner of U.S. Pet Discounts, follows.
Donald DalessioOwnerU.S. Pet Discounts
Dear Mr. Dalessio:
I am writing on behalf of PETA and our more than 2 million members and supporters, including thousands in New York City, to offer a suggestion as you recover from the recent fire that took the lives of so many animals. With all due respect, your current business model, by selling dogs and cats, contributes to the companion animal overpopulation crisis. So perhaps now you could seize the opportunity to start anew and be a part of the solution instead. You would build enormous goodwill if you decided to stop selling animals, to work instead with local animal shelters to bring in animals for adoption, and to make your profits by selling supplies. This would be a win-win situation--profitable and popular.
Progressive pet businesses have come to realize that the public values ethical business practices, and that caring consumers increasingly realize that every time an animal is sold in a pet store, an animal in a shelter loses the chance to fill the available space in that home. Every year, animal shelters must euthanize 3 to 4 million dogs and cats--many of whom are healthy and have wonderful temperaments--simply because no one has come to adopt them. You might say that for every animal who is bought from a pet store, another leaves an animal shelter in a body bag.
PETA's undercover investigations, among others, have revealed that pet-shop animal suppliers often keep animals in filthy conditions, fail to supply them with adequate food and water, and fail to provide them with needed veterinary care.
You can help end the companion animal overpopulation crisis and pet-supplier abuse by switching to adoptions. It would be an ethical business solution. If you make the switch, PETA will provide free pro-adoption posters featuring The Hills star Audrina Patridge and Twilight star Kellan Lutz to place on your scaffolding as you rebuild and inside your business once it's operational, if you would like that. And we will tell all our thousands of members in New York City that they can visit you for supplies.
Please contact me if you would like additional input in making this lifesaving transition.
Tracy ReimanExecutive Vice President
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