Amid Unprecedented Surge of Dogs and Cats in Shelters, PETA Makes an Urgent Plea to Guardians to Help ‘Fix’ the Crisis

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3 min read

With reports showing that U.S. animal shelters face an unprecedented surge of companion animals in need of care, PETA has created a new ad series with an urgent message to help snip the problem in the bud. The tongue-in-cheek ads, which will go up in cities across the country, point out that cats and dogs aren’t causing the overpopulation crisis—humans are when they fail to have companion animals spayed or neutered.

bus ad featuring a woman petting a dog who says "just spay me"

The last Tuesday of February marks World Spay Day, which aims to motivate everyone to combat the animal overpopulation and homelessness crisis by having their companion dogs and cats “fixed.” On any given day in the U.S., an estimated 70 million homeless dogs and cats struggle to survive. When people fail to sterilize their animal companions, even more animals are born only to end up on the streets, where they are vulnerable to traffic, weather extremes, attacks from other animals or cruel humans, diseases, infections, and other deadly dangers. It also puts pressure on shelters, which are already flooded with animals in need of refuge.

As an article in The New Yorker revealed, many shelters are adopting “no-kill” policies that prioritize “save rates” over the needs of individual animals, including turning away many animals, leaving the most vulnerable to be abandoned on the streets or relegated to the ends of chains in backyards.

Open-admission shelters—which never turn animals away—do their best to accommodate the overwhelming number of animals who don’t have homes, but their compassionate work becomes more difficult when guardians fail to sterilize their companions. Many of these facilities across the country are at maximum capacity—forcing them to make difficult decisions to ensure that they can continue providing care to animals in need—and the problem is exacerbated even further by the pet trade. For every animal purchased from a breeder or pet store, there’s one less home for an animal at a shelter.

PETA’s ad campaign serves as a reminder that the solution to the ongoing companion animal overpopulation crisis is simple: Just have them spayed and neutered.

bus ad featuring a man with a dog who says "just neuter me"

Dogs, Cats, and Shelters Desperately Need Your Help

It’s humans’ responsibility to help curb the animal homelessness crisis by having their animal companions “fixed.” These routine, affordable surgeries prevent a lifetime of suffering for countless cats and dogs.

Many communities have low-cost or free spay/neuter clinics that make it easy for everyone to do the right thing by having animals sterilized. Click the link below to find your nearest low-cost spay/neuter clinic:

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