Sometimes, there’s more going on in the gossip columns of People and other celebrity-focused magazines than you might think. Most recently, there’s been plenty of chatter about Britney Spears and Paris Hilton’s new puppies, which completely glosses over what, to me, is the main angle for the story: That by buying animals from a pet store (and, as they have in the past, discarding them as soon as they get distracted by some pretty shiny thing), they may just as well be killing animals in a pound. It’s a simple equation—though I can’t say I have all that much faith in either of those girls’ ability to perform basic math: Getting a dog from a pet store means the breeders breed more, while the shelter animals keep dying to make room for all the cast-offs. Here’s what PETA President Ingrid Newkirk wrote to the girls, and you can read TMZ’s take on the story here.
Dear Paris and Britney,
So, you have popped into a pet store to pick up some more doggie arm candy. Your impulse purchases of dogs encourage others to follow suit, no matter how ill-equipped they are to provide a decade or more of care for a little dog who has feelings and needs and who requires patience, veterinary care, and stimulation other than nightclub music and bar laughter. Also, for every pet store puppy purchased, a pound puppy dies (and a breeder — probably somewhere in Arkansas or Missouri — is rewarded for adding yet another litter to the pet overpopulation crisis). A California bill that would have required most dogs and cats to be spayed or neutered-and therefore would have helped reduce the taxpayer burden for disposing of (killing) homeless animals-was recently defeated by greedy breeders. Perhaps you and other vacuous stars need to tattoo “Don’t buy while pound pups die” on your foreheads to remind each other of that home truth.
Very truly yours,
Ingrid E. Newkirk, President