“I want a dog I saw on Instagram!”
“I need a dog who doesn’t shed.”
“Ugh, adoption applications are just so hard!”
These are just a handful of the excuses PETA hears from people who make the irresponsible choice to buy dogs instead of adopting them from animal shelters. To help set the record straight that it’s never OK to buy dogs or any other animals, PETA enlisted the help of actor Cristin Milioti and her adorable adopted dog, Rupert. In her first-ever PETA video, Cristin drops some knowledge on her fellow millennials to explain why the decision to buy a dog from a breeder, a pet store, or anywhere else means that an animal in a shelter loses their chance to find a home of their own.
If you really have a ‘type,’ let me introduce you to a little life hack called Petfinder.com. It has as many filters as Tinder, but these pups won’t ghost you at an Olive Garden or mansplain Joni Mitchell’s back catalog to you with a piece of feta cheese stuck to their bottom lip.
—Cristin Milioti for PETA
Shot at the Mansion/Museum at the Margo Feiden Galleries Ltd in New York City, Cristin and Rupert go glam to remind everyone always to adopt and never buy dogs.
Cristin isn’t just kind—she’s also extremely talented. You’ve likely seen her work, whether in the role of “Mother” in the popular sitcom How I Met Your Mother, her Tony Award–nominated performance in Broadway’s Once (yes, she sings, too!), or her film Palm Springs, which has been nominated for two Golden Globe awards.
Since the pandemic rocked the world in early 2020, forcing many of us to stay indoors, people have been eager to add an animal companion to their home for company and comfort. While this has been a great opportunity for more animals in shelters to find permanent, loving homes (and many have), it has also led to an increase in the purchase of puppies. Google searches for “buy a puppy” more than quadrupled since pandemic-related stay-at-home orders began in March 2020, making Cristin’s message more important than ever.
There’s no such thing as buying an animal responsibly, because the act of buying any sentient being is always unethical. We have to remember that animals aren’t objects. They’re not commodities to profit from, as breeders do. By bringing more puppies into the world, these breeders are contributing to the companion animal overpopulation crisis, which leaves an estimated 70 million homeless dogs and cats struggling to survive on any given day.
At this point, most of us know that pet stores and puppy mills are pure evil. But it’s not just about how the dog is treated—it’s also about the act of buying a dog, when there are millions out there in need of homes and not enough homes for them to go to, Cristin explains.
PETA urges those who are truly ready to provide an animal with a lifetime of attentive care and proper companionship to adopt from a local shelter or through a responsible adoption group. The bottom line: Never buy animals—not from a pet store, not from a breeder, and, no, not even from your cousin’s coworker’s mom. If you’re ready to adopt a dog, a cat, or another companion animal, please visit Petfinder.com. As Cristin says, don’t do it for us—do it for dogs like Rupert!