George Lopez: Buying an Animal From a Pet Store or Breeder Is NOT Adopting!

Just in time for the gift-giving season, TV icon George Lopez is taking aim at people who purchase dogs from pet stores or breeders in a new video for PETA. Every year after the holidays, shelters see a spike in homeless animals as people find themselves unable to care for the surprise puppies and kittens they received as presents. Lopez, who’s adopted five dogs from shelters, insists that if the whole family is ready to choose a companion for life, they should always adopt—and the actor isn’t afraid to shame anyone who buys and lies.

“[T]his is what I’m gonna rant a little bit about,” he says in a new video for PETA. “[People] say they adopted the dog. They didn’t adopt [him]. They bought [him]. Where did they adopt him from? Puppies’R’Us? Huh?”

He adds, “Adopting a dog means that you go to your local animal shelter or to a rescue organization and you give a dog there a good ‘forever home.'”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!

He explains that unlike kids, who will one day become adults and move out of the family home, dogs need to be cared for as long as they live. “We didn’t have ‘forever homes,'” he jokes. “Remember when your grandfather or your mom would say, ‘Listen, you get a job and get the hell out of here!’?”

George rescued his own five dogs from shelters in the L.A. area and knows how vital adoption is. “[W]hen you buy a dog from a breeder, a dog in a shelter loses the chance of finding a good home,” he says.

Growing up in the city, he often saw strays running around the neighborhood because unsterilized dogs were having litter after litter of puppies.

Every year in the U.S., more than 6 million lost, abandoned, or unwanted dogs and cats enter shelters.

Approximately half must be euthanized simply because there aren’t enough good homes for them all. Animals who don’t make it to a shelter struggle to survive on the streets, where they sustain injuries, are tortured by cruel people, or suffer from starvation, dehydration, diseases, or parasites. Spaying and neutering is the single most effective way to combat the homeless-animal overpopulation crisis.

Take George’s advice:

“Listen: Don’t buy animals. Do what I did: Adopt one from a shelter.”

Do the kind, responsible thing and adopt—never shop. You can also help combat animal homelessness by getting your animal companions spayed or neutered. For more information on low-cost procedures in the L.A. area, check out the “Let’s Fix L.A.” program.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind