Love is in the air, and what better way to celebrate than with Abbott Elementary star Lisa Ann Walter (aka “Ms. Melissa Schemmenti”) and her dog Buster? It’s the time of year to share love—not only for our fellow humans but also for the animal companions who rely on us for care and compassion. The pair teamed up with PETA to share a Valentine’s Day message about how to find furever love: “Adopt! Don’t Shop.”
On any given day in the U.S., an estimated 70 million homeless dogs and cats are struggling to survive. Cats and dogs depend on humans for their everyday necessities, including food, water, shelter, veterinary care, and love. Yet millions of animals across the country don’t have a guardian to care for them, let alone a warm, comfortable, and safe place to curl up at night.
Many animal shelters are warehousing dogs in stacked crates for weeks or months on end and turning animals away, leaving the most vulnerable with nowhere to go—all so they can avoid euthanasia and advertise high “save rates.” As a result, countless animals end up abandoned on the streets, where they might be hit by cars, infected with diseases, or hurt by cruel people—and leaving them to reproduce makes the companion animal overpopulation crisis worse.
The solution is simple: Adopt animals instead of buying them from breeders or pet shops, and prevent unwanted animals from being born by always having your companion animals spayed or neutered. Every time someone buys an animal from a breeder or a pet shop, a dog or cat in a shelter loses their chance at finding a loving home.
Use Your Noodle: Adopt—Don’t Shop!
This Valentine’s Day, celebrate love by pledging never to buy an animal from a breeder or a pet shop. Also, consider donating to help improve conditions for neglected “backyard dogs” this winter.
If you’re ready to welcome an animal companion into your life, head over to your local animal shelter, where you’re sure to find many animals of all breeds, shapes, sizes, and ages who’d love to become a member of your family. By choosing adoption and spaying or neutering, we can collectively contribute to a world in which every companion animal has the chance to enjoy a happy, healthy life in a loving home: