For Immediate Release:
November 5, 2020
Moira Colley 202-483-7382
Los Angeles – You’d never know that October was “Adopt a Shelter Dog” Month from the newly purchased “purebred” puppies that popped up on the Instagram pages of Channing Tatum, Viola Davis, Jennifer Lopez, J Balvin, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Charles, and others. That’s why PETA is placing a billboard in Los Angeles and a pointed appeal from “Max the shelter dog” in this week’s issue of The Hollywood Reporter, calling out stars and influencers who, through their irresponsible purchases, are fueling pet store and breeder sales while millions of dogs waiting in shelters and suffering on the streets have nowhere to call home.
The billboard will be located at Melrose Avenue and Cahuenga Boulevard.
“I’m trying to keep my spirits up, but to be honest, it’s getting harder and harder to keep my tail wagging,” writes Max. “I guess I just want to know what’s wrong with me. Sure, I may not be a puppy—but I still have years of life ahead of me and so much love to give.”
PETA notes that around 70 million dogs and cats are homeless in the U.S. at any given time. An estimated 10% of them end up at animal shelters, where many have to be euthanized because there simply aren’t enough good homes for them. PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way,” and the group opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.
Max’s letter in The Hollywood Reporter follows.
Dear Famous People,
I’m trying to keep my spirits up, but to be honest, it’s getting harder and harder to keep my tail wagging. You see, I’ve been in this shelter for months, waiting for my new family, and they still haven’t found me. The wonderful humans here always tell me, “You’re such a good boy, Max!” But if I’m such a good boy, how come nobody wants me?
I hear that some of you whose faces are on the big and small screens have spent a lot of money buying puppies from breeders. That’s why there aren’t enough homes for dogs like me. I guess I just want to know what’s wrong with me. Sure, I may not be a puppy—but I still have years of life ahead of me and so much love to give. You may not know exactly what “breed” I am, but I promise you that I’m truly one of a kind! Even if you are looking for a certain “breed,” why don’t you adopt? Many of my friends here are “purebreds”—I’d be happy to introduce you!
I know they can’t keep me here forever. The people here are doing everything they can to help me find a home, but the situation makes them so sad. My days are numbered. When you buy a dog, you hurt me. You hurt us—“us” being the 6 million animals dropped off at shelters every year. “Us” being the more than 70 million animals living out on the streets—if you call that living. You could so easily adopt a homeless dog like me and influence so many others to do the same. But when you buy a dog and post a photo of your new “purebred” puppy online, it makes things so much worse for dogs like me.
I may not be shiny and new—but I promise I’m the best snuggle partner ever. I can make sure your floor is always clean, and I can make you laugh when I get the zoomies. You can’t put a price tag on the amount of love that I have to give.