National Puppy Day Prompts $1,000 PETA Offer for City Shelter

New Ad at Dog Park Would Proclaim, 'Stop Buying From Pet Stores and Breeders'

For Immediate Release:
March 13, 2017

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Just in time for National Puppy Day on March 23, PETA sent a letter this morning offering Jefferson City $1,000 for the city animal shelter in exchange for permission to place an ad at the North Jefferson Recreation Area Dog Park that urges, “Stop Buying From Pet Stores and Breeders.”

In the letter, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—notes that Missouri is the heart of the puppy-mill industry, which keeps mother dogs in tiny, filthy cages and uses them as breeding machines until their bodies give out. Buying a dog from a pet store supports puppy mills—and all breeders contribute to the homeless-animal overpopulation crisis.

“When animal shelters are bursting at the seams with dogs and cats, it’s irresponsible to bring more puppies and kittens into an already-overcrowded world,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA’s ad would help fund Jefferson City’s overworked shelter while encouraging compassionate people to adopt a homeless animal.”

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PETA’s letter to Todd Spalding, director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry, follows.

March 13, 2017

Todd Spalding

Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry

Jefferson City

Dear Mr. Spalding,

I’m writing on behalf of PETA and our more than 5 million members and supporters worldwide, including thousands across Missouri, with an offer to help reduce the homeless-animal crisis—which costs countless cats and dogs their lives every year—while also benefitting the city’s animal shelter. We’d like to contribute $1,000 toward the Jefferson City Animal Shelter’s operations in exchange for the prominent placement of our “Stop Buying From Pet Stores and Breeders” ad at the North Jefferson Recreation Area Dog Park in advance of National Puppy Day on March 23.

Millions of dogs and cats will enter U.S. animal shelters this year. Puppy mills, pet stores, and breeders exacerbate the overpopulation crisis by continuing to bring a steady stream of dogs and cats into a world that already has no place for many others to go.

I’m sure that you realize that Missouri is the heart of the puppy-mill industry and that the puppy mills supplying most pet stores warehouse mother dogs inside tiny cages and decrepit outdoor hutches. They also breed them repeatedly, until their spent bodies can no longer produce litters. Even if people purchase animals from a “hobby breeder,” no breeding can be considered responsible when there’s such an overpopulation crisis. Those whose hearts are set on a certain breed can still adopt, since 25 percent of dogs in shelters are “purebred” and breed-specific rescues abound.

People who breed animals to sell as commodities will keep on doing so as long as someone is willing to pay for them. But the price paid by animals in shelters is much higher. We hope that by placing our ad near the dog park, visitors who are considering bringing a dog into their family before or after National Puppy Day will choose adoption and offer a loving home to an abandoned dog—or cat—awaiting a chance at life in an animal shelter.

We’d love to work with you to promote adoption in advance of National Puppy Day. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your consideration.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid E. Newkirk


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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