Rep. Porter’s Puppy Promise Prompts PETA Plea: Adopt—Don’t Shop!

For Immediate Release:
March 13, 2024

Nicole Perreira 202-483-7382

Orange County, Calif

Could U.S. Rep. Katie Porter soon be visiting homeless animals in need at her local shelter? Since Porter may not be setting up shop in the U.S. Senate Chamber come January and promised her children a puppy if she lost her bid, PETA rushed a letter today to the representative urging her to set a compassionate example for her constituents by adopting—not shopping—for the new addition to her family.

“You don’t need it spelled out on a whiteboard to see that shelters in California and across the country are overflowing with unprecedented numbers of animals in need of loving homes,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA is hoping that Rep. Porter stands up for everyone in California by adopting her next family member from a local shelter instead of buying a puppy from a breeder or a pet store.”

PETA notes that animal shelters have been severely crowded for years and that now, “pandemic puppies” bought from breeders and pet stores during the COVID-19 lockdown are being returned or abandoned in record numbers. At Orange County Animal Care, more dogs are coming in than are being adopted, leaving the shelter up to 100 dogs over its capacity. The solution to this crisis is to implement and enforce strict, mandatory spay/neuter laws and to adopt animals, not shop for them.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—points out that Every Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit or follow the group on X, Facebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s letter to Porter follows.

March 13, 2024

The Honorable Katie Porter
U.S. House of Representatives

Dear Representative Porter:

I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals—PETA entities have more than 9 million members and supporters worldwide, including over 600,000 in California. We recently learned that you promised your children a puppy. When you’re ready, we urge you to make the compassionate choice to adopt your new family member from an animal shelter.

You may be unaware that shelters across the country—including in Orange County—are in crisis mode, overflowing with unprecedented numbers of wonderful dogs, cats, and other animals who have ended up homeless through no fault of their own. Recognizing the animal overpopulation crisis, Los Angeles City Council members recently proposed a pause on issuing new breeding permits, stating, “It is unacceptable for the City to continue issuing breeding permits while thousands of animals are suffering from overcrowded conditions in our animal shelters.”

Recently, Orange County Animal Control was reportedly so severely crowded that it was housing 100 more animals than it had space for and was giving dogs away for free—a practice that has proved dangerous for animals. Similar inhumane conditions and dangerous practices are being reported at packed facilities across the state, including confining animals to stacked crates in hallways and offices and leaving them on the streets or in neglectful homes.

Adopting from a shelter would set a positive example of kindness for your constituents, and you’re in a unique position to make a huge difference. With so many dogs of all ages, energy levels, and personality types in need of responsible, loving homes, I’m confident that you would quickly find an ideal companion for your family at a shelter.

If you whiteboard this issue, you’ll find that the only kind and just decision is to adopt. We hope you’ll consider providing a loving home to one of tens of millions of homeless animals in the U.S. Please let me know if we can assist you in any way. Thank you for your consideration.


Daphna Nachminovitch
Senior Vice President
Cruelty Investigations Department

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