Video: Her Grandma Hoarded Animals—Now, She Fights to Help Them

For Immediate Release:
December 14, 2018

David Perle 202-483-7382

Los Angeles

“Growing up, I thought my grandmother’s farm was heaven,” says PETA’s Diana Mendoza, a lifelong Los Angeles–area resident. “But my parents didn’t.” Mendoza tells her story in a new PETA video in which she describes how her grandmother’s house in Palmdale, California, filled up with dogs, cats, and any other animals dumped at the door—until the urine-soaked newspapers inside made it unlivable and her parents had to spend each visit burying all the animals who’d died of sickness or malnutrition.

Mendoza now uses the memories of her grandmother’s hoarding as motivation to try to fix the dog and cat overpopulation crisis in Los Angeles in the only way that will work long-term: spaying and neutering. She goes into the community to help Angelenos get the resources that they need in order to comply with the city’s mandatory spay/neuter law so that animals don’t end up homeless on the street or warehoused by hoarders disguised as “no-kill rescues.” She says, “The only way we’re going to get to a world with no more homeless animals is by focusing on stopping the flood of animals being born, instead of arguing about what to do with them once they’re already here.” She urges people to support Los Angeles’ open-admission shelters, “the ones doing the real rescue work, where injured, sick, and unadoptable animals are never turned away like they are by so-called ‘no-kill’ facilities.”

Mendoza and her crew of volunteers have visited over 1,000 homes in L.A., reminding folks that having animal companions spayed or neutered is the law. She regularly carries PETA’s national emergency pager and responds to calls about injured, sick, and neglected animals in and around the city; she organized demonstrations against Mayor Eric Garcetti when he failed to take action to improve the lackluster performance of the city’s animal services department; and she attends city government meetings to push for changes to help companion animals with and without homes in L.A.

Her video is included in a new 10-part series titled “PETA Reveals: Everybody’s Got a Story,” which highlights 10 individuals’ “Clark Kent moments”—times when a life-changing experience or personal revelation awakened their sense of social justice and triggered their evolution into activists. The full series from PETA—whose motto is “Animals are not ours to experiment on, eat, wear, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way”—is available here.

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