For Immediate Release:
September 6, 2023
Sara Groves 202-483-7382
Norfolk, Va. – Did a Chinese zoo display a human in a bear costume? Did Pete Davidson really leave PETA an expletive-ridden voicemail? One of those stories is true, and both grabbed headlines this summer, so now PETA has a treat for their fans: new Halloween costumes of an eerie-sistible Pete Davidson and an unbearably cute sun bear. Both are available for preorder from the PETA Shop, and all proceeds will be used to sponsor spay/neuter surgeries for animal companions of low-income families—helping to ease the homeless-dog overpopulation crisis—and support PETA’s Investigations & Rescue Fund.
Davidson’s voicemail to PETA inadvertently sparked a national conversation about the importance of “adopt—don’t shop” (i.e., adopting animals from shelters instead of buying them from pet stores as he did), and the group’s limited-edition Halloween costume of the star features a mask of his face with a #$@!% baseball cap, a plush dog wearing a “Shelter Dogs Rule” bandana, and a hoodie with “I Should’ve Adopted” printed on it.
And in honor of Angela, the Malaysian sun bear who captured the world’s attention by standing “like a human,” everyone can now take a stand for bears just like her and others held captive at shoddy roadside zoos by donning a bear mask, a black hoodie with furry “bear ears,” and a sign proclaiming, “Stand Up for Sun Bears.”
“Ghosts and ghouls can’t hold a candle to the ghastliness of puppy mills and roadside zoos,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA’s costumes will give Halloween partygoers pumpkin to talk about: how saving animals’ lives is as easy as adopting from shelters and steering clear of exploitative animal exhibits.”
PETA notes that an estimated 70 million dogs and cats are homeless in the U.S. at any given time and that all breeders contribute to the overpopulation crisis and deny animals in shelters a chance at finding a loving home. That’s why PETA advises guardians to have their animal companions spayed or neutered and asks everyone to adopt. Anyone set on finding a dog of a specific breed can go to shelters, where at least a quarter of the dogs are “purebreds,” check with breed-specific rescue groups, or search Petfinder.com.
Meanwhile, a lifetime of exploitation in the entertainment industry is the likely explanation for Angela’s posture. A PETA Asia investigation into several circuses and animal-training facilities in China found that workers chained bear cubs by their necks and tethered them to a wall, forcing them to remain upright, sometimes for hours on end. It’s common practice for circuses around the globe to dump wild animals at shoddy roadside zoos after years of forcing them to perform.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.