Each year more than 7 million dogs and cats remain at animal shelters in the U.S. instead of loving homes. Nearly fifty percent of them must be euthanizes when they are not houses in no-kill centers. This dilemma is exacerbated every time someone purchases one of these pets at a pet store or from a breeder.
Puppy Mills & Backyard Breeders
Animals sold today often come from “puppy mills,” and “backyard breeders,” where they are housed in cramped, unkempt, and unhealthy facilities. The animal overpopulation crisis in the U.S. in many respects starts there.
More than often, these puppy mills and breeders also don’t take the necessary steps to prevent overpopulation, particularly when they don't seek out proper veterinarian care. Not spaying or neutering these pets allows them to have litters of their own, only adding to the problem.
Adopt, Don’t Buy
The “Adopt, Don’t Buy” PETA campaign has been in effect for almost a decade now. Eight years ago, Dexter and Handmaid’s Tale actress Yvonne Strahovski was the animal advocacy group’s spokesperson. Here message then is even more important today as overpopulation increases exponentially each year.
“I think it’s really important that people become aware of the amount, the mass of animals that are sitting in shelters as opposed to people going out and just buying puppies that are being bred,” Strahovski explains.
“There are just so many dogs that are just as gorgeous―whether they’re mixed or purebred or whatever―they’re all gorgeous, and they all have personalities, and they all need a home,” shares Yvonne in an exclusive behind-the-scenes interview with PETA.
What can you do to help?
There are many things you can do to make your voice heard. If you are looking for inspiration, here are some easy steps provided by PETA to get you started:
- Speak up if you see a “backyard dog."
- Join PETA’s Action Team: Help local activists around the world organize for animal rights.
- Order leaflets and pass them out: Grassroots work is essential to the success of the animal rights movement.
- Tell all your friends about the importance of getting companion animals spayed and neutered: It’s the most effective way to combat the homeless-animal overpopulation crisis and prevent cats and dogs from suffering and dying.
- Order some PETA merchandise so that you can be loud without saying a word: Stock up on animal-friendly items, such as classic PETA T-shirts and activist literature.
- Request a free vegan starter kit for someone you know: Help your friends and family members take the first step toward going vegan by ordering them a copy of our free guide to healthy and humane eating.
You can also pledge to always adopt by signing this petition. Won’t you make a commitment to help put an end to animal homelessness today?