I would like to clarify statements made in Pet Stores, Puppy Mills Cause Bad Behavior (7 April). The animals who come through PETA’s doors — not counting the thousands we sterilize at our low-cost clinics and return to their guardians — are only a tiny fraction of the estimated 6 million to 8 million homeless dogs and cats who enter shelters every year. By the time these animals come to PETA, they are often beyond hope. Unlike “no-kill” shelters, we never turn away an animal in need, no matter how sick, elderly, or feral they are or how horrific their injuries. We don’t want these animals to suffer one second longer than they have to.
Putting aside those who can’t be helped, why are so many healthy dogs and cats killed in animal shelters nationwide? Because the very people who love dogs and cats — like the people in your dog park — buy dogs and cats from pet shops and breeders instead of rescuing them from animal shelters and let their dogs and cats breed, adding to the overpopulation crisis. That is why PETA is asking the governors of all 50 states to endorse spay/neuter laws that would require that dogs and cats be sterilized unless their guardians purchase an annual breeding permit — the cost of which would help reduce costs for spay/neuter services.
We need to place responsibility on the shoulders of everyone who turns their backs on the hundreds of thousands of animals who are waiting on death row at this very moment. These people are more responsible for taking those lives than the shelter workers who are forced to clean up after them.
College Campaigns Assistant