Written by Jeff Mackey
The length of the current economic downturn has taken its toll
both on people—many of whom are struggling to find housing
and jobs—and on
the animals who depend on them. As a result, animal shelters are receiving record numbers of abandoned
stretching their already limited resources to capacity.
Overcrowding at a limited admission (no-kill) shelter
These problems are intensified by the animal overpopulation
crisis, which, even in a strong economy, causes many animal shelters to
struggle with the burden of homeless and unwanted animals. Unlike complicated
fiscal policy, though, the solution to this problem is simple—by implementing
and enforcing mandatory spay-and-neuter laws,
communities can reduce animal populations to manageable levels, ensuring that
every animal can be cared for. PETA not only is working to promote the passage
of such legislation but also operates several mobile spay-and-neuter clinics,
sterilizing 10,564 animals in 2011 alone and nearly 80,000 to date!
Sadly, at this critical time, many animal shelters are implementing
policies without first having reduced the number of unwanted animals (though some
have now wised up).
Many of these animal shelters are betraying animals by adopting guidelines that
make the problem much worse, such as requiring appointments and admission fees
for people to surrender animals, turning away strays who aren't well socialized
because they are not adoptable (even if they're at risk of being harmed by people
who consider them a nuisance), forcing people to wait until space opens up to
take in any more animals, refusing to accept animals from outside a certain
town or region, and giving animals away for free without proper screening.
These horribly misguided practices are a blueprint for
disaster. The failure of these limited-admission policies has been proved again
and again, as in these stories from 2011:
Companion animals depend on us to take care of them, which
is why PETA accepts all animals who
need help—without requiring a fee or an appointment—whether they are suffering
from a terminal illness that requires euthanasia that their guardians can't
afford, were abandoned
during a natural disaster,
or were injured in Afghanistan and brought stateside by a caring soldier.
Is there an animal shelter that's turning away animals in
your community? Find out—and
try to ensure that it does what's right to help animals. Find out how PETA Saves Animals.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.