Dog And Cat Neglect At Crisis Proportions, Says PETA: Group Spent $2.5 Million On Prevention And Assistance In 2014 Alone

New Figures Show Negligence, Poverty Are Factors in Homeless- and Vulnerable-Animal Crisis

Jan 30, 2015, 16:58 ET from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

NORFOLK, Va., Jan. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- PETA puts its money where its mouth is, spending more than $2.5 million in 2014 to assist the public with free veterinary care, spay/neuter services, doghouses, straw bedding, "pet" food, counseling to help people keep and care for animals they were considering giving up, and free euthanasia services for 2,454 dogs, cats, and other animals in just one area of the United States—services people on a fixed income (or no income at all) can't afford.

PETA is appealing to the public to help solve this "crisis of care" in a new video that's now available at PETA points out that unless enough people adopt dogs and cats—and never buy—spay and neuter, help others do the same, look out for animals who are neglected and denied medical care, and introduce animal-friendly legislation that recognizes the need for sheltering for unadoptable animals, the outlook is grim. Some 6 to 8 million dogs and cats end up in U.S. animal shelters annually, and almost half must be euthanized because of their wretched physical or psychological condition or because there aren't enough good homes for them.

PETA's work in impoverished areas of Virginia and North Carolina illustrates problems for dogs and cats nationwide. In 2014, PETA attacked the root of the problems by sterilizing 10,950 dogs and cats on its fleet of no- or low-cost mobile clinics, preventing millions of animals from being born into communities bursting at the seams with unwanted dogs and cats. PETA also transported—free of charge—more than 600 animals to and from its clinics for people with no transportation, built 285 sturdy doghouses and delivered them to "backyard dogs," and provided more than 4,000 families with free veterinary and counseling services, helping them keep animals they were considering giving up. PETA's shelter took in and euthanized elderly, feral, sick, dying, aggressive, and otherwise unadoptable animals—more than 500 of whom were brought to PETA by destitute guardians desperate to alleviate their animals' suffering and others who had been turned away by "no-kill" facilities that reject unadoptable animals in order to keep "save rates" high. PETA placed more than 470 adoptable animals in permanent homes or delivered them to open-admission shelters for adoption. PETA also referred other adoptable animals directly to such facilities.

"PETA serves vulnerable animals in these pockets of poverty at a high cost emotionally and financially every day, and the level of animal suffering is deeply upsetting," says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. "These animals need an urgent citizen uprising—we need laws banning sales of animals in pet stores, prohibiting continuous chaining of dogs, and giving low-income people access to reduced-cost veterinary care. As long as people are breeding, buying, and abandoning dogs and cats and medical care for animals, as with humans, is out of many people's reach, millions of animals will continue to suffer."

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SOURCE People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)