NORFOLK, Va., Feb. 26, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- PETA puts its money where its heart is: The group spent more than $2 million in 2015 to provide vital services and supplies for people on a fixed income (or no income at all)—including free and low-cost veterinary care, spay/neuter services from its fleet of mobile clinics, doghouses, winter bedding, food, counseling to help people retain and care for animals they were about to give up, and free end-of-life euthanasia services for severely ill, aged, and dying animals. PETA served more than 20,000 dogs, cats, and other animals from more than 250 cities in just one area of the United States: southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina.
The group is appealing to the public to help solve this "crisis of care" in a new video now available at PETA.org, which urges people to adopt dogs and cats from shelters rather than buying them from breeders and pet stores, spay and neuter, help others without funds do the same, look out for neglected animals, and recognize that the homeless animal crisis begins with prevention. The outlook is grim: Many millions of dogs and cats end up in U.S. animal shelters annually, and many are abandoned on the streets as shelters close their doors to avoid being blamed for euthanasia of the unwanted—and even the sick, injured, aggressive, and old who have nowhere else to go.
In 2015, PETA's work in impoverished areas local to Hampton Roads included the following actions:
- Attacking the root of the problem by sterilizing a record-breaking near 12,000 dogs and cats on its fleet of no- to low-cost mobile clinics, preventing millions of animals from being born into communities already bursting at the seams with unwanted dogs and cats
- Transporting—free of charge—more than 800 animals to and from its clinics for people without the means to do so
- Providing more than 2,000 families with free veterinary and counseling services, helping them keep animals they were about to give up
- Visiting more than 6,000 chained and penned "backyard dogs" to treat parasite infestations, give out free flea and flystrike prevention, shave matted fur, show lonely dogs affection, and offer water buckets, food, and toys
- Building 275 sturdy doghouses, all delivered to "backyard dogs"
- Euthanizing 1,502 elderly, feral, sick, dying, aggressive, and otherwise unadoptable animals free of charge—435 of whom were brought to PETA by destitute guardians desperate to alleviate their animals' suffering as well as others who had been turned away by "no-kill" facilities that reject unadoptable animals so as to keep "save rates" high
- Placing 545 adoptable animals in permanent homes or delivering them to shelters with high foot traffic for adoption, in addition to referring many more adoptable animals directly to open-admission shelters
"The level of animal suffering that we see in the poverty pockets that we serve is almost incomprehensible to the average person, and every day our service provision drains us emotionally and financially," says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. "Animals need and deserve laws prohibiting continuous chaining and penning of dogs, and people on low or no income need reduced-cost access to the veterinary care, including euthanasia services, that they cannot currently afford. As long as people breed, buy, neglect, and abandon dogs and cats—and as long as veterinary care costs the earth—animals will continue to suffer in terrible ways."
PETA is the only private animal shelter in the area that takes in animals without appointments, waiting lists, admission fees, or restricted hours. PETA's fleet of mobile clinics has sterilized more than 123,000 dogs and cats since 2001.
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SOURCE People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)