NORFOLK, Va., Feb. 27, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As people on a fixed income (or no income at all) struggle to meet their companion animals' needs, PETA has stepped in to help: The group spent more than $2.2 million in 2016 to provide veterinary services and supplies—including free and low-cost medical care, spay/neuter services, doghouses, bedding, food, counseling to help people retain and care for animals they were about to give up, and free euthanasia services for ill, aged, aggressive, and dying animals. PETA served more than 25,000 dogs, cats, and other animals from more than 250 cities in just one region of the country: southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina.
The group is appealing to every caring person to help solve this "crisis of care" in a video available at PETA.org, which urges people to adopt animals from shelters rather than buying them from breeders and pet stores, have them spayed or neutered and help others without funds do the same, look out for neglected animals, and recognize that curbing the homeless-animal crisis begins with prevention. Millions of dogs and cats end up in U.S. animal shelters annually, and many are abandoned on the streets as shelters keep their euthanasia rates low by turning away animals in need.
In 2016, PETA's work in impoverished areas local to its Hampton Roads headquarters, the Sam Simon Center, included the following:
- Addressing the root of the problem by sterilizing more than 15,000 dogs, cats, and rabbits on its mobile clinics, preventing millions of animals from being born into communities already bursting at the seams with unwanted ones
- Transporting—free of charge—more than 1,000 animals to and from its clinics to aid guardians without the means to do so
- Providing more than 3,000 families with free veterinary and counseling services, helping them keep animals they were about to give up
- Visiting more than 7,000 chained and penned "backyard dogs" to treat parasite infestations, give out free flea and flystrike prevention, shave matted fur, show lonely ones affection, and provide them with water buckets, food, and toys
- Building and delivering 312 sturdy doghouses to "backyard dogs"
- Euthanizing 1,428 elderly, feral, sick, dying, aggressive, and otherwise unadoptable animals free of charge—almost 450 of whom were brought to PETA by destitute guardians desperate to alleviate their animals' suffering, as well as others turned away by "no-kill" facilities that reject unadoptable animals in order to keep "save rates" high
- Placing 568 adoptable animals in loving homes or delivering them for adoption to shelters with high foot traffic
"Until you've witnessed it for yourself, it's impossible to imagine what PETA deals with every day in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina, where dogs are left to rot on a chain by people who can't or won't meet these animals' basic needs," says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. "Animals will continue to suffer until continuous chaining is illegal, breeding is restricted, and puppy mills and pet shops are replaced by adoption facilities."
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 139,000 dogs and cats since 2001.
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SOURCE People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)