Parents of teens know that at that certain age they can't avoid having the dreaded "sex talk" with their kids, but what about with their pets? What if pet owners started thinking of their pets as their teens when it comes to avoiding pregnancy?
That's the dramatic, but humorous, approach taken in a new series of public service announcements and advertisements produced by the Best Friends Animal Society, the nation's largest sanctuary for homeless animals.
In the spots, voiced by "NCIS: LA" actress Linda Hunt and "Modern Family" star Eric Stonestreet, parents appear to be reacting to their kids' promiscuity, only to have the kids replaced by their pets. In other words, once you start thinking of your pets as your kids, it's a lot easier to think of what needs to be done to keep them from delivering offspring.
Called "Prevent more. Fix at month four," the campaign is the first national effort to educate pet owners on when, not just why, they should spay and neuter, according to the Society.
"We felt it was important to present the messaging in an attention getting way that didn't make people feel guilty or sad," Amber Ayers, the society's senior marketing and creative manager, told ABCNews.com. "When we looked at the research, most people planned on spaying or neutering their pets, but there was just a lot of confusion about when to do so and this leads to the 'oops' litter. "
The Utah-based non-profit says it hopes the ads will grow into a "cultural movement."
"We are hoping to maintain long-term traction by shifting the mindset of our country," said Ayers. "It will become commonplace to fix your pet at four months, reducing the number of pets that enter, and ultimately never leave our shelters. "