On Thursday, the animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) ripped Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), whom PETA’s president gushed was “a role model for how to live,” for obtaining a purebred French bulldog instead of adopting a dog.
PETA President Ingrid Newkirk stated, “AOC had a chance to set a compassionate, responsible example in the face of the homeless-animal crisis, but instead, she apparently inadvertently contributed to the problem. PETA is urging her supporters not to follow her lead in this case and to stick up for the underdog by choosing to give a lovable mutt a new lease on life.”
Newkirk addressed Ocasio-Cortez in a letter in which she wrote:
Dear Ms. Ocasio-Cortez,
We really couldn’t believe our eyes, because you are a role model for how to live, so we understand that you just didn’t realize what you were doing in this case—you couldn’t have. With the millions of homeless dogs out there, you apparently chose to buy a purebred puppy instead of adopting one from an animal shelter. Right this minute, on Petfinder alone, there are more than 110,000 dogs—including French bulldogs—who need homes. Animal shelters are bursting at the seams with hundreds of thousands more, many of whom will be “put to sleep” for lack of a home.
French bulldogs are inbred in order to produce “breed-specific traits,” which cause health problems that many people who will be influenced by your purchase won’t be able to afford to address. They are particularly at risk because their “cute” features plague them with a lifetime of breathing problems (you may have seen the media uproar this week after a disturbing photo of a pug’s MRI went viral), ear and eye infections, skin irritation, a weak stomach, and other issues—all “man-made.”
Please, please, visit any NYC Animal Care & Control shelter to see the rows and rows of animals desperately awaiting homes. On behalf of the more than 6 million lost, abandoned, or unwanted dogs and cats who enter shelters every year and the people who care for them, we’re asking that you please be a part of the solution to ending the cat- and dog-overpopulation crisis and consider setting the right example for your millions of followers by adopting a mutt and encouraging them to do the same. Not only will you be saving another dog’s life, the new dog will also provide your puppy with the companionship he desperately needs as your busy schedule takes you around the country.
We’re also sending you a copy of the book Dogs Hate Crates, which explains why crate training is not humane or effective.
Ocasio-Cortez had announced that she had obtained her French bulldog on Instagram; she also mentioned that she was crate-training her dog, as Fox News reported, adding, “She never confirmed the breed or if she purchased her pet from a breeder.” Ocasio-Cortez wrote, “He’s good about his crate when we are right next to it, but he’s such a velcro pup that at night he whimpers if he’s not right next to us. We’re working on it!”
With millions of dogs, including Frenchies, homeless in shelter cages waiting for homes, @AOC’s choice to publicize getting a purebred puppy is disappointing.
As a person who fights for justice, we doubt she could’ve realized the implications.
Adoption is the ONLY option. pic.twitter.com/CiptDEaZmu
— PETA (@peta) January 10, 2020
In September 2018 PETA decided to mock Donald Trump Jr., an avid hunter, by creating a Halloween costume of him with blood dripping down his face as a leopard was posed behind him. But Trump Jr. had PETA in his crosshairs and promptly neutered them with a blast of his own.
PETA President Ingrid Newkirk gleefully stated, “There’s nothing more frightful than an entitled ghoul who gets his kicks from gunning down wild animals. This Halloween, PETA will help people poke fun at someone who believes that the world and its wildlife are here for him to take.”
Trump Jr. responded, “Ironically, there are few orgs in world history that have as much animal blood on their hands as PETA. You hypocrites are literally an animal slaughter factory. In the last 11 years, PETA has killed 29,426 dogs, cats, rabbits, & other domestic animals.”
In August 2019, PETA posted a billboard in Baltimore mocking Jared Kushner, showing a cartoon version of him sitting on a stack of money with a rat next to him and calling Kushner a “rich pest.” Newkirk said in a statement, “Smart, social, resourceful rats who are just trying to eke out an existence suffer when entitled landlords neglect humane rodent-control measures.”