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December 02, 2011

Talk Back: Our Work for Pets and Farm Animals

Orange cat in Shelter Pet Project TV PSA
Watch this funny PSA.

When General Motors or Ford does national advertising, it builds awareness for the cars sold by local dealers all over the country. That’s what we’re doing with the Shelter Pet Project, a national advertising campaign to promote pet adoption. In the first two years of the project, we’ve generated more than $49 million in advertising. And with our clever and fun new spots, which are already a YouTube sensation, I think we’ll add another $50 million in advertising for the awareness campaign—to help drive down and ultimately eliminate euthanasia of healthy and treatable dogs and cats.

On top of that, there’s our general advertising, which is spreading the broader anti-cruelty message. It all adds up to building the brand of the humane movement, and it helps us all. It lifts all boats.

A lot of you share my excitement about the latest round of Shelter Pet Project ads or have shared your own stories about adopting a pet:

I love all four of them! Well, maybe the cat watching his new human kid play in the sandbox is my favorite. —Lily Horstmann

I adopted my beloved 'Mugsy' from the Benton Franklin Humane Society, Wash., in 2002. He had been dumped by the side of the road during one of the hottest months of summer. After months of good food and loving, Mugsy's health was restored, he learned to trust again and he became one of the best parts of my life. ADOPT, ADOPT, ADOPT a pet [in] need and you will rewarded with unconditional love and devotion. —Gloria Reynolds

My daughter and I are fosters with the Wilson County Humane Society, and many of our fosters come from the local shelter. There are so many wonderful pets hoping to find their forever homes...all they need is a chance. Too many animals and not enough good homes for them. Please spay and neuter your pets! —Lisa Anderson Price

But The HSUS is about more than just pets. It’s about all animals. And that’s why we conduct hard-hitting campaigns to combat all forms of cruelty, including in industrialized agriculture. We’ve been critical of Smithfield hedging on its original commitment to phase out gestation crates. And we’ve asked that McDonald’s live up to its own words and stop supporting gestation crate confinement. You appear to agree wholeheartedly about the extreme confinement of farm animals:

It isn't just Smithfield. This is how pigs are raised now. Pig farmers cannot be competitive without resorting to this (and chicken farmers). Laws need to be passed that require humane conditions for the animals, and level the playing field so that farmers, once again, CAN humanely and profitably raise their pigs and chickens, and compete. —Chris Willey

I boycott all Smithfield products after watching a poor pig being waterboarded down Interstate 95 on its way to slaughter in Virginia. As I sobbed, we tried to get the truck drivers attention to no avail. The conditions these poor pigs are in [are] way far from having their every need met! As the holiday season approaches, please remind everyone to boycott Smithfield…they treat the humans that work for them poorly as well. —Mary Harper

I've always looked forward to McRib season at McDonald's. No more. I am not going to contribute one cent to the abuse of these animals. Smithfield pork products are often cheaper than some other brands at the grocery store. I've stopped buying Smithfield products and consider any extra grocery money spent an investment in stopping animal abuse. Thanks HSUS for keeping meat consumers informed. —Hetty

I would no more eat pork than I would a dog. Did you know that tests have shown pigs are smarter than dogs? Corporate greed is behind factory farms like Smithfield Foods, and consumers are in denial. We can all do our part and I am doing mine—won't you join me? Make a statement in your circle of family and friends! —Mari Rodriguez

Some time ago I started buying eggs from chickens that are cage-free. I have no problem paying an extra $1 or 2 for a dozen eggs if I know the chickens are healthy and happy. To cause pain to an animal just for lower cost is sinful. I live on my social security check. I may not be rich but no animal is abused to fill my stomach. Bless you for the work that you do. —Patricia Barger

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