Speed-skating champions Fan Kexin, Zhou Yang, and Wu Dajing are champions for animals for helping to launch PETA’s new Year of the Mutt shirts, designed by artist Han Lili, to support PETA’s Chinese New Year campaign.
PETA’s campaign reminds the public that every time a dog is bought from a puppy mill or breeder, a potential home is taken away from the mixed-breed dogs who fill shelters and streets throughout China. Puppy mills—where the dogs sold in pet stores are typically bred—often keep the animals in cramped, dark spaces, where they’re used as nothing more than breeding machines and denied veterinary care. Purebred dogs are also at a higher risk of developing certain diseases and other medical conditions.
“Shelters are full to bursting with wonderful dogs hoping for a home,” says Fan Kexin. “My friends at PETA and I encourage anyone interested in finding a loving and loyal new friend to speed over to their local animal shelter and change their life for the better.”
On the streets, homeless animals grapple with starvation, extreme weather conditions, diseases, traffic, and cruel humans.
“There’s nothing quite like locking eyes with an animal at a shelter and knowing you’ve found a family member,” says Zhou Yang. “My friends at PETA and I encourage everyone to open their hearts and homes to an adopted dog or cat this year and see all the wonderful ways their lives are enriched by doing so.”
Dogs suffer not only at puppy mills but also on Chinese fur farms, where more than 2 million dogs and cats are skinned—many while fully conscious—to make fur products every year.
There are virtually no protection laws for animals on Chinese fur farms. Animals used by the fur industry spend their entire lives confined to tiny, filthy cages until they’re poisoned, anally electrocuted, or skinned alive or their necks are broken.
Gold medalist Wu Dajing knows that real winners don’t hurt others.
“Every fur coat, collar, and piece of trim represents the miserable life and painful, terrifying death of animals who suffered beyond measure on fur farms,” says Wu Dajing. “My friends at PETA and I encourage everyone to bundle up in faux fur and other cozy vegan options this winter rather than in the stolen skins of murdered animals.”
What You Can Do
Let’s make this Year of the Dog something to celebrate by refusing to buy animals from puppy mills, breeders, or pet stores and sending a powerful message to the fur industry by pledging never to buy fur.
Remember: If you have the time and resources to provide an animal with a stable home, adopt one from a shelter or rescue one from the street and always have them sterilized.