Video: Danville Area Humane Director Makes Desperate Plea to Help ‘Fix’ Homelessness Crisis

For Immediate Release:
February 2, 2024

Brittney Williams 202-483-7382

Danville, Va. – Having spent decades on the front lines of the dog and cat overpopulation crisis, Paulette Dean, executive director of the Danville Area Humane Society (DAHS), has watched as shelters like hers—which accept all animals in need—are flooded with homeless animals. So now, she has teamed up with PETA in a moving new video urging guardians to help curb the homelessness crisis through prevention—i.e., spaying and neutering.

Two litters of kittens, who had been dumped in crates along the highway in two separate incidents just a couple of months apart.

Two litters of kittens, who had been dumped in crates along the highway in two separate incidents just a couple of months apart. Credit: Danville Area Humane Society

For several years, DAHS has seen a steady increase in the number of animals pouring into its shelter—in 2021, it took in 2,506 animals. That number jumped to 3,098 in 2022 and to 3,499 last year—an increase of almost 40% in just two years.

“In my almost 32 years at the Danville Area Humane Society, I have never seen us receive such a steady stream of animals, and the streams have now become floods,” Dean told PETA. “We are even seeing an increase in such horrors as puppies and kittens being taped into boxes and abandoned in dumpsters or thrown out onto the sides of roads and highways in wire cages.”

“There is no magical place for the unwanted animals to go,” Dean says. “You can be a lifesaver, and it is so simple—saving countless animals from being born into a world that can no longer support that number.”

Around 70 million dogs and cats are homeless in the U.S. at any given time. As a recent article in The New Yorker revealed, many shelters are adopting “no-kill” policies that prioritize “save rates” over the needs of individual animals and turning away many animals, leaving the most vulnerable to be abandoned on the streets. That’s why PETA urges shelters to accept all animals in need, asks everyone to adopt instead of buying from breeders or pet stores, and advises guardians to have their animal companions spayed or neutered.

Dean concludes the video with actionable advice: “Contact your local humane society. Contact your local shelter. Google ‘spay/neuter help’ in your area,” she says. “Make the phone call.”

PETA and Dean’s public service announcement will air starting on February 5 during Good Morning America, Today, and other programming on WSET-TV and WSLS-TV.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—points out that Every Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.

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