The animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) announced it opposes a California animal shelter’s decision not to provide animals to those who believe the Second Amendment allows them to buy assault-style weapons.
Shelter Hope Pet Shop in Thousand Oaks, Calif., posted a statement on its website that the shelter has added a question asking how potential adopters feel about gun control to decide if they can adopt a pet.
The shelter wrote that the gunman who shot and killed 12 at a restaurant in Thousand Oaks in 2018 had come to Shelter Hope for community service hours. The shelter changed its volunteering policy after the incident but now wants to go a step farther.
“We believe that if we can make our voices heard on how we feel we can make an impact,” the website states. “We do not support those who believe that the 2nd amendment gives them the right to buy assault weapons. If your beliefs are not in line with ours, we will not adopt a pet to you.”
PETA representative Catie Cryar said in a statement to The Hill that providing homeless animals with safe and caring homes should be prioritized.
“We have known this adoption group to do good work and are sure they have the best intentions, but from PETA’s perspective, because there is a homeless animal crisis, what counts is that adopted animals are treated well and cared for and that is the criteria we feel is important,” Cryar said.
Actress Kim Sill, who owns the shelter, told Fox News that the shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, in addition to the Thousand Oaks shooting, prompted her to introduce the policy.
An 18-year-old gunman armed with an AR-15 rifle killed 19 children and two adults at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde last month.
“I would say that your views on guns are relevant because, God forbid if you have a stroke, and your wife calls me up and tells me to come to your house and get the dog,” Sill said. “I might not feel safe coming to your house, knowing that you are very radically opposed to me thinking it’s not OK for an 18-year-old to have a gun.”
The website states if someone lies about being a supporter of the National Rifle Association, the shelter will sue them for fraud. It also states those who believe people should be armed in public places, that background checks are not necessary or that teachers should be armed should not try to adopt from the shelter.
“Shelter Hope Pet Shop in no way will continue to operate if we are even remotely part of the problem,” the website states. “We support teachers, children, and businesses who provide services to the public, but we’ve had enough of all the senseless killing.”