Save Abandoned Pets From Tragic Fate

Target: Russell C. Redding, Secretary of Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Goal: Help make animal shelters true rescue havens for abandoned pets.

A Pennsylvania woman was accused of neglecting her pet dog so severely that the animal’s leg had to be amputated. And at one of the state’s largest airports, two dogs were reportedly abandoned in seemingly unrelated incidents. If any of these pets could have found temporary homes at a rescue shelter, much heartbreak might have been avoided.

Every year, over six million animals enter shelters, but rates of abandonment and neglect are likely much higher. Why? Pet caretakers often feel a stigma attached when they are no longer able to look after their animals. They may avoid the process of scheduling a shelter surrender, fearing judgment. Instead, they resort to drastic and often tragic measures.

Drop boxes are one solution some shelters have tried to reverse this trend. Much like how many fire departments provide an anonymous place for parents to leave newborn babies if they believe they cannot take care of the infant, shelter drop boxes offer the same service to pet parents. The boxes are often open after hours, so individuals will not interact with shelter employees or volunteers. While these boxes sound promising in theory, a lack of stringent guidelines (such as locking kennels that prevent multiple animals from being forced into the same area) is holding back their potential and at times creating even more risk for the pets.

Sign the petition below to urge Pennsylvania leaders to take the lead on an animal welfare issue of national importance.


Dear Secretary Redding,

Pennsylvania—and the entire country—has a serious animal abandonment problem. At the Pittsburgh International Airport alone, multiple pet dogs have reportedly been abandoned. And abandonment is only one facet of the issue, because the number of residents who neglect their pets is on a serious rise as well.

Functional animal shelters can and should play a vital role in curtailing both these problems, but a lack of legal guidance and oversight at both the regional and national level is hindering progress. As just one example, anonymous drop boxes found at some shelters have no uniform standards of enforceable guidelines. As a result, an idea that could help save animal lives is in many instances endangering them instead.

This department is responsible for state animal welfare standards. Please use your influence to help craft and implement a standardized drop box program—and a comprehensive oversight system for shelters as a whole—to help put an end to the deadly animal abandonment and neglect epidemic.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Mia X


  1. I have worked with abandoned sick hurt animals for the past 35 year’s I had a Rescue Shelter out of my home… Please don’t let all of our hard work God by the way side. We have tried to educate people ..I was a Humane officer for Cambria County in Pa. For a long time and it was truly hard to educate people when you have local police working against you..not all Just a few who actually think this is not their job to care for the innocent animals . I have a whole Police Department in Patton Pa who refuse to handle strays or do anything for them. If a stray is found the people who found the poor animal then become responsiblefor it. Leading of course to worse problems …bites… hungry injured or absued animals ..Our Governor signed new and better laws for our animals to be treated better. Now we need responsible people to enforce them not to pick and choose what part of the law they want to enforce. The two police Chiefs before this one were wonderful animal people worked with us day and night for the welfare of animals..with better laws being signed ..How can this department turn their back’s on the innocent animals and get away without doing their job? Thank you for listening God Bless you.

  2. Pennsylvania needs to do something, anything even, about the rampant and ongoing animal abuse in their state. Between the Amish and those who are just sadistic losers, this state may have an even worse animal abuse epidemic than Texas and no state wants that. Protect those who cannot protect themselves, pets and children need strong laws for protection and for the prosecution of the lowlifes that abuse them. No more hand slaps or looking the other way, find and jail these horrible ‘people’.

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