Tokyo — In honor of the Tokyo Olympics, PETA is launching a Japanese ad campaign starring Alex Morgan and Christen Press—who are on the U.S. women’s soccer team and play in the quarterfinals on Friday—encouraging fans to adopt animals from shelters and give them lots of love, care, and respect, just as the soccer stars do for their beloved rescued pups.
Alex Morgan and her rescued dog Blue
Christen Press and her rescued dog Morena
“Blue is part of our family,” says Morgan. “We’re not owners—if anything, he owns us. He owns our heart.” She goes on to describe why she wanted to adopt a dog, not buy one from a breeder or pet shop: “There’s so many animals on the streets and so many animals that aren’t able to live the life that they should be able to live,” she says. “Animals should always be a part of the family, be taken care of, just as any child would be.”
Press shares how adopting her two dogs has changed her life. “They’re so special … [a]nd it’s just brought our family so close,” she says. “[T]his was an opportunity we had to change the life course of these animals, and in the end, they ended up saving us.”
As noted by PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—millions of dogs and cats enter animal shelters every year in Japan and around the world, and many of them have to be euthanized simply because there aren’t enough good homes for them. Countless more end up on the streets, where they may starve, be hit by cars, or endure abuse. That’s why Morgan, Press, and PETA encourage caring people to adopt from local animal shelters and never buy from breeders or pet stores, which only exacerbate the homeless-animal overpopulation crisis.
PETA planned to place the ads outside soccer venues in Tokyo, Miyagi, Ibaraki, Misono, and Yokohama, but placement was canceled after spectators were banned from Olympic venues.