“Deadbeat dad.” Unique PETA sign appears as NC experiences flood of stray animals, pet surrenders

North Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – High above I-77 as southbound drivers make their way out of uptown Charlotte, they’ll see a Father’s Day message unlike any other.

“Don’t let your dog be a deadbeat dad,” the billboard says. “Get him neutered today.”

The billboard, which is the only one of its kind in the country, was put up by the Norfolk-based animal rights group PETA.

PETA chose North Carolina for the campaign because they say the state is experiencing a flood of stray animals, pet surrenders, and crowded shelters.

“Human males are able to wear a condom to prevent unwanted pregnancies, but animals don’t have that option, so it’s up to their guardians to make sure that they’re neutered,” said Rachel Bellis, Manager of Local Affairs with PETA.

As is often the case with a lot of messaging from PETA, the billboard is supposed to be thought-provoking and visual.

“We want people to talk about really important issues,” said Bellis. “And this is an important issue.”

The billboard, which faces north, can be seen from Revolution Park in Charlotte.

Bellis says the pandemic, and subsequent lockdowns, led to a big increase in pet adoptions.

“Now that life is returning back to normal, people are going back to the office, people realize they didn’t plan for this responsibility,” said Bellis.

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