Friday 23 March 2018

Mother of 14 backs neuter campaign

Nadya Suleman unveils an advertising banner supporting animal neutering (AP)
Nadya Suleman unveils an advertising banner supporting animal neutering (AP)

Nadya Suleman, whose 14 children include octuplets born last year, is endorsing a US advertising campaign to promote the neutering of dogs and cats.

As a front yard full of paparazzi cheered her on, Ms Suleman unveiled a three-foot-by-four-foot plastic sign that read: "Don't Let Your Dog or Cat Become an Octomom. Always Spay or Neuter."

A few curious onlookers stopped to watch as a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals mascot - a person in a dog suit - gave her a hug.

Peta is paying Suleman 5,000 US dollars to keep the sign on her front door in La Habra, California until June 9, the deadline when city officials say it must be removed. The organisation is also throwing in a month's supply of veggie hot dogs and burgers for her and her 14 children.

Ms Suleman, 34, acknowledged she put the sign on her door partly for the money but added her support of Peta is sincere.

"I love animals and I do believe they should be spayed or neutered," she said. "Humans of course are much different."

Her children, the oldest of whom is nine, want a dog, Ms Suleman said. She told them they can have one when they are old enough to care for it.

Ms Suleman already had six children when she gave birth 16 months ago to octuplets conceived by in vitro fertilisation. Since then she has struggled to pay her bills and was in danger of losing her home earlier this year, but her lawyer since negotiated an extension on a 450,000 US dollar mortgage payment that had been due in March.

"It's really a win-win situation for everyone," Peta campaign coordinator Amanda Fortino said of the sign.

Ms Fortino said the agreement allowed Peta to do its part to help Ms Suleman financially while also spreading word that more than seven million cats and dogs enter shelters every year, where more than half are put to death.

Press Association

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