On Thursday, the animal rights organization spoke out against Justin Bieber's decision to buy two part-exotic kittens

By Helen Murphy
October 04, 2019 09:06 AM

Justin Bieber is responding to PETA after the animal rights organization slammed the singer over his decision to buy two part-exotic kittens that cost a total of $35,000.

In a statement to PEOPLE on Thursday, PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange spoke out against Bieber’s recent decision to purchase the expensive Savannah kittens, whom he named Sushi and Tuna, claiming that the singer does not “care” about helping animals.

Posting a screenshot of the PEOPLE story to his Instagram Story later on Thursday night, Bieber wrote, “PETA can suck it.”

“PETA go focus on real problems,” he continued in a second Instagram Story post. “Like poaching, and animal brutality. Ur tripping because I want a specific kind of cat? U weren’t tripping when I got my dog Oscar and he wasn’t a rescue.”

Justin Bieber Instagram
Justin Bieber Instagram

RELATED: Justin Bieber Receives Backlash from PETA After Spending $35,000 on His New Part-Exotic Kittens

Bieber, 25, added, “Every pet we get must be a rescue? I believe in adopting rescues but also think there are preferences and that’s what breeders are for.”

“PETA go help with all of the plastic in the ocean, and leave my beautiful cats alone,” the singer said in a third Instagram Story.

PETA President Ingrid Newkirk responded to Bieber’s Instagram Stories in a statement on Friday, saying, “Sorry, Justin, but you must think more deeply about this issue: When millions of animals are losing their lives every year because not enough people adopt — choosing instead to shop — the animal overpopulation crisis is a ‘real problem.’ That’s what ‘sucks.'”

“PETA urges you to spend just one hour in a municipal animal shelter with us—we think you’ll understand how hard it is to look into the animals’ eyes and know that because people pay breeders, many of them will pay with their lives,” Newkirk continued. “You have the power to be a great role model on this issue — your behavior guides that of tons of your fans — so please put that to good use.”

Justin Bieber Instagram
Inset: Justin Bieber
justin Bieber/Instagram. Inset: anthony Harvey/Getty Images

On Thursday, Lange told PEOPLE: “Baby, baby, baby, nooooooo. Justin Bieber could inspire his fans around the world to save a life by adopting a cat from a local animal shelter — rather than fueling the dangerous demand for hybrid cats, contributing to the animal overpopulation crisis, and proving that when it comes to helping animals, his stance so far is ‘I don’t care.’”

Shortly after PETA’s criticism, the star posted a screenshot of the Instagram account he created for Sushi and Tuna and asked his fans to follow their account. (He previously promised the kittens’ millionth follower free merch from his fashion line Drew House.)

RELATED: Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin Enjoy a Low Key Picnic in LA After Lavish South Carolina Wedding

Bieber bought the small beige and black kittens ahead of his second wedding to Hailey Baldwin.

The felines are part-domestic cat and part-African Serval and were purchased for $20,000 and $15,000, respectively, from the Illinois-based breeder Select Exotics, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Because Savannahs are considered “living room leopards,” they are legally restricted or banned in Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Texas, and Vermont, according to the Savannah Cat Association.

Other states, including Arizona, California, Connecticut, New Jersey, Ohio, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia, allow all Savannah cats.

The singer first announced he would be getting a new kitten at the end of August.

“I’m getting a cat tomorrow and The name will be sushi 🍣 !!!,” he excitedly wrote alongside a cartoon image of a cat. “I can call her sooosh Magooosh and I’m very happy about it.”

Weeks later, Bieber and Baldwin, 22, revealed that they had welcomed another kitty, who they named Tuna.

Along with Sushi and Tuna, the couple also welcomed a puppy named Oscar into their family in December.

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