Regular readers know that I’ve had a long standing beef with PETA. (Pun fully intended.) This is an organization which has taken the noble, worthy cause of helping out animals in distress and turned it into a misguided and frequently dangerous cult, frequently doing more to harm legitimate animal care initiatives than to help any four legged friends in need. But the story uncovered by the Daily Caller this week really puts things in perspective. It turns out that in the few cases where PETA operates actual shelters, they have one of the worst records in the country in terms of killing off animals rather than putting in the effort to care for them and find them homes.
Documents published online this month show that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, an organization known for its uncompromising animal-rights positions, killed more than 95 percent of the pets in its care in 2011.
The documents, obtained from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, were published online by the Center for Consumer Freedom, a non-profit organization that runs online campaigns targeting groups that antagonize food producers.
Fifteen years’ worth of similar records show that since 1998 PETA has killed more than 27,000 animals at its headquarters in Norfolk, VA.
This is enough to make my blood boil. It’s not just the raw numbers, but their policy which indicates that 84% of the animals they take in are euthanized within 24 hours of arrival. Dr. Daniel Kovich, of the Virginia agriculture department, investigated PETA’s headquarters.
“The facility does not contain sufficient animal enclosures to routinely house the number of animals annually reported as taken into custody,” Kovich concluded in his report.
“[PETA’s] primary purpose,” Kovich wrote, “is not to find permanent adoptive homes for animals.”
PETA media liaison Jane Dollinger told The Daily Caller in an email that “most of the animals we take in are society’s rejects; aggressive, on death’s door, or somehow unadoptable.”
This is one of the most lame dodges ever for lazy, cruel treatment of lost animals. I have worked at and with a number of shelters over the years. (In fact, my wife and I originally met while volunteering at an animal shelter.) While it is sad, I understand that not every location can be a 100% “no-kill” shelter. All too often there simply isn’t enough space, money and supplies to manage that. But you always make the best effort possible to keep the animals as long as can be managed, to reunite them with their owner or, failing that, find them a new home. Many of these “unadoptable rejects” are simply older animals, or ones that are frightened and confused, finding themselves in a new, unfamiliar environment. Killing them off that fast is simply inexcusable.
PETA is one of the worst examples of a group which could have done something great, but chose instead to turn into a self-serving political, agenda driven organization which forgets their original mission. The report cites that PETA has an annual budget in excess of $27M. Imagine how much help could go to real animals in need if those powerful resources were applied to actually helping the animals. Instead, they film glitzy commercials, run national advertising campaigns and hire lobbyists. Rather than investing their time in feeding, vaccinating and adopting out helpless animals, they spend their time mounting domestic terror campaigns, throwing blood on people wearing leather coats and hiring lawyers to treat killer whales as slaves.
This is the same as environmental groups, some of whom started many years ago with the best of intentions, cleaning up roadside litter and planting trees. Then, years later, they are planting metal spikes in trees to injure loggers. PETA is a total failure and should be shunned by people who are truly interested in helping lost and injured pets.