An Epic Failure of Oversight in Virginia

March 26, 2015 by  

Celebration & Sober Reflection on the Passage of SB 1381 (& What You Can Do)

sheltercats

Photo: A shelter is a refuge. But for the vast majority of cats rounded up or otherwise impounded by PETA, the only thing PETA staff offer them is an overdose of poison to satisfy Ingrid Newkirk’s dark impulses. In 2014, PETA took in 1,605 cats and killed 1,536 (a kill rate of 96%). They transferred another 43 to kill shelters. If they were killed or displaced others who were killed, that would put the cat kill rate as high as 98%. They found homes for only 16, an adoption rate of 1%.

This week, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signed SB 1381, a law which requires shelters in Virginia to be “operated for the purpose of finding permanent adoptive homes.” In other words, SB 1381 does what the public already thinks shelters do and what the dictionary says they do, even though PETA, which is located in Virginia, does not. In fact, the bill was introduced in a response to PETA—which is licensed in Virginia as a shelter—killing over 90% of the animals, with little to no effort to find them homes and their stealing Maya, a happy and healthy dog, from her porch while her family was out and killing her that very day. Since its passage, we’ve also found out that they killed five other animals that day, including two kittens and a six month old puppy, also in violation of state law.

Despite PETA’s intense lobbying effort to derail the vote which became known among legislators as the “anti-PETA killing bill,” despite PETA hiring a professional lobbyist with donor funds to kill it, despite manipulating their supporters to urge its defeat by lying to them, the votes were not even close: 95 to 2 in the House and 35 to 1 in the Senate. Not only does the outcome prove that participating in the political process—as thousands of Virginians did by writing, email and telephoning their Delegates urging a “yes” vote—can have a profound impact, but it shows that PETA has lost all credibility with the Virginia legislature and the governor who signed it into law.

Not only was a law just passed to protect animals from PETA, but the bill also forced PETA to further reveal its true colors: that an organization claiming to represent the “ethical treatment of animals” would hire a lobbyist at donor expense to defeat an important piece of animal protection legislation demonstrates once again that PETA is not committed to furthering the rights of animals, but rather, to actively subverting them, as more and more people are finding out.

In fact, the Governor’s signing of the bill comes just days after the State of Delaware, through the head of one of its agencies, wrote a letter to PETA asking them to stop lying about their shelter standards law. In 2010, Delaware legislators unanimously passed the Delaware Companion Animal Protection Act (CAPA), an important piece of animal protection legislation based on a model law authored by my organization, the No Kill Advocacy Center. By eliminating the ability of shelters to kill animals out of habit and convenience, the law has been wildly successful, reducing killing in Delaware shelters by nearly 80%.

Despite its success in Delaware and other places, PETA has vilified this law, saying that it has been a disaster there, forcing shelters to turn animals away. As I have long argued, none of it is true. In keeping with their many efforts over the years to derail laws nationwide which protect shelter animals, PETA has even written public officials in other communities debating the implementation of CAPA-like laws, urging them to reject such laws which they misrepresent and malign. In short, they do what they have always done: they lie.

Thankfully, the Delaware Office of Animal Welfare (OAW) has recently weighed in to respond to PETA’s misrepresentations, chastising PETA for lying. The OAW is a state agency that oversees implementation of Delaware’s shelters, including CAPA, through the Department of Health and Social Services. In their response to PETA, they write that what PETA is claiming “is simply not true. PETA does not have local representation in Delaware and is obviously not familiar with our sheltering system.” They also go on to explain the incredible success of the law, how it has saved countless lives, and prevented emotional heartbreak for the families and caretakers and rescuers of those animals.

From that standpoint, the passage of SB 1381 is incredibly good news. However, we fought for the bill not to simply force PETA to reveal its true colors, but to actually save lives, and if history is any indication, our next battle is getting the agency in charge of enforcing this new law to actually do so.

Given that PETA has always admitted it does not operate a shelter for the purpose of finding homes, given that the evidence is clear they do not, and given that Ingrid Newkirk once stated, unapologetically, “We are not in the home finding business, although it is certainly true that we do find homes from time to time for the kind of animals people are looking for. Our service is to provide a peaceful and painless death to animals…. ”, VDACS has no choice but to remove their shelter designation and eliminate PETA’s ability to round up animals and to purchase the lethal drugs used to poison them. That is, it has no choice if it is committed to doing its job. But so far, it has refused to do so.

For Maya, PETA’s crime resulted in her death. For her family, it has led to immense heartbreak. Maya lived with a nine-year-old girl who, according to the family’s spokesperson, was utterly devastated by her killing. But the agencies which are supposed to protect dogs like Maya and the people who love them have turned a blind eye. Although two PETA employees were arrested and charged with larceny by the Accomack County sheriff, the Commonwealth attorney refused to prosecute. Despite video evidence that they stole Maya and an admission that they killed her, the prosecutor claimed he could not prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Despite clear evidence that PETA has violated the law on multiple occasions, the Virginia Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (VDACS) refuses to pull PETA’s “shelter” license. It chose to fine it $500, a mere fraction of the $52 million it took in last year. Despite calls for investigations by state senators, county attorneys, national organizations, and the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies which believes PETA to be operating to “the detriment of animals in the Commonwealth;” despite violating the law, lying to people, stealing pets, and killing them; despite the Virginia legislature and governor speaking with one, nearly unanimous, voice that they want PETA’s killing to stop, PETA continues operating as before, killing thousands of defenseless animals with virtual impunity.

Ironically, it is the very double standard between humans and non-humans that most people erroneously believe PETA exists to overcome that has allowed PETA to get away with the harms they have inflicted. And it is the false perception that they exist to protect, rather than imperil animals (which is what they actually do) which causes reluctance on the part of public officials tasked with oversight.

So while I celebrate SB 1381’s passage for all it does mean, and I am immensely grateful to Senator Bill Stanley who introduced this bill, to all the legislators who voted for it, and to the Governor who signed it, and while I understand that as we move the pieces on the chess board, we get closer and closer to checkmating PETA out of the killing business, let’s understand where the challenge now lies: with Virginia law enforcement agencies, most notably VDACS. We must realize that getting VDACS to enforce it will likely involve an additional fight and potentially, litigation. Already, VDACS is stalling, claiming—in typically bureaucratic fashion—that it may take two years to issue regulations for SB 1381. And even as PETA now claims it “has always operated to find adoptive homes and will continue to do so as stated in Senate Bill 1381” in direct contravention of all their prior statements and actions before SB 1381 and which begs the question, “why fight it then?”, my faith that VDACS will do the right thing and honor the intent and desire of the people of the Commonwealth, as they spoke in near unanimity through their elected representatives, could hardly be more lacking. The leadership and staff at VDACS has so far proven itself to be typically bureaucratic, tragically indifferent, fundamentally uncaring, and as is so typical of oversight agencies, willing to overlook PETA’s criminal conduct by bending over backward for the entity they are supposed to be regulating.

While VDACS sits on its hands for the next two years, an additional 4,500 animals will be needlessly butchered at the behest of Ingrid Newkirk’s dark and disturbing impulses and the families of the animals they round up and kill across Norfolk and surrounding areas will be left heartbroken. We must not allow PETA to get away with murder.

What You Can Do:

Don’t let VDACS continue to get away with turning a blind eye and foot dragging. Please send a polite, but emphatic, email to both Sandra Adams, the Commissioner of Agriculture, and to Dr. Carolynn Bissett, the State Veterinarian, that you expect them to do their jobs and honor the intent of the legislature and the will of the people. Tell them that PETA kills 90% of the animals it takes in, that it steals people’s animals and puts them to death in violation of state laws and regulations, that it has always maintained it is “not in the home finding business” and has made virtually no effort to do so, and that it has a history of criminal conduct and lying to people in order to acquire and kill animals. As such, it cannot legally be licensed as a private shelter under SB 1381. And while you are at it, tell them that we should not have to wait two years for VDACS to act while PETA kills an additional 4,500 animals.

Dr. Carolynn Bissett: Carolynn.Bissett@vdacs.virginia.gov

Commissioner Sandra Adams: sandy.adams@vdacs.virginia.gov

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Delaware Tells PETA to Stop Lying

March 23, 2015 by  

Free-roaming_cats_that_have_already_been_spayed_or_neute

In 2010, Delaware legislators unanimously passed the Delaware Companion Animal Protection Act (CAPA), an important piece of animal protection legislation based on a model law authored by my organization, the No Kill Advocacy Center. By eliminating the ability of shelters to kill animals out of habit and convenience, the law has been wildly successful, reducing killing in Delaware shelters by nearly 80%.

Despite its success in Delaware and other places, groups like PETA and their pro-killing enablers have vilified this law, saying that it has been a disaster there, forcing shelters to turn animals away. As I have long argued, none of it is true. In keeping with their many efforts over the years to derail laws nationwide which protect shelter animals, PETA has even written public officials in other communities debating the implementation of CAPA-like laws, urging them to reject such laws which they misrepresent and malign. In short, they do what they have always done: they lie.

Thankfully, the Delaware Office of Animal Welfare (OAW) has recently weighed in to respond to PETA’s misrepresentations, chastising PETA for lying. The OAW is a state agency that oversees implementation of Delaware’s shelters, including CAPA, through the Department of Health and Social Services. In their response to PETA, they write that what PETA is claiming “is simply not true. PETA does not have local representation in Delaware and is obviously not familiar with our sheltering system.”

They go on to state that the law “established common-sense statutes to improve the health and wellbeing of animals temporarily housed in shelters,” including “vaccination upon intake,” “veterinary care for sick or injured animals,” and “holding periods to allow owner reunification or transfer.”

It notes the law requires that animals must be held and given to rescue groups rather than killed. And then states that it “has improved the quality of care animals receive in shelters and has saved thousands of animals that would have otherwise been euthanized due to outdated policies and practices. Prior to this law, healthy dogs and cats were euthanized very quickly, sometimes while their owners were looking for them.”

It has also saved community cats: “Cats that free-roamed, either as outdoor pets or managed cat colonies, were indiscriminately rounded up by animal control and euthanized, much to the dismay of pet owners and colony caretakers.” No more.

To read the letter, click here.

Don’t expect PETA to stop lying about it, however. PETA’s mission seems to be that animals are better dead than fed, a campaign of extermination that includes the theft and killing of people’s companion animals, the round up and killing of community cats, the killing of all pit bulls, and the killing of over 90% of animals they take in, including healthy puppies and kittens.

Click here for step by step guides and model language for those who want to bring CAPA to their state.

Photo: A community cat. PETA wants him dead.

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Maya Wasn’t The Only Animal PETA Killed That Day

March 17, 2015 by  

Records from VDACS show that at least two kittens, one puppy, and two other dogs were also killed.

Maya (2)
 

As many of you now know, on October 18, PETA was captured on film stealing Maya, a family’s young, healthy dog, a dog they later admitting to killing that very day. They killed her not only after stealing her from her home—a violation of Virginia’s larceny law—but in defiance of state regulations governing animal shelters (which PETA is registered as) and laws requiring that shelters hold all animals they impound for five days. Records submitted by PETA to the Virginia Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (VDACS) showed that they also lied to that agency in recording the dog as having been “owner surrendered.” Although two employees were arrested for larceny, they were never charged and PETA was fined the paltry sum of $500, which PETA paid using donor funds (in 2014, they took in $52 million).

PETA check

Today, I reviewed documents submitted by PETA to the VDACS showing that in addition to Maya, several other animals were also impounded by PETA from the same trailer park and on the same day as Maya, animals which, likewise, PETA killed within minutes of arriving at PETA headquarters.

They include:

  • Two four month old kittens

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  • A six month old puppy

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  • A one year old Lab-mix

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  • Another Chihuahua

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All of them, dead at the hands of PETA the day they were taken in, with no effort of any kind made to adopt them.

For four months PETA remained silent as to why they took and killed Maya, but then broke their silence, claiming it was a “mistake.” (To find out why this is a lie, click here.) Was it likewise a “mistake” that five other animals ended up dead from the same location and on the same day, too?

Moreover, we still do not know if these animals were surrendered (which would not excuse their immediate killing), stolen, or if there are other animals they stole. PETA refuses to release the records in violation of state law. But according to a spokesman for Maya’s family, “They were waiting until they [the residents] weren’t home. One of [the] neighbors actually saw them taking another resident’s pet. They waited until that resident left… They had actually learned everyone’s schedule. They pulled in, they take the guy’s dog, a next door neighbor saw the whole thing.” In fact, in Maya’s case, PETA paid neighborhood kids to leave the area so there would be no witnesses, never knowing their sordid actions were being caught on video surveillance.

Currently sitting on the desk of the Governor of Virginia is SB 1381, a law designed to put PETA out of the killing business. This bill, which PETA has hired a lobbyist with donor funds to defeat, would clarify existing law requiring that shelters in Virginia operate for the purposes of finding homeless animals adoptive homes and not, as PETA does, for the purpose of killing. Having passed overwhelmingly in the state’s legislature (95 to 2 in the House and 38 to 1 in the Senate), it is now awaiting action by the Governor.

If you live in the Virginia, please call Governor Terry McAuliffe today, at 804-786-2211, and politely urge him to sign Senate Bill 1381 so that no more healthy, and in the words of PETA employees, “perfect” and “adorable,” animals fall prey to their needles. PETA is continuing to lobby hard to have this bill vetoed.

If you don’t live in Virginia, please share this with people who do.

For those who are new to this issue:

Though PETA now claims that Maya was killed “by mistake,” the death of Maya and now these additional animals are is entirely consistent with reports from former PETA employees who state that PETA routinely kills healthy animals, including litters of puppies and kittens, without ever trying to find them homes. One such employee recently admitted that when she worked at and killed for PETA, she was encouraged to lie to people in order to get them to surrender their animals to her so she could kill them. She stated that such behavior was encouraged by PETA President Ingrid Newkirk, stating, “It was what she told us to do—it was standard operating procedure.” She also stated that when PETA claims that the only animals they kill are those who are mortally suffering, they are lying, saying that, “Contrary to what PETA maintains, the majority of animals it takes in are not beyond hope, in my experience many would be considered highly adoptable by a shelter, the ‘better off dead’ line is one that is dragged out in order to excuse what they do—and it’s a lie.”

As former employees have testified about other animals killed by PETA, the animals are taken off the vans which pick them up and they go straight to the room where they are killed. The room is euphemistically called the “exam room” by PETA leadership. No exam is done for purposes of placement or, if they are sick, treatment. No animal who enters the exam room ever comes out alive. As a PETA employee told me, “They would take the animals into that room and they would be euthanized… A litter of kittens, sometimes a mother with kittens… they were put in that room and once you went in that room, you never came out.”

Why?

Employees who have spoken out about PETA’s killing say it is the result of the deeply disturbing version of animal activism promoted by PETA founder and President, Ingrid Newkirk. They explain how employees are made to watch “heart wrenching” films about animal abuse to drill into them the belief that people are incapable of caring for animals and that “PETA was doing what was best for animals” by killing them. PETA tells its employees that people can’t, don’t, and won’t take care of animals, that the lives of animals with people is one of neglect and abuse and that living with dogs and cats violates their rights. PETA also claims that animals cannot live without human care, which is why they do not support letting free-living cats continue to be free-living. The animals are, in short, damned either way and thus killing them is a “gift.”

PETA is letting loose upon the world individuals who not only maniacally believe that killing is a good thing and that the living want to die, but who are legally armed with lethal drugs which they have already proven—31,250 times in the last 12 years—that they are not adverse to using.

For more information/evidence, click here.

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Let the Sun Shine In

March 14, 2015 by  

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The current kill room at PETA’s headquarters. The room is euphemistically called the “exam room” by PETA leadership. No exam is done for purposes of placement or, if they are sick, treatment. No animal who enters the exam room ever comes out alive. As a PETA employee told me, “They would take the animals into that room and they would be euthanized… A litter of kittens, sometimes a mother with kittens… they were put in that room and once you went in that room, you never came out.” It’s time to force open the doors and let the light of public scrutiny in.

On behalf of the No Kill Advocacy Center, I have asked the Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture to issue regulations requiring shelters in Virginia to maintain and provide records to the public that cover when and how each animal was taken in, why the animal was taken in, the condition of each animal, what attempts were made to reunite the animal with the family, the kinds of care and treatment each animal received, the disposition of each animal, and if the animal was killed, when and why the animal was killed.

A copy of the petition is available by clicking here.

The petition is in a response to PETA—which is licensed in Virginia as a shelter—killing over 90% of the animals, with no effort to find them homes, stealing Maya, a happy and healthy dog, from her porch while her family was out, and killing her that very day, and a history of lying to people in order to acquire and then kill their animals.

As I write in the petition for rulemaking,

“We believe that by passing the requested regulations, organizations will be less likely to abuse state benefits—benefits such as their ability to acquire the controlled substances used to kill Maya and others—to the detriment of the animals of the Commonwealth and the people who love them…

 

“We are asking you to pass regulations that will protect families in Virginia, protect animals, assist state regulators in monitoring the activities of its licensees, and provide taxpayers with the information they need to be informed citizens… As Justice Louis Brandeis once wrote, ‘sunlight is… the best of disinfectants.’”

The Commissioner of VDACS “directed staff to prepare and submit” the petition for consideration. If you live in Virginia, you have until Monday to write in support of the No Kill Advocacy Center petition. Your voice makes a difference.

You can do so by clicking here.

If you do not live in Virginia, please share it with those who do.

For those who want to learn more about why PETA kills, click here.

HSUS and PETA Fight Vital Animal Protection Laws

March 6, 2015 by  

Animals in Florida, Maryland, Connecticut, and Minnesota To Die

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The Companion Animal Protection Act is model legislation written by my organization, the No Kill Advocacy Center, that would make it illegal to kill animals in shelters when rescue groups are willing to save them, would make it illegal to kill animals if there are empty cages and kennels, would ban the gas chamber in those states that still allow it, would require shelters to provide quality care, and would mandate that shelters make their statistics public. Similar laws in other states save tens of thousands of animals every year, have reduced killing statewide by 78%, and have cut millions of dollars in wasteful spending. Such a law is not only necessary, reasonable and an effective means of saving lives, its passage would also bring sheltering procedures more in line with the humane, progressive values of the American public.

But the large, national groups that should be championing CAPA are trying to defeat it. Time and again, these organizations behave as lobbyists not for the animals being killed, but for those killing the animals.

Florida: Legislation currently pending in Florida would end convenience killing (killing when there are empty cages or rescue groups are willing to save them), it would end retribution killing (killing animals who rescuers want to save because they spoke out publicly about inhumane conditions in the shelter), it would encourage TNR for community cats, and would allow animals to be adopted out more quickly. Florida CAPA has been introduced in both the House and Senate, but it is already being opposed by regressive shelter directors. The director of Tallahassee Animal Services has argued that CAPA is a bad idea because it would require her not to kill if there are empty cages, something she insists he should have the right to do. In her view, these animals are better dead than fed.

Maryland: Legislation currently pending in Maryland would do the same. The Maryland Companion Animal Protection Act would end convenience killing, retribution killing, and end the killing of community cats who are part of managed colonies:  It is being opposed by PETA which insists that communities should round up and kill community cats because those cats might kill people.

Connecticut and Minnesota: Legislation being considered by a Task Force in Connecticut would end convenience and retribution killing, as well. It is being opposed by the Humane Society of the United States, which last year helped kill a similar law in Minnesota. HSUS has stated that it will “actively fight” CAPA, that animal rescuers are hoarders in disguise, and that these animals are better off dead.

If we are to succeed at reforming our nation’s kill shelters, if we are to end convenience killing, retribution killing, cruel methods of killing, and neglect and abuse in shelters, we are going to have to do it ourselves.

  1. Learn more about CAPA by clicking here.
  2. Learn why groups like HSUS oppose it by clicking here.
  3. Bring CAPA to your state. Download a copy of the law and a guide to getting it introduced by clicking here. (this is a zip file so will not download to a mobile device)
  4. If you live in Florida, Maryland, or Connecticut, lobby your legislators to cosponsor CAPA.
  5. Stop making excuses for those who kill animals.
  6. Stop supporting these groups with your philanthropic dollars. Your donations are being used to thwart lifesaving reform.

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Have a comment? Join the discussion by clicking here.

PETA “Devastated” It Got Caught Stealing & Killing Dog

March 1, 2015 by  

From the No Kill Advocacy Center:

Maya (2)
 

PETA has finally spoken out on the stealing and killing of Maya. They not only claim they are “devastated,” but they claim it was all a mistake. The local newspaper has echoed that lie by writing an editorial in opposition to SB 1381, a bill designed to ensure that shelters in Virginia—of which PETA is registered as such—adopt, rather than simply kill animals.

At the No Kill Advocacy Center, we are very disappointed by the lack of information The Virginian-Pilot provides to help place PETA’s “apology” into the proper context for its readers and to help them better understand the pressing need for such legislation. For if this context were provided, it would be clear that PETA’s “apology” was insincere, contradicted by the facts, and, given its timing, motivated not by honesty, transparency or genuine contrition, but political necessity.

PETA killed Maya in October of last year, and yet even as news of the killing spread among animal lovers nationwide, PETA refused to issue a statement of explanation for their killing. For four months PETA remained silent, until now. Why? Because currently pending before the Governor is a bill designed to put PETA out of the killing business. Having recently sailed through the Virginia legislature, this bill merely clarifies Virginia law to state that an animal shelter cannot, as PETA has long claimed it does, operate for the purpose of killing animals; it must operate for the purpose of finding animals homes. If the Governor signs the measure, PETA will no longer be able to be classified as an animal shelter under its current mode of operation, and it will lose its ability to acquire the lethal drugs it uses to kill thousands of animals a year. In order to deflect criticism for their killing and to make it appear that this vital animal protection law is not required to protect animals from them, PETA has conveniently chosen to rewrite history about what happened in the case of Maya, the young, healthy dog who was filmed being taken off her porch by PETA employees and then, by PETA’s own admission, killed that very day. But what is most troubling about their apology is that, given the facts and context not provided in The Virginian-Pilot articles, their apology is, in fact, a damning admission of guilt.

The family of Maya, the little dog PETA stole and then killed, identified the woman caught on tape as the very same woman who had sat with the family on their porch in the past and talked to them about Maya’s care. To say that she killed Maya thinking that Maya was a different dog as PETA is now claiming not only strains credulity to the point of breaking, it begs another question. Why would PETA kill any healthy dog, no matter where he or she came from and do so the very day they took her in despite a law requiring she be held for at least five?

If anything, PETA’s admission that Maya was killed “by accident” proves that, in fact, PETA employees are in the habit of killing healthy animals, as both the statistics they report to the State of Virginia reveal, as well as their own statements in the past stating that they “absolutely” kill healthy animals.

It should not have mattered where Maya came from or whom she belonged to. Neither would justify her killing nor change the fact that an animal with nothing wrong with her ended up dead at the hands of PETA employees. PETA killed a perfectly healthy animal on the very same day she was taken by them, a fact they do not dispute. If PETA employees were not in the habit of killing healthy animals, how on earth could such a “mistake” have been made?

In fact, what happened to Maya is entirely consistent with reports from former PETA employees who state that PETA routinely kills healthy animals, including litters of puppies and kittens, without ever trying to find them homes. One such employee recently admitted that when she worked at and killed for PETA, she was encouraged to lie to people in order to get them to surrender their animals to her so she could kill them. She stated that such behavior was encouraged by PETA President Ingrid Newkirk, stating, “It was what she told us to do—it was standard operating procedure.” She also stated that when PETA claims that the only animals they kill are those who are mortally suffering, they are lying, saying that, “Contrary to what PETA maintains, the majority of animals it takes in are not beyond hope, in my experience many would be considered highly adoptable by a shelter, the ‘better off dead’ line is one that is dragged out in order to excuse what they do—and it’s a lie.”

Lastly, if PETA’s claim that they killed Maya “by mistake” is true, and that they are heartbroken over their “accidental” killing of a healthy animal without engaging in any efforts at adoption, then why did they hire a lobbyist to fight SB 1381, which merely states that an animal shelter must be operated for the “purposes of finding adoptive homes”? Why oppose a law that merely clarifies that Virginia animal shelters must do that which every Virginia citizen already believe shelters do and which PETA itself, with this latest lie, is now claiming it does, too? Why spend donor dollars to kill such a bill if it in fact presents no threat to the standard operating procedure of killing at PETA? The answer, of course, is because PETA is lying: it does present a threat to PETA—it threatens to strip PETA of the ability to legally acquire the substance they use to kill animals with no real effort, beyond the occasional Facebook post to defray criticism, to find them homes. Tragically, The Virginian-Pilot is amplifying those lies through its editorial board.

It should also be noted that this law would do nothing to curtail any other activities in which PETA engages relating to companion animals. Although they like to equate not killing animals with not being able to do the things they continually cite as evidence of their “good works,” none of those activities would be curtailed by a law that strips them of the ability to kill animals without ever making them available for adoption. It’s a false choice, a smokescreen designed to obscure the real issue presented by SB 1381: should PETA or any agency be allowed to kill thousands of animals a year without making them available for adoption? To suggest, as the opinion piece does, that such agencies—including those licensed by the state to use controlled substances—should be allowed to operate without public accountability and outside the bounds of the law obscures the real issue.

What is the real issue? In the last 12 years, PETA has killed 31,250 companion animals. While PETA claims the animals it takes in and kills are “unadoptable,” this is a lie. It is a lie because employees have admitted it is a lie. They have described 8 week old, 10 week old, and 12 week old healthy kittens and puppies routinely and immediately put to death with no effort to find them homes. It is a lie because they have been caught stealing happy and healthy animals and putting them to death. It is a lie because rescue groups, individuals, and veterinarians have come forward stating that the animals they gave PETA were healthy and adoptable and PETA insiders have admitted as much, one former intern reporting that he quit in disgust after witnessing perfectly healthy puppies and kittens in the kill room. It is a lie because PETA refuses to provide its criteria for making the determination as to whether or not an animal is “unadoptable.” It is a lie because according to a state inspection, the PETA facility where the animals are impounded was designed to house animals for no more than 24 hours. It is a lie because Ingrid Newkirk herself admitted as much during a television interview: when asked whether or not PETA kills healthy animals, she responded, “Absolutely.” It is a lie because PETA staff has described the animals they have killed as “healthy,” “adorable” and “perfect.” It is a lie because PETA itself admits it does not believe in “right to life for animals.” And it is a lie because when asked what sort of effort PETA routinely makes to find adoptive homes for animals in its care, PETA had no comment.

The people who live in Hampton Roads and the surrounding communities have operating within their vicinity an organization that has been rounding up and killing thousands of animals every year for over a decade and stealing them to do so. They have a right to know that PETA is letting loose upon the world individuals who not only maniacally believe that killing is a good thing and that the living want to die, but who are legally armed with lethal drugs which they have already proven—31,250 times in the last 12 years—that they are not adverse to using. Perhaps most important of all, they have a right to protect their families, which includes their beloved companion animals. And rather than give them the information they need to do so, The Virginian-Pilot is making it harder by peddling misinformation as news and pandering to its high-end advertiser.

The evidence to support these assertions is overwhelming, and the people served by the local newspaper have a right to all the facts that would help them better understand how PETA routinely misrepresents the killing that they do, the ongoing threat that organization presents to their own animals who are cherished members of their families, the way in which their current claims are deeply at odds with the known facts, and how writing the Governor in support of SB 1381 could help to bring that terrible harm to an end once and for all.

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Sterilizing PETA

February 23, 2015 by  

orange cat
 

Today, the Virginia House of Delegates overwhelmingly passed SB 1381, requiring shelters in Virginia to be “operated for the purpose of finding permanent adoptive homes.” In other words, it does what the public already thinks shelters do and what the dictionary says they do. But some don’t. The bill is a response to PETA—which is licensed in Virginia as a shelter—killing over 90% of the animals, with no effort to find them homes and their stealing Maya, a happy and healthy dog, from her porch while her family was out and killing her that very day.

Despite PETA’s intense lobbying effort to derail the vote, despite their hiring a professional lobbyist with donor funds to kill it, despite manipulating their supporters to urge its defeat by lying to them, today’s vote was not even close: 95 to 2. The bill has already passed the Senate. Not only does the outcome prove that participating in the political process—as thousands of Virginians did by writing, email and telephoning their Delegates urging a “yes” vote—can have a profound impact, but it shows that PETA has lost all credibility with the Virginia legislature.

The bill also forced PETA to once again reveal it’s true colors: that an organization claiming to represent the “ethical treatment of animals” would hire a lobbyist at donor expense to defeat an important piece of animal protection legislation demonstrates once again that PETA is not committed to furthering the rights of animals, but rather, to actively subverting them.

While the bill continues to make its way through the legislature and then to the Governor, on behalf of the No Kill Advocacy Center I have asked the Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture to issue regulations requiring shelters in Virginia to maintain and provide records to the public that cover when and how each animal was taken in, why the animal was taken in, the condition of each animal, what attempts were made to reunite the animal with the family, the kinds of care and treatment each animal received, the disposition of each animal, and if the animal was killed, when and why the animal was killed.

A copy of the petition is here.

As I write in the petition for rulemaking,

“We believe that by passing the requested regulations, organizations will be less likely to abuse state benefits—benefits such as their ability to acquire the controlled substances used to kill Maya and others—to the detriment of the animals of the Commonwealth and the people who love them…

 

“We are asking you to pass regulations that will protect families in Virginia, protect animals, assist state regulators in monitoring the activities of its licensees, and provide taxpayers with the information they need to be informed citizens… As Justice Louis Brandeis once wrote, ‘sunlight is… the best of disinfectants.'”

The Commissioner of VDACS “directed staff to prepare and submit” the petition for consideration. The comment period opens today. If you live in Virginia, please email in support of the No Kill Advocacy Center petition. Your voice makes a difference.

You can do by clicking here.

If you do not live in Virginia, please share it with those who do.

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A First Hand Look Inside PETA’s Kill Room

February 10, 2015 by  

CIMG3329
 

“I know from first hand experience that the PETA leadership has no problem lying. I was told regularly to not enter animals into the log, or to euthanize off site in order to prevent animals from even entering the building. I was told regularly to greatly overestimate the weight of animals whose euthanasia we recorded in order to account for what would have otherwise been missing ‘blue juice’ (the chemical used to euthanize), because that allowed us to euthanize animals off the books. I was told regularly to say whatever I had to say in order to get people to surrender animals to me, lying was not only acceptable, it was encouraged… Contrary to what PETA maintains, the majority of animals it takes in are not beyond hope, in my experience many would be considered highly adoptable by a shelter, the ‘better off dead’ line is one that is dragged out in order to excuse what they do–and it’s a lie.”

After her revelations about the extent of PETA’s killing in a blog hit the movement like a shock wave yesterday, a former PETA employee does a follow up interview with The Huffington Post. In it, she describes what really went on behind the closed door of PETA’s headquarters including theft of animals, lying to people in order to kill their animals, lying about animals being “unadoptable,” falsifying drug records in order to kill animals “off book,” and submitting false information to officials about the numbers of animals they kill. All of it, she says, was at the direction of Ingrid Newkirk: “It was what she told us to do — it was standard operating procedure.”

She describes picking up a litter of healthy puppies from someone who thought that PETA was going to find them a home: “What was referred to as the ‘shelter’ was a large, empty storage closet across from our office. The only other holding facility we had was in the warehouse, where the animals were euthanized. And when I did use the room across from my office as a holding area for animals, Ingrid would ask why I hadn’t already euthanized them: one time nailing me to the wall because the litter of puppies I’d placed in there for a night had pooped everywhere; I was told to euthanize the puppies immediately.” The puppies were killed.

The original blog is here: http://bit.ly/1KGBzMx

 

The follow up interview is here: http://huff.to/1CSqUyY

Granted, this employee worked at PETA over a decade ago, but as the Huffington Post writer indicates, “If you worked for PETA, you were expected to kill adoptable animals. And, as I reported in a long series of articles, everything suggests that the picture painted fifteen years ago is an accurate portrait of PETA today.”

I, too, have interviewed other PETA employees and the picture they paint of the PETA is similar to the PETA during this former employee’s tenure.

The most current facts we know about PETA confirm this, too. Case in point:

Just a few months ago, PETA stole Maya, a happy and healthy dog, from her home and killed her: http://bit.ly/1pGUQcj

 

They continue to support the killing of every pit bull in every shelter: http://bit.ly/ZAnrvQ

 

They continue to believe community cats are better dead than fed: http://bit.ly/1Eux7Sm

 

They continue to kill over 90% of animals they impound: http://bit.ly/16zGHVq (96% of cats in 2014)

 

They’ve killed puppies and kittens, despite the fact that they themselves admitted they were healthy: http://bit.ly/1bdIqes And other employees confirm that they continue to do so.

Photo: The current kill room at PETA’s headquarters. The room is euphemistically called the “exam room” by PETA leadership. No exam is done for purposes of placement or, if they are sick, treatment. No animal who enters the exam room ever comes out alive. As another employee told me, “They would take the animals into that room and they would be euthanized… A litter of kittens, sometimes a mother with kittens… they were put in that room and once you went in that room, you never came out.”

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PETA Employee Exposes PETA’s Mass Killing

February 9, 2015 by  

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As media outlets across the country highlight PETA’s killing, as millions of animal lovers become informed of their true agenda, as the Virginia Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (VDACS) opens an inquiry into PETA’s killing, as elected officials call for an investigation of PETA, and as the Virginia Legislature pursues a bill to stop PETA’s killing, former PETA employees are finally speaking out.

In an article released today, one of those former employees writes:

“I know from first hand experience that the PETA leadership has no problem lying. I was told regularly to not enter animals into the log, or to euthanize off site in order to prevent animals from even entering the building. I was told regularly to greatly overestimate the weight of animals whose euthanasia we recorded in order to account for what would have otherwise been missing ‘blue juice’ (the chemical used to euthanize), because that allowed us to euthanize animals off the books. I was told regularly to say whatever I had to say in order to get people to surrender animals to me, lying was not only acceptable, it was encouraged… Contrary to what PETA maintains, the majority of animals it takes in are not beyond hope, in my experience many would be considered highly adoptable by a shelter, the ‘better off dead’ line is one that is dragged out in order to excuse what they do–and it’s a lie.”

You can read it here: http://bit.ly/1KGBzMx

According to the VDACS, PETA took in 1,605 cats in 2014 and killed 1,536 (a kill rate of 96%). They transferred another 43 to shelters. If they were killed or displaced others who were killed, that would put the cat kill rate as high as 98%. They found homes for only 16, an adoption rate of 1%. PETA also took in 1,021 dogs of which they killed 788 (a kill rate of 77%). Another 209 were transferred to other shelters. Like the cats, if they were killed or displaced others who were killed, the dog death rate would also be as high as 98%. Only 23 were adopted. If what the former PETA staff member says is true, even these horrific numbers are too low.

The data is here: http://bit.ly/16HucHl

Although I do not know the person who wrote the article and have never spoken to her, I’ve spoken to several other PETA staff members over the last several months and the picture they draw of the inner workings of PETA are identical and equally chilling. One of them gave me the photograph posted above, reportedly taken at PETA of needles filled with sodium pentobarbital (the drug used to kill animals). It was her job to kill them.

Learn more: www.whyPETAkills.org

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Fight to Stop PETA’s Killing Grows

February 6, 2015 by  

What You Can Do To Help

phone part 2 769

My website www.whyPETAkills.org which describes PETA’s recent theft and killing of Maya–a happy and healthy dog–from her home was trending on Reddit yesterday, hitting the No. 4 spot last night.

Reddit reports about 174 million monthly visits. Combined with the 5.1 million page views about PETA on my Facebook page this past week, as well as news stories around the country including television news stations and newspapers like the New York Post, the Huffington Post, and Gannett papers across the country, more and more people are learning the truth.

In response to growing public outcry over Maya’s illegal killing, the Attorney General of Virginia just announced he is opening up an Animal Protection Unit to oversee the prosecution of these kinds of cases. You can watch the news report about this development by clicking here.

Tragically, Maya was not the only one to fall victim to PETA’s campaign of companion animal extermination. In 2014, PETA took in 1,605 cats in 2014 and killed 1,536 (a kill rate of 96%). They transferred another 43 to kill shelters. If they were killed or displaced others who were killed, that would put the cat kill rate as high as 98%. They found homes for only 16, an adoption rate of 1%.

PETA also took in 1,021 dogs of which they killed 788 (a kill rate of 77%). Another 210 were transferred to kill shelters. Like the cats, if they were killed or displaced others who were killed, the dog death rate would also be as high as 98%. Only 23 were adopted.

What is being done to protect animals from PETA? And what can you do?

Photo: This photo, reportedly taken at PETA of needles filled with sodium pentobarbital (the drug used to kill animals), was sent to me by a former PETA employee whose job it was to kill animals. The needles are primed and ready to kill in what appears to be an assembly line fashion. Learn more at www.whyPETAkills.org

For further reading:

PETA’s Carnage Continues in 2014

Weighing the Evidence

Warning: PETA May Be In Your Neighborhood

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