PETA to Deliver Louisiana Animals to Virginia Kill “Shelters”

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A rescue of people and dogs in Louisiana. These dogs are safe because PETA was not involved.

After Hurricane Katrina, like so many other groups, the No Kill Advocacy Center, my organization, went into the Gulfport, MS, and New Orleans, LA areas to provide help. My job was to train animal control officers and improve efficiencies at shelters and specifically, to train them on TNR of community animals. I wanted ACOs to see the animals’ will to live; their adaptive ability not just to survive, but to thrive–especially when cared for by dedicated volunteers–so that ACOs and their agencies would end the sad, inhumane, and tragic legacy of rounding up and killing them.

11 years later, Louisiana has flooded again. And once again, some of the animals face death. Not because some of the ACOs did not embrace the lessons–some did–but because PETA is down there rounding up animals in order to deliver them to Virginia kill shelters, including some which kill 95% of the animals they take in. According to a news article,

“People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals will bring three van loads of animals rescued from the flooding in Louisiana to Norfolk Monday, according to a news release.

“Rescue teams will bring about 60 animals who were displaced from Baton Rouge after the severe flooding this week.There are 35 dogs, 20 cats, four rabbits and a cockatiel en route to Norfolk…

“PETA has teamed up with the Chesapeake Humane Society, Chesapeake Animal Services, Chowan Gates Animal Shelter, Danville Area Humane Society, Norfolk Animal Care and Adoption Center and the Virginia Beach SPCA to take the animals in for adoption and foster care.”

While their hometown Norfolk paper bills this as good news, saying that PETA is “hoping the animals find new homes,” both PETA and the newspaper know that being rehomed is not likely to be the outcome for many of those animals. Why? Because PETA has a long, sordid history of killing healthy animals instead of trying to find them homes, of giving animals to others to be killed, and of lying to the public about it.

In the past, PETA would have simply killed the animals in the back of the van with no explanation whatsoever. Or they would have brought them back to Norfolk to kill them. But given the bad press (see here, here, and here), they now falsely inflate their save rate by having other organizations, like the Danville Humane Society and Norfolk pound, kill the animals for them (or displace local animals brought to those shelters who are killed instead). And that appears to be what they are doing here.

Danville, for example, is one of the pounds taking in these animals. In 2015, it killed 2,354 of the 2,491 cats it took in–a death rate of 95%. That’s not a shelter. It’s not even a pound. It’s the functional equivalent of a slaughterhouse. Why is PETA bringing animals to Danville from another state given the mass slaughter of its own animals? And how can they “hope” the animals will find homes in Danville when local animals certainly don’t? They don’t, but delivering animals to Danville allows PETA to log them as “live releases” regardless of the ultimate outcome. None of the other shelters PETA intends to deliver animals to are No Kill either and PETA has a history of claiming to “save” animals only to have them killed by other shelters, some of which also report never having received animals PETA claimed to give them. What happened to them?

For example, although PETA claims to have sent 29 cats and 1 dog to Virginia Beach Animal Care & Adoption Center in 2015, VBAC&AC only reported 22 cats (and no dogs) surrendered by PETA. We do not know what happened to the dog or the other seven cats, but we do know what happened to the 22 cats PETA brought to them and logged as “live releases”: 17 of the 22, or 77%, were killed. At VBAC&AC, only four were transferred to rescue and only one was adopted.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • 11 cats and kittens killed listed in “good” health
  • 2 listed as “thin” (or “fair”)
  • 4 listed in “poor” health.

Ages of cats and kittens killed:

  • 5 kittens 6-8 weeks old
  • 2 six-month old kittens
  • 1 eight-month old kittens
  • 1 ten-month old kitten
  • 2 one-year old cats
  • 3 two-year-old cats
  • 2 three-year old cats
  • 1 six-year old cat

Holding Period:

  • 9 were killed on intake
  • 4 were killed within 24 hours
  • 1 was killed within two days
  • 3 were killed within three days

Like Danville, the Norfolk pound is also taking animals from Louisiana for PETA. If they do not kill the animals PETA brings them, they will kill local animals to make room for them given that they admit they kill for “space.” How is killing one animal to take in another “ethical treatment of animals”?

Taking an animal out of harm’s way to put them in even greater peril is not a rescue. PETA is a $50 million dollar organization that could find homes for Louisiana’s displaced animals by putting out a call to their hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of supporters. Instead, it is rounding up animals who have already survived a harrowing natural disaster, loading them into vans to drive them several states away from families who may be looking for them, only to deliver them to places where history demonstrates their probability of surviving is low.

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