Just Released Statistics Show that in 2016, PETA Killed 854 Cats and 557 Dogs. Please Contact Virginia Officials to Demand an End to It.
In addition to killing 854 cats, PETA urged officials in various communities across the country to round up and kill cats, too, including the Seaside Heights, NJ, Boardwalk cats. Your donation dollars at work.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (VDACS) has finally received and posted PETA’s killing rate for 2016. As tragic as they are, they are typical. PETA rounded up and took in 1,069 cats, of which 855 left the building in garbage bags (854 were poisoned by PETA, 1 died), a death rate of 80%.
Since PETA refuses to work with No Kill shelters, another 184 were sent to shelters that kill healthy and/or treatable animals. If they were killed or they displaced other cats who were killed, that puts the overall death rate as high as 99% for cats. Five were reclaimed and only 27 (less than 3% of the cats) were adopted out.
PETA took in 891 dogs. They put 557 to death, a 63% rate of killing. They sent another 294 to shelters that kill. Like the cats, if they were killed or displaced others who were killed, that would put the overall death rate for dogs at 96%. Five were reclaimed and only 30 found homes.
By comparison, Virginia’s combined private animal shelters — which PETA is registered with VDACS as — only kill 7% of dogs and 17% of cats on average. Statewide, including municipal pounds, 10% of dogs and 31% of cats are killed. PETA’s rate of killing is 530% higher for dogs and 158% higher for cats that the average of all pounds and shelters. Compare the open admission shelter in Lynchburg, VA, which took in more dogs and cats that PETA on a fraction of its budget and had a live release rate of 97% for dogs and 86% of cats. Other open admission shelters had even higher rates: placing 98%-99% of all animals.
And that’s not all PETA did in 2016 to harm animals. PETA also worked to encourage others to kill animals, too. Not only do they fight legislation to save more of them, not only do they believe all pit bulls should be killed in all shelters, not only do they round up to kill community cats, but they encourage others to do the same. Last summer in Seaside Heights, NJ, they asked the Mayor to evict cats living on the beach, arguing that they “would be better off with a lethal injection.” They also told Camden County officials last month that cats smell, they are a nuisance, make too much noise, are a public health and rabies threat, transmit disease and parasites, including “roundworms, hookworms, and even plague,” and “terrorize and kill” 15 billion other animals a year, urging them to round up and kill cats, too.
Historically, PETA leadership has been unapologetic about the killing they have done. PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk once stated in an interview with The Virginian-Pilot that: “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 no one wants.” This, of course, begs the question: how can people want animals if PETA fails to make them available for adoption, does not advertise them, choosing instead to kill them right away? Moreover, animals they have poisoned in the past, like Maya, the little dog they stole and killed, already had homes.
To defray mounting criticism, PETA has more recently claimed that all of the animals they kill are irremediably suffering, stating that adoptable animals don’t come to PETA, but instead are referred to local adoption groups and animal shelters. Of course, Maya’s case betrays that. The other killings—of puppies and kittens—betray that. And Newkirk herself, in a moment of candor, betrayed it. During a television interview, when asked if PETA killed healthy animals, she answered that they “absolutely” did.
Moreover, PETA has been killing about 2,000 animals a year for decades. In the past, before its rates of killing became the subject of sustained public scrutiny and dozens of communities across the country achieved live release rates between 98% and 99% of shelter animals—proving that “euthanasia” can be reserved for its dictionary definition (applying only to incurably ill and injured animals)—PETA admitted it killed healthy and treatable animals calling it “the kindest, most realistic thing to do.” In other words, until the No Kill movement came into its own and proved that shelter killing can be eliminated, PETA attempted to defray criticism for its killing by cloaking it in the euphemisms and rationalizations used to justify shelter killing, even though, in reality, they do not act in a sheltering capacity. They are under no governmental mandate to provide sheltering services for the community where they are headquartered.
While PETA leadership claims PETA provides little more than end of life low-cost “euthanasia” services, staff have also refuted this claim. Speaking confidentially for fear of retribution, one of them confided that while they “have seen people bring in their very sick or very old animals to be euthanized because they can’t afford to go to a vet hospital… a majority of the ones that I saw were healthy animals.” In fact, she described that the end of life killing of very sick animals was “rare” in contrast to PETA’s claim that it is the only—or depending on who at PETA is being asked, the majority of the—killing that they do.
One employee has even gone on record 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.” You can read her disturbing account of working and killing animals for PETA here and here.
Of course, all of this should be illegal. And in cases like Maya and the animals they took under false pretenses and killed several years ago in North Carolina, it is. And under the letter and spirit of SB 1381, which overwhelmingly passed the Virginia legislature and was signed by the Governor in 2015, so is the routinized poisoning of thousands of dogs and cats at PETA headquarters. But VDACS officials tasked with oversight and enforcement refuse to hold PETA accountable. And so the killing continues.
Tragically, PETA is not the only agency which treats animals with such unapologetic disregard for the value of their lives. Indeed, even outright “torture” is not rare in some Virginia “shelters.” And yet, even in those circumstances, VDACS officials remain typically bureaucratic, tragically indifferent, fundamentally uncaring, and as is so typical of our governmental oversight agencies, willing to overlook criminal conduct by bending over backward for the entities they are supposed to be regulating.
Dr. Charles Broaddus, the Virginia State Vet, told a news station that he will not do the job he is being paid to do and said it is not his problem: “I think the locality really has to be the one to make sure they have good animal control officers that are doing the right job for the citizens of the people in that county. I think they have to hold them accountable for that and I think most of us expect that they would do so.”
Given that they are willing to overlook “torture” in other facilities, is it any surprise that they will not hold PETA accountable for the routine lethal poisoning of animals? We must demand that they do.
Please contact the following officials — by email, through facebook and through phone calls — and tell them to do their job of enforcing the law so that PETA’s killing can be brought to an end (see below for suggested script).
VDACS Commissioner Sandra Adams
VDACS Program Manager Dr. Carolynn Bissett
Because if we don’t, this much is certain: the killing will continue indefinitely and PETA will continue to let 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—32,661 times in the last 13 years—that they are not adverse to using.
PETA’s 2016 statistics are available by clicking here.
Here is what to say to government officials:
According to recently released statistics, 2016 was another year in which PETA continued to get away with killing thousands of healthy dogs and cats in violation of SB 1381. Over the past 13 years, PETA has killed 32,661 animals, even stealing them from people’s homes to do so and even though these actions violate Virginia law. Animals will continue to die as long as the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services refuses to do it job of enforcing the law which says that private shelters must be “operated for the purpose of finding permanent adoptive homes,” which PETA refuses to do. Please protect the companion animals of Virginia from PETA by demanding that VDACS strip PETA of its sheltering license so that it can no longer impound and kill thousands of defenseless dogs and cats every year.
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