Articles PETA

Another “Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad” Year at PETA

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Although these puppies were killed by PETA a number of years ago, PETA continues to put thousands of animals every year to death, including puppies and kittens, with little to no effort to find them homes. In 2015, at least 1,502 animals met that fate.

Normally I do not post about PETA’s annual rates of killing until the Virginia Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (VDACS) reports the actual numbers for the year (as they do every year in March). They will be uploaded any day now as the deadline for submission has just passed and PETA has put out its annual press release trying to “spin” them into a positive. But since Barkpost has already posted about it  and the Richmond SPCA has already posted about it, let’s try to make sense of the numbers as PETA has self-reported and spun them.

First, a brief history to put these figures into context. Every year, the Commonwealth of Virginia requires public and private animal shelters to report the numbers and dispositions of the animals they acquire. As PETA is licensed as a “private animal shelter,” the self-reported statistics by PETA reveal that the organization is little more than an assembly line of death for those animals it takes in and, in many cases, actively seeks out for the very purpose of putting them to death. Approximately 2,000 animals a year are taken into custody by PETA annually, of whom roughly nine out of 10 are almost immediately injected with a fatal dose of poison. This number includes–in fact it is predominantly–healthy animals, including puppies and kittens. A small percentage of animals are sent to kill shelters by PETA, where those animals are either killed or displace animals already there who are then killed. Historically and despite revenues of some $50,000,000 a year, PETA has made little to no effort at public adoptions, with the very tiny percentage of animals who are adopted into homes going almost exclusively to PETA staff members.

While PETA has been killing thousands of animals a year with impunity for two decades, increasing public awareness about this killing, as well as two scandals–one in 2005  when PETA staff were arrested after lying to people in order to acquire their animals by promising to find them homes only to kill them in the back of a donor-funded death van within minutes  and another in 2014 when PETA was filmed on camera taking a beloved chihuahua named Maya from her front porch in a community near PETA headquarters then later admitting to killing her that very dayhas meant that PETA staff have been forced, by sheer necessity, to hype up the spin machine to mask the disturbing, grisly reality of the systematic killing machine that is PETA.

Two days ago,  PETA reported that out of 2,047 animals it took in or rounded up in 2015, it succeeded in placing “545 adoptable animals in permanent homes or delivering them to shelters with high foot traffic for adoption, in addition to referring many more adoptable animals directly to open-admission shelters.” That sounds like improvement. Only it really isn’t. They admit that 1,502 were killed and that means a 72% rate of killing, give or take a percentage point in either direction if some were still on hand or were reclaimed (which is usually less than a handful). In other words, roughly seven out of 10 animals were killed, an atrocity. But even that doesn’t tell the full story.

Of the 545 not killed, only 94 were actually adopted out by PETA. The rest were sent to kill shelters because PETA refuses to work with No Kill organizations. Conceivably, every single dog and cat transferred by PETA to such shelters would either have been killed or displaced another animal who was killed. If that is the case, that would put the kill rate closer to 95%. The goal, after all, is not to have animals “saved” from PETA’s needles only to be given the needle down the road (or displace others who are then put to death) as that would be nothing more than a shell game, a classic case of out of the frying pan and into the fire. The goal is to actually save them by having them placed into loving, new homes–something that is not likely to happen since PETA makes very little effort to do so.

Moreover, the adoption rate actually declined from a year earlier: from about 5% to 4.5% because PETA is turning animals away and thus taking in fewer. That it is “referring animals” to local shelters is actually improvement, because they will have a better chance of being saved, though not by much. At the Peninsula Regional Animal Shelter which serves the area, for example, 1,939 cats either died or were killed out of 2,970, a 65% death rate. Either way, these animals are likely to be killed or displace others who are.

The irony, of course, is that PETA is now doing what it accuses small, private animal shelters of doing: being “limited admission” by referring people with animals to other shelters. (It also, of course, continues to ignore the fact that “open-admission” shelters can be No Kill and that an “open admission” shelter does not have to—and should not—be an open door to the killing of animals. In fact, using the term “open admission” for kill shelters is misleading. Kill shelters are closed to people who love animals. They are closed to people who might have lost their job or lost their home but do not want their animals to die. They are closed to Good Samaritans who find animals but do not want them killed. They are closed to animal lovers who want to help save lives but will not be silent in the face of needless killing. And so they turn these people and their animals away, refusing to provide to them the service they are being paid to perform. In short, PETA ignores that “open door” does not mean “more humane” when the end result is mass killing.)

Moreover, what the PETA’s self-serving press release doesn’t say is that PETA in addition to killing thousands of animals, PETA continued to champion the mass killing of pit bulls and community cats and continued to defend poorly performing shelters. In 2015, it joined a group whose express mission was to ban pit bulls and have them killed by “shelters” all over the country  and it joined hunters in New York to have community cats rounded up and killed. It and its acolytes also hired seven lobbyists to try and overturn SB 1381, a law passed in 2014 which was designed to put PETA out of the killing business. That law, which required that Virginia shelters be “operated for the purpose of finding permanent adoptive homes” was designed to force PETA specifically, and private shelters generally, to do what the public already thinks “shelters” do: find homes for the animals they take in rather than kill them. Failure to do so would result in revocation of their license to operate a shelter. At the behest of PETA, Virginia Delegate Bobby Orrock filed three bills to repeal SB 1381. Despite going so far as to violate federal civil rights laws to try and get those bills passed, however, Orrock’s bills thankfully failed: one was withdrawn, one died in committee, and one was amended to simply delay 1381’s implementation, a pyrrhic victory since VDACS was already committed to delay.

In other words, it was–as it always is with PETA–a “Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad History of Killing Animals” in 2015, too. Of course, we won’t know the full extent of the carnage until the VDACS numbers actually come out, but even then we may not fully know.

Given that PETA has a history of taking animals, a history of getting animals under false pretenses, a history of lying to people who surrender their animals, and a history of underreporting killing, there is simply no reason to trust its reporting to VDACS. As such, the VDACS numbers represent the best possible scenario. It could be a lot worse.

Update: VDACS just posted the 2015 stats. PETA killed 1,009 of the 1,286 cats they took in, a kill rate of 78%. Another 229 were transferred to kill shelters since PETA has a policy of not working with No Kill shelters. If they were killed or displaced other animals who were killed, that’s a cat death rate of 96%.

PETA also killed 447 of the 688 dogs they took in, a kill rate of 65%. Another 217 were transferred to kill shelters. If they were killed or displaced other animals who were killed, that’s a dog death rate of 97%.

The adoption rate for each was only 3%.

They also killed 38 of the 60 “other companion animals” they took in and sent five to kill shelters.

The statistics are available by clicking here.


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