Earlier this month, PETA released photographs given to them by a whistleblower at the El Paso, TX, pound. The photographs show dogs being mauled by other dogs, one dead puppy covered in blood with one forelimb gnawed completely to the bone and the other partially eaten. (To view that photograph, click here, but warning: it is very graphic and very disturbing.)
In a letter to the City of El Paso, PETA — which itself kills thousands of animals every year without ever trying to find them homes and which has publicly defended shelters with similarly cruel conditions in the past — called for a criminal investigation in this case. A spokesman for the El Paso Police Department subsequently indicated that their investigation found no “criminal wrongdoing.”
In my original article about this tragedy, I reported that this was not the first time dogs died at the El Paso pound due to neglectful conditions and that the situation called for both reform to prevent future deaths and accountability, including the termination of the director. By contrast, PETA was exploiting the tragedy in a bid to further harm animals. They wanted more animals killed.
I also noted in that article that I had requested a copy of the police report under the Texas Public Records Act and would provide an update on the matter once it was received. I have since attained a copy of the report and found three things of note. First, the officer tried to speak to the reporting party at PETA, who failed or refused to provide any additional information.
Second, the officer spoke to another police officer who was previously assigned to the shelter but who did not have personal knowledge of the facts surrounding the particular dogs who were injured and killed. That officer instead gave a positive, but generalized, character reference of the shelter and its staff of dubious value to the instant case.
Third, the investigating officer noted he spoke to the pound director, but did not report any of her statements relative to the injuries and deaths of the particular dogs. Instead, she is said to have stated that the conditions which led to the dog injuries and deaths “were addressed.” In other words, she did not appear to dispute the authenticity of the photographs, the conditions that gave rise to the case, or the fact that dogs were both injured and killed because of those conditions. (I have requested a copy of the interview, which was taped, and will provide an update when it is received if it sheds any useful information.)
There was nothing in the police report which would alter my original conclusion: we must reform the El Paso pound, including firing those responsible. At the same time, we must challenge and hold PETA accountable which is exploiting the tragedy to promote their own sordid and nefarious agenda that would perpetuate a system that visits upon defenseless animals even more death.
Reforming sordid practices at the El Paso pound — which has allowed dogs to die on multiple occasions — and constraining PETA’s dark agenda to see more of them intentionally killed go hand in hand. In my view, they are two sides of the same, abusive coin.
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