Photo credit: Central California Pets Alive
Several years ago, PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk wrote an OpEd piece in newspapers across the country calling on all shelters in all American cities to kill all dogs who looked like “pit bulls.” “Most people have no idea that at many animal shelters across the country, any pit bull that comes through the front door doesn’t go out the back door alive,” she wrote. “From San Jose to Schenectady, many shelters have enacted policies requiring the automatic destruction of the huge and ever-growing number of ‘pits’ they encounter. This news shocks and outrages the compassionate dog-lover. Here’s another shocker: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the very organization that is trying to get you to denounce the killing of chickens for the table, foxes for fur or frogs for dissection, supports the shelters’ pit-bull policy… People who genuinely care about dogs won’t be affected by a ban on pits.”
PETA even supported the pit bull ban in Ontario, Canada, which mandates the pound seizure of animals from shelters by companies who use them for animal experimentation—the fate that ostensibly awaited some of the family pets seized under the PETA-supported breed ban.
Two years ago, PETA wrote a Mayor in Tennessee telling him not to work with rescuers and to kill all pit bulls. “PETA recommends a ban on the adoption/release of dangerous dogs and fighting breeds (commonly known as ‘pit bulls’).”
This month, PETA has joined forces with a group that has a singular mission: “to have pit bulls banned across the United States — a move which seems to lead, inexorably, to the dogs being killed.” “We’re not talking about dogs who have done anything wrong,” writes Arin Greenwood of the Huffington Post. “This concerns all pit bulls. The therapy dogs, the police dogs, the war heroes, those who’ve saved lives, … and those who are still in shelters, waiting to be given a chance.”
PETA also practices what it preaches. According to Virginia Sen. Bill Stanley, “From July to September, 630 animals [were] taken in [by PETA], 490 euthanized. 27 adopted.” That’s a kill rate of eight out of 10 animals. Only 4% were adopted. Most of the rest presumably went to kill shelters as they refuse to work with No Kill ones.
PETA’s killing historically not only includes healthy puppies and kittens, but, of course, pit bulls. “I did witness [PETA] bring back a pit bull to the Norfolk location,” one PETA employee reported. “This pit bull was wagging its tail, jumping (an obvious friendly dog; not feral) while receiving praise, treats and getting pet by the [two PETA] employees. It was the end of my shift, so I was cleaning and restocking, which required me to go into their shed for supplies. I saw the [two PETA] employees take the pitbull into the shed’s euthanasia room, which is inside this shed. It is a small room where they have a table and a huge walk-in freezer with [four] large trash cans. The trash cans contained deceased animals and were usually full. As I continued to do my job, I heard the [PETA] employees talking to the dog and trying to calm it down as it whined. Later … they opened the door and I saw the pit bull deceased on the table.”
Not only do shelters misidentify breeds as much as 75 percent of the time, but as used by shelters, law enforcement agencies and even courts, “Pit Bull” is not a breed of dog. It is, according to a leading advocacy organization, “a catch-all term used to describe a continually expanding incoherent group of dogs, including pure-bred dogs and mixed-breed dogs. A ‘Pit Bull’ is any dog an animal control officer, shelter worker, dog trainer, politician, dog owner, police officer, newspaper reporter or anyone else says is a ‘Pit Bull.’” When it comes to dogs we call “Pit Bulls,” PETA is not only killing them based on meaningless stereotypes, they are asking shelters to kill dogs they mistakenly think fit those stereotypes by the way they look.
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