A week ago in an online feature, Newsweek explored the bizarre irony — or hypocrisy, if you see things the way we do — of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) as a wholesale executioner of dogs, cats, and other “companion animals.” The story was originally titled “PETA Kills Pets,” but later quietly re-titled to a milder “PETA and Euthanasia.” Still, Newsweek deserves some credit for acknowledging that PETA “has practiced euthanasia for years. Since 1998 PETA has killed more than 17,000 animals, nearly 85 percent of all those it has rescued.” Today that death toll increases to more than 19,200.
Last year, PETA’s “Animal Record” report for 2006 (containing its official “kill” numbers) didn’t show up on the website of Virginia’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) until nine months after it was supposed to. So this year, we pressed the issue. And in response to our written public-records request, VDACS delivered the goods. PETA’s 2007 “Animal Record” still isn’t available online through the Virginia government, but we’re making it available today at PetaKillsAnimals.com.
Here’s what the report shows. Not including the animals PETA spayed and neutered, the group had possession of 1,997 dogs, cats, and other “companion animals” in 2007. And PETA — which professes a belief that animals should never be slaughtered for food, used for medical research, or killed for clothing, nonetheless put 90.9 percent of them to death at its Norfolk, VA headquarters. And despite its official status as a “humane society” and a pet “releasing agency” in Virginia, PETA found adoptive homes for only 17 animals all year. Just 17.
No-kill animal sheltering crusader Nathan Winograd told Newsweek something worth remembering the next time you receive a solicitation letter from PETA, or from its ideological brother, the misnamed Humane Society of the United States: “With the resources at their disposal, PETA and the Humane Society of the U.S. could become no-kill in no time. Instead they have become leading killers of cats and dogs, and the animal-loving public unwittingly foots the bill through taxes and donations.