People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) typically has a knack for making ugly things sexy (and vice-versa). Ironically, the radical animal rights group still hasn’t figured out a way to spin the fact that its own animal shelter has euthanized more than 25,000 homeless pets since 1998—so PETA prefers to keep it quiet. Good thing we have access to public records.
According to its 2010 “Animal Record,” filed with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, PETA killed 94 percent of the cats and dogs in its shelter last year. PETA rationalizes that “open-admission shelters” like the one it operates provided these 2,200 animals with “a painless release from a world that does not want them.”
These new statistics bump PETA’s body-count up to 25,840 since 1998. Conversely, the Virginia Beach SPCA, just down the road from PETA’s Norfolk headquarters, manages to adopt out the vast majority of the animals in its care (85% adoption rate in 2009). Talk about the difference that “going the extra mile” could make for helping an unwanted pet find a new home.
Years of public outrage still have not been enough to convince PETA to eliminate its pet eradication program. Sadly, we are not expecting 2011 to be any more promising for homeless cats and dogs condemned to live out their last days on PETA’s version of “death row."
Instead of investing in the lives of the adoptable pets in its care, PETA prefers to spend a sizeable chunk of its $33 million annual budget on glitzy media campaigns telling Americans—especially impressionable young children—that eating meat, drinking milk, fishing, hunting, wearing leather shoes, and benefiting from medical research performed on lab rats are all “unethical.”
For the 12th year in a row, PETA’s leaders prove again that they care more about preserving their advertising budget than finding homes for the six pets per day, on average, that they needlessly kill. Let’s see them try to make that statistic sexy with a head of lettuce and a supermodel.