Since 1998, the deceptively named People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has killed more than 33,000 animals. Now, a family on Virginia’s Eastern Shore is alleging that PETA has added another animal to its death toll: their family pet Maya, a Chihuahua.
Wilber Zarate says that Maya went inexplicitly missing one Saturday afternoon, prompting him to check footage from his home security camera. According to Zarate, the video showed a van—branded with “PETA” on the side—back into his driveway. Two women then allegedly got out of the van, one of whom walked up to the porch, took Maya, and put the dog in the back of the vehicle.
Zarate claims that two women from PETA returned to the house three days later, bearing a fruit basket and grave news: Allegedly, Maya had been euthanized.
That’s right: PETA allegedly trespassed on private property to steal and kill a family pet.
The local Sheriff charged the PETA workers with larceny (pets are legally property). Despite the video footage that would seem to collaborate Zarate’s story, the charges against the workers were dropped by state prosecutors for lack of evidence showing criminal intent.
Still, if true, these horrifying allegations show PETA, a group that ostensibly demands the empathetic treatment of animals, stealing and then killing a family’s pet. It’s horrifying, but not new: PETA employees in North Carolina faced charges in 2007 for their conduct operating a mobile puppy-killing van and discarding the animals’ bodies in dumpsters.
Just last week, PETA solicited its donors in a fundraising effort to buy “PETA’s next animal-rescue van!” A fundraising email explains: “Our animal-rescue vans allow our team to respond quickly to many of these calls, but if we don’t acquire a new van soon, our effectiveness—and animals—will suffer.” In light of these latest allegations and PETA’s sordid history, we have to ask: Will this so-called “animal rescue” van function as a vehicle for larceny and puppycide, as were the vans in North Carolina and allegedly in the sad case of Maya?
PETA killed 82.4% of the animals it received last year. If valid, the new allegations chillingly show that PETA is aggressively seeking out even more animals to put under its “care,” using four-wheels to snatch and gratuitously dispatch our four-legged friends. Even for PETA, that’s a new low.