WASHINGTON — While People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) protests the National Football League today over Michael Vick’s dog-fighting indictment, the animal “rights” group is ignoring its own sordid puppy-killing operation, the Center for Consumer Freedom said today. Public records released by the State of Virginia show that PETA itself has killed 14,479 dogs and cats since 1998, including 90 percent of the animals it took in for “adoption” in 2005. And PETA is presently more than 3 months overdue to report its 2007 numbers.

“It’s astonishing but true,” said Center for Consumer Freedom Director of Research David Martosko. “PETA itself kills helpless, adoptable animals by the thousands out of sheer inconvenience. Why anyone continues to take this bunch of hypocrites seriously is beyond me.”

Documents relating to PETA’s massive animal-killing program can be found on the Internet at www.PETAkillsAnimals.com. In sworn testimony during the January 2007 animal-cruelty trial of two PETA employees, a PETA manager acknowledged that the organization has a walk-in freezer for the purpose of storing dead pets. She also acknowledged that PETA contracts with a Norfolk-area crematory service to dispose of the dead bodies, which measure over a ton each month.

Martosko continued: “PETA’s president acknowledges that her group could ‘become a no-kill shelter overnight.’ But that would mean the group could no longer afford to spend millions of dollars on cheap publicity stunts, to say nothing of harassing pet food companies, restaurants, and medical researchers.”

Another PETA employee faces grand larceny charges in southern Virginia, related to the alleged 2006 theft of a hunting dog and its radio-tracking collar. PETA has not yet indicated whether the dog in question was slated to be put to death.