According to a report released Thursday by the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) killed 95 percent of the adoptable pets in its care during 2008.
The report was compiled with public records from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; the animal rights group euthanizes an average of 5.8 pets every day at its Norfolk, Va. headquarters. The records showed that 2,124 pets were put to sleep last year and only seven were placed in adoptive homes. Since 1998, a total of 21,339 dogs and cats have been euthanized.
“PETA hasn’t slowed down its hypocritical killing machine one bit, but it keeps browbeating the rest of society with a phony ‘animal rights’ message. What about the rights of the thousands of dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens that die in PETA’s headquarters building?” said CCF Research Director David Martosko.
In defending the organization PETA spokeswoman Ashley Byrne said CCF is only concerned with protecting their interests rather than protecting animals.
“I think that there are two things that need to be mentioned. First, the fact that CCF is a group that is funded by the meat, alcohol, pharmaceutical and tobacco industries and most of those industries try to use their money to hide their bad practices. They know PETA is doing anything they can to expose the their wrong doings and they’ll do anything they can to fight back as well,” said Byrne.
The campaign manager added that euthanasia is not a subject people like to discuss critically, but that is used to point the finger. Because of “casual” pet acquisition, as Byrne put it, many animals that can be adopted at shelters are left without a home whenever people buy a pet from a breeder or a pet store. Furthermore, Byrne said that PETA puts pets to sleep only in cases where the animals have severe behavioral issues, like aggressiveness, or are too old or sick to be adopted.
“We think ourselves as the shelter of last resort because a lot of shelters give us animals that are not adoptable, they are euthanized just as they would be at other shelters and at least with us they are given a last resort in a loving and peaceful environment,” Byrne added.
But despite having a $32 million budget, PETA does not put that money or corresponding effort into an adoption shelter. The organization uses money from that budget to create campaigns like Animal Birth Control (ABC), which educates and encourages pet owners to spay and neuter their animals so that those at shelters do not have to compete with newborn kittens or puppies, amongst others.
“People who do care about these issues can help by never buying form a breeder or pet store but only adopting from a shelter and spaying and neutering pets. Our t blog is filled with photos of animals and the type of cases that PETA handles for euthanasia. After you read stories and look at photos to understand the way these animals are suffering, you can see why we have to do this,” said Byrne.