Thursday, March 26, 2009

PETA's Slaughterhouse for Dogs and Cats

This morning comes word that in 2008 PETA killed 95.8 percent of the dogs, cats and other pets put into its care last year.

In fact, during all of 2008, PETA found adoptive homes for just seven pets out of 2,216 animals taken in.

PETA has a long track record of killing healthy animals (see pictures here), and almost no discernible track record that I can find of placing dogs and cats in loving homes.

As Dana Cheek, the former director of the Norfolk SPCA wrote:

I often receive phone calls from frantic people who have surrendered their pets to PETA with the understanding that PETA will "find them a good home." Many of them are led to believe that the animals will be taken to a nearby shelter. Little do they know that the pets are killed in the PETA van before they even pull away from the pet owner's home … PETA refuses to surrender animals they obtain to area shelters for rehoming. If only the celebrity 'deep-pocket' donors on the west coast knew that their donations were going to kill adoptable cats and dogs here in Norfolk.

You will not find PETA's shelter in Norfolk, Virginia on Pet Finder, nor are there any visiting hours. Posters are not placed on coffee shop bulletin boards, nor do they work with PetSmart or anyone else to find homes for the dogs and cats relinquished to them.

Instead, PETA injects killing solutions into almost all the animals handed over to the them, and then it contracts with a waste disposal company to have several tons of animals a month trucked away, out of sight and out of mind.

Why? Simple: they believe a dog in a shelter is better dead than kenneled for even a few days or a few weeks, and they oppose pet ownership entirely. PETA's Norfolk staff cannot be bothered to take time away from media-whoring in order to do the tough work involved in actually rehoming animals. They leave that to real shelters.

PETA, of course, tries to hide all of this, but the state of Virginia is not having any part of it.

Virginia has a legal requirement that all shelters report out how many dogs, cats and other animals are surrendered, how many are placed, and how many are rehomed.

PETA refuses to fill out the forms as asked by the state of Virginia, however, and every year a little charade occurs. This charade appears to be designed to slow down the posting of PETA's kill information to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services website. PETA, it seems, is embarrassed by their own numbers. Not embarrassed enough to change what they do, mind you, but just embarrassed enough to try to keep comparative data away from the public's prying eyes.

And so, instead of reporting the data in the form requested, PETA mixes in unrelated spay and neuter data. They have done this for several years running now, and apparently they are doing it again this year, as the numbers are still not up on the Virginia state web site. PETA will eventually cough up the forms properly filled out, of course, but by then several months will have gone by. Heck, several months have already gone by.

To be clear, no other shelter in Virginia does this or even tries to do this. And you know why? Because the other shelters are not afraid of telling you what they are doing because most of them are at least trying to get dogs and cats adopted out.

PETA, on the other hand, seems to do virtually nothing to try to get animals placed. That's too much like work and there's no "look-at-me" publicity in it. The blue solution of death is so much easier. And so PETA injects, dumps, and runs off to do another titty-show protest somewhere. Yippee! Look at me. I am nekkid!
So how do we know what PETA's numbers are for 2008?

Simple: Just because PETA intentionally mangles the paperwork so that the data does not show up up on time on the Virginia state web site does not mean that they do not file something as a place holder. That paperwork does exist, and you can read it yourself right here and tease out the kill data, just as I have.

You can also compare it to the track record of other Virginia animal shelter facilities right here, and you can also compare it to past years of comparable PETA data by looking at the table below:

To cut to the chase, here's how the data breaks down for dogs and cats put in PETA's care in 2008:

  • Of 584 dogs surrendered to PETA's "shelter" last year, 555 were killed by PETA and only 4 were adopted out. Another 21 dogs were transferred to the Virginia Beach SPCA, and 15 dogs were still "on hand" with PETA as of December 31, 2008.

  • Of 1,589 cats surrendered to PETA's "shelter" last year, 1,569 were killed by PETA and only 3 were adopted out. Another 13 cats were transferred to the Virginia Beach SPCA, and 2 cats were still "on hand" with PETA as of December 31, 2009

Now here's the important part: PETA is very clearly in violation of Virginia state law.

Last year on this blog, I noted that PETA is licensed under Virginia law to run an animal shelter or humane society. But PETA does not run an animal shelter.

But don't take my word for it. Here what PETA's Daphna Nachminovitch said in court:

"PETA does not maintain an animal shelter. PETA has a couple -- we call them 'quarantine rooms' -- which are used to house animals that are held for one reason or another. And animals who are, who have a chance for adoption, are usually fostered in private homes. We do not have a public facility that's open to the public where people can stroll through and pick an animal. That's not a service that we are able to provide. We're an office building."

Right. You are an office building. Not a shelter.

But PETA's license to handle powerful killing chemicals did not say it was running an office building, but that it was running an animal shelter or humane society.

Under Virginia law, an animal shelter means "a facility, other than a private residential dwelling and its surrounding grounds, that is used to house or contain animals and that is owned, operated, or maintained by a nongovernmental entity including, but not limited to, a humane society, animal welfare organization, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or any other organization operating for the purpose of finding permanent adoptive homes for animals."

Under Virginia law, a humane society means "any incorporated, nonprofit organization that is organized for the purposes of preventing cruelty to animals and promoting humane care and treatment or adoptions of animals."

Under Virginia law, adoption means "the transfer of ownership of a dog or a cat, or any other companion animal, from a releasing agency to an individual."

In short, PETA is not running a legal shelter or humane society (as Ms. Nachminovitch conceded in court), and therefore their licensed access to killing chemicals should be revoked by the state.

PETA can then re-apply with the Virginia Department of Agriculture to run a slaughter house if they so choose.

And no, the slaughter house designation is not hyperbole.

In 2008, PETA's shelter in Norfolk, Virginia took possession of 2,216 dogs, cats, and other “companion animals” and killed all but 7 of them -- a 95.8 percent kill rate once the transfers are accounted for.

What's that look like? Well, if the average dog/cat weighs 30 pounds, that works out to be about 30 TONS of dead animals coming out of PETA's shelter every year.

Graphically, it look a bit like this, with the white-on-black animals being those that PETA killed, and the black-on-white animals being the ones they actually found homes for and did not kill.

Want to do something positive about all this? Here's my suggestion: Send a letter to all the candidates hoping to be Virginia's next Attorney General.

Ask each of the candidates to make a pledge to investigate, prosecute and/or close PETA's Norfolk animal shelter, which is being run as an unlicensed slaughter house, not as a true animal shelter seeking to find homes for adoptable animals. Send them a link to this blog for the statistics and the law.

How to contact the candidates:

  • Steve Shannon - Democratic candidate for Virginia Attorney General. Contact here (web form) or call (best): 703-218-3501
  • Ken Cuccinelli - Republican candidate for Virginia Attorney General. Contact here (web form) or call (best): 703-766-0635
  • John Brownlee - Republican candidate for Virginia Attorney General. Contact here (web form) or call (best): 1-888-523-6724
  • Dave Foster - Republican candidate for Virginia Attorney General. Contact here (direct email) or call (best): 703-349-2820


Jonathan Setter said...

There is a whole section dedicated to these consumate idiots on a website

just type PETA into the search bar.

interesting to see who it is amongst the celebrity world that actually lend their names to this crime against dogs and other animals,

nice one, speak it loud.

J Cape Towe

scargosun said...

Thank you for posting this. I disliked the group before and ignored them. Not anymore. They need to be stopped and I will help in any way to make that happen.

mutineer826 said...

Just a correction, and a sad one at that: 7 out of 2124 gives you a 99.7 percent kill rate, not 95.8.

PeTA IS a slaughterhouse.

How do we put them out of business?


Alicia said...

wow i can't believe that. I am so glad you posted this. and I found this blog from a french bulldog blog. This is crazy. All animal enthusiasts need to be told and that needs to be stopped. If I didn't live so far away I'd go there right now and give them a piece of my mind (and my three bullie's minds too!!!)

Karen said...

Oh I couldn't believe this. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

Rick Darby said...

Good research and excellent posting. I linked to it here.

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

I only found your blog last night - linked from my friend james Marchington's blog.

I thought i'd congratulate you on the thorough research and convincing style of argument.

My primary disagreement with PETA is from a different tack (the infamous AIDS/vivisection comment) but i'll be watching this one unfold with interest


The Professional Vegan said...

Thank you for researching and writing this. I found your post via Feminist Law Professors, where I originally found the article about PETA. I linked to Feminist Law Professors via my blog and have received a few interesting comments. I have linked your post as a rebuttal.

Unknown said...

I'm not familiar with blogger and might be messing this up. also, my "name" is petahater@ even though I think it seems to just show

the name sounded familar to me...

Cuccinelli has a (short but hopefully growing) history of not falling prey to the AR extremist agenda.

Matthew Ruscigno said...

I understand your concern about animals being killed and that's why I'm vegan.
Also to accurately figure out how many animals were killed versus saved you'd need to calculate the effect of their anti-breeders campaign and probably all of their campaigns that have saved animals.
I do support a healthy criticism of large entities, and PETA is no exception.

xtempore said...

I an not a fan of PETA overall, as I think on some issues they go to far, but I cannot disagree with their approach to unwanted "pets".

Is there a pet-shortage in the U.S? Are there millions of people who desperately want a pet but cannot find one?

As far as I know the answer is "No".

The math on this is pretty simple - There are far more cats and dogs than there are people who want cats and dogs. Feel free to visit any animal shelter if you doubt it.

So what should we do with the excess?

PETA have made a decision to deal with it rationally, by humanely euthenising unwanted animals.

That may seem harsh to you, but the real alternative is that those animals will spend months or years is crappy overcrowded animal shelters - or roaming the streets, half-starved.

Sure some of the ones PETA kills might have found a home, because they were particularly cute, but that animal that finds a home just displaces another less cute one that continues to languish in it's cage.

It ain't pleasant, and the best solution is to sterilise as many pets as possible to cut the excess. This is a solution that PETA also endorse, but in the meantime someone has to stop these millions of animals from suffering, and PETA have the decency to take on that unpleasant role.

Will you even post this, or do you ban anyone who disagrees?

p.s. How do you feel about Bob Parsons killing a young female elephant in Zimbabwe? He's using this post to somehow justify it!

PBurns said...

Xtempore, before you write about something, how about reading up a little about it?

If you had done that, you would not have written that "There are far more cats and dogs than there are people who want cats and dogs."

In fact, at the same time that cats and dogs are being killed in shelters, the newspapers are full of cats and dogs for sale and so are the magazines, to say nothing of the Internet. The simple fact is that there are NOT "too may cats and dogs" -- there is a shortage of PLACES WHERE PEOPLE WANT TO GO to adopt or buy a cat or dog, and KILL shelters like PeTA's are a huge part of the problem. Who wans to take their kid to a shelter to get a dog and smell the shit and piss and see the misery, and then have to explain to their eight year old that only ONE dog or cat there *might* get recued today, and the others will all be killed? Better to go to a breeder!

I doubt you will ever read this link (read?) but if you are actually interested in the history and demographics of shelters, rather than simply typing in ignorance, you could do worse than start with "Beyond the Blue Solution of Dog Shelter Death" on ths blog (it's actually a book review and summary) >>

As for elephants, here too you need to actually read a little before you write. A good site on elephants is >>, but a good history on elephant problems in Africa in general and Zimbabwe in particular, and referencing Bob Parsons' elephant hunt, is >> "Shooting Elephants and Carrying Capacity at >>

Now will you actually read any of these links? I doubt it. I find that people who have not read up on matters BEFORE they write generally do no read up on matters afterwards either. This is one of the reasons it's hard to take PeTA people seriously.

Another hint: If you want to be taken seriously on this blog, you do not cloak yourself in anonymity, write stuff that is not researched, and not bother to read even a handful or recent posts on the site.

As we make clear in the instruction on the comments window and in the sidebar, we do not salute time waters, zombies or cowards. Please read the instructions too! Read, read, read. Information is a cure for a lot of ills.