It’s that time of year again when animal shelters in the Commonwealth of Virginia must submit their annual summary of animal custody records to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS). Any shelter operating in Virginia must report how many animals it had on hand at the beginning of the year, how many it had at the end of the year and what happened to them. Specifically, VDACS requires that the shelter report the number of animals euthanized.
Animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) operates a facility that it terms a “shelter” at 501 Front Street in Norfolk, Virginia. As we have reported previously over the past years (here, here, here, and here), PETA’s annual VDACS reports — which are freely available to the public (see VDACS website) — show that PETA puts down more dogs, cats and animals generally at a rate greater than all other public and private shelters in the state. PETA’s report for 2021 is no exception, as the following table illustrates:
When the number of animals euthanized is expressed as a percentage of the number of animals taken in (the “euthanasia rate”) it is clear that PETA has a euthanasia rate that far outpaces other shelters in Virginia as a group:
As it has in the past, PETA continues to defend its euthanasia rate by asserting in its 2021 report that it is “the only private truly open-admission animal shelter in our region (and perhaps the entire state) . . . ,” but our prior research (here and here) belies that claim. There are numerous open-admission shelters in Virginia. They just don’t kill animals at the rate that PETA does.