PETA’s Defense of Its High Euthanasia Rate Is Unconvincing

In an interview posted on Youtube on June 6, 2022, Ingrid Newkirk, founder of the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), discussed several subjects, including claims made in 2004 by comedy team Penn & Teller that PETA kills dogs and cats.  Ms. Newkirk described the Penn & Teller claims as “cheap” and “misinformed.” (We have reported in the past (see, for example, here) on the statistics compiled by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) showing that PETA’s shelter in Norfolk, Virginia has a high rate of euthanasia when compared to other shelters operating in the Commonwealth of Virginia.)  According to Ms. Newkirk, PETA’s shelter is an “open admission shelter” that takes in “animals that are on their last legs” — “the dregs, if you will” — that “have the door slammed shut on them in other places.” The implication is that this is the reason for the high euthanasia rate.  Ms. Newkirk stated that PETA would “never” euthanize a healthy animal.

Ms. Newkirk’s interview came on the heels of an event recently sponsored by PETA called the “Poochella Festival” which PETA described as a “multishelter adoption event” designed to help “Virginia dogs find loving homes.”  According to PETA, “[o]ur shelters” — presumably PETA and the four other local animal shelters that participated in the event — “are bursting at the seams with wonderful dogs who would love to become great companions.”

Given its history of euthanizing the vast majority of dogs that it receives, the assertion that PETA is “bursting at the seams” with dogs to be adopted struck us as questionable.  So, we decided to look at the reported data to see how PETA compares with the four shelters that PETA stated participated in “Poochella:” Chesapeake Animal Services, the Norfolk SPCA, Virginia Beach Animal Control, and the Virginia Beach SPCA.

Continue reading “PETA’s Defense of Its High Euthanasia Rate Is Unconvincing”

PETA’s Animal “Shelter” Continues High Euthanasia Rate

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. Continue reading “PETA’s Animal “Shelter” Continues High Euthanasia Rate”

Eighth Circuit Upholds Part of Iowa “Ag Gag” Law

Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit upheld, in part, the constitutionality of an Iowa law that makes it a criminal offense to obtain access to an agricultural facility by false pretenses.  Animal Legal Def. Fund v. Reynolds, No. 19-1364 (8th Cir. Aug. 10, 2021).  The court reversed in part a district court ruling that the law violated the First Amendment. Continue reading “Eighth Circuit Upholds Part of Iowa “Ag Gag” Law”

PeTA’s Euthanasia Rate — Part II

Last week, we wrote on the overall euthasia rate in 2020 for the animal “shelter” that animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA) runs in Norfolk, Virginia.  (“Euthanasia rate” here means how many animals the shelter euthanized (killed) expressed as percentage of how many animals the shelter took in during 2020.  It is based on data that every animal shelter in Virginia is required to submit annually to the Virginia Department of  Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS).)  PeTA’s euthanasia rate was far higher than the average euthanasia rate for other shelters in Virginia.  When compared to the overall euthanasia rate of all reporting agencies in Virginia in 2020, as reported by VDACS, PeTA’s rate was more than 11 times higher for dogs, more than 7 times higher for cats and more than 9 times higher for dogs and cats combined.

This week, we dig a little deeper into the numbers. Continue reading “PeTA’s Euthanasia Rate — Part II”

Euthanasia At PETA’s “Shelter” Still Occurring At Alarming Rate

On prior occasions (here and here), we have written about the high rate at which animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) euthanizes the animals that it takes in at its Norfolk, Virginia animal “shelter.”  All public and private animal shelters and other animal releasing agencies in the Commonwealth of Virginia are required to submit an annual summary of their animal custody records to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS).  PETA’s report for 2020 recently filed with VDACS reveals that PETA’s death rate still outpaces the average rate at which other shelters in Virginia euthanize animals. Continue reading “Euthanasia At PETA’s “Shelter” Still Occurring At Alarming Rate”

PETA Offers Unconvincing Defense For The High Kill Rate In Its “Shelter”

by John M. Simpson.

As we have written before (here and here), the animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), operates a facility in Norfolk, Virginia that it calls an animal “shelter.”  Every public and private animal shelter in the Commonwealth of Virginia is required, annually, to submit a report to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) that details the number of animals that the shelter took in during the year and what happened to them.  PETA’s  most recent report (for 2019) revealed that PETA euthanized dogs and cats at rates that far exceeded the average rates for all private animal shelters in Virginia.  The PETA euthanasia rate for dogs was more than thirteen times the average rate for private shelters, and PETA’s euthanasia rate for cats was more than eleven times the average rate for private shelters. Continue reading “PETA Offers Unconvincing Defense For The High Kill Rate In Its “Shelter””

While COVID-19 Spreads, PETA Spreads Misinformation On Animal Testing

by John M. Simpson.

The animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment (PETA) is well known for attention-grabbing tactics.  Even in “normal” times, PETA can be counted on to push the envelope (or break through it entirely).  As non-animal humans worldwide suffer through the current COVID-19 pandemic, PETA has seized upon the crisis to promote its animal rights agenda, including the organization’s long-standing opposition to the use of animals in testing the safety and efficacy of drugs and vaccines to cure and prevent human disease.  PETA has made several recent statements suggesting the coming demise of animal testing that are quite misleading. Continue reading “While COVID-19 Spreads, PETA Spreads Misinformation On Animal Testing”

Animal Rights Challenge to Fisheries Service Decision on Disclosure of Necropsies Dismissed by Federal District Court

By John M. Simpson.

On March 26, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed a lawsuit brought by certain animal rights advocates and organizations against several federal defendants challenging a decision of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) declining to enforce a permit condition allegedly requiring a marine mammal park to submit a necropsy report concerning a killer whale obtained the permit. Marino, et al. v. Nat’l Oceanic and Atmospheric Admin., et al., No. 18-cv-2750 (DLF) (D.D.C. Mar. 26, 2020). Continue reading “Animal Rights Challenge to Fisheries Service Decision on Disclosure of Necropsies Dismissed by Federal District Court”

PETA Animal “Shelter” Continues to Show High Euthanization Rate

by John M. Simpson.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is well known for its publicity-seeking tactics.  Over the past Super Bowl weekend, PETA generated controversy with a commercial that it claims was rejected by the Fox Network which depicted cartoon animals “taking a knee” during the National Anthem.  The social media response was not positive.  Some critics saw this as trivializing and misappropriating Colin Kaepernick’s protest activities or trivializing the civil rights movement in general.  During this same period, PETA’s founder, Ingrid Newkirk, went on record claiming that calling a pet a “pet” is offensive and disrespectful and tantamount to calling a woman “honey” or “sweetie,” drawing another offensive comparison — this time between dog or cat ownership and sexual discrimination and harassment. Continue reading “PETA Animal “Shelter” Continues to Show High Euthanization Rate”

This Little Piggy Went to Court

by Michelle C. Pardo

We previously blogged about the animal rights’ movement’s attempts to convince various U.S. courts to allow animals the same rights as people in the court system.  People for the Ethical Treatment of Animal’s (PETA’s) failed “monkey selfie” case, an effort to convince a federal court to rule that the crested macaque had standing under the Copyright Act, was not only dismissed, but earned PETA a sharp rebuke from the Ninth Circuit, when the court determined that the activist group seemingly employed Naruto the monkey as “an unwitting pawn it its ideological goals.”  Now PETA has taken its “animal personhood” crusade internationally. Continue reading “This Little Piggy Went to Court”

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