Written by PETA
Back in February, PETA sent out a news release about the number of sick, injured, elderly, and
otherwise unadoptable animals we had to euthanize during the previous year.
PETA openly publishes these figures every single year and simultaneously calls
on the government and citizens to help promote anti-chaining ordinances (many
of the dogs our caseworkers encounter are aggressive or horrifically neglected
after having been chained outside for their entire lives), to help reduce the
cost of euthanasia of old and ill animals who belong to people with a low income
(these account for many of the animals PETA helps), and to implement
sterilization programs and laws to reduce the homeless-animal crisis.
In other words, old news is now
being regurgitated with a vindictive spin by—among others—a front group for Philip Morris, Outback
Steakhouse, KFC, cattle ranchers, and other animal exploiters that kill
millions of animals every year—and which do so not out of compassion but out of
greed. Before falling prey to the hysteria, please have a look at BermanExposed.org and ConsumerDeception.com.
PETA's statistics are also often used,
as they are being used now, in a truly perverted way by some "no-kill" evangelists to try
to turn people away from the "evil" of what is actually a dignified,
merciful release from suffering. They never give a complete picture, and they always
use inflammatory language and labels like "puppies" and "kittens,"
even if the animal was a 17-year-old dog who was unable to breathe properly because
of a heart condition. Such people are sure that if you shuffle enough animals
around from shelters to hoarders' basements or just throw stones at shelter
workers and call them "psycho" and so on, people will join their
number. But they offer no realistic
solution to the multiple tragic problems associated with easily acquired and easily discarded "pets."
who reads our website or receives our newsletters, in which we discuss this
issue regularly, knows that PETA has a division that does hands-on work with animals.
We run a shelter but in the most merciful way. We help—because no one else will—the
animals who are society's rejects in the area near our Virginia headquarters.
These animals are aggressive, feral, on death's door (often with large tumors
hanging from their bodies), or
otherwise unadoptable. We have published many blog posts about our caseworkers' heartbreaking work over
the years, and more information can be found at PETASaves.com.
It's important to note that the figures used by
anti-PETA campaigners are deliberately chosen because they are just the euthanasia figures. They do not
the more than 10,000 dogs
and cats PETA provided with no-cost
to low-cost spay and neuter surgeries and other veterinary services in
the last 12 months alone, the hundreds of animals delivered to large
high-traffic shelter facilities for adoption, the counseling and aid services
that PETA provides in order to enable people to keep and properly care for
their animals, and the animals we
have put up for adoption, like the cat currently featured on our website, whom we nursed back to (almost)
good health and who
is still seeking a
The "no-kill" shelters in the area
headquarters, like many such
places that sing the "no-kill" refrain for fundraising purposes,
actually not only refuse admission to animals (because they are constantly "too
full") and reject dogs and cats who are injured, sick, or dying but also refer
these "undesirable" animals to PETA, which bears the veterinary or euthanasia
costs. For more information on this topic, visit PETASaves.com.
People who are shocked to learn how many healthy or
adoptable animals have to be euthanized annually or are questioning PETA's
euthanasia record should ask themselves if they are spaying and neutering their
own animal companions, helping
people with a low income "fix" theirs, adopting from shelters instead
of buying from breeders and pet stores, funding education campaigns about
proper animal care and adoption (among other things), and demanding higher animal-protection standards
in their own communities. They should also look carefully at the photographs of
the animals who come out of the impoverished areas that PETA serves. Of course,
they should definitely not be eating or wearing animals or their skins, using
products tested on animals (who are usually killed at the end of the tests), or
engaging in any activity that results in killing animals not out of mercy but
for selfish reasons.
PETA is proud to continue to stand tall and roll up
its sleeves to help animals.
people talk about PETA's euthanasia statistics, those aren't just abstract
figures to me—my dog was one of those animals. Kodah, aka "Bug," was technically
"taken into custody and euthanized within 24 hours." It was more like
euthanized in minutes. That's because she was dying.
was diagnosed with cancer on a Friday and went downhill quickly. By 1 a.m. the
next night, she was suffering, struggling to breathe. I called PETA, and without
a moment's hesitation, someone met me at the building in the wee hours of the
morning. The PETA staffers who are certified to perform euthanasia are the most
caring, compassionate, gentle people I know. My sweet girl deserved the most
peaceful and painless end possible. She found it at PETA.
Almost a year after Kodah's
passing, a PETA worker found a dog running loose on the streets. She was a
starving, terrified stray who had to be lured with food morsels over the course
of several hours. I fostered Emma for several months, getting the word out by
putting up fliers, posting her picture on social media, and blogging about her and
her need for a good home. No takers. Luckily for her (and me), I was in a
position to adopt her. What would have happened to Emma had PETA not rescued
euthanasia numbers are decried by "no-kill" fanatics and others in
order to upset people. But behind those numbers, there are animals who need
help, and they wouldn't get it elsewhere. No one seems to talk about the much
higher numbers of animals helped by PETA's spay-and-neuter program—PETA has sterilized more than 90,000 animals for free or at a fraction of a standard vet's office fee since 2001, preventing
millions of animals from being born into a world already overflowing with
homeless ones. But those numbers aren't as "sexy." "PETA Saves Countless Dogs and
Cats From Abandonment, Abuse, and Neglect" just doesn't have quite the
same shock value.
PETA's mobile spay-and-neuter
clinics can't get to all the animals in need, and there just aren't enough good homes out
there for the millions of animals who need them. The shelters are full, and people
keep buying from breeders or giving up
their animals when their lives change.
you're angry about euthanasia, volunteer at an animal shelter or donate to PETA's spay-and-neuter
efforts—go out and do something. No one should point
fingers and complain because everyone is
needed to do something good, to take action and make a difference.
Written by Kristen Stine
In my first year working at a grossly substandard animal shelter in Maryland, I forced myself to go in early to euthanize dogs by holding them in my arms and gently helping them escape an uncaring world without trauma or pain and to spare them from being stabbed haphazardly—while they were fully conscious, terrified and aware—in the general vicinity of their hearts with needles blunt from reuse and left to thrash on the floor until they finally died by the callous people who would arrive later to do the job.
I always wonder how anyone cannot recognize that there is a world of difference between painlessly euthanizing animals out of compassion—aged, injured, sick, and dying animals whose guardians can't afford euthanasia, for instance—as PETA does, and causing them to suffer terror, pain, and a prolonged death while struggling to survive on the streets, at the hands of untrained and uncaring "technicians," or animal abusers.
It's easy to point the finger at those who are forced to do the "dirty work" caused by a throwaway society's casual acquisition and breeding of dogs and cats who end up homeless and unwanted, but at PETA, we will never turn our backs on neglected, unloved, and homeless animals—even if the best we can offer them is a painless release from a world that doesn't have enough heart or homes with room for them. It makes it easy for people to throw stones at us, but we are against all needless killing: for hamburgers, fur collars, dissection, sport hunting, the works. PETA handled far more animals than 2,069 in 2012. In fact, we took in more than 10,000 dogs and cats and work very hard to persuade people to spay and neuter their animals and to commit to a lifetime of care and respect for them. We go so far as to transport animals to and from our spay/neuter clinics, where they are spayed or neutered and given vet care, often for free! Since 2001, PETA's low- to no-cost spay-and-neuter mobile clinics, SNIP and ABC, have sterilized more than 50,000 animals, preventing hundreds of thousands of animals from being born, neglected, abandoned, abused, or euthanized when no one wanted them. And on a national level, PETA is focusing on the root of the problem through our Animal Birth Control (ABC) campaign.
If anyone has a good home, love, and respect to offer, we beg them: Go to a shelter and take one or two animals home. The problem is that few people do that, choosing instead to go to a breeder or a pet shop and not "fixing" their dogs and cats, which contributes to the high euthanasia rate that animal shelters face. Most of the animals we took in and euthanized could hardly be called "pets," as they had spent their lives chained up in the back yard, for instance. They were unsocialized, never having been inside a building of any kind or known a pat on the head. Others were indeed someone's, but they were aged, sick, injured, dying, too aggressive to place, and the like, and PETA offered them a painless release from suffering, with no charge to their owners or custodians.
Every day, PETA's fieldworkers help abused and neglected dogs—many of them pit bulls nowadays and many of them forced to live their lives on chains heavy enough to tow an 18-wheeler—by providing them with food; clean water; lightweight tie-outs; deworming medicine; flea, tick, and fly-strike prevention; free veterinary care; sturdy wooden doghouses stuffed with straw bedding; and love.
What we see is enough to make you lose faith in humanity. One pit bull we gained custody of, named Asia, looked like a skeleton covered with skin when PETA released her from the 15-pound chain she had been kept on for years. Asia suffered from three painful and deadly intestinal obstructions, which prevented her from keeping any food down. She faced an agonizing, lingering death, so our veterinarian recommended euthanasia to end her suffering. We pursued criminal charges against those responsible for her condition, leading to their conviction for cruelty to animals. That is just one of the dozens of cases we see every week.
The majority of adoptable dogs are never brought through our doors (we refer them to local adoption groups and walk-in animal shelters). Most of the animals we house, rescue, find homes for, or put out of their misery come from miserable conditions, which often lead to successful prosecution and the banning of animal abusers from ever owning or abusing animals again.
As long as animals are still purposely bred and people aren't spaying and neutering their companions, open-admission animal shelters and organizations like PETA must do society's dirty work. Euthanasia is not a solution to overpopulation but rather a tragic necessity given the present crisis. PETA is proud to be a "shelter of last resort," where animals who have no place to go or who are unwanted or suffering are welcomed with love and open arms.
Please, if you care about animals, help prevent more of them from being born only to end up chained and left to waste away in people's back yards, suffering on mean streets where people kick at them or shoo them away like garbage, tortured at the hands of animal abusers, or, alas, euthanized in animal shelters for lack of a good home. If you want to save lives, always have your animals spayed or neutered.
See more about how PETA saves animals.
Written by Ingrid E. Newkirk
Written by Michelle Kretzer
For 34 years, Sally and her guardian
were together nearly every day. The loving man doted on his horse, keeping her
well cared for and giving her the run of his property.
But Sally's age was catching up with
her. Her once-sparkling brown eyes had completely lost their sight, she was
losing weight, and her movements were becoming more and more laborious. Even
though Sally could no longer see the man she loved, she could still hear his
voice, and she came to him whenever he called. It was a daily struggle for the
man to watch Sally deteriorate. He feared that she would get worse before her
aging body finally quit, but he was also scared to call her veterinarian and end her suffering.
When PETA received a concerned call
about the horse from someone who had gone past the property, we called to speak
to Sally's guardian. The gentleman was practically in tears over his beloved
horse. He knew that the coming winter would make life even harder for Sally, but
he agonized every day over the decision to end her suffering.
PETA's caseworker knew that the man
needed help letting Sally go. She explained what he already knew—that Sally was
no longer comfortable in her body, that her quality of life was significantly
diminished, and that he was going to have to be strong for her now.
It seemed to be what the man needed to
hear. He gathered his strength, called his veterinarian, and lovingly said
goodbye to his precious Sally. PETA called to check on him, reassure him, and
comfort him during his loss.
goodbye to our animal family members is heartbreaking, for sure. But when the end comes, we have to love them enough
to endure the pain so that they don't have to.
Written by Jeff Mackey
Floyd was purchased from a California breeder, and like so many of the purebreds sold as mere "inventory" by puppy mills and other animal peddlers, the bulldog puppy's health suffered because the breeder focused on the bottom
line rather than proper care.
So Young, So Much Suffering
By mating related dogs, breeders
are essentially inbreeders, leading
to a host of hereditary defects —it's estimated
that one in four purebred dogs suffers from serious congenital health
problems. After two veterinarians diagnosed Floyd with congenital kidney disease,
his guardian urged the breeder to stop breeding the puppy's parents and notify
the other people who had bought puppies from the same litter. The breeder
callously dismissed her concerns, so she contacted officials with the American Kennel Club, but they merely suggested that she give the breeder a bad review online.
By the time PETA learned of Floyd's condition, the puppy was
desperately ill, vomiting, lethargic, and barely able to eat or drink. Since he
suffered from other health problems as well, a veterinarian determined that
Floyd was a poor candidate for a transplant, the only treatment for his disease.
PETA's caseworker explained to Floyd's guardian that breeders frequently sell sick dogs and that the law often
protects breeders more than the animals and their guardians. Floyd's guardian made
the difficult but merciful decision to prevent Floyd from enduring further misery
by having him euthanized.
What You Can Do
There is no such thing as a responsible breeder. Aside from the health problems that purebred dogs have, each dog and cat bred
and sold by a breeder takes a home away from another animal waiting to be
adopted at an animal shelter. Please don't contribute to the animal overpopulation crisis by buying animals from pet shops or breeders—always adopt from a reputable animal
shelter or rescue.
a Houston woman found a skinny kitten covered with fleas, she began calling "no-kill" shelters
looking for somewhere to
take the animal, not knowing that these types of shelters are usually full and
offer no help. Frustrated and worried, she called PETA.
encouraged the caller to bring the kitten indoors right away and set up a
temporary home for the animal in the bathroom, where the tabby would be safe
and could be given much-needed food and water. The woman agreed. We found a
reputable open-admission shelter in the area that would be able to accept the
kitten when it opened the next day. The next morning, after just one phone
call, the kitten had a welcoming, comfortable place to stay and a chance for a
home. Once again, "no-kill" shelters had done nothing to help, while an
open-admission shelter had. Open-admission shelters can't place every animal,
but they don't turn their backs and leave kittens like this to suffer on the
streets or end up giving birth and compounding the homelessness crisis.
"no-kill" shelters sound heroic, but they are often anything but. In
reality, they are limited-admission
shelters, which turn away the
most vulnerable animals and often allow only the youngest, cutest animals
admission. And many such places force animals to live for years in a cage, even
when the animals are sick or losing their minds from such confinement.
one wants to have to perform euthanasia,
but some of the most caring people in the world have to be brave enough to
provide animals with a painless exit from an uncaring world—because no matter what the "no-kill"
hucksters and hoarders say, there are too many dogs and cats and too few homes,
and leaving them on the streets, selling them to laboratories, or just shunting
them along to other states, is not a solution to the animal-homelessness crisis.
needs to be placed where it belongs—at the hands of breeders, and people who refuse to spay
and neuter their animals. In the meantime, open-admission shelters will continue to take
in all of society's castoffs, not
just the young, healthy, and cute ones—and not just when it's convenient.
If you know anyone
who is thinking of buying instead of adopting or who still needs to make that
sterilization appointment for a dog or cat, please help us reduce euthanasia by
giving them the facts, not by supporting some "no-kill" fantasy
New York state man was shocked to see a tiny kitten drag himself into his yard
by his two front paws. The lower half of the kitten's body was smashed and limp,
so he had likely been struck
by a car and the driver had failed
to stop and check on him. There is no way to know how long the kitten had been
suffering, dragging his broken body.
man called local authorities, but they showed little interest in helping the
injured animal. Frustrated, he called PETA for help. We contacted local animal-control
officials, but because it was after hours, they told us they couldn't send an
officer out until the next day. We persisted, stressing how badly injured the
kitten was and how imperative it was that he get immediate help. Animal control
relented, and within an hour of the man's worried call, the kitten was
mercifully euthanized and freed from his agony.
one hour is all it takes to save an animal from immense suffering. It may
require persistence and patience, but you will prevail if you refuse to take "No"
for an answer. And if all else fails, call PETA.
PETA's Emergency Response Team received
an e-mail from a woman wondering what to do for her ailing cat, who had been
diagnosed with feline leukemia (FeLV) and was losing weight, acting lethargic, and not eating anymore (common
symptoms of this ravaging disease). We responded immediately and learned that
her young cat, Tigger, had been diagnosed two weeks prior when she took
him to the vet because of dramatic weight loss. Two different veterinarians had
recommended euthanasia as the most compassionate option for Tigger, but his
guardian was reluctant to take their advice.
In light of Tigger's diagnosis and
alarming condition, we gently counseled his guardian about the prolonged
suffering that FeLV causes, including further weight loss, fever,
gastrointestinal problems, difficulty breathing, and a compromised immune
system that could lead to secondary infections.
Tigger's guardian finally agreed that
merciful euthanasia was the kindest thing she could offer her beloved animal
companion, and she rushed him to a veterinarian that afternoon. The next day,
PETA received a phone call from Tigger's guardian to tell us that she was
relieved that he was finally free from his suffering. It had been hard to let
go, but once she convinced herself to do it, she realized that it was the
The once frisky, playful cat quickly deteriorated
If someone you know is struggling with the
deteriorating illness of an animal, please urge them to consult a veterinarian
to ensure that the animal doesn't languish. If you've recently lost an animal, setting up a True Friends
can be a special way to honor your animal companion's memory.
A PETA staffer walking to the Los
Angeles office one morning spotted an opossum sitting in the middle of the road, bleeding from her mouth. Several men were
jabbing her with sticks.
Look closely: Even when injuries
aren’t obvious, an animal may be suffering.
With the help of several coworkers, the
staffer cleared everyone from the area. Then she gathered up the opossum and
drove to the nearest animal shelter so that the injured animal could be assessed.
Shelter staff determined that the opossum was a mother carrying a pouch full of
babies and that her injuries were quite severe: Euthanasia was deemed the most merciful option for
both the mother and her babies. The staffer's speedy response saved this opossum family from being hit by
another car, being further tormented by cruel people, or suffering and slowly
dying from their injuries or from heatstroke, dehydration, or starvation.
If you spot an injured animal on the road, please don't leave
the animal to suffer. If you can safely collect the animal, transport him or
her to the nearest animal shelter or vet's office for assessment and/or euthanasia.
If you don't think that you can contain the animal, call the police or animal
control, stress the urgency of the situation, and stay with the animal until
help arrives. If all local options fail, please call PETA.
the cat and his guardian had spent 20 happy years together. Of course, the time finally came when, because of Max's advanced age, his
health deteriorated. This always-friendly cat was losing weight fast, crying out
often, and suffering from dementia. He even began biting people out of
confusion or pain or both. Max's guardian had waited too long to end his
suffering, and he knew it. He called PETA.
wanting Max to suffer another minute more, we quickly arranged for euthanasia
at a local vet's office. Although saying "Goodbye" to his constant
companion of two decades was agonizing for him, Max's guardian knew that he
owed it to this beloved cat to do the right thing, no matter how difficult it
was. This was not a time to be thinking about himself. Max was all that
folks let their animal companions go on too long because they feel guilty about
euthanasia or are afraid of letting go. But we must be strong and always make
the best decisions for them. Isn't that the very least that they deserve?
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.