Don't be fooled by the slick propaganda of PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The organization may claim to champion the welfare of animals, as the many photos of cute puppies and kittens on its website suggest. But last week, two PETA employees were charged with 31 felony counts of animal cruelty each, after authorities found them dumping the dead bodies of 18 animals they had just picked up from a North Carolina animal shelter in a Dumpster. According to The Associated Press, 13 more dead animals were found in a van registered to PETA.
The arrest followed a rash of unwelcome discoveries of dead animals dumped in the area. According to veterinarian Patrick Proctor, the PETA people told North Carolina shelters they would try to find the dogs and cats homes. He handed over two adoptable kittens and their mother, only to learn later that they had died, without a chance to find a home, in the PETA van.
"This is ethical?" Proctor railed over the phone. "I don't really think so."
This is not the first report that PETA killed animals it claimed to protect. In 1991, PETA killed 18 rabbits and 14 roosters it had previously "rescued" from a research facility. "We just don't have the money to care for them," then PETA-Chairman Alex Pacheco told The Washington Times. The PETA shelter had run out of room.
The Center for Consumer Freedom, which represents the food industry, a frequent target of PETA campaigns, released data filed by PETA with the state of Virginia that shows PETA has killed more than 10,000 animals from 1998 to 2003.
"In 2003, PETA euthanized over 85 percent of the animals it took in," said a press release from the lobby, "finding adoptive homes for just 14 percent. By comparison, the Norfolk (Va.) SPCA found adoptive homes for 73 percent of its animals and Virginia Beach SPCA adopted out 66 percent."
The center's David Martosko considered PETA's hefty budget -- reportedly, $20 million -- and many contributions from well-heeled Hollywood celebrities, then figured, "PETA has enough money in the bank to care for every unwanted animal in Virginia (where it has its headquarters) and North Carolina."
Except PETA apparently prefers to spend donations not caring for flesh-and-blood animals entrusted to it, but on campaigns attacking medical researchers, meat eaters or women wearing furs. It is as if PETA prefers the idea of animals to animals themselves.