Speaking For Animals & Their Environment
From: "Anna West" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2005 14:29:48 -0400
To: "AnimalVoices" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Subject: RE: Better dead than fed, PETA says
Thank you for contacting PETA regarding the biased and misleading article by Debra Saunders. PETA contacted Mrs. Saunders before she wrote it and gave details about our efforts in North Carolina in hopes that she would present a fair article despite her negative feelings about the animal rights movement (and PETA) which she has made abundantly clear in the past using, it seems, every opportunity to make disparaging remarks about our organization¹s mission. Saunders ignored the information we sent her.
Not to be outdone by his wife, Saunder¹s husband also has published nearly a dozen anti-animal rights opinion pieces, and is employed by the Discovery Institute which admires, among other of PETA¹s opponents, animal experimenters.
The Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF)the group Saunders references in her pieceis a scurrilous front group for Philip Morris, KFC, cattle ranchers, and other animal exploiters who kill millions of animals every year, not out of pity, but out of greed. These companies are concerned about the strides that PETA is making that are changing their industries and compelling them to take animal welfare concerns seriously. To learn more about CCFwhich USA Today recently opined should rename itself FatforProfit.complease see the following Web sites:
- http://www.ConsumerDeception.com <http://www.consumerdeception.com/>
- http://www.Prospect.org/web/page.ww?section=root&name=ViewWeb&articleId=8984 <http://www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?section=root&name=ViewWeb&articleId=8984>
The report from North Carolina regarding the dumping of animal bodies in a Dumpster by a PETA staff member is deeply upsetting and just plain wrong. It is against PETA¹s policy to put the bodies of euthanized animals in Dumpsters, as you might imagine, and we are appalled that a member of our staff apparently did that. Despite the fact that we know this woman to be a caring soul and someone who has done much selfless work to help animals, there is no excuse for what happened. As an initial result, she has been suspended. We have launched our own investigation of the circumstances surrounding this case.
Because there has also been a great deal of misinformation in the news about this case and its circumstances, we want to provide you with some additional background informationsomething the media has not done.
We started working in North Carolina in 2000, after PETA was contacted by a police officer who was distressed by conditions in a county pound. North Carolina has the second-highest rate per capita of euthanasia in the country35 animals killed annually for every 1,000 residents. Most do not die a humane death. When we step in to humanely euthanize animalsat no cost to the participating sheltersas we did in this instance, our involvement prevents animals from being shot to death with a .22 caliber pistol, being gassed to death in an old, rusty metal box, injected with a paralytic that causes slow suffocation without loss of consciousness, suffering for weeks on end from disease and illness, or worse. In some of those places, dogs had drowned in floods and frozen to death in winter.
We are a ³shelter of last resort,² offering a humane death to animals who would otherwise suffer a slow and painful end.
To learn more about the conditions that led to our involvement in these North Carolina counties, and some of the many improvements we¹ve been able to make, please visit http://www.HelpingAnimals..com/f-nc.asp <http://www.helpinganimals.com/f-nc.asp> .
Sadly, the shelters we work with in North Carolina also have no adoption programs or hours set aside for adoption. In fact, most of them have no staff on site. PETA has begged for years, through formal proposals and numerous meetings, for officials to allow us to implement an adoption program as part of a larger picture of shelter improvements that would also include a spay/neuter program, a humane education program, 24/7 emergency services, and rabies clinics.
It is important to add that PETA does not run an adoption facility ourselveswe refer most adoptable animals to known shelters open to public traffic, although we have managed to place 360 animals in excellent, lifelong homes in just the past year. There is, in fact, a North Carolina dog called Dovey in our office as I write this.
It is also PETA policy that no one on our staff is ever to give anyone the impression that animals we accept are being taken for placement. From what we have been able to determine in this situation, the shelters from which our staff picked up the dogs were fully aware of this fact, although it may be politic for them to deny that now, given the outcry. It is our policy as well that the vast majority of animals we accept are only those who are in terrible conditions or unadoptable for some reason, such as aggression or sickness in old age.
We wish that there were other options available. We cannot bring the majority of animals back to Virginia for placement. The same issues regarding adoptability of injured, sick, or old animals exist everywhere, including here, and ³all-admission² shelters (those which, unlike ³turn-away²so-called ³no-kill²shelters, never turn their backs on any animal) are, as in the rest of the country, already unable to cope with the overpopulation of unwanted animals and cannot find enough homes for all of them. Using Virginia shelters also means that there would be fewer homes for animals already in Virginia adoption facilities.
Some might argue that the solution to this crisis of overpopulation of so many unwanted animals is to open sanctuaries. But the sad reality is that the math doesn¹t add up. There is not enough money available to us or anyone to build enough sanctuaries or organize enough animal-adoption programs to keep up with the number of unwanted animals, particularly those animals deemed ³undesirable² because of their infirmities, age, or behavior. And putting all your resources into fostering and kenneling unwanted animals does nothing to stop the flow of more and more unwanteds. The source of the problemtrying to stop future unwanteds from being bornis where the money needs to go.
We believe that the spaying and neutering of animals, supported by appropriate local laws, is the single most effective tool in reducing the number of unwanted animals. For that reason, our humane education and outreach programs promote spaying and neutering. Our goal is to create a society where every dog and cat has a loving home. We have always advocated fixing the problems of overpopulation through practical methods, including encouraging people not to patronize pet shops or breeders. Those stories, however, rarely get coverage in the media.
As well as paying for sterilization of animals in North Carolina, we run a mobile spay/neuter clinic here in Virginia seven days a week. It focuses much of its work in disadvantaged neighborhoods, where we offer free and low-cost surgeries and other services such as flea/tick treatments and wormings. In the last year, we have sterilized more than 7,600 dogs and cats, including feral animalsmany free of charge and all others at well below our own costs. To date, we have sterilized nearly 25,000 in our clinic. Support for this program is much needed, as you can imagine.
PETA has always spoken openly about euthanasia, on our Web site and in our publications, andwhile we understand that it is upsetting to learn aboutit is necessary in this imperfect world, and we hope you understand that it is gut-wrenching for those of us at PETA and at shelters across the country who care deeply for animals to have to hold animals in our arms and take their lives because there is nowhere decent for them to go. Euthanasia will continue to be necessary until people prevent dogs and cats from bringing new litters into the world and as long as people hide their heads in the sand and leave the dirty work to others.
We hope this has shed some light on what happened, our policies, and our work. Our Web sites http://www.HelpingAnimals.com <http://www.helpinganimals.com/> , may also be useful for additional information. Thank you for caring enough to ask about this.
From: AnimalVoices [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: Sunday, June 26, 2005 6:26 PM
Cc: AnimalVoicesNews @ Google; AnimalVoices Groups; RMAD
Subject: Better dead than fed, PETA says
In Print, Sunday, 6-26-05 (Check Editorial Pages in YOUR area paper)
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Better dead than fed, PETA saysDebra Saunders <dsaunders @ sfchronicle.com>
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 Web site 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 into 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 animal 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."
PETA prefers to spend donations, apparently, 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.
Why does PETA kill animals that might otherwise find a home?
I repeatedly phoned PETA, but never reached an official who would answer my questions. PETA's Web site spun the story under the banner, "PETA helping animals in North Carolina" with an emphasis on its efforts to "solve the animal overpopulation in North Carolina." Here's more: "PETA has provided euthanasia services to various counties in that state to prevent animals from being shot with a .22 behind a shed or gassed in windowless metal boxes -- both practices that were carried out until PETA volunteered to provide painless death for the animals." Make that painless deaths for animals that could have found love.
Besides, PETA always has been about killing animals. A 2003 New Yorker profile included PETA top dog Ingrid Newkirk's story of how she became involved in animal rights after a shelter put down stray kittens she brought there. So she went to work for an animal shelter in the 1970s, where, she explained, "I would go to work early, before anyone got there, and I would just kill the animals myself. Because I couldn't stand to let them go through (other workers abusing the animals.) I must have killed a thousand of them, sometimes dozens every day."
That's right. PETA assails other parties for killing animals for food or research. Then it kills animals -- but for really important reasons, such as running out of room.
Martosko hopes animal lovers will learn that their donations will do more good at a local animal shelter than at PETA. "For years," he added, "we thought that PETA just cared for animals more than they cared for humans. But now it seems they don't care much for either."
No lie about not caring for people. In 2003, Newkirk hectored late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat because a terrorist blew up a donkey in an attempt to blow up people. Newkirk also told the New Yorker the world would be a better place without people. She explained why she had herself sterilized: "I am opposed to having children. Having a purebred human baby is like having a purebred dog; it's nothing but vanity, human vanity."
Now you know. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals doesn't really like people. PETA has no use for ethics. And PETA kills animals.
Note to readers: My husband, Wesley J. Smith, is a senior fellow on animal-rights issues at the Discovery Institute.E-mail: [EMAIL PROTECTED].
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©2005 San Francisco Chronicle
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