Press Release - PETA Killed 95 Percent of Adoptable Pets in its Care During 2008

Hypocritical Animal Rights Group’s 2008 Disclosures Bring Pet Death...

March 25, 2009

WASHINGTON DC – Today the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) published documents online showing that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) killed 95 percent of the adoptable pets in its care during 2008. Despite years of public outrage over its euthanasia program, the animal rights group kills an average of 5.8 pets every day at its Norfolk, VA headquarters.

According to public records from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, PETA killed 2,124 pets last year and placed only seven in adoptive homes. Since 1998, a total of 21,339 dogs and cats have died at the hands of PETA workers.

Despite having a $32 million budget, PETA does not operate an adoption shelter. PETA employees make no discernible effort to find homes for the thousands of pets they kill every year. Last year, the Center for Consumer Freedom petitioned Virginia’s State Veterinarian to reclassify PETA as a slaughterhouse.

CCF Research Director David Martosko said: “PETA hasn’t slowed down its hypocritical killing machine one bit, but it keeps browbeating the rest of society with a phony ‘animal rights’ message. What about the rights of the thousands of dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens that die in PETA’s headquarters building?”

Martosko added: “Since killing pets is A-OK with PETA, why should anyone listen to their demands about eating meat, using lab rats for medical research, or taking children to the circus?”

CCF obtained PETA’s “Animal Record” filings since 1998 from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Members of the public can see these documents at

In addition to exposing PETA’s hypocritical record of killing defenseless animals, the Center for Consumer Freedom has publicized the animal rights group’s ties to violent activists, and shed light on its aggressive message-marketing to children.

The Center for Consumer Freedom is a nonprofit coalition supported by restaurants, food companies, and consumers, working together to promote personal responsibility and protect consumer choices.

Though this is titled as a press release it reads more as a propaganda piece and I am skeptical of the information. I was unable to find the documents and when I called I was asked which site from the list of non-profits in the sidebar? The documents are HERE. Also a link to "PETA's Rebuttal" where PETA says they "refer" adoptable animals to other shelters and CCF cites "transferred" in the documents which is obviously two different things.

CCF is supported by restaurants and food companies. What is their interest in shelters? It's unfortunate that animals have to be euthanized but if they can't be placed then what else can they do?

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Replies to This Discussion

Mark, thanks for your reply.

Well, I'm not an expert on PETA, though I do reference their website quite a bit, as it has a lot of useful information. Back when they first started, I believe they did terrorize people quite a bit, e.g., throwing red paint on people who wore fur coats, etc. But to my knowledge, they no longer do that kind of stuff or have ever been guilty of breaking and entering. It has usually been ALF who had done most of that.

To be honest, I have mixed feelings about ALF. On the one hand, theft, violence, or vandalism is not the way to achieve change, just as suicide bombings in the Middle East are not the way to achieve change (though there is obviously a huge degree of differences between trashing a lab and killing 25 ppl in a cafe with a bomb). However, on the other hand, when you see the condition of some of the animals they have rescued, such as Britches, it is virtually impossible for me to find any sympathy for the scientists or facility which carried out such horrendous experiments.

Critical thinking is what keeps me humble and relatively non-judgmental in a lot of these issues. My vet told me about the animals they worked on, and then euthanized, when she was going to vet school. Those animals were sacrificed so that my dogs could get good care. Was there an alternative? I don't know. I'm not an expert on that.

Also, many people call carnivores murderers. Well, my great-grandmother used to go out to the chicken coop and wring a chickens neck to feed her family. She was not a murderer. She was feeding her family the best she knew how, and in a way her culture dictated was acceptable.

These are just facts.

I also take perscriptions that were more than likely tested on animals. I don't like the idea of animal testing, but what am I to do -- go untreated for my medical problems on principles? Some might suggest so, but that is not a decision I have been ready to make.

In light of these things I am willing to withhold judgment on some issues that I do not fully understand or can control. I don't withhold judgment on people who drown kittens or stick fire crackers up a dog's butt.

Your statement, "but we cannot agree to disagree about what is and is not acceptable behaviour towards another human being", is highly suggestive that you have a clear and acceptable undestanding of what is appropriate or just. Perhaps you do. But what of those who don't? What if the Islamic fundamentalist who feels completely justified in murdering a gay man said to you "we cannot agree to disagree about what is and is not acceptable behaviour towards another human being"? Would you agree with him? I'm inclined to think you would not. So it is hard to validate your statement as an absolute.

I also agree with Sydni below, Penn and Teller are entertainers, and IMO, not very good ones at that. I would not use them to prove any point one way or the other.
My earlier post was somewhat inflammatory, for that I apologise. I was just a teeeeeny bit drunk at the time.

I would say, to respond to you Dallas, that since we signed up to this Nexus as Atheists that we would therefore both be almost certainly in agreement on what is best for the Utilitarian Humanist ethic that pervades Atheists. Certainly there must be Egoist Atheists out there but then we would be having a much more vociferous argument. :) I certainly feel that the utilitarian approach is the correct one although of course one's evolutionary need to pass on one's genes can interfere. But I won't claim to know what is right in every situation. Still I think we can agree that those of us who think critically and have a utilitarian approach to life will most likely agree in most circumstances about the best resolution to a problem. In the edge cases lives lively debate. But under no possible circumstance would I wish to harm you for holding an opinion contrary to mine. I may plausibly wish to prove you a criminal in a court of law or hold you as insane... but I wouldn't hurt you for holding a view. I wouldn't harm your family for it. I wouldn't prevent you doing your work for my views. I would debate with you, I may even lobby politically should I feel strongly enough to outlaw your practice... I wouldn't blow you up.

On the subject of Penn and Telller... These guys do their research. None of us can possibly do the same amount of research individually that someone dedicated to research can do. Nor can we remotely get close to the research that an entire team of people can do. At some point we ALL put out hands up and have to say, Hey man I don't have time to research that as well as everything else but I will accept you, based on your track record, as being a source of pretty damned good evidence. We ALL do this. Be it Richard Dawkins, or Chrstopher Hitchens, or Sam Harris. Be it Isaac Newton or Richard Feynman, or Stephen Hawking. We all put up our hands and say I cannot do this depth or breadth of work and prove one way or another that you are wrong but your track record and the community you live in speak for you. These Guys speak at Atheist and Critical Thinking rallies all around the world and I am yet to find a flaw in any of the 'Bullshit' episodes. Do you think they would get to address seminars at JREF organised events if they weren't vetted at least a little bit? They may be a little dressed up for TV but they are as good a point as any to start your thought processes off. Just the same as a Dawkins/Harris/Hitchens book is a good place to start. Have you checked every fact in "God is not good"? Was Christopher really everywhere he claims to be in the first couple of chapters or do we trust his veracity based on general opinion?

I treat a member of PETA like a Christian or a Scientologist... the vast majority of them think they are doing the right thing but the people at the top preach a very very wrong agenda. In PETA's case it's an agenda of hatred and violence against scientists who use animals, where necessary, to advance science.
we signed up to this Nexus as Atheists that we would therefore both be almost certainly in agreement on what is best for the Utilitarian Humanist ethic that pervades Atheists
This is something that continues to confuse me about this group. I think that some of us have a humanist approach to things, but by no means all or even a majority in some circles. Often times I notice a very misanthropic attitude when it comes to animals, which well, considering some of the damning evidence, I can't quite blame anyone for. Yet at the same time by the act of being a thinking feeling person, having known so many caring people out there, I think that most people want to do good.

On the subject of Penn and Teller... These guys do their research. None of us can possibly do the same amount of research individually that someone dedicated to research can do. I can understand your point here, but at the same time I can see how by mentioning Pen and teller it could be dismissed. I'm a fan of Bullshit, I can agree with Penn and Teller on many issues...but at the same time I can see how someone that disagrees could easily dismiss whatever they have to say.

On the other hand I can see how their show can steer you towards the information you' like to look into. I think part of this crowd might be better persuaded if your were to give them at least one other source.

Reminds me of an interview with P.Z. Meyers where the religious host says:

"So than we should take your word for it?"

And P.Z says something along the lines of:

"No, you shouldn't take anyone's word for it, you should look into it yourself."

Anyways it's my turn to be posting drunk. Hope I made sense.
@Mark: I'm not sure that I know what Utilitarian Humanist ethics are by definition, though I may understand them without having a name for it. Also, I'm not sure that I agree with you that "I think we can agree that those of us who think critically and have a utilitarian approach to life will most likely agree in most circumstances about the best resolution to a problem", simply because one thing I've learned on AN is that atheists have very little in common except for their disbelief in a supernatural god(s), but even how they came to that conclusion varies greatly. There is just a lot of diversity on this site, and I'm not convinced that common ground could be found so easily.

RE: Penn & Teller. I know very little about their research and serious shows, except that they come across to me as very smug and condescending. While they may be absolutely right in their conclusions in some cases, their approach does not appeal to me. As for their comedy/magic stuff, I've just never been a huge fan. But then again, I don't like George Carlin either, and a lot of people think he is the greatest ever. He can't even make me crack a smile.

But you are right, at a certain point we must, in good faith (pardon the expression), accept the conclusions of others who know more than us in certain areas. I'm not a scientist, but I accept evolution as credible even though I don't know jack about science. We do this all the time, but often it is misplaced, as with religious leaders.

As far as PETA: Well yes, a lot of animal rights people are very dogmatic, much like religious people. But you cannot blame all the problems on them. A lot of scientists keep animal research going to promote an agenda. For example, the cigarette lobby keeps testing on animals even though we know smoking is dangerous. Their reason: As long as they can show they are studying the effects of smoking, they can keep up the illusion that said effects are still inconclusive and warrant more study. And that is just BS propaganda.




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