Thursday, June 11, 2009


I few days ago I was browsing the internets for things of interest when I came across someone in a string of blog comments on some animal welfare topic saying "well of course, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals kill 95% of the animals they take in". Now I'm not usually one to pay much attention to what people write in news/youtube/popular blog comments -- that way madness lies -- but this poster supplied a link to back this potentially slanderous statement up. The link was to a website called - a name which, I have to say, didn't exactly make me think "well, they sound like they'll have a fair and balanced view on the subject".

The stats seemed to be superfically sound but I didn't have anything to compare them to (what do I know about what an acceptable level of euthanasia is?) and the source they gave to back it up was A. a pdf file, and B. too long and complicated for me to bother sifting through. Not wanting to leave this unquestioned, however, I typed various permutations of "PETA 95 percent really" until I found this blog post. Like me, the writer was rather suspicious of any website with such an obviously heavy-duty agenda, but unlike me, the writer had rather more time to investigate. The result, interestingly (and I checked his figures against the VDACS reports) seems to be that yes, PeTA do indeed euthanize the vast majority of the animals they take in, far more than the state average. Additionally it would seem that they do some distinctly shaky reporting in order to make this statistic look lower than it is.

I'd be interested to know whether this is the result of policy or just a small-scale aberration, none of the PeTA shelters seem to be very big operations -- dwarfed by the ASPCA and Humane Society ones -- so it could be that they've just got a few injection-happy staff members. Either way, it's pretty alarming for an organization that claims to support animal rights, even one as morally dubious as PeTA.