Thank you for contacting PETA about the North Carolina situation. That means you care, and we wish everyone did.
Please forgive this form response. We are getting hundreds of e-mail messages, calls, and letters every day about all sorts of issues, which means that it is impossible to reply to each one personally. We do want to underscore the fact that despite this form response, we take your concerns very seriously, and all comments we receive regarding this situation are being reviewed by our senior staff as well as staff involved in our Domestic Animals Department.
The report from North Carolina regarding the dumping of animal bodies in a dumpster by a PETA staff member is deeply upsetting. It is against PETA’s 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. She is no longer working with us, and we have launched our own investigation of the circumstances surrounding this case.
It is PETA’s policy that no one on our staff is ever to give anyone the impression that animals we accept are being taken for placement, and we do not believe that anyone involved in this case was misled. It is also our policy 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. In other words, we accept the majority of these animals to provide them with a peaceful death through euthanasia, usually by request.
Like you, we wish that there were other acceptable 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, and “open-admission” shelters, which never turn their backs on any animal—unlike so-called “no-kill” shelters, which turn many animals away—are already unable to cope with the overpopulation of animals. There simply are not enough homes for them.
Using Virginia shelters also means that there would be fewer homes for animals already in Virginia adoption facilities.
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 information—something 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 country—35 animals killed annually for every 1,000 residents. Most do not die a humane death. When we step in to humanely euthanize animals—at no cost to the participating shelters—as we did in this instance, our involvement prevents animals from being shot to death with a .22 caliber firearm, gassed to death in an rusty metal box, or injected with a paralytic that causes slow suffocation without loss of consciousness. It prevents their 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 “shelter of last resort,” 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 about some of the many improvements we’ve been able to make, please visit 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.
PETA does not run an adoption facility—we refer most adoptable animals to known shelters with high public traffic—but 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 this is written.
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 doesn’t 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 “undesirable” 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 problem—trying to stop future unwanteds from being born—is 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. This information, however, rarely gets 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 worming. In the last year, we have sterilized more than 7,600 dogs and cats, including feral animals—many free of charge and all others at well below our own costs. To date, we have sterilized more than 28,000 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, and—although we understand that it is upsetting to learn about it—euthanasia is necessary in this imperfect world, and we hope you understand that it is heart-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 site http://www.HelpingAnimals.com may also be useful for additional information. Thank you for caring enough to ask about this.
The PETA Staff
......for passing on this information, Roy C.
I'm not a big poster, but I do read this forum daily, but I just had to thank you in writing for posting the information regarding North Carolina.
Yes, it is an imperfect world...and euthanasia is a sad, sad avenue, but I fully respect PETA for their stance and efforts to allow the "last resort" cases a chance to leave this world with dignity.
I've held many of my own canine and feline friends during the euthanasia process over the years and it is the most heartbreaking task in the world...I can't even imagine the intestinal fortitude required to do it on a fulltime basis. In my own home, we are blessed to have living with us many dogs and cats who came to us as strays and "throwaways." Over the last 22 years, out own open door policy has led us to know (and love) some incredibly beautiful non-human animals.
I continue to keep candles lit for the spirits of the unwanted and suffering animals, those who have died needlessly, those who have died alone or in pain, and those who have died in the arms of humans who loved them...and one lit for the humans who do their very best, even when it may not seem like enough.
I have been watching animal shelter struggle to find homes for 35 years. I agree that the best use of money is to spay and neuter.
I do not agree that the dedicated animal workers, volunteers and groups like PETA are the ones to shoulder this burden on their own.
Why not by-laws that make it mandatory for all "pets" to be spayed or neutered?
Fines for irresponsible breeders that allow their unfixed pets to breed? That includes breeders that produce litters of inferior puppies with chronic breed health problems. This would help offset the cost of caring for these animals when they eventually end up in shelters!
Make it law that breeders are "guardians" of every animal they produce so if the home they sell to is not permanent they once again become responsible for that animal. (I do realize that many reputable breeders do this).
What about getting vets to lower the costs of spaying and nuetering? Either they truly want to help or all they care about is money.
Pushing for the overpopulation message to be discussed in schools?
Anyone? Any more ideas??
I know this sounds hard line but I want to stop this never ending tide of unwanted animals. In my life I have adopted and given a permanent home to 67 dogs over 35 years. And it still feels so hopeless because there are so many more that I cannot do anything for.
Doesn't anyone feel like it's time to get tought to stop all this waste and suffering of wonderful potential pets?
Why not push for laws and by-laws to make people responsible. We have laws for much less critical issues that do not even involve lives.
I agree with you! Some people want to put the blame on Peta and other groups. But it should be us, the people who get the animals, that should really be held accountable!
There should be laws if we can not be responsible ourselves!
Responding to the problem of overpopulation and too many animals in the shelters, I agree with trying to create laws requiring breeders to be more responsible and for spaying and nuetering pets. Does anyone know if there are any lobbiests trying to pass such laws? If PETA has a lobbiest as I am sure they must, is this person pushing for this kind of law?
Contact Amanda. Here is her email
Nikki, yes I am in the U.S.
Does anyone have any suggestions on this. WRANPS which is an organization (or was before Hurricane Katrina) that helped animals. They have for some reason not reorganized. I just found out today (among other things) that somewhere in the Gulf Coast area there are bulldozers they are plowing over endangered Gopher Turtles!!! CAN PETA HELP? If not, does anyone have suggestions? There are 4 baby coons and no volunteers to help them and no bird volunteers either. I am very distressed about all of this. Thank you! I can try and find out other details when needed.
Vicky, did you contact PETA? (firstname.lastname@example.org)
In response to CCF's latest spin (their press release on PETA's euthanasia rate), I thought I'd post the official reply from PETA here:
OFFICIAL RESPONSE FROM PETA:
Unlike "no-kill" shelters, PETA does not refuse animals simply because euthanasia is the only humane option for them. Many of the animals we take in are brought to us because they have been rejected by other facilities. PETA receives calls every week from people who request that we euthanize their animals because they cannot afford to have them euthanized by a vet or because the animals would suffer excessive stress and pain if transported. PETA will not turn its back on these animals simply because they might make our "numbers" look bad.
It really is much deeper than semantics. We don't have a "facility", we have an animal emergency team. We're just not a shelter and we deal with tougher issues and worse conditions than shelters do.
Monday, September 15, 2008 10:48 PM
Contact Centre <Contact.Center@Lowes.com> Subject:
Thank you for your comments regarding glue traps.
As you know, rodent control is an important concern for homeowners and business owners, and we have a responsibility to provide the products our customers need.
We have listened to our customers and conducted extensive customer research over the past several months regarding glue traps. We found that for many customers, glue traps are the preferred rodent control product. We have also listened to PETAs concerns, and as a result have changed our merchandise offering to cut in half the number of glue traps we offer, and only carry the products that contain Eugenol, which is an anaesthetic.
Because not every product is right for every situation, Lowes carries more than 20 different rodent control products so customers may choose the ones that best suit their needs.
Lowes Customer Care
Wednesday, September 17, 2008 7:26 AM
Tell Lowe's to Be Nice to Mice
Thank you for participating in the action alert that targets Lowe's for its sale of cruel glue traps
[Please contact Lowe's at 1-800-445-6937 and let them know that Eugenol does nothing to ease the suffering of animals caught in glue traps. Also ask that they stop selling all glue traps immediately.
Thank you for everything that you do for animals.
Special Assistant to the Vice President
Cruelty Investigations Division
People for the Ethical Treatment of AnimalsRE: Stop Selling Glue Traps http://getactive.peta.org/ct/o1chWI11a4je/]. I'm sure that you received Lowe's automated response, which stated, "We...have changed our merchandise offering to cut in half the number of glue traps we offer, and only carry the products that contain Eugenol, which is an anaesthetic." Unfortunately, Eugenol can only act as an anaesthetic when injected directly into an animal's bloodstream or given through a tube into the stomach. Topical application - which is how animals caught in glue traps would come into contact with Eugenol - would not result in any pain relief whatsoever. In fact, it could cause the animals to experience an additional painful burning sensation, vomiting, difficulty breathing, and seizures. These "modified" glue traps are every bit as cruel as standard glue traps.
We need a new gift giving option for our Butterfly Points. There should be a section where we can donate points to go towards building more spacious, eco-friendly, fully-stocked, and fully-staffed animal shelters and sanctuaries.