- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The number of animals killed at a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) facility in Virginia increased 30 percent in 2014, according to a new report by the Center for Consumer Freedom.

The animal rights group that touts responsible pet adoption and veganism euthanized a total of 2,324 dogs and cats at their facility in Norfolk last year, representing 88 percent of all pets PETA rescued, the CCF said.

“This delusional animal rights group is talking out of both sides of its mouth — on one side preaching animal rights, while on the other signing a death warrant for 88 percent of cats and dogs in its care,” Will Coggin, director of research at CCF, said in a statement. “PETA should be called a slaughterhouse, not an animal shelter.”

The report said 33,514 animals have died since 1998 at the hands of PETA. The kill numbers come from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), which requires annual disclosures. A 2010 inspection conducted by a VDACS revealed that 84 percent of the animals PETA took in were killed within 24 hours, the CCF said. Only 1.5 percent of dogs and cats reportedly found a permanent home outside of the shelter.

“PETA’s so-called ‘shelter’ might as well be called a slaughterhouse,” Mr. Coggin added. “For an organization that once disgustingly compared the treatment of farm animals to the Holocaust, you’d think PETA would avoid the appearance of systematic killing. It’s time Virginia stopped the madness and shuttered PETA’s shelter of horrors for good.”

In response to a request for comment, PETA directed The Washington Times to a January video on their YouTube channel that champions their veterinary services and condemns some no-kill shelters that reject “unadoptable” animals in order to “keep their euthanasia statistics appealing.”

“I work with animals because I love them and want to help the wants who need help the most,” PETA’s Amanda Kyle says in the video. “It breaks my heart, but I know that euthanasia is a necessary part of alleviating suffering and dealing with the horrors created by irresponsible and careless people.”

In March of 2013, PETA president Ingrid Newkirk wrote an article that said, “It’s easy to point the finger at those who are forced to do the ‘dirty work’ caused by a throwaway society’s casual acquisition and breeding of dogs and cats who end up homeless and unwanted, but at PETA, we will never turn our backs on neglected, unloved, and homeless animals — even if the best we can offer them is a painless release from a world that doesn’t have enough heart or homes with room for them.

“Euthanasia is not a solution to overpopulation but rather a tragic necessity given the present crisis. PETA is proud to be a ‘shelter of last resort,’ where animals who have no place to go or who are unwanted or suffering are welcomed with love and open arms,” she said.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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