PETA euthanizes more animals than it helps

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is full of contradictions. They represent a fight against animal abuse, while actively harming animals. PETA has a shelter in Virginia that euthanizes more animals than it helps.

PETA owns and operates an open admission shelter in Virginia. According to PETA’s own website, it is a “shelter of last resort.” However, other shelters should be considered for animals that need care. “When impoverished families can’t afford to pay a veterinarian to provide incurable, untreatable, elderly, or sick animals with an end to their suffering, PETA will help,” said a PETA blog post from 2020. It’s great that they offer free treatments for pets whose families cannot afford it, however that’s all PETA has in terms of a good reputation.

In 2012, an article published by The Atlantic claimed that PETA “kills 84 percent of supposedly ‘unadoptable’ animals.” By unadoptable, they mean that the animal has a condition that requires extra responsibility. PETA doesn’t turn away any animal, even if it would be killed. The state of Virginia requires that shelters report the numbers of animals that they help. According to PETA’s 2011 VDACS form, 91% of dogs and 98% of the cats that they received were euthanized. At shelters all around the world, animals that are suffering have peaceful and painful deaths. If PETA’s shelter was similar to other shelters, less people would dislike them. However, it is impossible that so many animals that arrive at PETA would require euthanization.

PETA’s shelter, even 11 years later, still has the same track record. In 2022, PETA killed 65% of the dogs and 78% of the cats they received. While that is an improvement, euthanized animals are still the majority. PETA’s founder, Ingrid Newkirk once said to the Virginian Pilot that “We are not in the home finding business, although it is certainly true that we do find homes from time to time: Our service is to provide a peaceful and painless death to animals no one wants.” It is clear that PETA cares more about a reputation based upon animal wellbeing, than actually providing the wellbeing that animals need.

PETA receives tens of millions of dollars a year for their work, and more money should be allocated to their shelter. In 2011 alone, they had $30 million of revenue, and had $72 million in 2021. It is impossible for me to believe that they are unable to allocate more resources to improve their shelter. If they are to remain a shelter that turns no animal away, they need to make their shelter bigger, and work harder to find houses for them. There is always a home for animals that need one, and if PETA says that an animal is ‘unadoptable’, that just means that they aren’t working hard enough to help.