Does PETA kill animals? Animal rights group labeled 'slaughterhouse' after stuffed human Thanksgiving message
In 2019, PETA euthanized 1,614 dogs, cats and other companion animals of the 2,482 animals that were in their custody, making it a roughly 65 percent kill rate
Animal rights group People's Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is not new to controversy. The private group allegedly resorts to extreme measures, often counteractive to the message it wants to convey that animals should not be subjected to violence. It is perhaps why the organization comes under more scrutiny than other animal rights groups and why its Thanksgiving Day message has people calling out its apparent hypocrisy.
PETA tweeted, "Think about trading places with a turkey this #Thanksgiving," with an image showing a naked "stuffed" human positioned like a turkey, with the message, "Imagine if you were the one being stuffed for Thanksgiving dinner." Unfortunately, PETA's intended message is being overtaken by how inappropriate their statement sounds and how PETA killed more than 60 percent of the animals in its shelters in 2019.
With PETA now trending, many have taken to social media to point out how PETA does, in fact, kill animals. A user tweeted, "When I was followed by the PETA manager of communications on Twitter, I asked her why PETA's kill rate is more than DOUBLE the national average. And then she denied she was their manager of communications. To anyone who donates to PETA, stop it. They are a slaughterhouse."
Another responded to PETA's Thanksgiving message, "PETA are the worst animal advocates. they make people so angry with their dumb ads, it makes people want to eat meat JUST to spite them. do something about the millions of rescued animals you kill even though people donate to you to look after them & let ppl enjoy thanksgiving."
When I was followed by the PETA manager of communications on Twitter, I asked her why PETA's kill rate is more than DOUBLE the national average. And then she denied she was their manager of communications.— Steve Hofstetter (@SteveHofstetter) November 27, 2020
To anyone who donates to PETA, stop it. They are a slaughterhouse. pic.twitter.com/3rfSvP0vGl
PETA are the worst animal advocates. they make people so angry with their dumb ads, it makes people want to eat meat JUST to spite them. do something about the millions of rescued animals you kill even though people donate to you to look after them & let ppl enjoy thanksgiving— kara thrace understudy (@wonderlandswoo) November 27, 2020
Does PETA actually kill its rescues?
The truth behind the situation is quite complicated. According to Virginia’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services's statistics of animal shelter records for 2019, PETA euthanized 1,614 dogs, cats and other companion animals of the 2,482 animals that were in PETA's custody, making it a roughly 65 percent kill rate. Only 53 animals in PETA's custody were adopted while 808 animals were sent to other facilities.
In comparison, private animal shelters had a euthanization rate of just 5.2 percent, with an adoption rate of 74.2 percent. According to the front group, PETA Kills Animals, using Virginia's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services reports between the years 1998 and 2019, PETA has allegedly killed 41,539 animals -- a euthanization rate of 83.5 percent and an adoption rate of just seven percent.
In response to the outrage against PETA, the organization published a post in August 2020 detailing why they euthanize animals. Katherine Sullivan wrote for PETA, "[...] we offer free euthanasia services to prevent avoidable suffering for these oft-neglected animals." The post also stated, "PETA’s shelter, like many other open-admission shelters across the country, offers community services that include free euthanasia to spare animals pain and allow their guardians -- regardless of means -- to ensure their comfort to the end."
In 2015, a former PETA employee told Huffington Post that PETA encouraged employees to falsify records. They said, "I was told regularly to not enter animals into the log or to euthanize off-site in order to prevent animals from even entering the building. I was told regularly to greatly overestimate the weight of animals whose euthanasia we recorded, in order to account for what would have otherwise been missing “blue juice” (the chemical used to euthanize); because that allowed us to euthanize animals off the books. I was told regularly to say whatever I had to say in order to get people to surrender animals to me: lying was not only acceptable, it was encouraged."
In 2014, PETA came under fire when two of its employees allegedly coaxed a pet dog from a private property when the family was not home and euthanized it. The dog's family sued PETA, and while the latter argued during pre-trial motions that the dog was worthless, PETA lost, thereafter leading PETA administrators to be forced to turn over records and testify under oath about their inner workings — particularly, their campaign of animal extermination.
PETA settled the case by paying the dog's family $49,000. However, as Snopes.com stated, PETA workers do not routinely lure pets away from families for the sole purpose of euthanizing the animals.