Does PETA kill thousands of animals annually and if so, why?

I support both PETA and Nathan Winograd. But these two entities are at each other’s throats. Winograd hates PETA. He says that they kill too many animals. He almost implies that they glorify the killing of animals and delight in the process. He has referred to PETA’s kill room which is tucked away between some buildings in Norfolk, Virginia, USA. It is the place where their headquarters are located. They have their Community Animal Project there, as I understand it. Winograd states that the objective of the programme is to get as many animals as possible and kill them; an horrendous concept on the face of it.

PETA's killing room

PETA’s killing room. Photo: Nathan Winograd’s website.

Winograd quotes a former PETA field worker, Heather Harper-Troje, who spills the beans on PETA’s killing spree. She says nothing should stop the objective to “get as many animals as possible and the vast majority of his animals were killed”.

So according to Winograd, PETA set out to kill unwanted animals. Winograd, by the way, is the self-proclaimed “voice of America’s displaced pets and the conscience of the animal sheltering industry.”

He is an amazing man in preserving the lives of rescue animals; the nation’s unwanted animals. I think he is the man who devised the no-kill policy at shelters. He basically found ways to save lives rather than taking the easy route and killing shelter animals (euphemistically called euthanasia).

Useful links
Anxiety - reduce it
FULL Maine Coon guide - lots of pages
Children and cats - important

PETA objects to the term “no-kill”. They say it is misleading. They regard no-kill animal shelters as “selective-admission shelters”. In other words, shelters that accept cats and dogs that don’t need to be killed because they are adoptable.

Conversely, PETA said that they operate a “shelter of last resort”. They take in any animal, many of which are suffering. The best way to deal with these animals is to humanely euthanise them. For that reason, a lot of animals taken into the care of PETA are euthanised.

Newsweek did a ‘fact check’ article about PETA’s responsibility for killing thousands of animals. They provide some data on the topic. They mention that there is a lot of Twitter noise about PETA’s killing of animals. A website called Uber Facts tweeted that “PETA euthanize about 72% of animals they take in.”

A response to that by a commenter stated that “remember any time peta does anything that they have directly caused the death of 40,000 animals since 1998.”

Another Twitter user wrote that in 2019 PETA killed 65.2% of the animals they received. And since 1998 they’ve been responsible for the deaths of 41,539 animals.

Virginia’s state government reports that the euthanasia rates at PETA’s shelter is much higher than for other shelters in the state. For example, in 2019, 2,421 dogs and cats were received at their Norfolk shelter with 1,578 being euthanised. That information comes from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

PETA has to submit their yearly report to this organisation. John Simpson, a lawyer, has analysed their kill rate data and states that in 2019 PETA euthanised 57% of their dogs are and 72% of their cats.

Another organisation against PETA and their high kill rate,, obtained kill rate data by filing public records requests and state that of the 49,737 dogs and cats received by PETA between 1998 and 2019, 41,539 were killed.

There have also been criticisms about the apparent eagerness of PETA to kill animals. PETA were involved in a controversial decision to euthanise a nine-year-old Chihuahua dog named Maya which I recall was seized from the front of a house. PETA admitted a mistake and agreed to pay the family of the girl who owned the dog, $49,000, according to Associated Press.

That’s a negative story about PETA but as they say one swallow does not make a summer. It is incontrovertible that PETA kills more animals than the average shelter but their clear defence is that they don’t cherry pick animals for their shelter. They take in any animal. They have an open-door policy. They take in animals that nobody else will accept. As a consequence, they have a higher-than-normal kill rate. And they consider euthanasia to be humane under the circumstances.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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1 Response

  1. Jesse Laird says:

    I picked up a dead dog on the street near my house. It was much to the annoyance of those who had to drive around me. I was just going to put him on the side of the road but I decided to take him home and call animal services. Apparently my community will not fund this department on weekends. I put some ice on him and if they won’t get him soon I guess I will bury him in the backyard. I am an advocate of kill shelters. This poor dog was in rough shape even before a car struck him. Death in a shelter would have been far more humane than the way this dog died.

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