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Euthanasia Statistics Dispute PETA Claims

06/23/2022

PETA, an animal rights advocacy organization constantly criticizes the animal livestock sector of agriculture over housing, treatment and processing of cattle, hogs and poultry. In an article by John M. Simpson of the law firm Duane Morris LLP, data was presented to show that the Norfolk, VA. shelter operated by PETA has an inordinately high euthanasia rate compared to other shelters in the state of Virginia. Ingrid Newkirk founder of PETA, contends that criticism of the organization over euthanasia is unwarranted based on the fact that the Norfolk shelter takes in all animals irrespective of condition. 

 

Data derived from public records of the Commonwealth of Virginia as presented by Attorney Simpson shows that the proportion of animals reclaimed by owners attained 0.5 percent from the PETA shelter in 2021. The adoption rate of un-reclaimed animals ranged from 53 percent for Chesapeake Animal Services to 89 percent for the Norfolk SPCA.  The proportion of euthanized un-reclaimed animals for the PETA Norfolk shelter attained 64 percent.  In contrast the Norfolk SPCA euthanized 4.0 percent of animals, Virginia Beach Animal Control 6.8 percent and the Virginia Beach SPCA 4.9 percent.  The Chesapeake Animal Services shelter did however euthanize 27.9 percent of animals received but still less than half of the PETA total. 

 

The justification advanced by Ms. Newkirk that PETA receives “animals that are on their last legs” is questionable given the number of animals entering the various shelters in Virginia.  Net receipts for the PETA Norfolk shelter amounted to 827 animals compared to 797 for the Norfolk SPCA and over 1,100 for each of the Virginia Beach Animal Control and Virginia Beach SPCA shelters.  There is some credence to the assertion that PETA is a “dumping ground” for animals since only four of 831 that were received were reclaimed.  The Norfolk SPCA presumably drawing from the same geographic area also recorded only two animals reclaimed out of 799 received.  Chesapeake Animal Services managed to restore 41 percent of animals to their owners and Virginia Beach Animal Control service attained a reclaim rate of 52 percent.

 

The statistics clearly show that PETA is running a euthanasia mill at their Norfolk shelter based on the difference in their adoption and euthanasia rates directly compared to the Norfolk SPCA.

 

Given that PETA apparently received $60.6 million in revenue during fiscal 2020 suggest that this organization as with many other allegedly welfare-oriented charities are less concern over animal wellbeing that raising funds for the benefits of directors and staff and pursuing policies demonizing livestock production in order to promote a vegan agenda.