Here is my original question:
Subject line: Cannot find the answer to my question in your FAQ's....
Why does PETA kill animals, particularly cats and dogs, in large numbers? I cannot find this question in your FAQ's and can only think you have overlooked answering it. Thank you, Donna B.
And, their answer:
Thank you for contacting PETA. We appreciate the opportunity to address your concerns.
PETA is on the front lines in the battle to help unwanted dogs and cats. Our caseworkers work tirelessly to rescue homeless animals from environmental dangers and situations of cruelty and neglect (http://www.PETA.org/about/learn-about-peta/community-animal-project.aspx). Our staff members crawl through sewers, poke around junkyards, climb trees, and dodge traffic in order to reach animals in danger. During floods and storms, we are out saving animals’ lives at all hours.
Some of the animals who are rescued by PETA are lost companions; we are always happy to return such animals to their homes. PETA does not operate a traditional animal shelter, but we do foster many healthy homeless animals (often in our own homes) or take them to community animal shelters to await adoption. The reality is that thousands of adoptable animals are euthanized every day in animal shelters and veterinary offices across America because of a lack of good homes.
Because most people take healthy, adoptable animals directly to local animal shelters, the majority of animals who come to PETA are extremely sick or seriously injured. For these animals, euthanasia is, without a doubt, the most humane option. On another occasion, when an explosion from a power-line transformer burned a flock of starlings, PETA was the only agency to come to the birds’ aid. If our trained technicians had not been ready to end these starlings’ misery, the injured birds would have suffered for days before finally succumbing to a painful death.
In addition, PETA provides free euthanasia services for people who have very sick, critically injured, or geriatric companions but can’t afford to take them to a veterinarian. One family—lacking money for vet care and transportation—turned to us for help for their cat, who had barely crawled back home after being mauled by a pack of dogs. We were able to give the cat a peaceful end to her intense pain.
PETA also began offering our services to pounds in North Carolina in 2000 after we were contacted by a police officer who was distressed by conditions at a county pound. When PETA steps in to properly euthanize animals—at no cost to participating animal shelters—our involvement prevents animals from being shot to death with a .22 caliber firearm, gassed to death in a rusty metal box, or injected with a paralyzing agent that causes slow suffocation without loss of consciousness. Compassionate euthanasia prevents animals from suffering for weeks on end because of disease, illness, or worse. We know from bitter experience that for homeless animals—even those in some animal shelters—there is such a thing as a fate worse than death.
Some well-intentioned people might argue that the solution to the overflow of unwanted animals is to open sanctuaries. But the sad reality is that the math just doesn’t add up. There is not enough money available to us or to anyone to build enough sanctuaries or organize enough animal-adoption programs to keep up with the number of unwanted animals—particularly those animals deemed “undesirable” because of their infirmities, age, or behavior. Abandoning domesticated animals to fend for themselves would be irresponsible, of course, but keeping them in cages or pens for a lifetime is no more humane for homeless dogs and cats than it is for animals in laboratories or circuses. To learn more about “no-kill” sanctuaries, please see http://www.PETA.org/about/why-peta/no-kill-shelters.aspx and http://features.PETA.org/AllCreaturesGreatAndSmall/.
Putting all our resources into kenneling unwanted animals would also do nothing to stop the flow of more and more homeless dogs and cats. Preventing the source of the problem—the birth of unwanted animals—is where money and efforts need to go. PETA runs two mobile spay-and-neuter clinics in Virginia and North Carolina at least six days a week. The clinics conduct much of their work in disadvantaged neighborhoods, where we offer no-cost to low-cost sterilization surgeries and other services such as flea and tick treatments, vaccinations, and deworming. We sterilize thousands of dogs and cats each year, including feral animals. Since starting our first mobile clinic in 2001, we have sterilized almost 63,000 animals, including 8,677 in 2009 alone.
We hope you understand that it is heart-wrenching for those of us at PETA and at animal shelters across the country who care deeply for animals to have to hold these animals in our arms and take their lives because there is nowhere for them to go. Those who truly seek to make a difference for animals understand that it is necessary to do the right thing—even when it’s unpleasant—rather than supporting false “solutions” simply because they make us feel less uncomfortable.PETA has always spoken openly about euthanasia on our website and in our publications, and—although we understand that it is upsetting to think about—euthanasia will continue to be necessary in this imperfect world until people take action though spaying and neutering to prevent dogs and cats from bringing new litters into the world. For more thoughts on PETA and euthanasia, please go to http://www.PETA.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/2009/03/30/why-we-euthanize.aspx and http://www.PETA.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/2009/05/14/why-must-we-euthanize-part-ii.aspx.
We hope that this message has shed some light on our work. To read more about what PETA is doing for companion animals and how you can help, please visit http://www.PETA.org/issues/companion-animals/default.aspx.
Thanks again for writing and for sharing your compassion for animals.
The PETA Staff
P.S. A lot of the misleading and outright false rumors that are spread concerning our efforts are the work of the deceitfully named Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), a front group for Philip Morris, Outback Steakhouse, KFC, cattle ranchers, and other animal exploiters who kill millions of animals every year—not out of compassion but out of greed. To learn more about CCF—whose website USA Today said should be renamed “FatforProfit.com”—please see the following websites:
And, my response to this form letter:
Let's see....the animals were ill, injured or just 'surplus' and PETA folk were saving them from a 'fate worse than death' by killing them. Why? Because it is the right thing, the ethical thing, the necessary thing to do. Ummmm....nope!
There are many, many of us in animal rescue that do not and will not tolerate this attitude. We know the moment of happiness when an animal is brought back from the brink by devoted rescuers, and again when that animal is re-homed. If our friends at PETA could also have this experience, it might change their minds. Whether or not this change of attitude can take place, and whether or not PETA can be saved by a new leader remains to be seen. In either case, the no-kill mentality is building, and we will prevail in good time.