In a Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Online Animal Report, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) reported that in 2006, they took in 3,043 animals that were surrendered by their owners.
Of these 3,043 animals (1,960 cats, 1,030 dogs, 52 other companion animals, and 1 chicken), the organization reported that 2,981 animals were euthanized. The report filed by PETA shows that only 2 cats, 8 dogs, and 2 companion animals from the 3,043 animals were adopted out. This means 1,942 cats, 988 dogs, 50 other companion animals, and one chicken were euthanized which makes PETA’s euthanization rate 97%.
In response to this report and to many people asking them about their 97% kill rate, a PETA administrator wrote this on the PETA Forums:
PETA makes no secret of having to euthanize most of the animals we take in. Although we do not run an adoption facility (we refer most adoptable animals to well-known shelters with a high rate of public traffic), we have managed to place animals in excellent, lifelong homes. For many of the animals we do accept-such as those who are injured, elderly, aggressive, or otherwise unadoptable-we are a “shelter of last resort,” offering a humane death to those who would otherwise suffer a slow and painful end.
Unlike “no-kill” shelters, PETA does not refuse animals simply because euthanasia is the only humane option for them. Many of the animals we take in are brought to us because they have been rejected by other facilities. PETA receives calls every week from people who request that we euthanize their animals because they cannot afford to have them euthanized by a vet or because the animals would suffer excessive stress and pain if transported. PETA will not turn its back on these animals simply because they might make our “numbers” look bad.
PETA’s not interested in playing a numbers game. When animals come to us most of them are absolutely horrible conditions. They are being ravaged by diseases and have been neglected for months and years. In these cases euthanasia is clearly the only compassionate decision we can make. People don’t drop off healthy animals at PETA’s office (since we don’t have an adoption service). We deal with the worst of the worst situations.