AHOSKIE -- On Thursday, two employees of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) were arrested on 31 felony animal-cruelty charges for killing and disposing of dogs and puppies in a dumpster. The Center for Consumer Freedom is calling on Americans to stop making donations to support PETA.
When Ahoskie police arrested PETA employees Andrew Cook and Adria Hinkle late Thursday, they found 18 dead dogs in a nearby shopping-center dumpster (including a bag containing seven dead puppies), and 13 more dead dogs in the PETA-owned van the two were driving. Police observed them throwing several dark-colored bags into the dumpster before the arrests were made.
This is not the first public mention of PETA's large-scale euthanasia program. In May 2005 the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) unveiled a giant Times Square billboard and a new website (http://www.PetaKillsAnimals.com). CCF had obtained official records from the state of Virginia showing the militant animal-rights group had put over 10,000 dogs and cats to death since 1998.
In 2003 PETA euthanized over 85 percent of the animals it took in, finding adoptive homes for just 14 percent. By comparison, the Norfolk SPCA found adoptive homes for 73 percent of its animals and the Virginia Beach SPCA adopted out 66 percent. PETA's required report documenting its 2004 record is currently over 4 weeks late according to CCF.
A Bertie County (NC) Deputy Sheriff told The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald that Cook and Hinkle assured the Bertie Animal Shelter "they were picking up the dogs to take them back to Norfolk where they would find them good homes." Pittman added that persons identifying themselves as PETA representatives have picked up live dogs from that shelter during the last two months.
"This is disturbing behavior on the part of self-professed animal lovers, and I hope the public takes notice," said Center for Consumer Freedom Director of Research David Martosko. "PETA raked in nearly $29 million last year alone, but apparently it couldn't spare any money to care for the flesh-and-blood animals entrusted to its employees. It's ironic -- If anyone else were caught red-handed with 31 dead dogs, PETA would be holding a press conference to denounce them."
Martosko added: "Last month when we launched PetaKillsAnimals.com, we warned the public that PETA was not the warm and kind group it claimed to be. Now it's clearer than ever that Americans who truly want to help animals should donate to their local animal shelter, not to PETA."
According to PETA's website, PETA has spent more than $240,000 in the past few years in one county in North Carolina alone, making improvements for animals. Each dollar spent means a needy animal helped—cold abated, shade provided, water and food given.
PETA claimes they seek to solve the animal overpopulation problem in North Carolina by subsidizing spay/neuter services, "but we do not and will not hesitate to roll up our sleeves and do the dirty work at our own expense," the group proudly proclaims referring to euthanasia.