The Ethical Treatment Of Animals Gone Wrong, Why Is PETA Killing So Many Animals?


While PETA is a huge organization that claims to be for the ethical treatment of animals, many concerns have been voiced throughout the years of them not following through with as such. There is actually a whole website that goes over just how many animals PETA kills which is many more than you’d expect. The question is, is there a reason why or is it mindless killing?

According to, who looked at information from The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services after filing public record requests under Virginia’s sunshine laws, PETA in 2018 alone received 2,470 cats and dogs total. Out of that over 2,000 dogs and cats, only 35 were adopted out and while 658 were transferred out of PETA’s care 1,771 were killed. This number only going down slightly as they killed 1,809 in 2017. Now, while PETA claims that they only put down animals that are sick or injured.

According to PETA, they mostly only accept animals who are abused, neglected, sick or in pain. From their own website:

“The majority of adoptable dogs are never brought through our doors—we refer them to local adoption groups and walk-in animal shelters. Most of the animals we house, rescue, find homes for, or put out of their misery come from abysmal conditions, which often lead to successful prosecution and the banning of animal abusers from ever owning or abusing animals again.”


So, it actually depends on how you look at this situation. Many see these numbers and automatically think that PETA is just going around and stealing animals and killing them for no reason at all. But there are two sides to every story, and from an outsider looking in it can be easy to make assumptions because we don’t actually know.

PETA, considered by many to be the highest-profile animal rights group in the country, kills an average of about 2,000 dogs and cats each year at its animal shelter here.

And the shelter does few adoptions — 19 cats and dogs in 2012 and 24 in 2011, according to state records.

At a time when the major animal protection groups have moved to a “no-kill” shelter model, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals remains a holdout, confounding some and incensing others who know the organization as a very vocal advocacy group that does not believe animals should be killed for food, fur coats or leather goods.

This is an organization that on Thanksgiving urges Americans not to eat turkey.

“Honestly, I don’t understand it,” says Joan E. Schaffner, an animal rights lawyer and an associate professor at the George Washington University Law School, which hosts an annual no-kill conference. “PETA does lots of good for animals, but I could never support them on this.”

Official records as noted above show quite prominently that PETA euthanizes almost 95 percent of the animals they take into their care and even news outlets like ABC and WVEC have found this to be quite alarming. I guess the big question here is why is PETA killing so many animals and are all of them as sick or injured as they want people to believe? What do you think?

I believe that any rational person is left with the obvious question, “How can an organization that is supposedly dedicated to the ethical treatment of animals justify killing all but 5 percent of the animals entrusted to their shelter, with the vast majority of these executed within 24 hours of their admission—well before they can be assessed or any attempts made to find adoptive homes for them?”

Perhaps the best answer comes from Ingrid Newkirk herself. In an interview with Newsday in February 1988, she said, “In the end, I think it would be lovely if we stopped this whole notion of pets altogether.”

Apparently Newkirk believes that one way to help achieve this “lovely” outcome is to destroy virtually all of the animals placed in PETA’s care before they can be adopted and become well-loved pets in any family’s home.

According to PETA:

“How can anyone fail to recognize that there is a world of difference between painlessly euthanizing animals—the aged, injured, sick, and dying, whose guardians can’t afford euthanasia, for instance—out of compassion, as PETA does, and causing them terror, pain, and a prolonged death by leaving them to struggle to survive on the streets, at the hands of untrained and uncaring “technicians,” or animal abusers?”




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