Press Release

Consumer Group Asks Virginia State Veterinarian To Protect New Orleans Pets “Rescued” By PETA

Norfolk, VA – The nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom sent a letter today to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services asking Dr. Richard Wilkes, State Veterinarian, to audit the condition of 32 dogs taken in by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Volunteers descended on Louisiana after the hurricane, capturing homeless dogs to bring back to PETA’s Norfolk headquarters. PETA’s record of animal care suggests that after suffering through the devastation of Katrina, these pets could well be euthanized at PETA’s hands.

Documents obtained by the Center for Consumer Freedom from the State of Virginia show that PETA has a long-standing practice of killing thousands of adoptable dogs and cats. Between 1998 and 2004, PETA put to death more than 12,400 domestic animals. In 2004 alone, PETA killed over 85 percent of the animals it took in. That same year, other shelters in the region did much better comparatively. The Norfolk SPCA euthanized less than five percent of the animals in its care, while the Virginia Beach SPCA put down 27 percent of its animals.

Additionally, in October two PETA employees are scheduled to face 62 counts of felony animal-cruelty in a North Carolina courtroom. The pair were arrested at a shopping center on June 15, where police found 18 dead dogs—including seven very adoptable puppies—in a nearby dumpster, and 13 more dead animals in a PETA-owned van. Also in PETA’s van, police recovered syringes and vials of the drugs Ketamine and Pentobarbital, both Schedule III narcotics. Neither of the PETA defendants is licensed to purchase or dispense these controlled substances.

“The last time PETA promised to find good homes for animals, it killed them in the back of a van,” said Center for Consumer Freedom research director David Martosko. “If PETA is collecting these animals only to euthanize them, it would be cruel but not unexpected. Every puppy and kitten that survived the storm should be given food, shelter, and a loving home. PETA raised over $29 million last year. It can afford it.”

Click here to view our letter to the Virginia State Veterinarian. For detailed information on PETA’s massive animal-killing operation and the PETA animal-cruelty arrests, visit www.PETAKillsAnimals.

Founded in 1996, the Center for Consumer Freedom is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization devoted to promoting personal responsibility and protecting consumer choices. For more information, visit


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