Press Release

Former PETA Employee: PETA “Routinely Euthanized Healthy Puppies and Kittens”

Bombshell Document in Dognapping Lawsuit Sheds New Light on PETA’s Pet Killing

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) released an affidavit revealing shocking information about People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) as the animal-rights organization faces a $9 million lawsuit for stealing and killing a man’s dog in Virginia.

View the affidavit here:

Virginia resident Wilbur Zarate sued PETA in 2015 after two employees stole his family Chihuahua, named Maya, from his porch and euthanized her within hours. Now, Heather Harper-Troje, who worked for PETA’s Community Animal Project, has filed an affidavit alleging the PETA program had a sickening obsession with death driven by PETA president and co-founder Ingrid Newkirk.

Her allegations include:

  • “While employed at PETA, my primary responsibilities included gaining possession of as many cats and dogs and possible, almost all of which were euthanized.”
  • “Ingrid Newkirk was in charge of the Community Animal Project and Ingrid became my supervisor.”
  • “[Newkirk] said that an effort to adopt out an animal was a waste of PETA’s money and effort.”
  • “I was specifically told by my supervisors at PETA to tell people that we would find good homes for the dogs and cats, even though we knew the animals would be euthanized.”
  • “If we saw animals loose, even on someone’s property, we were to take them whenever we could. PETA would not hold them for five days. We would not obtain signed releases if an animal was stolen, but would euthanize the animals immediately.”
  • PETA focused on impoverished neighborhoods because “people from low income neighborhoods were more likely to relinquish their pets to us.”
  • “We would routinely euthanize healthy puppies and kittens and other highly adoptable The trial is set for September.

PETA’s has continued its shameful killing of pets since Harper-Troje left in 2000. PETA reported to state regulators earlier this month that it killed 1,411 cats and dogs last year at its headquarters—72% of the cats and dogs it took in. An analysis of PETA’s 2016 kill rate shows that it kills dogs at 16.3 times the rate of other private shelters in Virginia.

“PETA has defended its atrocious kill rates for years by saying it takes ‘unadoptable’ dogs that no other shelter will take. These explosive allegations from a PETA insider show that PETA’s lack of honesty is second only to its bizarre quest to kill pets,” said Will Coggin, research director at the Center for Consumer Freedom. “PETA’s systemic slaughter of cats and dogs is an affront to animal lovers everywhere.”

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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