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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Read the article here.

"Not counting animals PETA held only temporarily in its spay-neuter program, the organization took in 3,061 'companion animals' in 2006, of which it killed 2,981. According to Virginia's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), the average euthanasia rate for humane societies in the state was just 34.7 percent in 2006. PETA killed 97.4 percent of the animals it took in."

I had always thought that PETA was a bit rabid in its protests, but that they meant well. I'm very surprised to read about this statistic, and I wonder if there may be more to this story. It's horrifying to think that they could be so hypocritical.
 

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is a little "special"
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So much for People for the ETHICAL Treatment of animals! :(
Thats terrible... :rubcry:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, I'm reading more about it, and it's hard to tell what the actual truth is. Some say that this is a smear campaign against PETA. PETA claims that in general the animals it takes in are not adoptable at all. They say that they refer healthy animals to other shelters. If this is true, they are pretty much off the hook.

However, some claim that most of their "rescues" are animals stolen from labs and such. PETA believes that keeping animals as pets is like slavery, so technically, wouldn't all its rescues be seen as unfit for adoption?

I don't know if there will ever be a clear answer for this one.
 

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laugh often
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I've never liked PETA nor will I ever support them. I've found too many things saying and showing how they were corrupt,unethical and mean to animals.
 

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Rodentologist
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Although I don't like Peta, I don't trust simple statistics. To be honest, you don't know how many or what types of animals they took in from which places. If they predominantly took in animals which other shelters and rescues would not take, then their euthanasia rates make sense.

There are many groups here who pull from rural shelters and then have the animals euthanized because the rural shelters use gas chambers and can cram 10-15 animals in at the time to fight each other while dying. It's truly awful. And if they can't save those animals, they at least want to give them a quiet, humane death.

Again, I'm not a big fan of Peta, but I think statistics are very easy to skew.

Also, just from personal experience (living in NC and pulling animals from VA shelters and dealing with volunteers there), I find it very hard to believe that their state average is 34%, unless they're also averaging in private rescue's kill numbers. The shelters there are overrun, and most have a 3 day or less kill policy, like here.
 

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Curmudgeon
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PETA always claims any bad publicity is a smear campaign against them. In a way, they may be correct, as there are few if any neutral parties in the animal rights debates.

That said, the report is factual. Their excuse at the time, and they knew the report would look bad, was that they wanted the animals to be euthanized in a better way than what the animals were going to get at other animal shelters. It means they took the animals in specifically to kill them, not find homes for them. (Although that's contrary to what they told the staffs at the various animal shelters they got the animals from).

I think it would take a twisted mind to make that an 'ethical' choice. ...but I'm not in charge at PETA.

bob
 

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These hypocrites dare to call those of us who work or volunteer at animal shelters murderers. At least the animals we take in are well taken care of, including being walked or held, played with, etc. until they are either adopted, rescued out, or euthanized. I've invited members of PETA to come to the shelter and give comfort to a sick and dying animal while it's actively dying. Funny, those hypocrites have always declined the invitation. Where were those PETA members when I held orphaned kittens who were too weak to take a bottle? Where were they when I sat with a "stray" dog as she lapsed into a coma and passed, only to have her owners call the next day looking for their pet who'd gotten out without her collar or tags?

IMHO, PETA, it's governing body, and it's members are nothing short of obscene.
 

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RAT ADDICT
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I really dislike PETA and will never ever give them money! They are hypocrites,liars and scammers.

:mad2:
 

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Rodentologist
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That said, the report is factual. Their excuse at the time, and they knew the report would look bad, was that they wanted the animals to be euthanized in a better way than what the animals were going to get at other animal shelters. It means they took the animals in specifically to kill them, not find homes for them. (Although that's contrary to what they told the staffs at the various animal shelters they got the animals from).

I think it would take a twisted mind to make that an 'ethical' choice. ...but I'm not in charge at PETA.
bob
Again, please read what I'm telling you. The majority of rural shelters in NC and VA kill by gas. They often put multiple animals into the gas chambers, and the animals die screaming, biting, and clawing for life. It is an awful death. MANY animal rescues 'adopt' these animals to let them have a quiet euthanasia by needle. The option is to leave them there and die screaming and biting.

Nobody is saying shelter workers are murderers. However, in many rural counties, they don't have the funding to afford humane euthanasia techniques, and many of these dogs are NOT walked and played with daily, they're left in pens for days until their brutal execution. There are huge movements to end gas chamber euthanasia in these rural counties, but without $$$, it won't happen.

Is this the ideal choice? No. The ideal choice would be for these animals to be adopted into wonderful homes. But that's not going to be the ending for most of them. At the very least, they're owed a quiet, painless death.
 

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The city shelter, where I volunteer, has had a number of incidents where the staff and I have been called murderers and worse. At this point in time the shelter, which has pens for a maximum of 48 dogs/puppies and 18/kittens cats, is not certified to euthanize on premises. That will be changing in the future. As it stands now, the animals are transported to another shelter for euthanization. Yes, it is by gas chamber, no it is not ideal, yes it is a direct result of irresponsible pet owners that the animals must die in this manner. I do know that the shelter supervisor and I have sat in her office, more times than we care to admit, and cried over the animals who lost their lives.

While in an ideal world every unwanted/unloved/dumped/feral companion animal would receive the injection, it's just not practical. Small shelters run on a very tight budget since animal control is usually considered the unwanted step-child of municipal government. There is not the budget, for small shelters, to have a vet on staff. There is a side that many people never think of and that is the human toll. Animal control officers must be certified in order to give the euthanization shot and the shelter must pass certain inspections. Imagine, if you will, being the animal control officer who must give the shot to not 1 or 2 animals, but 10 or 20 when their time is up. Imagine this being the same process week after week. It is no wonder that most animal control officers leave the profession within 2 years.

I live in a rural county and volunteer at the city shelter because this county does not have any animal control division, nonetheless a shelter to house the unwanted animals. The "humane society" in our county is a volunteer organization who rarely adopt out the animals they "foster".

Jennicat, I do understand what you are saying. If the animals are left for days on end without exercise and contact, why don't the people in your area volunteer at the shelter(s)? All too often I hear the complaints and arguments you've cited, yet these same people always have an excuse for why they don't/won't volunteer their time. Usually it goes along the lines of "I couldn't take it knowing the dogs or cats will be euthanized.", or "I love animals too much to volunteer at a place like this.", or "I'd want to adopt them all." as they walk out adopting none. As it stands now, I have been the only volunteer at the shelter for the past 2 years.

Euthanization policies do need to be changed, but not at the expense of the shelter staff and volunteers. PETA, and their proponents, need to face realities.

Due to their disingenuous practices, I do have to question whether PETA's members actually gave all of those animals a quiet, dignified death through injection or used some other method.
 

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Rodentologist
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Jennicat, I do understand what you are saying. If the animals are left for days on end without exercise and contact, why don't the people in your area volunteer at the shelter(s)? All too often I hear the complaints and arguments you've cited, yet these same people always have an excuse for why they don't/won't volunteer their time. Usually it goes along the lines of "I couldn't take it knowing the dogs or cats will be euthanized.", or "I love animals too much to volunteer at a place like this.", or "I'd want to adopt them all." as they walk out adopting none. As it stands now, I have been the only volunteer at the shelter for the past 2 years.

Euthanization policies do need to be changed, but not at the expense of the shelter staff and volunteers. PETA, and their proponents, need to face realities.
"In our area" people do go to the shelters and exercise and socialize with the animals. However, it's not practical for the people living here in the urban areas to drive 3+ hours out to the rural counties to socialize their animals. (Although many rescues do routinely make trips out to these hellholes to pull the animals there off of death row.)

I already run a small animal rescue, mostly out of pocket. I also volunteer with several organizations in our area to help animals. We have a LOT of volunteers in this area. I think I'm doing as much as I can without drive 6 hours round trip every week to the mountains.

I'm sorry, but "it's not practical" is never going to be an acceptable excuse to me not to give an animal a humane death. If we're going by practicality, it'd be much more practical to let them die out on the streets rather than wasting money by keeping them in a shelter.

If giving injections is so bad for shelter staff (and I have been friends with many shelter staff), why is it not that much worse to watch 10 to 15 animals screaming in terror and ripping each other apart. What sort of person is more upset by watching an animal quietly pass into sleep than watching it howling, screaming, vomiting, defecating itself in terror, and tearing it's cagemates to pieces as it dies? In that thought, what sort of person would rather save themselves the heartache of euthanising at animal at the expense of the animal going to an inhumane death? My friends who work at the shelter are all torn by having to euthanize animals. But they also recognize the importance of having a caring person to help those animals pass.

Due to their disingenuous practices, I do have to question whether PETA's members actually gave all of those animals a quiet, dignified death through injection or used some other method.
That I can't say, obviously, as I am not a member of Peta. However, when 2 of their number were arrested for taking pets, they did in fact have needles and euthanasia drugs in their possession.

In case anyone doesn't know about gas chambers, here's a quote from someone who worked at a shelter who gassed about the animals' deaths:

Documentation shows that with gas chamber killing, animals have been seen struggling and wailing for up to ten minutes before death, some biting themselves and each other in panic, beating their heads against the chamber walls, choking and vomiting while being forced to inhale carbon monoxide. Groups of up to 20 animals are often gassed together and their bodies show the wounds inflicted during their terror.
Sometimes the animals don't die if they don't get enough of the gas. They wake up, alive, in plastic bags, and often suffocate under the corpses of other animals.
 

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"What sort of person is more upset by watching an animal quietly pass into sleep than watching it howling, screaming, vomiting, defecating itself in terror, and tearing it's cagemates to pieces as it dies?"

Ouch, I certainly hope that wasn't directed at me. In answer to the question quoted above: I don't know. I find the death of any viable animal to be a waste. Unless an animal is terminally ill I find any euthanization to be a waste.

Whether we like it, or not, this is not an ideal world. This is a world which operates in practical terms. In order to make changes within this practical world, practical solutions must be found.

Yes, giving the injections is tough on the shelter staff. Don't forget, these ACO's interact with the animals every day, 7 days a week. They get to know the individual personalities. Do you think it's easy for them to hold and fatally inject an animal they've come to know, especially when that animal looks them in the eyes with trust?

Don't blame the "hellholes", as you tagged them, blame the irresponsible pet owners who think it's alright to toss an animal away as though it's a piece of trash.
 

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Rodentologist
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I wasn't directing it at you, but in general, towards your assertation that injections were way too tough on the shelter staff. Personally, I think that most people wound find it MORE psychologically troubling to cause an animal to scream, beat it's head into the walls, bite itself, defecate in fear, and attack other animals than to lay their head down and sleep. I think it's unrealistic to think that a more graphic and brutal euthanization method is less psychologically troubling to personnel. Is it easier to hold an animal you know while it dies, or it is easier to watch that animal screaming and slamming it's head into the walls?

I agree that ALL euthanizations are a waste. They should not be occurring. But if they are going to occur, it is an abomination to do so in such an inhumane manner when there IS a humane alternative!

I certainly place first blame on these animal's plights on the backyard breeders and irresponsible owners that spawned them. However, two wrongs do not make a right. At the point where the shelter takes stewardship of them, it is the SHELTER'S responsibility to ensure that they're kept in humane conditions, and if they are euthanized, to have that happen humanely.
 

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The humane alternative, as stated before, requires the budgetary consideration of getting at least one ACO state certified to euthanize by injection. This requires the candidate going to school, taking a written exam, and euthanizing an animal before certification is granted. Unfortunately, this is a time consuming procedure. After certification the city powers that be must grant the monies necessary for equipment and storage. Don't forget, the "cocktail" used for euthanization is regulated because of the nature of the drugs.

I realize people don't like to address the human factor, however it is a reality. I do know that once the euthanization process begins in house, our little shelter will lose at least one of it's three ACO's.

I admire many people who work and advocate on behalf of the animals. I can only hope they never forget the human factor in the equation of euthanization.

Another thought: I do have to wonder if the 2 PETA people were certified to carry those drugs and euthanize. In the case of PETA and its advocates, do the means justify the end even if it involves lying and breaking the law?
 

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Rodentologist
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I realize there is a budgetary consideration. I think it behooves taxpayers to pay an extra $1 each to ensure they're not maiming animals. I'd pay for that much more gladly than I'd pay school taxes to build out kids another swimming pool.

Then, of course, you have to figure in that 2 of the 3 major gas chamber manufacturers have had severe malfunctions in their equipment that has lead to injury and death of ACO personnel. Now is the money worth it, now that it's a person's life, and not just a bunch of dogs?

As far as ends justifying means....

I don't think you can make a blanket judgement on that. For some things, yes, and for some things, no. I don't know the whole story on the people from Peta, only what the news reported. There are two sides to a story. I'm not going to jump behind them just because they were working for the animals like many people. But on the other hand, I'm not going to start slobbering on myself and going 'OMG ITS PETA TEHY ARE SO BAD I HATES THEM' without even hearing their side.

Though I tend to dislike Peta as an organization, they have many initiatives that I do agree with. Just like, though I disagree with ARBA and ACBA (guinea pig and rabbit breeding assocations) they do have some positions that I agree with. Very few things are black and white. I try to look at both sides and evaluate things individually.
 

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"Then, of course, you have to figure in that 2 of the 3 major gas chamber manufacturers have had severe malfunctions in their equipment that has lead to injury and death of ACO personnel."

I had not heard or read anything about those accidents. Could you plaese post further information since I'd be happy to share that with the ACO supervisor.

Personally I find it difficult to remain neutral regarding PETA since I have personally been verbally attacked by their members a number of times. Each time the attack was not only unwarranted, but the PETA member was incorrect in their assertions and quoted invalid arguments and statistics. I have found verbal abuse is only their way of circumventing a losing argument.
 

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Rodentologist
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I've been verbally attacked by militant vegetarians, vegans, animals rights people, etc. I've also been verbally attacked by backyard breeders, animal abusers, and self-proclaimed responsible breeders for daring to question their husbandry. I think it goes both ways. :)

I'm looking for the articles I read, but many of them were from local papers and don't seem to be available online in archival form. I knew I should have saved them. :( Basically, the seals on the gas chambers malfunction fairly frequently. I did find articles that cited that all THREE major gas chamber brands had problems with either electronics which allowed gas to escape, or with seals which did so.

In addition, ACO personnel who are removing animals from the chamber are also exposed to the gas. I've heard of several cases of people blacking out due to this gas (which can remain in the bodies of animals in varying amounts).

To be honest, many of the recent local shelter converts managed to save money by doing injections by asking local vets and vet techs to volunteer. They're already trained, and it freed up ACO personnel to do their jobs.
 

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The local vets have been asked to assist by volunteering their time. Once again, practicality rules the day. The vet under contract, with the shelter, insists on being paid. The other local vets refuse to volunteer their time or supplies. In fact, we've had vets send us abandoned litters of 10 day old kittens, expecting us to "dispose" of them rather than humanely euthanizing the litter or fostering it out themselves.

In the question of chamber vs injection, I found an interesting article. Let me premise this by stating that while interesting, it is also quite disturbing, especially the last paragraph.

http://www.animalpeoplenews.org/06/10/carbongaschambers106.html
 

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Every since I heard of PETA using the puppies in a commercial and killing them after they were done, I've disliked PETA. I really don't trust them.
 
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