This just in from Newsweek:
“Since 1998 PETA has killed more than 17,000 animals, nearly 85 percent of all those it has rescued.”
Yup. It’s true. PeTA kills animals. Pay no attention to the photos of sweet, sad abandoned pets hyped in their print and media ads. PeTA is NOT in the business of saving animals — at least not pet animals. In fact, one of their goals is the extinction of domestic cats and dogs.
“Instead of zero kills, PETA claims to be shooting for zero births.”
To control pet populations, the folks at PeTA and their allies at the Humane Society for the United States (not to be confused with the folks who run your local humane society) have chosen to focus on increasing deaths and decreasing births. And its not enough for them to recommend the spaying/neutering of all pets and measures that encourage shelters to kill very high percentages of the animals taken in — both groups are also actively lobbying to have these kinds of measures legislated in cities and states across the country.
The sad truth is that these measures are not needed to control pet populations.
“Based on data from the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Animal Hospital Association, the Pet Food Manufacturers Association, and the latest census, there are more than enough homes for every dog and cat being killed in shelters every year. In fact, when I spoke to him for this article, he told me that there aren’t just enough homes for the dogs and cats being killed in shelters. There are more homes for cats and dogs opening each year than there are cats and dogs even entering shelters.”
More homes than pets? Whassup with that? If it’s true, why are we being bombarded with print and media ads publicizing the plight of MILLIONS of homeless dogs and cats doomed to languish and then die in shelters across the country?
In “Redemption,” Winograd lays the lion’s share of the blame for shelter deaths not on pet owners and communities, but on the management, staff, and boards of directors of the shelters themselves.
Redemption makes the case that bad shelter management leads to overcrowding, which is then confused with pet overpopulation. Instead of warehousing and killing animals, shelters, he says, should be using proven, innovative programs to find those homes he says are out there. They should wholeheartedly adopt the movement known as No Kill, and stop using killing as a form of population control.
In fact, in many urban areas there are now not enough shelter dogs (especially small, young dogs) to fill existing demand. According to the National Animal Interest Alliance:
In many US cities today, campaigns to end ‘pet overpopulation’ have been so successful that the demand for dogs far outstrips supply. In fact, shelters in many of these cities would have a significant percentage of empty dog runs were it not for the mushrooming practice of moving dogs around from one region to another and from one shelter to another within regions, an activity known somewhat euphemistically as humane relocation. Humane relocation began as a common sense method for helping animals to get adopted through cooperative efforts among city shelters. It made no sense for the humane society to euthanize dogs for lack of room while the local animal control agency had the space and resources to help get them adopted. Over time, as the number of surplus dogs in some cities continued to drop, they began taking in animals from greater distances.
Faced with fewer small dogs and puppies to offer the public, a handful of shelters and organizations have swapped their traditional mission for a new bottom line strategy aimed at filling consumer demands. Simply stated, they have become pet stores. Some are importing stray dogs across state lines and from foreign countries to maintain an inventory of adoptable dogs.
Despite all this, PeTA and HSUS still want to take your pet (and working) dogs away from you. By force if necessary. Here it is in their own words:
“In the end, I think it would be lovely if we stopped this whole notion of pets altogether.” Ingrid Newkirk, national Director, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA), Newsday, 2/21/88
“I don’t have a hands-on fondness for animals…To this day I don’t feel bonded to any non-human animal. I like them and I pet them and I’m kind to them, but there’s no special bond between me and other animals.” Wayne Pacelle, of the Humane Society of the United States, quoted in Bloodties: Nature, Culture and the Hunt by Ted Kerasote, 1993, p. 251
So, if you really want to help homeless dogs in a meaningful way, donate to your local humane society or a no kill shelter. Adopt a dog from a local shelter and make sure that that dog was NOT imported from Puerto Rico, Mexico or from another state. Do NOT donate money to PeTA, HSUS or other animal rights organizations.
(added 4/29/08 at 9:30 am Central)
This comment from Audie’s Gramma is so important that I’ve taken the liberty of posting it here so that no one misses it:
FOSTER a dog for a shelter or rescue. Turn him around, help him get adopted, take a break, and then FOSTER another one.
Every animal being cared for in a foster home is one more space free at the shelter.
An aggressive foster program, where animals are socialized, evaluated, rehabbed and trained by the foster humans, is one of the cornerstones of a good shelter program.
It’s one more way we can fight the reflexive use of the term “euthanasia” for a practice that is really “convenience killing.”