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Is PETA's Culture of Killing a Cult?

Updated: Jun 7, 2019

It has been nearly a year since the world learned that staff at People for the Ethical Treatement of Animals (PETA) had stolen a little girl's pet Chihuahua (named Maya) and killed it. We also learned that Maya was not the only pet stolen and killed that day. Since then, there have been protests, calls for investigations, new proposed regulations in their state to help curtail the thousands of needless deaths at their Norfolk shelter, which appears to be (at least according to State inspection reports) little more than a "euthanasia" table and a walk-in freezer.

During the time since the understandable uproar around Maya's killing, PETA has been remarkably quiet in the national No Kill discussion. Prior to then, they had been publishing a nonstop stream of op-ed pieces in local papers lying about and disparaging No Kill efforts. Since Maya, they have been much less vocal. That, however, appears to be changing.

PETA staffer, and anti-No Kill point person, Daphna Nachminovitch wrote an op-ed for New York Daily News encouraging Mayor de Blasio to let New York shelters keep killing and killing. (Note: for those of you new to truth behind PETA's branding, this is NOT satire. This is all the tragic truth about an organization that we believe operates more like a cult than anything constructive.) But, before we get any deeper into that, we would first like to provide for you, our official response to Nachminovitch's op-ed. It is provided below:

Daphna Nachminovitch was not honest in her Op-Ed titled “The no-kill myth: It’s cruel to dogs and cats to pledge to end shelter euthanasia”. First and foremost, she should have disclosed the fact that the agency for which she works, PETA, has a culture of killing that is so extreme that staff there were recently caught stealing a little girl's pet Chihuahua named Maya (caught on surveillance video) and then killing it. Maya was happy, healthy and loved until PETA came along, trespassed on her property, stole her and killed her. The story made newspapers world-wide. What few people know is that on that same day, several other dogs and cats were similarly stolen by PETA from that same neighborhood and all of them were killed, too. Even worse: this was not the first time PETA staff people were caught doing this sort of thing. Years before, PETA staff (who were driving one of their so-called “mobile euthanasia vans” – Note: we are not making that up. They have or had a fleet of vans outfit with sodium pentobarbital so they could take their killing on the road) were caught illegally dumping animal bodies in a grocery store dumpster. Some of the pets found in the dumpster were a mother cat and her kittens which they had just “rescued” from a veterinary clinic in the strip mall where the grocery store was located. The cat and her kittens were healthy and available for adoption at the veterinary clinic. PETA staff convinced the vet clinic to turn the felines over to them by telling them they would find them homes. Little did the veterinarian know that PETA would actually kill them in the parking lot in the mobile “euthanasia” van minutes later, before throwing the bodies in the dumpster. Had Ms. Nachminovitch been honest, she would have explained that the agency for which she works has a culture that sees pet ownership as a kind of enslavement of animals, and often times to the extent that they believe animals are better off dead than cared for by families. She would have also said she and other PETA staff are more than willing to lie in order to put forward that agenda. She did just that in her op-ed. The first thing that she did (repeatedly) was to conflate euthanasia and killing. Yet, she knows there is a difference between ending the life of a terminal and suffering pet and taking the life of a healthy one. No Kill advocates support humane euthanasia of terminal and suffering pets in shelters. We do not support taking the life of healthy and treatable pets for convenience sake, and Ms. Nachminovitch knows it. Yet, she continually said No Kill advocates were “anti-euthanasia,” a complete lie. Similarly, she grossly exaggerated the so-called horror stories in No Kill communities, and improperly placed blame on the No Kill status of those communities for their challenges. For example Nachminovitch discussed current capacity issues in Austin, Texas, and wrongly blamed them on the No Kill policy. In fact, they are the result of that City building a new shelter that has 50 fewer dog kennels and much less cat housing. This new shelter had been planned and was designed before the transition to No Kill, and it was built in spite of opposition by No Kill advocates. Nachminovitch knows this and yet fails to mention it in her op-ed, which is, at best, disingenuous. Many communities are doing better by embracing No Kill programs, For example, In the Twin Cities, Minnesota, animal shelters used to kill about 50% of the animals they took in, resulting in more than 20,000 unnecessary deaths in animal shelters each year. As of last year, nearly all of the shelters there are reporting live release rates of more than 90%, including two animal control centers with live release rates of over 95%. And, guess what? These shelters are not “turning people away” and the shelters are not “full”. In the other larger cities in that state, including St. Cloud and Duluth, the story is the same. All that has happened is that the shelters are saving lives rather than ending them. By implementing proven life-saving programs, shelters can end the needless killing of healthy and treatable pets. Unfortunately, PETA has proven yet again that they don’t want you to know that.

Many No Kill advocates had hoped the outcry over the needless killing of Maya would be the end of PETA's killing machine. This recent op-ed, in our view, proves they are so extreme, they will stoop to any level to justify their cult-like culture of killing.

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