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Court Documents Show PETA is Worthless #PetaIsWorthless

Updated: Jun 7, 2019

A recently released court decision has animal advocates smiling for all kinds of reasons. And, it represents good news for animals and bad news for the inappropriately named organization, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA. It involves a civil case against that organization, whose staff were caught on video stealing a beloved family pet. Shortly after the theft, PETA also killed the dog, along with several others they also took from the same area that same day.

That PETA staff did this is not in question. They have already been convicted and fined a paltry $500 for the crimes of trespass and theft of the little Chihuahua named Maya. The current case is a civil trial brought against PETA by Maya's family, who are seeking a substantial judgment against the organization, and rightly so.

As terrible and horrific as the theft and killing of Maya (and the other animals) was, we believe their arguments in this case are, in some ways, worse, and very telling about what the people in senior leadership at PETA are really all about. Nathan Winograd did a very good job writing about many of the details of PETA's arguments to the court, which were all gobsmackingly absurd. Fortunately, the court overruled most of PETA's points. We would like to focus on two of those, because had PETA prevailed, they could have paved the way for others to steal and kill pets, without fear of serious consequence. They are, therefore, really important to talk about.

Court Says PETA's Behavior Was Outrageous and Intolerable

PETA argued that Maya's family should not be entitled to punitive damages, because PETA's behavior did not meet the test for "outrageous conduct:" that is used for determining whether or not punitive damages can be claimed. The judge in the case, Everett A. Martin, Jr. was direct and concise in addressing this point. He wrote, "I believe reasonable people can find that taking another's dog and killing it is outrageous and intolerable. I overrule PETA's [argument] on this ground."

Court Says Maya Had Value

In an effort to avoid paying even compensatory damages, PETA argued to the Court that because she was not licensed, she had no value, that she was, in fact, worthless.

To this argument, Judge Martin simply pointed out that according to current law, dogs are property, whether licensed or not, and, therefore, have value.

What These Arguments Mean

In very real terms, court decisions have meaning far beyond the current case being argued, which is why court decisions, like this one, are typically filled with references back to other similar cases that have been decided by other judges in other courts previously. In short, the decisions set precedent that are then used to help decide future cases involving similar issues. In other words, if PETA hadprevailed in their arguments, as absurd as they were, they could have set the legal precedent to allow others who steal and kill pets to go unpunished.

Let that sink in for a minute...

PETA, an organization that professes to be advocates for animals, stole and killed Maya (and others) and then argued in court that doing so was not such a big deal, because doing so was not outrageous and the dog was worthless.

Since this happened, some apologists for PETA have tried to claim this was an act of some rogue employees acting on their own. But, after too many grisly PETA stories we were confident that was not the case, even though PETA did fire the employees involved, likely to try to hold off a wave of anger being sent to them over the incident. These court documents, in fact, suggest that the conduct of these employees was approved from very high up the PETA food chain. Beyond a doubt, this legal case is being managed by the most senior staff at the organization. Anyone who reads the documents will immediately know what PETA thinks of animals, and the value they have in our lives.

If you agree with Judge Martin that PETA's behavior has been outrageous and intolerable, feel free to share this and tweet with #PetaIsWorthless. Because, frankly, PETA is worse than worthless. The fact that the judge in this case smacked down so many of their arguments has many of us smiling and laughing, knowing that the more their donors get to see who they really are, behind the glossy ads and PR tricks, PETA's multi-million dollar coffers will dry up.

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