Most people know of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Most people who know of PETA have strong feelings (positive or negative) towards them. With that being the case, I try not to open a can of worms because there is no way to get everyone on the same page.
So why even post something related to PETA? Well, what I want to bring to light is something that hits very close to home.
Amongst PETA’s many involvements in the animal world, they operate an animal shelter in Virginia. This animal shelter generally takes in approximately 2000 animals per year. That’s no small amount, but it is way less than many other shelters, including all of the shelters I’ve worked with.
Most people would expect PETA to be doing the best job at saving animals, compared to other animal shelters. However, the truth is unsettling. Instead of saving 96% of animals, PETA euthanizes 96% of animals.
I know I was when I was first made aware of these statistics. The problem is that in my recent conversations amongst folks in the shelter medicine community, it came to light that most people do not know this about PETA and continue to donate money to the organization (they get 30 million per year — way more than any animal shelter I’m aware of!) thinking the money is going to save animals. So why aren’t these animals being saved?
Regardless of how you feel about PETA, please take it upon yourself to do your own research into their organization. You can start with this article, which supports the statistics I refer to in this post, or do your own internet search.
In the end, does PETA have good intentions? Many people, including veterinarians, will say yes. The problem comes when intentions do not correlate with actions.