The PETA Pit

PETA Kills Bunnies (Updated with PETA Response)—David Frum

In the Huffington Post today, Doug Cooper pens a devastating critique of the high kill rate at PETA animal shelters:

"The shelter of last resort" is an interesting euphemism for Death. PETA "accepts" those piteous creatures? Death is accommodating that way: It famously accepts all.

Noting the growing record in the mainstream press that PETA is falling behind the burgeoning success of better-run animal shelters with drastically higher adoption rates, Cooper begins to make the case for a better way of sheltering and adopting animals:

Now let's address the standard PETA slander regarding no-kill shelters: sorry, but they do not attain this status by simply turning away the most sickly. Some organizations are selective, yes, but the No Kill movement is overwhelmingly headed in the direction of open-admission shelters. They define "no-kill" as a euthanasia rate of not more than 10 per cent. No Kill Communities offers a list of organizations that have achieved this status: "More and more shelters are managing to be both open- admission and no-kill, which is a revolution in animal sheltering."

As The Atlantic concluded, "an animal rights organization with a $30 million budget should be able to do a whole lot better."

How do these better-run, locally organized animal shelters beat PETA at its own game? Today the website for No Kill Communities highlights the hard work of local volunteers:

It’s interesting to speculate why Virginia has so many cities and counties that have live release rates of 80% or above. The state is positioned along the I-95 transport corridor, and that’s certainly part of the explanation. But the thing that strikes me the most in doing research on all these successful Virginia cities and towns is that in each case they have shelter directors and animal control personnel who are willing to work with volunteers and rescues to get the animals out. These people are doing the hard work every day and they are really unsung heroes.

NOTE:After this post was published, PETA contacted us with their own editorial in The Atlantic, which was published in response to the article we cited. Though PETA does admit the sorrowful task of euthanizing animals, the organization also does make a strong case for preventive measures that were not mentioned in our HuffPo and Atlantic links:

Pointing a finger at us does nothing to help the animals who are suffering today and won't stop animals from having to be euthanized tomorrow. The only way to stop euthanasia is mandatory spaying and neutering and a full-scale ban on breeding—a fact that [the Atlantic] article, unfortunately, ignored.