It seems PETA is going to be punished for taking and killing Maya, a little girl's pet chihuahua. The putative "animal rights" organization -- which hauled in $50,000,000 in donations last year -- will be forced to pay a $500 fine. We discovered this today in an article in the Virginia Pilot, where the paper quotes PETA as "devastated" by their act. Five hundred dollars! We understand that the little girl is devastated as well.
And you wonder why the people of Virginia have been so determined to change the law.
Legislators have realized that the only way to keep PETA from killing pets is to deny them access to poison. That is the gist of the legislation passed on Monday. The blue liquid used to kill dogs and cats -- sodium pentobarbital -- is a controlled substance, restricted to the use of certain institutions, including animal shelters.
PETA until now has been able to insist that they run a shelter -- they shrewdly call it "a shelter of last resort" -- and this has allowed them legal access to this substance, which they use with distressing abandon. Even if we don't take into account pets like Maya -- killed surreptitiously off the books -- PETA slaughtered 2324 dogs and cats in 2014: a full 82.4% of those entrusted to their care.
The Virginia Senate and House have addressed this with a bill that subtly refines the definition of a private shelter, so that "shelters of last resort" -- slaughterhouses -- don't qualify. If your institution is devoted almost entirely to killing, as opposed to re-homing pets, then you are not a shelter, and cannot legally obtain and use sodium pentobarbital.
The bill is aimed directly at PETA, as they are the only organization to exploit this loophole. (Even the worst of kill shelters aren't generally quite this bent on exclusive specialization.)
After months of silence, PETA has now declared that they are "devastated" -- devastated! -- by their killing of Maya. They finally admitted to this crime only a few days ago, via the lobbyist they employed in a desperate effort to thwart the legislation. Today's tactic is to cry great splashing crocodile tears: yes, they did it, but the killing of Maya was a terrible mistake, as opposed to standard operating procedure.
The testimony of a credible whistleblower casts serious doubt upon this assertion: not only has she accused PETA of doing this regularly -- stealing pets and killing them off the books -- but has alleged that they regularly doctored reports in order to cover up their illegal use of euthanasia drugs.
An effort is now being made to prevent this last crime: a petition to increase transparency in the reporting of euthanasia. And PETA's apologists are of course howling: "At the same time as this bill is being heard, the proponents are trying to impose record keeping obligations and administrative tasks on public and private shelters without any regard for how that reduces resources for animals."
"Record keeping obligations." Consider how cruel this is to PETA. The problem is that without transparency, PETA could still hold the slaughter on course. Much as it pains them, they could make an effort to adopt out animals, thereby retaining their shelter status and access to sodium pentobarbital. At which point it would be necessary to restrain them in their use of that lethal substance.
Otherwise they have accounting tricks at their disposal. As the whistleblower Heather Harper-Troje reported:
If you say the animal is ten pounds heavier than he is, you've given yourself room to euthanize another ten-pound animal off the books... I was under direct orders from (Ingrid Newkirk, PETA's president) to doctor logs, in order to compensate for what would have otherwise been missing pheno and ketamine.
Those who have questioned the need for these actions now have every answer they could possibly require. For PETA to pay a $500 fine -- given their yearly avalanche of donations from well-meaning animal lovers -- is not especially onerous, to put it mildly. A little girl devastated by the loss of her pet dog is paying considerably more, and it has nothing to do with money.
The bill written to thwart PETA's killing -- which was passed overwhelmingly by the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates -- is now sitting on the desk of the Governor, waiting to be signed. PETA is of course making a last ditch effort to quash this legislation. PLEASE call Governor Terry McAuliffe today, at 804-786-2211, and urge him to sign this. Calls are being tallied, so this matters: phone, and insist that your friends phone as well. If this legislation is thwarted, despite the best efforts of citizens and their elected representatives, it will be a disaster for the animals of Virginia.