Among other things, animal rights groups feel that it is against an animal's rights to be owned. Because so many PETA members do have pets they do not really enforce this "rule" as much as some more extreme animal rights groups do. Nonetheless it must be understood that animal rights groups do not encourage the ownership of any animal.
Consider the number of pets euthanized in general. The Humane Society of America has reported roughly 4 million pets as being euthanized in shelters every year. This number is actually down from several years ago thanks in part to more people spaying or neutering their pets, but is still a high number.
Now consider that the PETA shelter in Virginia euthanizes roughly 2000 pets per year and you can see that this number is just a drop in the bucket compared to the 4 million pets euthanized yearly across the nation. PETA has said that the pets they get tend to be ones in bad shape, mostly brought to them by impoverished people who cannot afford to euthanize a sick and/or old pet in the first place and are not typically adoptable pets.
Here is what PETA has to say:
"PETA operates as a “shelter of last resort” for poverty-stricken areas of Virginia and North Carolina. We take in animals who have been chained up outside for their entire lives like old bicycles, animals who have been abused or neglected, and animals whose owners—many of whom can’t afford to pay for euthanasia at a veterinarian’s office—come to us for help." As a Virginia official speaking of PETA’s statistics told USA Today, “PETA will basically take anything that comes through the door, and other shelters won’t do that.”
That “2,000” figure doesn’t include the adoptable animals we transferred to big family-friendly, open-admission shelters that offer animals the best chance at finding a home, and it doesn’t include the dogs and cats we provided with free or low-cost spaying or neutering or other veterinary services to help guardians keep their animals."
Thus it appears that people who dislike PETA, and the animal rights movement in general, might just be forgetting certain facts when they talk about the high volume of pets that PETA euthanized. Yes, 2000 pets is a lot, but it appears that these pets were ailing in the first place.
It should be noted that shelters across the USA (and in other countries) euthanize perfectly healthy cats and dogs, as well as kittens and pups, all the time, simply because they get so many animals in constantly and have so few adoptions. Some shelters call themselves "no-kill" but they typically reject pets if they are full, or if they think the pet is not adoptable.
|Puppy mill - place that breeds pups for stores.|
PETA is well known but not as extreme as some animal rights groups are. They have a lot of haters, and please note that I am not a member of PETA, I simply dislike it when some people try to discredit a group when the group has done some very good things in the past (for example forcing the release of monkeys being experimented on while alive).
Ideally if more people adopted pets, and if more people spayed or neutered the pets they have, and if everyone would stop supporting puppy mills and pet stores who sell mill pups, then euthanasia rates of healthy pets would fall, but to get mad at PETA for helping poor people to euthanize their sick and dying pets is unfair.