Letter to the Editor: Claims about PETA misleading


Please allow me to respond to letter-writer Renee Hawkins’ misleading claims about PETA.

More than 83 percent of PETA’s operating expenses in 2016 went directly to our programs fighting animal exploitation. Last year alone, PETA spent more than $1,402,000 to spay and neuter more than 15,000 cats and dogs on our fleet of mobile clinics, at little to no cost to their guardians. Since starting this lifesaving service, we’ve sterilized nearly 150,000 animals – preventing innumerable cats and dogs from being born only to end up homeless or neglected.

Many people in the communities we serve lack access to a veterinarian and can’t afford to pay hundreds of dollars to give their beloved, elderly, ailing animals a peaceful end to their suffering. The free euthanasia services we provide spare animals from spending their last days or weeks deteriorating in misery, and we’ve received countless thank-you notes and hugs from people who are deeply grateful for PETA’s help during very difficult times.

At our shelter of last resort, we also welcome animals that “turn-away” facilities reject: those who are aggressive, sick, aged, injured, and feral and for whom a painless end through euthanasia is a kindness. We are the only group in the area that is on call 24/7 to give relief to abused and suffering animals. PETA has also found excellent homes for many lucky animals, including Storm and Rain, kitten siblings we rescued in Hurricane Harvey’s wake, and a little dog named Portero, who flew back with PETA’s rescue team from Puerto Rico after hurricane Maria.

At PETA, we believe that “loving animals” means acting in their best interests – and that does not include dumping cats back on the mean streets to face a daily struggle for survival, running dogs ragged in a 1,000-mile race for money and bragging rights, or eating animals just because we find them “tasty.”

I invite readers to visit the PETA website to learn more.

Teresa Chagrin, animal care & control specialist, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Norfolk