One of PETA’s 42,573 known victims.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, which oversees animal “shelters” in the state, released PETA statistics for 2020. While communities across Virginia and the country are reporting placement rates that are higher than ever —  in some cases, the highest in their history (as high as 99% in municipal shelters) and, given the demand for animals as a result of the pandemic, many are even finding themselves empty for the first time in their history —  PETA continues to kill the majority of animals it takes in.

In 2020, PETA put to death 1,119 out of 1,542 cats. That’s a kill rate of over seven out of 10 cats. Another 407 went to pounds that also kill animals. Historically, many of the kittens and cats PETA has taken to those pounds have been killed, often within minutes, despite being young (as young as six weeks old) and healthy. Not only do those records prove the lie that all of the animals PETA rounds up to kill are “suffering,” but if those cats and kittens were killed or displaced others who were killed, that puts the overall cat death rate as high as 99%. They only adopted out 16 cats, an adoption rate of 1% despite millions of “animal loving” supporters, a staff of hundreds, and revenues of $66,277,867.

While dogs fared a little better, 600 out of 1,052 were put to death. Less than 2% were adopted out. And PETA staff also killed 83% of other animal companions: 40 out of 48.

To date, PETA has killed 42,573 dogs and cats and sent thousands more to be killed at local pounds, that we know of. The number may be many times higher. According to a former employee whose job it was to acquire animals to kill:

I was told regularly to not enter animals into the log, or to euthanize off-site in order to prevent animals from even entering the building. I was told regularly to greatly overestimate the weight of animals whose euthanasia we recorded, in order to account for what would have otherwise been missing ‘blue juice’ (the chemical used to euthanize); because that allowed us to euthanize animals off the books.

A second PETA field worker also admitted that healthy animals were routinely rounded up and killed, including lying to people in order to acquire their animals. For example, she writes that she,

[R]esponded to a call from a concerned woman who’d found an abandoned days-old kitten under her porch. When I came to pick up the kitten, I had her sign a generic give-up form that spelled out that euthanasia was a possibility. But I was instructed to repeatedly convey that we would do our absolute best, and so that’s what I said, even as the woman described her careful search for an organization she knew would work around the clock to help this tiny being pull through. It was my job to make sure I did not leave without that cat  —  that I said whatever necessary for the woman not to change her mind.

The entire way back to PETA’s Norfolk, Virginia, headquarters, I sobbed, petting the infant cat in my lap, telling her things would all be OK, even though in my gut I knew it wouldn’t, that she never really had a chance. I even began plotting out how I might take a detour and deliver her to a rehabber instead. But how could I explain a missing kitten to the woman waiting with the needle? I couldn’t, so I complied without a word. 

PETA is letting loose upon the world individuals who not only believe that killing is a good thing and that the living want to die, but who are legally armed with lethal drugs which they have already proven — over 42,000 times in the last 21 years — that they are not averse to using.

PETA’s 2020 statistics are here.