I responded 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. — Laura Lee Cascada, Feb. 26, 2019.

Laura Lee Cascada, a former PETA fieldworker, became the latest whistleblower to bring to light her indoctrination into a “cult-like” culture of killing at PETA; a culture she describes as “terrifying.” This video, part of my ongoing investigative journalism into PETA’s killing, summarizes Cascada’s account, placing her experiences into historical context. The voice and photographs are a recreation. The words are Laura’s.