ahhh, the life of a diplomatic princess . . .

Two Kittens, One Puppy, Two Dogs — All Killed by PETA the Same Day As Maya. THIS is SOP.

Lately I’ve been enjoying my life getting back to what I consider to be normal — still working on trying to get the truth out about PETA, and advocating about this to our elected representatives, as well as working on some other things I’m hoping will help shed light on PETA. But mostly just going about my daily business. My dad is here visiting so our family took a long weekend to beautiful Lake Yajoa, on Friday we leave for another long weekend, on the Caribbean coast of Honduras, at the end of March we are undertaking a grand adventure to the Guatemalan ruins of Tikal. Planning these trips, dedicating myself to my running streak, enjoying our family, and making sure our home is humming along smoothly have taken up most of my time, and I’ve very much enjoyed that because it’s what I love to do.

But I came across this information and it was shocking. Well, not shocking for me because I know it’s SOP for PETA. But I’m hoping it’s shocking for others in the sense that people will see what PETA really does, what they will continue to do unless they are stopped.

Maya Wasn’t The Only Animal PETA Killed That Day:

Records from VDACS show that at least two kittens, one puppy, and two other dogs were also killed

These are not things invented by PETA detractors, these are from PETA’s own records, records they submitted to the state of Virginia. They can be seen here. Animals killed that day include:

• Two four month old kittens
• A six month old puppy
• A one year old Lab-mix
• Another Chihuahua

Why were these animals killed? Are we supposed to believe that two four month old kittens and a six month old puppy were so sick, or otherwise unadoptable, that PETA had no options but to kill them? Since their surrender/intake forms are so lacking in information (seriously, these are pathetic intake forms — no details about the animals, no details about why the animals were surrendered or why a decision was made to kill them) we can only make guesses about why they were killed. My own belief is that PETA intentionally keeps their records bare bones because the less information provided about the conditions of animals, and the reasons for surrender, the harder it is to prove that they are killing healthy, adoptable animals. But those of us who know the truth about how PETA operates CAP know they were killed because that is SOP — regardless of the condition of the animal, regardless of the adoptability of the animal, regardless of the reason for surrender.

It absolutely pains me that so many animal lovers and advocates still do not see the truth about PETA. The only way the killing of adoptable animals by PETA will be stopped is for that to change. We need more ex-employees to come forward, we need people with firsthand knowledge of PETA SOP to speak the truth about them. When enough of us are shining light on this it will no longer be ignored, lies will no longer be believed, and adoptable animals who deserve a chance to live will no longer be killed in alarming numbers. We’ve got  to do this, I am begging others to come forward, together we can stop the killing.

My Complaint to the Virginia Department of Agriculture Against PETA

On Tuesday I got some pretty disappointing news (to put it mildly), in response to my request to file a complaint against People for the Ethical Treatment of animals with the Virginia Department of Agriculture. This was what I emailed to them on February 13:

Good Afternoon,

I would like to file a complaint against People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in regards to what, I believe, happens within their Community Animal Project.

Fifteen years ago I worked for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in the Community Animal Project division as a Field Officer. I would like very much to have a chance to give you my first hand account of the practices within PeTA towards the animals that they take in to their “shelter” (I use quotes because, during my time there, there was no actual shelter beyond an empty closet and the warehouse where animals were killed). I realize this was fifteen years ago but it is my deeply held belief, based on events that have been covered in the news in the years since my employment, and because I am very familiar with the mindset of the President of PeTA, Ingrid Newkirk, that nothing has changed within the organization regarding the treatment of companion animals.

 The short version is this:

 *Contrary to what PeTA maintains, the vast majority of animals that were surrendered to PeTA  during my tenure were not sick, old, severely damaged, etc. Many were, in fact, perfectly healthy and adoptable — these include kittens, puppies, and well socialized and maintained animals. Those are animals that would be available for adoption immediately in a conventional shelter or rescue, at PeTA they were killed, in the great majority of cases the same day as their surrender. While a portion of the animals we took in did have some challenges they were minor (worms, fleas, lack of proper nutrition, etc.) and could easily have been dealt with in a proper foster home. There were some animals who were in quite bad shape, (severe tick infestations, severe malnutrition, etc), these were the minority, but, again, easily rehabilitated.

 *Contrary to what PeTA maintains, the vast majority of animals who we killed were not surrendered by owners for humane euthanasia but were surrendered, the owners thought, in order to be placed up for adoption. We were told to say whatever we needed to say in order to get an owner to surrender, lying was encouraged. Meaning, we knew the animal would be killed but told the owner the animal would be placed up for adoption.

 *When I worked at PeTA we were routinely told to doctor the logs where we recorded the use of phenobarbital, a controlled substance for which you need a license (as you are aware) in order to allow us to kill animals off the books. For example, if a dog was 40 pounds you would list him/her as 50 pounds, this would give you room to then kill a 10 pound animal off the books and still account for the amount of phenobarbital that you used. So the number of animals killed was actually even higher than what was recorded.

In the interest of full disclosure I was fired from PeTA, not because I was bad at my job but because I no longer wanted to follow orders I had come to see as immoral, and because I dared to confront Ms. Newkirk when I disagreed with her (an absolute no-no at PeTA). I am not a disgruntled employee, as some would assert. My husband was, at the time, a TV anchor and reporter, I knew half the journalists in town, if I’d wanted revenge for my firing I could have done it then in a very grand and public way. But I just wanted to leave everything in the past and try to forget PeTA and what I had done there. The work of killing animal after animal with very little reprieve or chance of hope is soul crushing, and mine was dying. I was grateful for the catalyst of being fired. I have decided to speak up now because I can no longer live with the weight of this knowledge, and because I want to help create change for the animals whose lives were stolen when I worked at PeTA, those since, and those at risk in the future.

 Again, I know my experiences are from fifteen years ago but I deeply believe, based on stories like the theft of Maya the chihuahua last year, that nothing has changed and I ask that my account be taken into consideration. It is my own opinion that PeTA’s license for controlled substances should be revoked so they are no longer able to engage in the killing of the vast majority of the animals they bring in.

 When I emailed this to them I did not consider it to be my formal complaint, rather the reasons (in a nutshell) I wanted to file a complaint. But they took it as the complaint, I guess it doesn’t make much of a difference because this is what I received in response:

     I am in receipt of your complaint against People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Thank you for your sincere interest in the welfare of animals in Virginia.

     The alleged actions that you describe occurred before PETA established a private animal shelter. This department has limited oversight over the private animal shelter currently operated by PETA; it does not have any authority over licensing for drugs. The Board of Pharmacy and the Board of Veterinary Medicine in the Virginia Department of Health Professions has authority over drug complaints and licensing.

     Once again, thank you for bringing your concerns to the attention of this Department.

A few things went through my head after I read the response and, honestly, I’m still scratching my head over it because, ultimately, it just sounds like a “sorry, not our problem” response. But if it isn’t their problem then whose problem is it?

What I’m hoping is that the newly passed SB 1381,* which “clarifies that the purpose of a private animal shelter is to find permanent adoptive homes for animals,” will change how the Department of Agriculture deals with PETA. I guess that will depend on if this response comes from a place of apathy or from a true lack of ability to do anything due to the absence of adequate laws. My concern is that PETA will find ways to skirt the law and that, if the Department is apathetic (rather than lacking teeth), they will be allowed to do so.

*SB 1381 still needs to be signed into law by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. If you are a Virginia resident please call his office at 804-786-2211 and urge him to sign SB 1381. The animals of Virginia need us to speak for them, and to give them a law that will protect.

So Many Questions Surrounding Maya’s Theft …

Since I wrote my initial blog post on being rescued by Black Boy I have started digging deeper into what happened to Maya the Chihuahua. Now I have so many questions banging around in my head that I can barely think straight. And I’m frustrated because the more I dig the more questions I have. So I’ve decided to write some of them down. Not because I think I’ll get any answers from PETA but because I need to try to sort them.

1. I’ve been told by supporters of PETA that the employees who stole Maya believed she was a stray since she did not have her collar and tags on. But it seems that PETA, prior to the day Maya was stolen, had not only visited the trailer park where Maya and her family lived but had sat on the porch from which Maya was stolen and visited with her family. So how can PETA supporters still assert that she was a stray? Did PETA also, originally, before sending a fruit basket to Maya’s family, assert this?

2. We are now being told that one of the employees who stole Maya has been fired because her actions were a violation of PETA policy and Virginia law. If her actions really were a violation of PETA policy, rather than PETA SOP (which I believe is true based on my own tenure with PETA), why wasn’t she fired immediately — both for violating policy and for breaking the law? Why did PETA hire a lawyer to defend her and the other employee who assisted in Maya’s theft? Why wait until SB 1381 is before the Virginia assembly, and then have PETA’s lobbyist announce that one of the employees who stole and killed Maya had been fired?

3. We are also told that PETA employees were at the trailer park rounding up strays for a local farmer, who claims the dogs were attacking his livestock. What business did PETA have rounding up strays? And, according to Virginia law (specifically, Subsection 3.2-6546 C): ” C. An animal confined pursuant to this section shall be kept for a period of not less than five days, such period to commence on the day immediately following the day the animal is initially confined in the facility, unless sooner claimed by the rightful owner thereof.” Why wasn’t Maya held for that five day period? For that matter …

4.  It is my understanding that other animals were rounded up that day. How many were rounded up? Has PETA released the records of intake for that particular day? What happened to the animals who were rounded up with Maya? Why weren’t they held for the five day period required by law? I know we can assume they were also killed but has PETA ever addressed this aspect of what happened that day? Their lives matter too.

These questions are just the tip of it for me. And I’m frustrated by the lack of answers from PETA, I’m more frustrated because we may never get the answers to these questions and others. We all know, if there hadn’t been video of Maya’s theft, the story of Maya would just be another whisper in the wind; the word of one family, who would have been painted as negligent at best by PETA, against the PETA giant. But I am certain of this: Maya’s family is not the only one to have had an animal stolen from them by PETA.

I am urging folks in Virginia whose animals have “disappeared,” especially in areas where CAP works, to come forward and ask PETA about your animals. And I am asking people who have surrendered their animals to PETA for the purposes of rehoming them to ask PETA what happened to the animal? Ask for proof, ask for adoption records. Don’t just take their word for it. There are answers here, we must be relentless in our search for them.




My Letter to Virginia Delegates

Tomorrow I will be e-mailing all one hundred Virginia House members, asking them to vote yes on SB 1381. The following is the letter I’ve written to them — I wanted to share it on my blog as well. I’m giving my perspective not just as a former PETA employee but as someone who has experienced animal rescue overseas, and someone who has seen how shelters and rescuers have done so much with so little in order to help the sickest animals I’ve ever seen. Keeping that in mind, I know PETA, with its incredible resources, is capable of more — SB 1381 would require them to rise to that.

Dear Delegate,

I am writing today to ask you to please pass SB 1381. As a former PETA employee who worked in the Community Animal Project (the division that does field and shelter work), I know from firsthand experience that this bill is needed in order to protect the animals taken in by PETA.

In the eight months I worked for CAP the vast majority of dogs and cats who were killed were healthy, adoptable animals. They were not gravely ill, injured, elderly, aggressive, or otherwise unadoptable, as PETA is claiming. While my employment for PETA was fifteen years ago, I firmly believe, based on their own report of how many animals were killed in 2014, that they still hold a policy where killing animals they bring in is not a last resort — as it should be in a shelter — but a first response.

I was told to kill entire litters of healthy, adoptable puppies and kittens, cats who had been kept exclusively inside all their lives, dogs who would have been adopted in a heartbeat in other shelters. And I was told this by Ingrid Newkirk herself, the President of PETA.

My husband is a diplomat, currently with the American Embassy in Honduras, and over the course of our various postings I have volunteered for shelters and rescue groups in developing nations. Their efforts on behalf of animals put Ingrid Newkirk’s to shame. I have also worked in a small shelter in Montana, and volunteered at another shelter in Virginia. Neither in America nor abroad have I ever seen a shelter with kill numbers as high as PETA’s. It’s unheard of.

And I have never worked with another organization that has anywhere near PETA’s wealth. I volunteered in a shelter in San Jose, Costa Rica, for instance — the only conventional shelter in the area — and it operated on a shoe string budget. It did free and low-cost spay and neuter; it had vaccination clinics; it ran a veterinary clinic that helped some of the most destitute and neglected animals I have ever seen. They also took weekends where they would go into the most impoverished communities in the country and provide free care for animals. They never turned an animal away, and they only performed humane euthanasia (meaning they only euthanized an animal if he/she was suffering and could not be helped).

In the three years I lived in Costa Rica, euthanasia at that shelter was so rare that, when it had to happen, it was something the director and I talked about at length because it weighed on her. This is a shelter that sees some of the sickest, most neglected animals you can imagine: malnourished street dogs, abused dogs kept outside who are attacked by other dogs, cats with severe infections, wildlife attacked with machetes, etc. — and euthanasia is rare there. Consider this: if an underfunded shelter that routinely sees animals in such distress can provide them with what they need, then why can’t PETA?

PETA can do better, and this law would require them to do better. They know this, which is why they are lobbying so hard to defeat this bill.

Note that other shelters in Virginia support this law — PETA is the lone voice against this necessary legislation. Please do what is right for animals, and what is right for your constituents, of which I am one: I remain a Virginia taxpayer. I am sure that the great majority of Virginians do not agree with PETA’s “kill first” philosophy, and would urge you to vote in favor of SB 1381.

Thank you for your consideration,

Heather Harper-Troje

Important Information on Virginia’s SB 1381: No Time to Waste

The following is a piece By Douglas Anthony Cooper that was just published in the Huffington Post about Virginia Senate Bill 1381.  You can find it here but I’ve put the entire piece in my blog because this is so important and so timely. We don’t have any time to lose, the vote is tomorrow. Lobbyists, and the large organizations they work for, should not get to dictate what becomes law in our democracy, the only way to prevent this is to act. Please, if you are a Virginia voter, contact your representative and tell ask them to vote in favor of SB 1381, the contact information you need is in Mr. Cooper’s piece. The time is now.

“PETA would like you to believe that tomorrow’s crucial vote in Virginia isn’t about them. It’s about all those shelters that open their doors to dogs and cats, and then kill almost every single one. Never mind that PETA is the sole “shelter” that fits this description.

No, the bill isn’t about them.

That’s why PETA is the only group to have hired a lobbyist to quash this bill. That’s why PETA is the only group screaming about just how terrible this bill will be for innocent creatures.

Their lobbyist, Stephan Haner, is good. I mean that: he’s a pro. Note how he opens this letter to the delegates who will be voting: “Okay, we get it — people dislike my client PETA, for a whole bunch of reasons. But base your opinion on the truth, not a pack of lies.”

Nice, huh? Yes, these are lousy people, but you and I — adults — are capable of rising above such sentiments, and judging wisely. And, predictably, the next paragraph introduces… well, a pack of lies.

Bill 1381 “seeks to prevent any private shelter from practicing euthanasia.” Sayeth our lobbyist. Which is an interesting opinion, if you find rank garbage interesting.

Nobody is trying to prevent the practice of euthanasia. The bill does not oppose euthanasia, and neither does any advocate that I’ve ever met or heard of — including those that describe themselves as “No Kill.” Euthanasia means mercifully ending the life of an animal who is sick and beyond cure: generally in pain. Killing — as opposed to euthanasia — means ending the life of an animal just because it happens to be alive. The bill would deter shelters from doing the latter.

And don’t kid yourself: this bill is aimed at one shelter in particular. It aims to shut down PETA’s grotesque slaughterhouse: their “shelter,” which has killed over 33,000 pets. Yes, lots of shelters in American kill unnecessarily, but PETA’s kill rate puts them in a special category. They are a machine.

“So, let’s talk about it,” says their lobbyist. Okay, I’m all for that. Let’s talk.
“Of the 3017 animals it accepted in 2014, almost 2868 were surrendered by their owners.” Right. I have no reason to disbelieve this. It’s probably correct — or mostly correct. What is almost certainly not correct is this: that all of those owners wanted those pets put to death.

People surrender animals to shelters hoping, for the most part, that they will be re-homed. Often they explicitly request this. PETA kills these pets anyway.

Don’t believe me? We have abundant information, including the recent testimony of a whistleblower, who worked at PETA fifteen years ago: “I was told regularly to say whatever I had to say in order to get people to surrender animals to me: lying was not only acceptable, it was encouraged.” And often what was said was this: that PETA would be adopting these animals out.

This courageous whistleblower, Heather Harper-Troje, recounts one litter of puppies: “They were surrendered by their owner — I picked them up. We were supposed to find them homes, but they were all euthanized.” And this is simply one anecdote: “I never had an owner tell me they wanted their animal killed.”

Perhaps that testimony is too old for comfort? Perhaps PETA has reformed its vicious ways? Well, you’re welcome to conclude this, except that an employee was videotaped recently — just this November — stealing a perfectly health pet from a porch in Virginia: a little girl’s dog, which was killed almost immediately afterward. PETA’s lobbyist describes this as “a terrible mistake.” I’d certainly agree with the “terrible” bit. Theft is rarely a “mistake.”

Frankly, nobody decent could possibly conclude that PETA has become a more reputable outfit — not after reading this fully documented report: “PETA’s Secret Slaughter of Kittens and Puppies.” (Warning: the photographic evidence will turn your stomach.)

So, I’m glad we’ve had this little talk, Mr. Lobbyist. And I am truly impressed by your rhetoric. What worries me is that the delegates representing the people of Virginia will be equally impressed. And that would be a disaster for animals.

If you’re a Virginia resident, contact your delegate. The vote is tomorrow. You can find out who represents you on this page: “An Urgent List for Virginia Voters.”

You can arm yourself with the actual facts here: “SB1381: David and Goliath scenario to protect Virginia’s dogs and cats.”

Tell your delegate that you’re on the side of David. That you agree with Virginia’s elected senators, who have already passed this bill on your behalf. That you’ve done some reading, and spent some time with your beloved animals, and have decided that Goliath and its lobbyist don’t speak for you.”

Don’t Let PETA Fool You, SB 1381 is a Good Bill

Tonight I saw an “Action Alert” from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals urging people to ask the Virginia House of Delegates to vote against SB 1381. Let’s look again at what SB 1381 does: “Clarifies that the purpose of a private animal shelter is to find permanent adoptive homes and facilitate other lifesaving outcomes for animals.” Sounds like the definition of a shelter, right? But, apparently, PETA needs it to be clarified, and then put into law, that a shelter should exist to rehabilitate and re-home animals. As the law stands now, or, rather, the loophole of the law stands now, they are free to kill the vast majority of animals who come into their shelter. This law would prevent their ability to do that.

What makes me most angry about this “Action Alert” is that it is cynical, it demonstrates they will stop at nothing to push their agenda. And it takes complete advantage of well meaning people who look to PETA as a beacon of animal welfare, and who trust the organization to tell them the truth. They are counting on that trust. Don’t let them fool you. Unlike PETA, I am not asking you to take me at my word, I am saying if you have any doubts at all do your research, figure out where you stand, and then do something! I trust in the integrity of this bill, I trust in what is right. So I trust, when you do your research, you will support this bill and you will make your voice heard.

I haven’t heard of other shelters in the area opposing this bill. In an article by Arin Greenwood for the Huffington Post, Tabitha Frizzell Hanes with the Richmond SPCA states this:

“The current wording of the definition has been interpreted to create a loophole under which the PETA facility in Norfolk operates as a private animal shelter but without the purpose of finding permanent adoptive homes for animals. Over the past decade, as save rates at private shelters across Virginia have risen and euthanasia rates have fallen, the PETA facility euthanizes the animals it takes in at a rate of about 90 percent.

“It is out of step with the progress being made for our state’s homeless animals for a private shelter to operate not with the purpose of finding animals adoptive homes but almost entirely to take their lives.”

Ask yourself, if other shelters are supporting this bill why is PETA opposing it? Why did it hire a lobbyist to fight it?

I’ve been accused of doing this to seek attention, so I hesitate to post the interview I did with WVEC TV in Virginia but I’m going to because it is my testimony. It is the truth.

Interview with WVEC

This “Action Alert” is a lie. What they’ve written in it, their “concern” for smaller, private shelters, is a lie. It’s all done in the name of protecting the status quo at PETA–to kill the vast majority of animals they take in. Don’t let them fool you, and don’t let them stop you from taking action. Go here for a list of all Virginia delegates and their email address, and then contact them. Make sure you put in your subject line that you support SB 1381.  We are obligated to speak for those who can’t, and together we can create a change that will benefit vulnerable animals who are counting on us. Their lives depend on our action, plain and simple. So, ACT!

Virginia Voters, Keep Up the Momentum!

I’ll be happy when this blog can go back to its regularly scheduled programming of writing about the places we visit, raising kids overseas, and the occasional political rant but, until that can happen, this is the track we are on.

Virginia Senate Bill 1381 has conquered one more hurdle, this time in passing the House Agricultural Committee. It was close, 12-10, but it happened. Friday is go time, that’s when the bill is before the House. I am urging Virginia voters to contact their delegates and ask them to support SB 1381, briefly tell them why this bill is so important. If you’re not sure who your delegate is you can go here. And I’m asking folks to go further by contacting all members of the House of Delegates and do the same, you may not be one of their constituents but you are still a Virginia voter, you can find the list here.

I know that we can sometimes wonder if appealing to our representatives makes a difference, but it’s what we’ve got, and if we all do it then we’ve got a powerful weapon, one we need to use. If we do nothing then we’ve let the lobbyist working on behalf of PETA win, we’ve let the status quo of killing adoptable animals win. So let’s move forward, folks, and fight for the animals who cannot fight for themselves. We’re in mile 11 now, and we never give up on a run.

An Urgent List for Virginia Voters

Virginia’s SB 1381 passed the House Agriculture Subcommittee yesterday afternoon, but just barely–4 Y-3 N. On Wednesday it will go before the full Agriculture committee, if it passes there it will go before the full House on Friday. To remind, SB 1381 “Clarifies that the purpose of a private animal shelter is to find permanent adoptive homes and facilitate other lifesaving outcomes for animals,” it closes a loophole that needs to be closed. If this bill passes any private facility that calls itself a “shelter” will not be able to kill the majority of the animals it takes in, it will instead have to re-home them.

I am urging Virginia voters to act. We know that PETA has hired a lobbyist to work towards defeating this bill, we can’t let that happen. I’m posting an Action Alert from No Kill Hampton Roads, please act on it as soon as you can, we’re down to the wire here.


SB 1381 passed the House Agriculture Subcommittee yesterday. Vote was 4-3. It will be before the full House Ag committee tomorrow, Wednesday morning. So, please contact your delegate and House Ag committee members today.

1. Contact your Delegate and urge them to support SB 1381 and request support for this bill from fellow delegates on the House Ag committee.

2. Contact each House Ag committee member and urge support for SB 1381.
(FYI Delegates Poindexter, Knight, James & Keam voted in support of this bill yesterday in the Ag subcommittee and the no votes were from Morefield, Orrock & Marshall)

The House Ag committee has 22 members and for your convenience their email addresses are listed below and also a suggestion of what to say:

Dear Delegate:
As a Virginia, I urge you to support SB 1381. This bill clarifies the language for what constitutes a private shelter in Virginia. It includes that a “private animal shelter” means a facility operated for the purpose of finding permanent adoptive homes and facilitating other lifesaving outcomes for animals. Surely this is something we all want our private shelters in Virginia to strive for, the best outcome for each and every companion animal.
Thank you.

Why Would PeTA Hire a Lobbyist to Defeat a Bill Intended to Help Animals?

In Virginia tomorrow Senate Bill 1381, which has already passed the Senate, will go in front of the House. This bill “clarifies the purpose of a private animal shelter is to find permanent and adoptive homes and facilitate other lifesaving outcomes for animals.” If SB 1381 passes it would mean that PeTA, which states that it has a shelter (and, therefore, has to meet the legal guidelines for animal shelters), would have to shift from killing the majority of animals it takes in to finding adoptive homes for them instead. The way it would most impact PeTA is clearly stated in this article by Arin Greenwood at the Huffington Post:

“The current wording of the definition has been interpreted to create a loophole under which the PETA facility in Norfolk operates as a private animal shelter but without the purpose of finding permanent adoptive homes for animals,” Tabitha Frizzell Hanes, of the Richmond SPCA, writes on the shelter’s blog. “Over the past decade, as save rates at private shelters across Virginia have risen and euthanasia rates have fallen, the PETA facility euthanizes the animals it takes in at a rate of about 90 percent.

“It is out of step with the progress being made for our state’s homeless animals for a private shelter to operate not with the purpose of finding animals adoptive homes but almost entirely to take their lives.”

The purpose of an animal shelter is rescue, killing the vast majority of animals that come into a shelter is not part of rescue. Apparently, PeTA wants so badly for this bill to fail that it hired a lobbyist whose aim is to make sure that the bill fails, as outlined in this latest piece on the Huffington Post by Douglas Anthony Cooper. Quoting Mr. Cooper,

The bill seemed certain to pass in the House, as the Senate approved it 33-5. That certainty has evaporated with the revelation that PETA has hired a famous lobbyist to urge Virginia Delegates to vote nay. VPAP (The Virginia Public Access Project) has reported that Stephen D. Haner has been retained by PETA to lobby politicians in the area of “all matters related to the operation of private animal shelters in the Commonwealth of Virginia.” (VPAP is a non-partisan institution aimed at keeping Virginia voters informed.)

Why would PeTA want so badly for this bill to fail that it hired a lobbyist in order to fight the bill’s chances of passing? PeTA stated that, in 2014, it provided “free euthanasia services for 2,454 dogs, cats, and other animals in just one area of the United States.” While many shelters offer a humane euthanasia service, I cannot imagine that the numbers of animals euthanized under this service at any given shelter are anywhere near what PeTA says it does. The implication of “free euthanasia services” means the owner of a dog, cat, or other companion animal brings their animal to PeTA for humane euthanasia because the animal is suffering, due to age or illness. My understanding is that this bill would not impact that activity, and my feeling is that they are fighting this bill so hard because animals suffering due to age or illness whose owners are asking for humane euthanasia is not the true explanation for PeTA’s outrageously high kill rate. The reason for the high kill rate is that animals who PeTA has surrendered to it for the purposes of adoption are never (or extremely rarely) placed up for adoption, rather they are killed. If this bill passes, PeTA would no longer legally be able to do that and things would get very tricky for the organization.


Apparently, Revenge is a Dish Best Served #IceCold

This afternoon I did a skype interview with WVEC News Now in Hampton Roads, Virginia about the truth I’ve been telling regarding People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and how the vast majority of companion animals who are turned over to them for adoption (or, sometimes, stolen) are killed, usually the same day, sometimes within minutes. Most importantly, how PeTA, when taking these animals in, never intends to put them up for adoption, despite the fact that is what is told to the owners in order to convince them to surrender the animal. And how, at least during the time when I worked there, the logs where the use of phenobarbital was recorded were doctored in order to allow animals to be killed off the books.

PeTA’s response is that I’m a “disgruntled employee” who has created a “hateful fantasy” in order to enact revenge. I watched the story with my family, when we heard the response from PeTA my kids burst out laughing, they’re now teasing me that my new nickname is “disgruntled.” Why? Because it’s an absolutely ridiculous and laughable response. At the time of my firing my husband was a television journalist and anchor, we knew half the reporters and photographers in town. If I’d wanted revenge I would have done it then, and done it in a very grand way. It took me fifteen years to come up with this “hateful fantasy” for the purposes of revenge? I know I’m not the brightest bulb in the bunch but I’m not that dim. So I tweeted this:


I am so grateful that this is all finally being revealed, and that people have my back, and that people are paying attention. The practice of killing healthy, adoptable, or easily rehabilitated animals, without ever placing them up for adoption was wrong then. I believe this is still happening at PeTA. It’s got to stop.

You can watch the interview here:

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