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Rescued by Black Boy: how a neglected dog set me back on my path, away from PETA

There was a time when I was a True Believer and a very good little soldier, I did what I was told to do, when I was told to do it. I didn’t question orders and if I did it was never to the face of the one giving them. Then, one stormy and snowy evening, I stopped by an abandoned house to check on a dog I’d been feeding and caring for. I pulled up in front of the home and saw him huddled on the open porch, under cover as much as his short chain would allow, his thick fur encrusted in ice. In that moment I made the decision to unchain him and usher him into my van and, unlike past days when he’d been slightly timid and unwilling to trust me completely, he followed me. I rubbed him with towels to dry his soaked fur, wrapped him in blankets to warm him, fed him dog treats, stroked his head. What followed is one of the great regrets of my life, one I can barely bring myself to write about. Back in a warehouse later that night I held his big head in my lap and whispered soothing mantras in his ear while a colleague of mine injected him with the chemical that would take his life, and he quietly slipped away. I don’t regret taking him, he would probably have frozen to death if I’d left him there. I regret being a good soldier, I regret following orders, I regret not listening to my heart, I regret not fighting for Black Boy. That was his name, this dog who’d been kept on a chain for his entire life in the yard of an abandoned house, never given affection, fed barely enough to sustain him. He’d been bought by the son of the woman who lived next door to the abandoned house for “protection.” She was terrified of him, she threw his food at him because she wouldn’t go near him. At first glance he was intimidating — a big black German Shepard mix who’d only known life on a chain and who was, understandably, protective of his space. But something about him had captured me. I spent time with him, a lot of time, and this is how he came to trust me enough to let me whisk him away on the night that ended up with him dead and me broken.

As a field worker for People for the Ethical Treatment of animals one of my duties was to visit various houses and check on dogs who were kept outside, mostly chained, many without shelter. Some were stuck in the yard for “protection.” Some were dogs who had started as cute puppies, needing training that never came, and ended with them chained to a metal stake in a plot of dirt. These dogs led lives of solitude and neglect, often severe neglect. Laws, and enforcement of those laws, were so lacking that very little could be done to help them. If I and my colleagues didn’t feed them, they often didn’t eat. If we didn’t give them houses then they slept in the dirt — exposed to the sun, rain, and snow. If we didn’t put straw in those houses they went without bedding. Often, without us, they went without any kind of companionship but, despite it all, these dogs were social sparks of light, wanting only to love and be loved. The situation was most dire in Portsmouth, Virginia, specifically a neighborhood called Fairwood Homes.

Fairwood Homes was a development full of tiny, decrepit homes that lacked central heat. The houses were originally intended to be temporary but someone had seen dollar signs and purchased the development to turn it into low-income housing. Fairwood Homes became a place full of people who had nowhere else to go. I spent a lot of time there, and the surrounding neighborhoods, getting to know people, educating them on the benefits of spaying and neutering, vaccinating, proper nutrition, and the importance of socialization for dogs. But I had very few resources and not a lot of support from PETA to focus on education, my focus was supposed to be on triage. My time was spread thin as, in addition to working in Portsmouth, I had to answer calls from all over the Hampton Roads area — to help with feral cats, investigate animal cruelty and neglect, answer calls about dog fighting, and provide transportation for our spay/neuter program from homes to local vets and back again. I worked from early in the morning until well past dark, I neglected my marriage and myself but I felt I was doing important work, and I was good at it. My first performance review earned me a raise and accolades from Ingrid Newkirk, the president of PETA and my direct supervisor. I was blind to the already developing cracks in my own seams.

In the beginning, I wanted to adopt out the majority of animals I brought in, and sometimes I neglected to report when I picked up an animal; in doing so I could bring them to a local shelter because the alternative was euthanasia at PETA. I was not yet a True Believer. Even after I became a True Believer there were certain animals, animals I knew I could easily place, for whom I requested an adoption green light. A few times I was successful in my requests, but I had to fight hard for each adoption and, increasingly, I encountered great resistance. I heard phrases like “a waste of resources” and “not adoptable,” my desire to save each animal was belittled as naive and trivial, I was told that I was missing the bigger picture. I remember one day bringing a tiny white dog into Ingrid’s office to tell her I wanted to adopt her out, not euthanize her. She rolled her eyes and asked why that dog was any more worthy than any of the countless other animals in shelters waiting for a home. I told her she was an adoptable dog — small, social, sweet, could be placed with very little trouble. After sarcastically berating me, with a smile on her face, she turned to a man in her office and asked what he thought, he said she was very cute. She sighed and said something along the lines of “fine, do what you want.” So I found her a home. The perspective I brought to PETA was that of an animal shelter worker. I’d been taught that, as an animal advocate and rescuer, I was duty bound to believe very few animals were beyond hope. While we needed to balance our limited resources, animals who came to us at least deserved a chance. This was not the philosophy I encountered at PETA, at least not from the leadership.

I was treading water in Fairwood Homes and other areas where I worked. More and more I was euthanizing all the animals I brought in, and I could never bring in enough animals, or work enough hours, to please Ingrid. I worked mainly on my own because there were only a few field workers in total and the need was overwhelming. Some of the work was dangerous, especially for a woman alone. I have been surrounded by groups of young men who accused me of stealing their pit bulls (I hadn’t), chased in my van through a swamp by hunters because I was documenting the conditions under which their hunting dogs were kept, chased by packs of feral dogs, pinned against a wall by a man who threatened me. I asked Ingrid for a phone that worked properly (my mobile phone was ancient and worked sporadically), and to be allowed to carry mace. She refused both requests. Eric was becoming increasingly concerned about my safety, I reassured him that I was fine, believing my own bravado. Physically I was fine, emotionally my cracks were spreading.

An equally overworked and emotionally frustrated colleague and I decided we would ask Ingrid if we could open a small shelter near Fairwood Homes, it would operate not only as a shelter but also a place we could vaccinate animals and educate the people in the neighborhood, it would give us a central base. Because, let me be clear, there was no shelter at PETA when I was there. What was referred to as the “shelter” was a large, empty storage closet across from our office. The only other holding facility we had was in the warehouse, where the animals were euthanized. And when I did use the room across from my office as a holding area for animals Ingrid would ask why I hadn’t already euthanized them, one time nailing me to the wall because the litter of puppies I’d placed in there for a night had pooped everywhere. I was told to euthanize the puppies immediately. Needless to say, Ingrid refused our request for a shelter — waste of resources, not the aim of the program, animals beyond hope, same old same old. I saw the opening of a shelter as a chance to make a real difference in an area where the animals so desperately needed help. And a lot of the people there were good folks, but they were treating animals the way they’d been raised to treat them, they didn’t know a different kind of life for a dog. They needed education and assistance, and the children needed to see empathy, compassion, and responsibility or nothing was going to change. I was gutted. I was also exhausted from the constant uphill battle I was fighting, I was tired of euthanizing animals I wanted to save, I was rapidly burning out.

And on that night, sitting on the cold warehouse floor, holding Black Boy and sobbing into his wet fur I broke, completely cracked open. I realized I had strayed far from my own belief system, and if I continued to walk the road I was on I would become a fanatic out of necessity, because it had to be done in order to survive the life I was living. I sobbed for Black Boy, for the life he could have had if I hadn’t lost my way. I was right to steal him, I was wrong to be complicit in his death, and, to this day, a part of me hates myself for that.

I began keeping sane work hours, which didn’t go unnoticed by Ingrid. I became a bit of a rogue in the field, no longer following protocol, bringing in fewer animals, skipping calls I felt were only excuses for me to berate someone. One day I took part in a meeting about the “allocation of resources” for our program. Ingrid announced that, in order to cut costs, we would no longer be paying to have male pit bulls neutered, we would only pay to have females spayed. She asked for feedback, which I knew she did not really want but I spoke up anyway. I told her that neutering was a necessity, without it the male dogs would be vulnerable to being used as fighting dogs. She maintained we didn’t have the funds for it. I told her that we had to find the funds, we didn’t have a choice. No, the decision was made and we would no longer pay for neutering. I took a deep breathe, looked at my friend and colleague who was seated across the table from me who had fixed me with a “don’t do it” stare. I took a deep breath, and told Ingrid that if we discontinued the neutering program in the particular area where my focus was then we would be as guilty of perpetuating the cruelty of dog fighting as those who were fighting the dogs, and that the suffering and death of each dog lost to a fight would be on our hands. The meeting ended.

A few weeks later I was given a letter of dismissal from the woman who had started out as my assistant but had since become my supervisor, her promotion happened around the time I’d stopped being such a good little soldier. Not cut out for a job in animal rescue, best of luck, effective immediately. I was told to clean out my desk and leave. I was upset, not because I’d been fired because I’d seen that as inevitable, and I was grateful for it. I was upset because, contrary to the excuse they’d invented in order to fire me, I was good at my job, what I was no longer good at was following orders that I knew were immoral. While I was packing my desk two men came into my office to “escort” me out of the building. As I picked up my box of belongings one of them wrapped his fingers around my arm, the subtle threat of force was not lost on me. I responded to his grasp with “don’t you fucking touch me” while shooting him with the same glare that had saved me from gang members and hunters. I left PETA that day, still broken, full of regret, burned out, but solid in the belief that I was back on my path and I needed to make amends.

It has taken me years to write about my experiences at PETA, the closest I ever came was this blog, where I addressed some of what I’m writing about now but in far less detail. Part of me needs this catharsis, but what made me finally decide to write about this was the bill that just passed in the Virginia Senate and is on its way to the House. Yesterday was the first I’d heard of the bill but I’m glad I did because I think it’s a necessary one. The bill would prevent PETA from killing the majority of the animals it brings in, which would be a very good thing because, unless things have changed drastically at PETA since my time there, and I doubt they have, they are responsible for the deaths of far more animals than they are disclosing, and they have no problem lying about numbers. And, while I’m hopeful that this bill would make a difference, I am also skeptical at how effective it would be because I know from first hand experience that the PETA leadership has no problem lying. 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. 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. I am not a PETA hater, I agree with many of the things they fight for, even if I think their methods often detract from their objectives. My own feeling is that PETA should be completely barred from taking animals into its facility, and from legally obtaining the drugs needed to euthanize —  that is the only way to minimize the killing. I believe they should be allowed to continue to work in the field, out in the open, but that anything behind closed doors is dangerous.

My intention in writing this is not to be vindictive, or to lash out, or to absolve myself from responsibility. I was an adult when I worked there, I made the decision to follow orders, nobody forced me into it. I eventually allowed myself to buy into what I was being sold — the belief that the numbers were so overwhelming that euthanasia was the only option for the vast majority of animals we brought in, the belief that the animals were too broken to be helped, and the belief that it was okay to lie and create stories in order to get the work done. It wasn’t okay, the ends did not justify the means, the ends weren’t even the ends we should have been working towards. As strange as it feels to believe it, because I worked constantly, the philosophy that I operated under at PETA, the philosophy that I believe they still operate under, was lazy, and it betrayed the animals we were supposed to be helping.

I know that euthanasia, at this point, is a necessary evil but the solution that PETA has decided upon, the killing of the vast majority of the animals it takes in, not to mention the killing of animals whose existence is never recorded, is not the answer. And I really would encourage anyone who is wanting to donate to animals to look at organizations other than PETA. There are so many who are doing remarkable, peaceful work, and they do it with a much smaller budget. PETA, at least in the way it involves itself with companion animals locally, is not what it seems and my belief is that it never will be. I maintain what I wrote in my previous blog about PETA; working with animals who have been neglected, abused, betrayed, given up on, isn’t about bailing water out of a sinking ship, it’s about finding solutions, educating, building relationships, and fighting for animals. It’s about saving animals, first and foremost, and that is not done by killing the vast majority that you take in. The work of animal rescue, while exhausting and emotionally difficult, is a privilege. It is a privilege to work on behalf of the voiceless, on behalf of animals who want nothing more that to be a part of a family, to be near us, to spend their days with us, to give us unconditional love. Contrary to what PETA maintains, the majority of animals it takes in are not beyond hope, in my experience many would be considered highly adoptable by a shelter. The “better off dead” line is one that is dragged out in order to excuse what they do — and it’s a lie.

This is the most difficult blog entry I’ve ever written, even in this moment I’m not sure I’ll press the publish button. And I’m pretty sure I’ll never be able to forgive myself for allowing myself for straying so far from the things that I know are right. So I guess I’m kind of looking at this as another way to make amends, especially to Black Boy who, in a very real way, saved me. I’d spent many hours over the course of months with him, it took a long time for him to trust me because he’d only ever known cruelty and neglect. In the end what I did is something unforgivable, I allowed myself to walk a path that I knew in my heart was wrong, I should have fought harder for him, I shouldn’t have followed orders and protocol and all the other shit I’d swallowed hook line and sinker. And all the shit I willingly drank down, and what it led me to do, is something I’ll never be able to cleanse myself of. That’s just a fact. But I hope by writing this, and by writing the truth about what I experienced at PETA, at least some people will open their eyes to what really happens behind its closed doors.

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544 thoughts on “Rescued by Black Boy: how a neglected dog set me back on my path, away from PETA

  1. Thank you for writing this and for your honesty.

    • Thank you for reading it.

      • KATHY LETHCOE on said:

        THANKS FOR YOUR STORY AND MOST OF ALL YOUR HONESTY! I THINK IT’S VERY SAD WHEN I HEAR THE THE HORROR STORIES POOR ANIMALS GO THREW AT THE HANDS OF CRUEL DUMB ASS PEOPLE WHO ARE HEARTLESS! I LOVE ANIMALS, I WOULD RATHER BE AROUND A ROOM OF CATS AND DOGS THAN PEOPLE. ANIMALS DON’T HURT YOUR FEELINGS OR MAKE YOU FEEL UNLOVED.YOU REALLY DID A FAVOR FOR BLACK BOY, RATHER YOU SEE IT OR NOT, HE’S RIGHT WHERE HE NEEDS TO BE NOW!

      • Ashley on said:

        This is the real PETA: http://altdaily.com/features/news/121-opinion36/7652-in-defense-of-peta-compassion-in-a-callous-time-for-human-history#.VQEhg3ECOxs.facebook.

        Don’t be fooled by those who want to bash PETA while having such a lack of knowledge about the matter.

      • Shaylen on said:

        I don’t know how to leave a comment and not just a reply, so sorry for leaving my comment here.

        That Ingrid woman and all those like her are absolutely HORRIBLE. I find it disgustingly hypocritical which isn’t even a strong enough word that you were told you were “Not cut out for a job in animal rescue.” SHE and those like here are the ones not cut out for animals “RESCUE”!!! That makes me absolutely livid.

        The way she rolled her eyes at the suggestion for doing right by the innocent animals who are the victims of all of this… absolutely deplorable human being. To turn your back on the animals you’re supposed to be helping and to treat them like nothing and just part of a ‘bigger picture’ is sick enough on it’s own and beyond heartbreaking, but to ROLL YOUR EYES at their lives and worth!? Evil woman… I’m sorry but in my book that qualifies as evil.

        PETA has certainly done vital things and has brought the animal rights movement so far ahead and I will always be grateful for that. But what you’re describing is so wrong. To turn one’s back on any one individual animal and justify it as ‘the greater good’… that makes a person no better than the abusers themselves. Same reason I don’t go for the Gary Francione approach who is against single issue campaigns.

        I do like to point out to non-vegan Peta haters that they kill far more animals than Peta so they have no room to talk.

        Sounds like Peta needs to stick to exposing truths and fighting to end vivisection and things of that nature and stay away from taking in animals if this is the way they do things and if this is the attitude the majority of its leaders share.

        Have you done any independent work since leaving Peta, like opening a shelter and such like you wanted to do while you were there?

      • Hi Shaylen, thanks for your comment. I agree completely that PETA needs to remove themselves from “rescue” since killing is not rescuing. Other than volunteering I have not. My husband and I decided it was time to start a family and I decided to become a stay at home mom. A few years later my husband took the Foreign Service exams, passed them, and became a US diplomat so we’ve spent the last 10 years living overseas and moving every few years. Which we will continue to do until we retire. Once retired, we plan to buy a house with enough land in Ireland to enable us to adopt some rescued animals (ideally a cow, some donkeys, maybe a few sheep, and, of course, some dogs and cats). Our family includes 7 rescue animals who move around the world with us.

    • For the full story on PETA’s shelter of last resort please see: http://investigations.peta.org/petas-rescue-team/ and http://features.peta.org/petasaves/

      • The Truth on said:
      • killing animals within the first 24 hours when you have only 1 in the 10,000 sq foot facility is not ever justified as “last resort”. it is killing for the sake of killing when you have 52 million dollars in revenues for 2014, 3 million followers, and can’t find homes for more than a few dozen adoptable pets? Call yourselves what you really are! Nothing more than a pet slaughterhouse.

      • shannon on said:

        PETA is nothing but a cult.

      • Shaylen on said:

        Seriously? “Peta is nothing but a cult”?? Um, yeah a cult who helped change the world for the better for all animals! We’d be so further behind if not for all the good they’ve done and to take that away is just absolutely senseless. I’m not saying they shouldn’t be held accountable for these things if they’re true though. But for anyone commenting on here or who has negative feelings about PETA, who aren’t vegan, you’re hypocrites and have no room to talk as you kill THOUSANDS of animals just so you can consume their flesh, by products, or wear them.

        I haven’t read this full article, but the beginning absolutely breaks my heart </3 Precious little Black Boy and all those alike <3……

      • Shaylen–I agree that PETA HAS done a lot of good in some areas,
        but NOT in others.
        I also think the “vegan” remark goes both ways–how can PETA tout
        total veganism while its “shelter” often kills healthy pets without even
        TRYING to find them homes??

    • Jane Tiberio on said:

      I am sick to my stomach right now, and filled with disbelief. I have followed them and believed everything I read and contributed. I do not know what to do…….. Jane Tiberio, NHS

      • ulisesgirl on said:

        Donate your time and money to more worthy, helpful causes. Find an organization like your local humane society or no-kill shelter you can support.
        Other animal non-profits do better work and don’t have the deep pockets PETA does. There’s plenty you can do to help – and you don’t need PETA to help do it.

      • Don’t turn your back. Share this blog. Fight PETA and all it stands for.

      • People Eating Tasty Animals: Stupid Russian Communists for animals since 1980

    • Mimi Porter on said:

      This entire post reeks of dishonesty! I worked for PETA and I find it strange that you won’t use your real name in this post. Although I did not agree with many of their policies while an employee, I would still have the guts to print my name if I was going to blast them in print. Integrity is important. There isn’t much on display in this post because you didn’t identify yourself and you had no real data or statistics to back up your claims. It’s easy to pick on a group like PETA and to paint the organization as a villain. Use your powers for good lady, write about the horrible, horrible political situation in this country. And for goodness sake, use some hard data to back up your claims!

      • That’s funny, my name is public, found via my email. I believe you can also find it by clicking on my avatar. This isn’t an anonymous blog.

      • rebecca on said:

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/douglas-anthony-cooper/whistleblower-peta-employee-allegations_b_6648696.html?utm_hp_ref=
        Mimi Porter – The above article gives her name, and it looks like she has volunteered it for anyone who’s asked. I don’t know many bloggers who start personal posts on their personal blogs with “Hi My name is Mimi Porter” and then write their blog posts. The fact is this: Many people have NO Idea that a group called “People for the Ethical Treatment for Animals” Euthanizes animals in the way that they do. The assumption is that they will go to extreme lengths to save all of them.
        An acquaintance took her cat to PETA and was told it would become an “office cat”. Due to some circumstances she was not able to care for it anymore, but she didn’t want to submit her cat to a shelter b/c she didn’t want it to die! She went back to check on the cat and was told it was euthanized. Had she known PETA’s stance on Companion Animals, she NEVER would have taken her pet there.Her assumption was, her cat would be safe and cared for. Yes, it’s on her for not doing the research on PETA, but b/c they are so widely known for going to extremes for animals, many people think they would not euthanize a healthy animal. So if the only thing that comes out of this post is awareness of PETA’s practices towards companion animals, then, that’s a good thing.

      • Jamie Basnett on said:

        There is so much data to back this up. Will take you under 30 seconds to prove how sick you, and your precious pos organization truly is. Peta threatens, steals, tries to manipulate, and thinks they can sue. If Peta isn’t doing as Heather and many others are saying, why is their “shelter” not set up to the legal hold time for an animal? Why is the kill rate over 90℅? Why had psychotic Ingrid bragged about all the animals she alone has murdered? Why has there been no response to the theft and onsite murder of Maya? Think it will go away? NEVER! My name is Jamie Basnett. I dare PETA to try and threaten me, to try and intimidate me with a law suit. BRING IT ON!! I would love a lawsuit. Peta doesn’t want that, though do they? Every person ever associated with peta would be SWORN UNDER OATH!!! Come on, you ignorant Peta supporters, think for yourselves! Ask where the money is going if they kill so many? Sure, they put up an advertisement. It is only so sheeple do their work, and they keep getting richer. Also, explain why Peta supports the terrorist group AFL and others?? I could go on, but I don’t think the intelligence is there for them to understand that their precious Peta is nothing but a slaughterhouse. Come to my property and see how much of your asses my rescues get to eat when they are done with you. I will keep attacking Peta their supporters, including celebrities whose pages we have blown up. Come get me!! I’m not a helpless animal!

      • Hey Mimi, you want to discuss Maya in Virginia? I think not. PETA=Psychopathic Evil Terrible Assholes

      • Grady Powell on said:

        Mimi Porter- You might as well get off of PETA’s high horse. They’re nothing but a pathetic killing machine that the world was tricked into believing that they actually cared about animals. For you, it’s all about the money, no feelings involved. That’s what they teach their employees, not to feel and you’ll make more money. I’ve seen the stories everywhere, so your little hissy fit ain’t gonna cut it. It’s just a matter of time before the shit hits the fan and PETA goes down.

      • maria c on said:

        Fuck you. You fucking murderer

      • Amanda on said:

        I agree. As far as I know, this could have been written by some corporate swill paid to ruin PETA’s reputation. Anonymous blogs don’t cut it in the age of social media. Sign your name, and then I might take you seriously (although you need a very good editor – you indulge yourself way too much in your style of writing).

      • This isn’t an anonymous blog. You should do a little research before you comment.

      • Robin Hicks on said:

        Mimi Porter, my guess is that you have had a lobotomy or is still an avid PETA worker and worshiper. Grow a pair and realize they are murders.

      • “Mimi Porter” and you have the balls to say this lady didn’t use her real name? Come off it Mimi Bekhechi…

      • Grady Powell on said:

        Here’s my real name, suck on it. It doesn’t matter if you worked for PETA or not, that just degrades yourself. They kill 97% of all adoptable cats and dogs they take into their high kill shelters.Even Ingrid Newkirk said that an empty shelter is a happy shelter. They’re nothing but killers.If you choose to side with them, that will be your downfall. This blog is going viral, eventually PETA will get out of shelters shelters, or pay a HUGE price… do a little more reserch before you start flapping your lips…

      • Matt, Right? I found it very amusing that she asserted my blog is anonymous since my personal e-mail, which has my name on it, is available on the blog and I make zero attempts to hide my identity on my blog. It was a pretty desperate attempt on her part.

    • Ashley on said:

      This is the real PETA: http://altdaily.com/features/news/121-opinion36/7652-in-defense-of-peta-compassion-in-a-callous-time-for-human-history#.VQEhg3ECOxs.facebook.

      Don’t be fooled by those who want to bash them while having such a lack of knowledge about the matter.

      • Ally on said:

        Ashley, you don’t need to keep posting that. I’ve read it and it’s bullshit, so knock it off

    • Thank you for sharing and I hope you find healing for yourself. But my question is: WHY?? WHY does PETA do this? They do so much good…I refer people to their websites all the time for info on going vegan. Why do they kill so many adoptable animals??? I just don’t get it!

      • Hi Monica, it’s pretty hard to wrap your mind around, I know. Because it is in direct opposition to what they claim to stand for. I think some people have allowed themselves to believe PETA’s lies and justifications about pet overpopulation. But I think the core group of people doing the killing are true believers — they actually believe that killing animals is justified because it prevents future suffering. They believe that the vast majority of humans are incapable of loving animals, and killing animals keeps them from that. It’s sick, totally twisted, an absolute betrayal of what rescue work is supposed to be. If you want to dig into the mentality of PETA I highly recommend Nathan Wingorad’s piece, the (Death) Cult of PETA. I think he’s absolutely spot on in his explanation of why PETA kills. http://www.nathanwinograd.com/?p=15160

      • I guess that they do it because cats and dogs are carnivores.
        So if they will be adopted, their owners will care of them and the good care includes a good food. And good food for cats and dogs is meat. So caring about pet carnivorous animals contradicts another goal of PETA – caring about cows/chickens/lambs/rabbits… So they have chosen killing carnivores as a lesser evil, i think.

    • Julie on said:

      OMG I once named a dog Black Boy, too. This is the first time I’ve ever heard that name again. It’s been 35 years. Cool!

    • Just
      feel very very sad to have read this but thank you for speaking out , i have supported Peta for years and know they do awesome things but this is awful and I dont yet know what to do with it, my first reaction is deep sadness and to hug all my rescues closer.. Thank you again.

  2. You are a hero. I’ve been waiting so long for a view from the inside. Thank you.

    • Thanks for reading it and for your support, I appreciate it.

    • Susan Thornton on said:

      A ‘HERO’??! how the hell do you work that out!!! As much as she wants us to applaud her honesty, she tries throughout, to vindicate what she did, which is to murder innocent helpless animals.
      How anyone can look into the eyes of a dog or cat and watch the life drain from its body is beyond me! If I even witnessed something like that taking place, my instinct would be to put myself between the murderer and the animal.
      THATS what a REAL animal lover does!

      • I don’t expect anyone to “applaud my honesty.” Frankly, I was expecting a lot less support and a lot more hate, and I’m very appreciative of the support. You can think what you like about me, it doesn’t change anything.

      • Those who work in the veterinary field regularly comfort animals as they pass away in their lasts moments during euthanasia. It is never easy, but I hope you would never call them murderers.

        I think the real issue was the euthanizing of healthy, adoptable animals, not the process of euthanasia itself. Euthanasia, done properly, can be a mercy to animals that are dying, living in a world of pain, or are not able to live a life because of severe medical or behavioural problems. In this case I would never call euthanasia murder. However, euthanizing a healthy, adoptable animal would be heart-wrenching and scarring. It is a horrible thing to carry with you.

      • I agree, and I need to amend the blog to use the word “kill” when appropriate.

      • When PETA behaves in an immoral and unethical manner, all the good works in the world cannot erase the blood on their hands of needless companion deaths or the truth that PETA is killing animals that do not need to be killed and that is wrong. There is a place for euthanasia, and it is killing, not euthanasia when it is done because the animal is too young, too old, wrong color, too big/small, has a treatable illness/injury/serious behavior problem or is simply inconvenient to the person who holds its life in balance. PETA may do wonderful things for circus animals, farm, and research animals and all the rest, but when they cannot show the same compassion and mercy and for the lives of animals that have chosen to live with and love us for thousands of years, it’s more than leadership being extreme. It’s leadership no rational, caring person can support.

  3. Mayank Chaturvedi on said:

    Its a pity..that we humens still learn to be humean…and that to from theese animals…they say that we are the most beautiful creation of God…now how will decide weather its true or not…if somebody could ask theese speachless animals…what would be the answer???

  4. I am a “used to be” contributer to PETA I believe every word you have written because a friend who died many years ago, ran a rescue here in NY State..she had her nose in everybody’s business and told me many things about PETA that I didn’t want to believe at first .. after hearing more and thinking about ther goals and assets, the wording in some of their publicity, I stopped donating about 20 years ago..I resent every dime I ever gave them and I thank you for proving what my friend said was true. Thank you..and Thank you Sari..you were right!

  5. Pingback: Rescued by Black Boy: how a neglected dog set me back on my path, away from PETA | RandomSoju

  6. Jenny Barkley on said:

    Any body can get led astray but it takes a really good person to stand up & admit it. I know you know this but please be extra careful.

    • Thank you. I’m grateful to Black Boy for leading me back to my path. I live in Honduras so I’m well out of reach 🙂

      • Graham on said:

        “Please be extra careful.” What an idiotic comment. I worked at PETA for many many years and the last thing anyone has to worry about is not being “well out of reach.” There are a lot of very good people at PETA doing a lot of very good work, don’t denigrate them by suggesting she is in danger for criticizing PETA. Also, don’t forget the LIFESAVING work PETA does. PETA’s cruelty caseworkers get help for starving, abused and neglected horses, dogs, cats, pigs, etc. PETA’s investigators go undercover to expose the horrors found on fur “farms” and in slaughterhouses, roadside zoos, laboratories, etc. PETA has convinced enormous corporations to stop testing their products on animals, convinced top designers to stop using fur, convinced those who kept bears in concrete pits to send them to sanctuaries, etc. The list goes on and on. One has every right to be opposed to PETA euthanizing animals. But one can and should do so without trashing an entire organization. Finally, for those of you opposed to the killing of dogs and cats but not cows, pigs, chickens, etc., stop being hypocrites.

      • Graham, I agree, there are good people at PeTA. And they do good work. There are also zealots. Ultimately, the problem is, the bad things that are done weigh all that good work done. As good as all that stuff is, it cannot outweigh the bad, because an organization like PeTA shouldn’t be committing evil against animals. We cannot ignore the bad that is done because of the good that is done. This isn’t a trade-off. We can’t wash away evil with one hand because good is done with the other.

      • Mimi Porter on said:

        Thank goodness for Graham’s comment….one voice of reason among so many who would rather believe that a non-profit organization that is driven to abolish cruelty to animals is some evil entity. People, research the work PETA has actually done. Then make a decision.

  7. Repentance makes the unforgivable, forgivable. Thank you for publishing this through your pain.

    • It’s a long road to walk but I need to do it, thank you.

    • Lynne on said:

      Am so glad that Black dog was put in your path to get you to follow your true heart…what you do now going forward is what is now important… I think speaking out will help others understand just what the big machine of PETA really is and if they want to be a part of it…most people are shocked to find out the scope of what goes on…they really publish and promote the ethical treatment of animals yet behind doors there is a ton of very un-ethical things going on…it is too easy for people to see a few posters and hear a few feel good blurbs and then donate and support…it is really best to look in all the corners of a rescue or shelter or animal rights group to make sure you really want to do that…often small local groups are your best bet as they are what they are..you can look them up and go visit and ask around..

      PETA is not what a lot of people believe it to be as humane is often not what is done… It has done some things that are good but it has done much that is far from it and contrary to what they appear to represent…if it is so right to do such euthanizing then they wound be open about it and are not..and they really would rather no one owns an animal or eats them or has any kind of interferance in their lives that is their ultimate goal.
      Coming from a farming community the tactics that they use are borderline terroristic when they come to county and state fairs and farms and turn animals loose that then often become hurt or die.and at the very least are terrorized by PETA people… Animals raised for food in good conditions and humanely cared for that belong to 4-H and FFA kids are targeted right beside places and people who are NOT humanely caring for food animals…the kids are targeted and harassed in public and most clubs and chapters have to prepare their members for a run in with PETA.. not really what their name stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals…there is a lot that is not ethical about PETA. PETA would be happy if no one owned animals.. no food animals, no pets of any kind…if in doubt read up on them…. here is a place to start…
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People_for_the_Ethical_Treatment_of_Animals

  8. Annette Astin on said:

    I am discusted with PETA . My eyes are open now .

  9. rebecca on said:

    I am so proud of you for writing this post. I know that it comes directly from your heart and that you work daily to ensure all animals are given fair treatment. It’s good to open conversations like this. Maybe then we can talk about and put into motion better solutions.

  10. Wow. Thank you for writing this, and I can tell it wasn’t easy. I had no idea that PETA euthanizes so many animals– that is truly horrific.

  11. Thank you from the heart. Newkirk got her start at Washington Humane Society, an open admission shelter in DC, which now adopts out around 90 percent of their intake, including pit bulls. Their community cats project is CatNipp.

  12. Jacalyn Kelly on said:

    Thank you for sharing as I’m sure that was difficult. However, I think you can aid in animal rescue, with your experience and in the memory of Black Boy, and realize that killing is mostly unnecessary. The death of Black Boy can’t be changed, but use his memory to help all of those animals out there! At least something positive can come from his death.

  13. Adrian Dillon on said:

    Thank you so much for having the courage to write this. By doing so, you undoubtedly saved the lives of countless animals. The more evidence — like yours, from an insider — against PETA, the more likely they will be shut down and not be able to continue their serial murders.

    I’d just like to add 2 things: 1) the definition of “euthanasia” is “killing to relieve suffering” or “mercy killing.” There is nothing merciful about killing a healthy adoptable animal. 2) Many people are working to achieve a No-Kill nation. Go to the No-Kill Advocacy Center or No-Kill Coalition to find out more about what is possible.

    Thank you again. You are a brave, caring person.

    • Thank you for reading this. In living overseas I’ve seen animal rescuers with far fewer resources than PETA have a huge impact on the animals in their community, there’s no excuse for an organization with so much at their fingertips to have the kill rate they did and, apparently, still do.

  14. Thank you for this article. I recently became a PETA un-supporter because of some other things I read about. I feel for your pain. It is easy to be swept up in the collective consciousness of an organization. You have been saved and Black Boy would forgive you. I hope you will forgive yourself. Because of Black Boy you may end up doing amazing and wonderful things to bring change in a good way to homeless, neglected, and abused animals.

    • Thank you. Each time I look at our own dog, who was a street dog in Costa Rica who’d been hit by a car and left for dead, I see hope and possibility. I want Black Boy to represent the same things.

  15. I worked ac in 80 and 90 when we killed everything, we were not associated with PETA but this was animal control in fort wayne, IN and I was treated as you were because I could not stand the killing. I also endured wrath from co-workers who were pissed I kept puppies over a weekend because they had to work and clean up after them. I worked also, but I did not mind cleaning up after them. I was wrote up, it was a union job, numerous times for questioning an animal that was killed. I will never forget a dog I made sure I held to be put down because I loved so much and they would not or did not have the money to save. I think of her every day, she had an embedded collar, was tied up and attacked by other dogs.

    • I’m always amazed at the amount of infighting that goes on in the animal welfare movement, we’re all in this together, we need to row in the same direction and find our common ground. Sounds like you had a huge uphill battle, I’m sorry and I can totally relate.

      • Jessie on said:

        That is wrong. We are not rowing in the same direction, as evidenced by PETA. Everyone is the rescue community has to stand up against, and expose, killers like PETA. Imagine of one child welfare group was killing all the kids who came in their doors. Other groups would be up in arms and filing law suits. Those groups that want to kill – PETA, HSUS, ASPCA need to be exposed for the animal killers they are.

    • Bonnie on said:

      Good breeders love their dogs, do not mind cleaning up after puppies, and make sure they go to responsible homes. I could walk into a shelter in our city and just pay the adoption fee. They have NO desire to know whether or not I could actually care properly for an animal. Irresponsible owners are 99 % of the problem!

      • Bonnie, please don’t make this a breeder vs. rescue issue. I know good breeders who have placed dogs in homes that turned out to be less than ideal and rescues that have more stringent adoption criteria than one needs to adopt a human child. Good breeders and well-intentioned rescue should be working together instead of fighting each other and making the public take sides.

      • Jessie on said:

        Breeders give dogs to whoever will pay. There is NO reason to breed when 5 million pets are killed. NO REASON EVER.

      • Jessie: I think you’re mixing up breeders with pet stores, puppy mills, and most municipal animal controls.

  16. Thank you for having the courage to write this. I am sure it must have been incredibly difficult. Even though I have heard a lot of what you wrote through other people, it is shocking to read it from someone who experienced it first hand.

    You were led astray by people that you thought were allies in our attempts to save animals. In the past, I too believed that PETA worked to save animals, and I used to donate to them monthly even though I didn’t have a lot then. My donations stopped when I read Nathan Winograd’s book, Redemption. I am furious that PETA lied to me, and that my money was probably used to buy the poisons to kill animals.

    Your saving grace is that you stood up for the animals then, and you are standing up for them again now by posting this blog. Many people still do not know what PETA really is. I am sure your blog will bring more awareness of what PETA is and why laws to stop them from killing is so necessary. More people speaking out will only help to stop the slaughterhouse that is PETA.

  17. Rose Guieb on said:

    Thank you for writing honestly about Peta. This was written from the heart and I have no doubt about its truth. Made me cry. NaMaste

  18. you’ve done a great service with this post, thank you. i hope it inspires others to come forward.

    • Thank you, I hope so. I won’t out anyone but there are a lot of people who know a lot of things and the only way this will change is for them to come forward.

      • I think you need to take the next step and “out” some people. They won’t come forward on their own if they have not by now, and PETA will go its merry way with or without you. Take your story to the media. Rolling Stone. UK Guardian. It’s one thing to write a self-absolving blog that very few people will read, another thing to raise a red flag for the world to see.

      • I contacted a writer who blogs at the Huffington Post, he and I spent a long time messaging, he wrote a piece about it for Huff Po on their blog. The problem with outing people is that they don’t have to speak, they can, and will, continue to deny it.

      • If you were talking to Douglas Anthony Cooper from Huff. He too is a bully, who is very verbally abusive to others who do not agree with his point of few. Many people here pointing fingers here at PETA, eat animals. 99% of cruelty to animals happens to the animal they eat.

      • In reply to Julie Wall: I’m a bully? Verbally abusive to people who disagree? Let’s see now: you’ve made a regular habit of ridiculing the stutter of an advocate you disagree with. Calling him “Elmer Fudd.” That strikes me as kind of abusive, but maybe you have different standards.

        When it comes to certain trolls, I haven’t been nearly abusive enough. Honestly: how does one “bully” Terry Ward, for instance? When you’re dealing with a sadistic troll, you do what you can. Or Pat Dunaway (“Harve Morgan”)? Explain to me how you “bully” a libelous ranting liar, who brags about killing dogs?

        Still, you want to know something? Loathsome as they are, if one of them had a speech impediment, I wouldn’t make fun of it.

  19. Jessie on said:

    Thank for speaking the truth. PETA is a slaughter house and they must be shut down. Animals have no voice so people like you must speak up. Ingrid/PETA are a very sick group and need to be euthanized themselves.

  20. Susan on said:

    With all that has been revealed about PETA and its perversions, the fact that it has become little more than a conduit for funneling huge amounts of blood money into Newkirk’s and others’ pockets, I fail to comprehend how people still will rise to its defense. Wake the hell up.

    • A lot of people are snowed, I used to be. But the truth is available so there is no excuse.

    • Mimi Porter on said:

      Get a grip you guys!!!! You allow public officials to lie to your face…you allow big business interest to continue racking in billions in profits while people are homeless…I could go on an on. Use electronic media for good people!!!! Talk about the real problems in this country. I’m sorry, while there are children missing meals and politicians building their careers with the backing of evil evil men like the Koch brothers, I think we need to turn our eyes away from this little issue with PETA and look at the big picture! If we get our country straight, and we make compassion and generosity our new American values, then more compassion for animals is sure to follow. And remember people….one persons opinion and story does not speak for an entire organization! Look at PETA’s actual track record and make your own opinions. Don’t listen to one crackpot and base all of your decisions based on this one blog.

      • Susan Thornton on said:

        I think the lady doth protest too much Mimi Porter!! You can try all the distraction tactics in the world, or all the excuses known to man to justify this, but to be quite frank….anyone involved in the murder of those animals is no better than Hitler. Theres NOTHING that could make me kill an animal.

      • Wow Mimi – a “crackpot”? That’s the best you have? As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, Heather is not the only one who has DIRECT knowledge of the activities of CAP. Perhaps you want them to come out of the woodwork to defend Heather against your baseless accusations? I guarantee you they can, and they will, and you should probably relay that to Ingrid.

        And as for the “hard data” requested earlier. It’s hard to compile hard data when you are ordered to euthanize “off the books”. You PeTA folks are not helping your credibility by attacking the one person with direct knowledge of this program who has the courage to finally state clearly how it works. It doesn’t take away from the good work PeTA does. It doesn’t take away from the good work that CAP does. Just imagine how much better PeTA’s image would be if it had taken Heather’s advice in 2000, opened up a modest shelter/headquarters for CAP to work from, and allowed them to work honestly and openly? As it is, the program continues to be hidden in secrecy, and a heavy weight on an organization that does tremendous good for animals.

        You should consider yourself lucky that no one has infiltrated CAP using the same tactics PeTA uses to investigate factory farms. PeTA would be facing some significant legal jeopardy.

      • rebecca on said:

        Mimi, If this was a “little issue” as you call it, how is it that PETA has this kind of money? http://www.peta.org/about-peta/learn-about-peta/financial-report/
        Do you know how many of those homeless people you could house and feed with $50,000,000? AND if you are so concerned about these “real problems” as you call them, why are you here, on this blog defending PETA? Wouldn’t your time be better spent encouraging the celebrities and others who donate their time and money to organizations like PETA to give back to organizations who work towards finding solutions to those real problems instead of PETA?
        Also, you are referring to a well respected Diplomat’s wife who freely donates her time and energy to animals and people in third world countries as a crackpot. Really? You want to go there? I wouldn’t question her character like that. It’s walking a fine line.

      • Mimi you say-“Look at PETA’s actual track record and make your own opinions.”- here’s a link to their ACTUAL TRACK RECORD- https://arr.va-vdacs.com/cgi-bin/Vdacs_search.cgi?link_select=facility&form=fac_select&fac_num=157&year=2013 which I’ll also summarize so you don’t have to take the time from your clearly busy schedule of completely ignoring facts about PETA to read their actual track record

        In 2013 they took in 2210 total animals (1281 cats, 894 dogs, 35 misc)
        Of those 1805 were euthanized (1163 cats, 629 dogs, 13 misc).
        That is a kill rate of 91% for cats, 70% for dogs and 82% total. And the only reason they didn’t kill more dogs based on the #s is because they transferred 25% to other agencies.

        You can believe whatever you want about PETA in general but to argue that this post and/or that stance that PETA has completely missed the boat and is full of shit and should not be treated as an animal welfare organization when it comes to rescuing companion animals is just ridiculous and ignoring all sorts of facts.

        To Heather- thank you for sharing this

      • Societe Anonyme on said:

        Mimi is correct. Peta’s accomplishments are undeniable unless you’re up to something crooked. All giant orgs have screw ups. That’s not the point when 3 million are still being put down every year out of Peta’s reach. This is a crack pot caught up in her feelings of guilt which will never be reconciled, tearing apart animal advocacy, causing division. She is causing immeasurable suffering of animals- not helping them.

      • Chelsea R on said:

        You’re a goddamn pyscho, Mimi.

      • Bree Dalling on said:

        http://www.nathanwinograd.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/PETA.2011.pdf

        PETA’s 2011 track record. They killed all but something like 15 animals. Surely there was more animals than that that could be adopted out.

        I’m not basing anything off just this blog. I have my opinion about PETA. You have yours. That’s great. However, don’t you DARE tell me what to believe. This blog post is not a person’s opinion. It is a person’s experience. Two completely different things.

        Mimi Porter, you spend more time complaining about her blog post and trying to reroute people’s feelings than anyone else I have ever met. Stop being a keyboard warrior and get out of the house and DO something.

      • Debbie Tucker-Smith on said:

        Nice try, Mimi Porter. Not going to work, though. The crazies in PETA have done too many crazy things, and now there is social media to spread the word. Bye bye, PETA.

      • I think social media is the beginning of the end for the kill rate at PETA. It’s too easy to get info out quickly, it will happen before they can sweep it away as long as we are vigilant.

  21. Karen F on said:

    Thank you so much for this post. It provides essential information not otherwise available. Your courage is deeply appreciated. My heart goes out to you for what you experienced.

  22. Thank you so much for sharing your (former) insider’s perspective on the horror that is PETA’s policy toward “euthanasia.” I know that some day, with stories like this and more and more pressure on PETA, they WILL be stopped.

  23. MeShell on said:

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I’m sorry you had such a terrible experience with them, and I admire your courage both for speaking out in that meeting that lead to your termination, but also that you are speaking out now.

    I have a hard time supporting organizations that spend a huge amount of money on advertising campaigns while killing an incredible and *unconscionable* amount of adoptable animals, a group that pushes for the death of feral cats and is against TNR, uses fatphobic, racist, offensive advertising, and keeps saying awful things at every opportunity.

    It hasn’t seemed very ethical towards animals for a very long time.

    I appreciate your words. Hopefully with stories like yours, things will change.

  24. Randie on said:

    Thank you for sharing this. Thank you for validating what we have been trying to tell people for decades. You are a hero — you stood up for what is RIGHT and you should be applauded. I hope you find closure and realize you beleived what many cult followers do. Perhaps you ( with us helping) can break the chain that holds others tied to that monster of a human being.

    • Thank you for your support. I was raised to have a deep empathy and respect for animals so going to work for PETA was a dream come true for me, it turned into hell. I’ll always be grateful to Black Boy for breaking the spell and saving me.

  25. Bless you for having the courage to write this. There are things that so many of us in the animal welfare community have “known”, but our knowledge has been based on intuition, even speculation, lacking a first hand account – PETA is a cult, run by a mentally deranged and emotionally violent woman. She kills animals because that’s what she wants to do, and everything else is a detailed, intricate rationalization. Take care, and good luck – you may need it.

    • Thank you, I’m already seeing that. Thank you for reading about my experiences.

      • I am impressed that you are answering everyone, you have done a very good thing here. Atonement. I do fear for you, I hope you have plenty of support. Your blog is being shared, and you will learn the true meaning of “exponential growth”. People are hungry for knowledge like this, PETA has been responsible for a great deal of suffering, both animal and human, over the years. I doubt that your former colleagues have any idea what will hit them. Many animal lovers have been trying for years to get through to people how hateful and destructive PETA is, only to be patronized. People look at me like I had two heads . . . “the ‘humane society’ wouldn’t lie!” they say.

        Last November I was in Orlando for an animal welfare legislation conference. A friend and I took a free day to go to Universal, where we chatted with a worker in a booth who commented on our animal-themed shirts and jewelry. She told us a story about how she had saved a dog running loose in traffic. She couldn’t take him home, so she called PETA . . . my friend and I looked at each other, and the clerk could tell that we were concerned about something. We both struggled with just the right words to explain to her why we seemed so worried . . . we knew we were walking a fine line. We wanted to make sure she would know better in the future, but didn’t want to hurt her feelings or misunderstand our message in any way. It’s tough to be diplomatic when feelings are so strong. I say it again – good luck, and be strong, they will do their best to discredit you. It will be hard.

    • In response to your second comment, I really appreciate people who are taking time to show their support, encouragement, and share their stories and beliefs with me so I want to thank them! The haters will come, obviously, and that makes this support even more special to me. So thank you! And what a tough spot for you and your friend to have been in, yikes. Because you want to tell the truth so she knows not to trust them, but you don’t want her to feel guilty for something that isn’t her fault. People trust PETA, they talk a very good game.

      • larry silber on said:

        Appreciate your candor and experience, which is a great example of how good intentions mixed with dogma can often lead to insanity. PETA does a great job espousing for better animal welfare, if not outright support for other species rights to effectively live unmolested by man. Unfortunately they carry their mantra beyond reason or common sense . This is assuming they love animals and hope for the day humans cease practicing specie ism by eliminating our obsession with profiteering , ultimately condemning the exploitation of other sentient life on the planet as barbaric. So why does PETA insist on operating its pseudo animal shelter? , Why not just pass on a portion of their donations to other less confrontational organizations whose only purpose is offering respite to homeless animals? This would obviously solve any future conflicts of interest that distract from their larger stated mission, which like the HSUS, is really just political.

        Neither organization devotes much time to the hands on clean up so desperately needed, the result of our society’s apathy and selfishness concerning other species right to live, and instead they concentrate on creating awareness and initiating more effective laws . Before we can fix a problem, we have to understand there is a problem, and PETA does a tireless job promoting issues that many other interests find lacking in priority. So the question remains, why does Ingrid continue down this confrontational path , one that might discredit her other worthwhile initiative.

        Heck . i operate a sanctuary , am in desperate need of funding, and will probably never find it. If i align myself with PETA’s philosophy, than i should euthanize all the animals i’m currently supporting, being those resources could better be applied towards fixing the original problems that found the animals in my care in the first place. Isnt that her logic? Divide and conquer is a very successful tactic in subduing adversaries, and being Ingrid is a very astute administrator, shouldn’t she and her organization be doing everything in their power to alleviate future contentions that are clearly antagonistic and repugnant to their core cause?

        Seriously, I dont get it, these people must adore animals , or simply put, life forms other than human. Why would they focus time and resources on killing perfectly healthy animals? Just because nobody owns them they havent a right to live? How does that mindset also care about an individuals life born on a factory farm? Her logic is hard to follow and maybe fallacious, since if all shelters adopted her stance there wouldnt even be a problem , and puppy mills would have vast resources to deposit their unwanted overages to. No we need to treat every individual sentient animals life as we would wish our own to be treated if conditions respecting our ability to care for ourselves deteriorated with respect to their’s .Though realizing in certain situations of hopelessness and suffering, the decision to euthanize can be the greatest gift we can give.

        Does Ingrid and her cohorts not enjoy the company of other sentient species, or do they want to separate all humans from non humans.? Another words I’m a bit confused, is it the animals perspective or the humans that she is defending ? Seems to me that in order to stop the atrocity’s people commit upon animals , they need to first have empathy and compassion for the mind of that animal, and the only way to achieve that is through interaction and education. Foremost , if you expect the holy grail, treating non humans like we treat fellow humans, understanding we still dont treat each other very well, at minimum we mustn’t cavalierly euthanize companion animals simply because they havent a responsible companion. When PETA commits this expedient response, they undermine their entire larger well intention ed mission. This is so sad , because frankly they have done such a good job at generating awareness that they have co-opted the entire movement . Almost to the point that those unaware of the issues immediately bring PETA to mind the moment animal rights are brought up, and helter skelter capriciously killing surrendered pets at their so called shelter, obviously discredits everything else under their guise. The more i read about Ingrid, the more i understand how success in life really just boils down to chance. But thats another story!

  26. Carrie on said:

    Thank you for your courage and honesty. My heart weighs heavy, but my eyes are now wide open.

    PS. Thank you for saving the babies. I do not have the strength or emotional fortitude. Thank god for people like you.

  27. Teresa Palisi on said:

    Thank you, I have been starting to here things such as this about PETA. This is inexcusable, and no matter what good they do or have done, it has been permanently tarnished in my eyes. They are worse than hypocrites, and immoral and dishonest to us who believe that they have animals best interests at heart.

    • There are so many good people working in animal people and creating positive change, the zealots, IMO, weigh us down and pull us backwards. I agree, it is inexcusable.

  28. Deborah Carlson on said:

    Thank you for speaking out. You need to forgive yourself. What you are doing now is what counts.

  29. Pablo Monlezun on said:

    Sadly, Peta seems to be just another company under a false flag in “defend animal rights”, looking nothinf more than profits. You are very brave in tell the story the way really was. God bless ya.

  30. The Great Penguini on said:

    Reblogged this on The Great Penguini Speaketh and commented:
    This story needs to be told. PETA needs to be investigated and shut down.

  31. It takes a strong person to admit when they have done something wrong and an even stronger person to learn from it. I appreciate you sharing.

  32. Harriet West on said:

    Wow, what an eye opening blog. I had “heard” this was PETA’s SOP. You endured more than most people ever should…mentally and emotionally. I hope you are in a better place. I knew Ingrid Newkirk many, many years ago when she became famous with the Silver Spring monkey case. Pardon my languge, but she’s an absolute bitch and has absolutely no morals. Someone needs to hold them accountable. Thanks for alerting us about this bill. I live in VA and will look into this further. Good Bless you, you sound like a kind person who will do much good in the world.

  33. This is a brave and stunning post. Hard to read, heartbreaking, infuriating, but so important. Thank you for your courage in writing it. I have hope that things are finally changing and that PETA will be stopped. And if they do, Black Boy and Maya did not die in vain.

  34. Pam Arnold on said:

    Bravo to you!!! with a empty pen and a clean heart ,you can now to do the good work for these animals you were meant to do. If you can educate ,and help lawmakers find the funds needed to make sure these dogs are vetted before ever leaving any shelters,so rescues and good adopters can continue to help, then your black boy will not have died in vain.

  35. Thank you for your courageous post. It is a long-needed look at what really happens, first hand. Thank you, thank you.

  36. Took a lot of strength to draw a line between what the koolaid waiters would have you believe and what your own moral compass told you. And even more to lay it out in front of the world like you have. I do not know you, but am very proud of you.

  37. A grad school friend and colleague of mine who went to work at PETA had a very similar experience. She, too, left instead of hating herself for lying and needlessly euthanizing innocent animals.

    This incident in the New Yorker profile of Newkirk has haunted me since my friend told me what happened behind the scenes at PETA:

    “When I arrived at the shelter, the woman said, ‘Come in the back and we will just put them down there.’ … I thought, How nice—you will set them up with a place to live. So I waited out front for a while, and then I asked if I could go back and see them, and the woman just looked at me and said, ‘What are you talking about? They are all dead.’ I just snapped when I heard those kittens were dead.” (told to Michael Specter)

    Doesn’t it sound like she’s reenacting that experience, but with less honesty? She must be in terrible pain emotionally … but of course that is no excuse.

    • I was never able to figure out what makes her tick, working for her was like walking on eggshells because you never knew which Ingrid you would see on any given day. But I’m very grateful to Black Boy for pulling me out of the dark.

  38. Sue Purviance on said:

    Wiw, that just made me cry. Its sickening.

  39. Oh Heather, thank you for sharing your experience and heartbreak. You are a compassionate and loving person and working with you at the humane society in Missoula was a gift. Your understanding and kindness was a gift to so many and I am so grateful to you. And I can relate to the pain of those lost.

    • Thank you, Ally. Missoula, and the amazing people who worked there (and who do work them), is something I’ve held fast to because it’s done right there. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your support and the inspiration you give me to walk the path that I know is right.

  40. Dannielle on said:

    your bravery is beautiful- can you be braver? can you speak to our governor, to our legislature here in Virginia and tell them these same words in person? can you allow them to see the anguish and the pain and the need for all of this to mean something, for it to be able to help save and stop killing? they have the power- you can give them the reason.

    • If that is something that is possible then I would absolutely do it. I live in Honduras but I vote in VA so I am a constituent as well, and change needs to happen. Thank you.

      • I’m glad to know you are a VA voter. After 10+ years as a volunteer in animal legislative issues, I’ve learned that one of the biggest challenges is getting the attention of lawmakers. Yes, letters and information from outside constituencies can be helpful, but politicians pay most attention to the opinions of the people who actually vote in their districts. I hope you can apply pressure, push for substantive investigations into PETA by the state AG, or DOJ, people that can’t be threatened by Ingrid and her “flying monkeys”. The ground is being softened. A lot of people started to pay attention when PETA stole Maya, the Chihuahua, off her own front porch and killed her and the law enforcement powers that be refused to prosecute, claimed they couldn’t prove “criminal intent” . . . say WHAT?!

        A real investigation into PETA is what is needed, forcing people to testify, subpoena people, even Ingrid herself. Of course they will lie, but it will be obvious, and perjury is a serious charge, one that can affect a person’s future, someone will realize that. If there are good people still working there, as you claim, they have integrity, and may not be willing to be a martyr for someone such as Ingrid.

        What worries many of us is the network of PETA’s fringe groups with different names. PETA2, the children’s arm of PETA, is infiltrating our early elementary school classrooms, for example. My own state has a lot of trouble with a group formed by a PETA2 protegé, a teenager/stoner living in his parents’ basement who fires up ignorant people to make wild claims of animal abuse and neglect, who harass and terrorize owners of animals, threatens them (while he keeps his distance), encourages vigilantism, trespassing, getting people from all around the country to flood local sheriff’s phone lines with baseless complaints. They never quit, and if the sheriff doesn’t do what they demand, they file lawsuits and complaints to our state DOJ, and make such a fuss that the media gets involved, and then the local law enforcement agencies are forced to waste time and resources answering bogus claims and defending themselves. Animal owners have had to file restraining orders and buy expensive security systems, hire guards, and in some cases, the sheriff has had to pay overtime for officers to guard private property.

        So what goes on in PETA headquarters is only the tip of the iceberg. It is basically a domestic terror group, already on the FBI’s list. PETA has a lot of influence, active groups working for them, but without their name attached.

        I don’t know how much you were aware of when you worked there, what you had to deal with is bad enough. But you did experience that power, I’m sure, because you are a good person with a conscience who was still manipulated.

        And dear Mimi and Graham – maybe there is hope for you, too.

  41. Thank you for your honesty & heartfelt amends to Black Boy & the many other animals PETA has failed. I applaud your courage to find your values & decide what was no longer okay in your life. I agree, PETA does a lot of great things and their treatment of companion animals, their deep-held philosophy is horrendous. Only by telling the truth will people understand the realities of PETA & many other kill shelters. I applaud your efforts to bring education & relief to citizens that need it. Keep up the fight. We are, Animal Ark in MN has helped the city of St. Paul pass a CAPA bill–making it one of the largest municipalities to become no-kill!! Even the humane society has had to change their policies!!

    • Thank you! And, wow, that’s amazing! I’m from Minneapolis, it’s exciting to hear about things like that happening in the Twin Cities. Keep up the ground breaking work!

  42. Maris Kramer on said:

    Thank you for your honesty…now you know your mission has just begun! God bless!

  43. joe turner on said:

    Bravo, Heather. An impressive story that must have been difficult to write.

  44. Reblogged this on A Girl And Her Chi and commented:
    I have not had an opportunity to write, recently, but this blog entry is by far our most important contribution that we are sharing from Mom2Nomads. Please read!

  45. Awesome. You rock. Let the world know.

  46. Pingback: Humane Euthanasia or the Convenience Killing of Unadoptable/Un-Useful Animals? | Grace & Truth Spirit & Soul

  47. Beth Payne on said:

    I agree with Dannielle’s comment. We in VA need you to speak to the powers that be! We don’t want this slaughterhouse to continue to exist. We need more brave people like you to speak out too! Please, write letters to our Governor, and all those in our state legislature, and tell them of your experiences. Agree to come speak to them in person. PLEASE!? Thank you so very much for this blog post. I know it was hard to write. I truly believe Black Boy understands, forgives, and will be waiting for you with lots of kisses.

    • If I am lucky enough to one day see him at The Rainbow Bridge I would be very grateful for that. I think letters to lawmakers is the next step, I want them to know my experiences there. Thank you for your support.

  48. I have known for years that PETA is awful. Kudos to you for writing this. I hope this blog contributes to shutting them down for good. It’s the very least that should happen, right now.

  49. Linda Engle on said:

    I have long known that PETA was a lying and dishonorable organization. I wonder how much money the executives get. I’ve learned that “follow the money” will always dig out the truth, good or bad. Too bad it’s almost always the bad truth.

    • My own opinion, and it’s only an opinion, is that it’s less about money for the leadership at PETA and all about the zealotry–which is sometimes even more dangerous.

  50. Colin Charles on said:

    Thank you for finding the courage to write this. Forgive yourself, Black Boy already has. Everyone involved in rescue has made mistakes at times. We are out there doing our best and keep learning to the end.

  51. Tanya Whelan on said:

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you a million times for coming forward. What you’ve done, and I know it was hard, is so incredibly important. I have a feeling your coming forward will be a catalyst to end the killing at PETA that so many of us have been aware of but has not garnered the attention it deserves. You are a hero and are helping to save thousands of animals who didn’t need to be put down by speaking your truth. Please know that for all the hate that may come your way because of this that the vast majority of the public is on your side.

    I really hope you get to speak with the VA legislature, Governor and even the US congress. So many well meaning people give to PETA not knowing what they really stand for and what you just did I think will help to change that. Thank you to a real hero.

  52. Sarah brown on said:

    Sounds more like a pissed off ex employee who is trying to get attention and saying bad things because she’s mad she got fired. Seriously, most of the stuff written isn’t even true. PETA does neuter male pits for free for one! It’s easy to complain about them when they’re the ones who take in all the animals no kills won’t so they don’t have to euthanize.

    • Sarah, you realize that this was written about experiences 15 years ago, right? They didn’t neuter pit bulls then. The stories she recounts are all true. As for being a pissed-off employee, the author’s husband worked at the TV station next door to PETA’s headquarters in Norfolk at the time. She knows half the reporters in town. If her goal was to get revenge, she could have so in a much more destructive and high profile way when they fired her.

      • Tanya Whelan on said:

        And here comes the hate from the PETA true believers. The author of this is a hero for coming forward. Why would she be seeking revenge 15 years later???? She is speaking her truth in the most authentic way and deserves respect and gratitude from animal lovers.

      • Societe Anonyme on said:

        oh please, legitimate reporters and networks would not have covered one silly person’s termination revenge, obviously.

    • Sarah, it’s all true, and I’m glad they neuter pit bulls. I think you’ve misinterpreted my blog, if you believe it was done to complain. This isn’t about me being a pissed off ex-employee. I’m not pissed off because they fired me, I was grateful for the catalyst it provided. As Eric pointed out, if this was about me wanting revenge I could have done it then, and in an incredibly public way because of the circle I traveled in. This is about my finally speaking the truth, it’s about honoring Black Boy for saving me, and ensuring that his legacy will be one of honesty and change.

    • it does seem somewhat self-serving to re-write this blog, seems you wrote a similar story about 16 months ago, amid this kind of anti-peta hysteria, that IMO is not really helping animals. and a little cowardly to claim to see some of these ‘atrocities’ and not do anything about it, but post it in a blog 15 years later.

      you may be a good a decent person, but i don’t see anything brave or courageous particularly, sorry. i am most concerned about your claim that newkirk herself refused to neuter male pit bulls. this seems contrary, not only to their own policy, but their detractors accusations against them. i. e. peta wants to eradicate pit bulls and/or companion animals in general. i mean if that were true, then surely s/n would be promoted.

      it was interesting to read your (unsubstantiated) account and i certainly respect your opinion, but like most things i read on the internet- i read with a weathered eye toward accuracy, trustworthiness and verifiability.

      • Self-serving how? I have nothing to gain from this. It’s the right thing to do, that is all. I know I’m putting myself in the line of fire by writing about this, which isn’t my cup of tea, not because I’m unwilling to stand up for something I believe in (I normally don’t have a problem doing that) but because getting a lot of attention is outside my comfort zone. I agree with you that keeping quiet all these years was cowardly, I wanted to leave the bad stuff in the past and make amends for it by doing good things in my life. But it was important for me to finally tell the truth. You can believe it or not, that’s fine, critical thinking skills and skepticism are important. But it’s the truth.

      • Snowpocalypse on said:

        The data is there and available to anyone who actually wants to see it. By PeTA’s own admitted, reported numbers, they “euthanize” (I’d call it murder) 97% of the animals they take in. That’s atrocious even without the suggestion that PeTA under reports their numbers. Anyone who continues to support and defend PeTA is complicit in all their future murders.

        I commend the writer for putting this out there and trying to get people to see the truth of PeTA (there’s a reason that the “e” for “ethical” is the only lower case letter in their name!) and their twisted leader, Ingrid Newkirk. I have no doubt about the veracity of this former PeTA worker’s story.

      • Sarah brown on said:

        Self serving for attention. There are so many dogs out there suffering. It’s easy to point the the blame when can ignore those who need help most like the no kills you support. I believe in PETA because they help all animals…not just the adoptable ones. Their numbers wouldn’t be so high if no kills didn’t turn away so many and leave them to suffer.

      • Tanya Whelan on said:

        How exactly is it self serving to tell the truth about something that you KNOW you will be attacked for????? And PETA admits that they support the killing of EVERY single pit bull that comes into a shelter, adoptable or not. Every, single, one no matter it’s history or temperament. It’s a FACT! Do some research

        In a letter from PETA to the mayor of Williamson County

        “PETA also recommends a ban on the adoption/release of dangerous dogs and fighting breeds (commonly known as “pit bulls”). Dogfighting is a widespread criminal activity that usually involves—in addition to cruelty to animals—illegal gambling and the presence of illicit drugs and weapons.”

        Here is the link:
        http://www.nathanwinograd.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/PETAWilliamson.pdf

      • getting a lot of attention is outside your comfort zone? and yet, you publicly post a blog about…you.

        that’s ok. perceptions etc. are always different depending on the angle, i suppose. but how are you ‘putting yourself in the line of fire’? in fact, it seems you have garnered nothing but praise and accolades for your ‘bravery’ and ‘courage’…

        it’s funny, if you don’t mind me saying, when i read your story, i thought, ‘wow, peta workers really go out into all kinds of neighborhoods and help some of the most disenfranchised and desperate animals’ and yet, in the comments on this page it seems others didn’t note that at all. if that is also true, then it would be tragic for them to stop doing that, no? or are those animals better left alone to fend for themselves?

        so, i guess, self serving because you must assuredly know, that you are riding this so called ‘no kill’ (anti-peta) hysteria. perhaps, that gave you the courage to speak out now? but to what end, i guess?

      • Yes, I have a blog and if you’ll read through it I use it primarily as a way to document our travels, experiences, and sometimes I express my opinion on it. I love to write, it’s therapeutic. And I do feel I’m putting myself on the line because I know the hate that will come my way, it’s already started. I have a nice, uneventful life and I like it that way. But I’m a mother and I think it’s important to show my children that doing the right thing, even if it’s not easy, is important. But I’m sure you’re connected to PeTA and being told to comment so there’s no point in trying to explain it to you.

      • All not exactly do you use your jaundiced eye to things you read online- because you have swallowed the PeTA insanity hook line and sinker. Oh well maybe you work on the inside writing policy. Which means you are past redemption.

        Here are some of Nut Job Ingrid’s early rankings and PeTA position on Pet Ownership…

        http://people.ucalgary.ca/~powlesla/personal/hunting/rights/pets.txt

      • Societe Anonyme on said:

        of course she has something to gain- she’s a determined blogger and the last try didn’t get hits so she revised it to get clicks with sensation and as would be expected, it worked.

    • Sarah- I am very sorry you have such a horrible mental disorder. I sincerely hope you can find the necessary treatment to help you lead a compassionate life free from the demons of sociopathy.

      • A nasty, childish comment that has no place in an important debate such as this. It also does nothing to further your cause. I’m very surprised that the blog owner has not edited it out! I guess bullying is allowed here? Rather ironic given the way Ingrid Newark has been portrayed here!

      • Jane, Sarah invited this upon herself with her very rude and childish comments.

  53. Rebecca on said:

    thank you for your honesty and bravery – fighting back with truth against a machine so corrupt it wouldn’t know truth if it bit it in the butt. I’ve known about PETA’s nasty secrets having worked rescue for quite some time but never known anybody brave enough to shine a light on it til now. Bless you and keep following your heart and making a difference. We can’t save them all but the lives we save are forever grateful – that’s the only thing that keeps me from breaking in two sometimes.

    • Thank you so much. And I agree completely, each time I start to lose hope I look at my own rescue babies, and others who have been rescued or are waiting for their second chance, and I know that I have no choice but to move forward.

  54. Denise Carney on said:

    I am appalled that the organization that people trust to save animals from unnecessary deaths and slaughtering will euthanize at the drop of a hat. Disgusting. When will this end? Jesus help us.

  55. I can only imagine what it must have been like working for PETA back then. Doing the math (“it has taken me 13 years to speak out about this,” blog dated July of 2013), you would’ve been employed there around the year PETA’s Community Animal Project debuted.

    To give those who may not know a little background, though PETA has operated a shelter for the primary purpose of providing humane euthanasia to community animals who require it since July of 1998, receiving a number of animals for spay and neuter and other quality of life veterinary services even as far back as then, the year you would’ve worked at PETA was the year PETA launched its Community Animal Project, after being contacted by a North Carolina law enforcement officer with photos of disturbing conditions at the Bertie County, North Carolina pound. Not to get too graphic, but accounts of these photographs describe, “one dog drowning in a pool of water, too sick and weak to lift her head, a starving dog eating a dead kitten, and a dead puppy found in the gas chamber shed,” and others.

    You can view the original 2000 “Action Alert” here: http://www.all-creatures.org/aip/nl-20feb2001-peta.html

    Outraged by the photos depicting the disturbing conditions at the Bertie County animal shelter, PETA galvanized and dispatched a team to North Carolina. PETA staff and volunteers went immediately to work to improve the conditions at the Bertie County shelter and others, and PETA sent experts to talk to county officials about ending their use of gas chamber and firearm euthanasia. Under enormous pressure from PETA and its supporters, four North Carolina pounds and shelters entered into agreements with the animal rights organization to improve pound conditions for animals, but county officials refused to budge on the gas chamber issue.

    PETA began working closely with several shelters that year, pouring over $300,000 into bringing them up to code–even building safe animal housing from the ground up. PETA contracted the services of local a veterinarian, Dr. Patrick Proctor, DVM, to euthanize animals who would otherwise be killed in a gas chamber at the Hertford County pound. PETA tried to persuade the remaining three counties to allow local vets to humanely euthanize their animals as well–on PETA’s dime–but for whatever reason they refused. They would allow PETA to remove and euthanize the animals themselves and at their own expense however, and transport their remains back to Virginia for cremation.

    Every week, sometimes several times a week, PETA staff and volunteers would make the hours-long trek to North Carolina to clean kennels, feed animals, save as many adoptable animals as they could, and humanely euthanize the ones they would not be able to find homes for. Sick and injured animals on stray holds, who would typically be left to languish in cages, were transported by PETA staff to local veterinarians like Dr. Proctor for treatment. That pivotal year, the year you would’ve worked for PETA, PETA began inserting itself, both politically and literally, between animals slated for gas chamber and firearm euthanasia in four North Carolina pounds and shelters. “Did we euthanize some animals who could have been adopted? Maybe,” PETA’s Daphna Nachminovitch said about their heartrending work back in 2000 to 2005. “The point is that good homes are few and far between. Our aim here was to stop them from dying an agonizing death.” Of course, this is all very well documented, and something PETA, for whatever reason, still has to “explain.”

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/2005/06/23/nc-counties-accuse-peta-killing-animals/

    Reading your accounting of your work with PETA’s Community Animal Project broke my heart, but to be fair, it wasn’t anywhere near the whole story. A huge part of the story that’s missing is the magnitude of the problem PETA was actually dealing with back then. Focusing on Fairwood Homes and the small area of Virginia you were personally serving, it’s easy to make it seem like the magnitude of the problem had actually been pretty small and rather than bother to find homes for a few unsocialized animals, PETA was choosing to euthanize them. But in reality, the magnitude of the problem was enormous. PETA was making the trek to North Carolina several times a week, every week, with no end in sight, taking every animal who was slated for firearm or gas chamber euthanasia out of those four rural pounds to spare them an agonizing death by suffocation or firearm. There’s not a rescue organization on earth that could undertake a mission of that magnitude and not euthanize animals.

    Like I said, I can only imagine what it must have been like to work for PETA back then, and maybe when you’re the one who’s euthanizing the animals, it’s impossible to see the bigger picture, but When PETA became involved with North Carolina animals back in 2000, they quickly and dishearteningly realized that their capacity to impact the lives of animals in the community and in North Carolina pounds and shelters would be extremely limited. While improving the living conditions at these North Carolina shelters and pounds was critical for the animals residing there, PETA had hoped that their massive campaign against the use of gas chambers in North Carolina would result in the cessation of their use. When it didn’t, PETA was faced with either walking away from the problem altogether, or taking personal responsibility that the animals in those four North Carolina pounds and shelters wouldn’t be shoved into a box soaked with the feces, urine, vomit, and blood of all the animals who were tortured to death before them. History tells us that PETA took the honorable road.

    IMHO, neither you nor PETA have anything to “come clean” about. Since your brief and painful employment at PETA, PETA’s Community Animal Project has really evolved. Since 1998, PETA has spayed and neutered 110,000 in free and low-cost clinics. Every year their CAP workers serve thousands of animals in their community so that they never have to enter a shelter to be euthanized. There is absolutely no indication that PETA euthanizes adoptable animals and every indication that they do not euthanize treatable animals of whom they take custody. It is irresponsible of you to project your impressions of PETA’s work in 2000 on their work today, especially when you neglected to tell the whole story of their work in back in 2000.

    • Thank you for your thoughtful reply.

      I would like to hear more about the PETA shelter because it’s clearly not at PETA’s headquarters (unless it’s the warehouse in the back, which is where I euthanized animals when I was there). Second, I think any work that anyone can do for struggling shelters is a very good thing, I did that myself when I worked there, including frequent trips to North Carolina and rural Virginia. Third, while I focused on Fairwood Homes in the blog because that is next to the area where Black Boy lived, I made clear I regularly worked throughout the Hampton Roads area. From trailer parks in Virginia Beach to Ghent. My intent with what I wrote is not to make a laundry list of what PETA does right or wrong. This is a blog – these were my experiences 15 years ago, but based on cases like the 2005 prosecutions in North Carolina, or the recent theft of Maya, these SOPs seem to be in place. Not much has changed at PETA, and that is a shame. For the record, I am not opposed to humane euthanasia, I am a realist. However, the reality of the pet overpopulation crisis, and the reality of animals who are damaged at the hands of people, are not things that justify mass euthanasia and, frankly, that is what we’re talking about here. Furthermore, there is nothing unadoptable about a litter of kittens.

      • “veaganmeanie” is a perfect example of the “good little soldier” you talk about in your blog. Yet she denies working for PeTA.

        Thank you for speaking out.

      • As far as researching PETA’s current and past shelter practices go, I’ve put in the hard yards. I’ve performed extensive records requests through the FOIA, I’ve interviewed PETA, Virginia’s State Veterinarian, and shelter directors in PETA’s area about PETA’s shelter, and I’ve spent considerable time familiarizing myself with Virginia Comprehensive Animal Care Law so that I could speak about PETA and the animals of Hampton Roads accurately. And unlike PETA’s detractors, I put it all out there.

        Additionally, I don’t work for PETA, nor am I paid in any way to research their practices, write about them, or discuss them with others. I’m just a lady who’s performed extensive research into their shelter for articles and blogs I’ve written. And I’m happy to share what I know. If you have specific questions, I’ll certainly try to answer them.

        According to the shelter inspection reports generated by Virginia’s State Veterinarian annually, PETA’s one and only shelter is located inside their Norfolk headquarters and consists of several rooms that have been adapted to provide animals a safe, cage-free environment. You can view PETA’s shelter inspection reports here: http://www.whypetaeuthanizes.com/shelter-inspections-pdf.html

        The State Veterinarian’s reports indicate that:

        PETA’s shelter is currently accessible to the public and has been for all reporting years

        PETA’s shelter does currently have adoption protocol and has for all reporting years

        PETA is in compliance with the state’s requirements regarding record keeping and has been for all reporting years

        PETA’s shelter has sufficient enclosures for the number of adoptable animals they take custody of, and has for all reporting years

        PETA’s euthanasia program is supervised by a licensed veterinarian and has been for all reporting years

        I write extensively about PETA’s shelter–and Virginia Consolidated Animal Law as as it pertains to animal shelters–here: http://www.whypetaeuthanizes.com/understanding-petas-shelter.html

        Do you mind my asking why you didn’t disclose to your readers the full scope of PETA’s work during your time there? Was there a purpose to downplaying the issues they were really up against when their CAP program launched in 2000?

      • I don’t know what “reports” veaganmeanie is referring to, but the report conducted by Dr. Kovich actually states the exact OPPOSITE of what Ms. veaganmeanie claims.

        And someone might want to inform her that linking to her own propaganda site is not considered to be a legitimate source of information.

      • THE FOLLOWING COPY IS TAKEN DIRECTLY FROM DR. KOVICH VDCAS REPORT ON PETA’S “SHELTER”

        07/07/10
        DATE
        (757) 622-7382
        FINDINGS
        A site visit was performed to the PETA headquarters building on July 7,2010
        to determine if the organization’s current activities allowed for the continued
        inspection of the facility as an animal shelter; if the primary purpose of the
        facility was to facilitate finding permanent adoptive homes for companion
        animals. The following items were noted during the course of this visit:
        1. The receptionist stated that PETA did not operate an animal shelter.
        When I indicated that PETA did report to operate an animal shelter and
        that this office has inspected in it in the past, an additional staff member
        was called to the desk and reiterated that there was no shelter. At this
        point I asked for Ms. Nachminovitch. Ms. Nachminovitch was called
        and indicated that she would be at the facility shortly. No other staff
        was available to begin the inspection.
        2. The facility contains three rooms designated as animal enclosures.
        The rooms are not further subdivided into runs or cages. The three
        animals occupying the rooms were not being held for adoption
        purposes (one was being held in conjunction with the clinic operations,
        one was being boarded for an indigent community member, and one on
        behalf of a PETA employee). The facility does not contain sufficient
        animal enclosures to routinely house the number of animals annually
        reported as taken into custody.
        3. 2902010 animal custody records were reviewed. 17 or 6% were
        recorded as adopted or in foster homes, 273 or 94% were recorded as
        euthanized. Of these, 245 or 90% were euthanized within the first 24
        hours of custody.
        PREPARED BY Dan Kovich, DVM, MPH
        SIGNATURE

    • Meanie – having read both your posts, I have one question. Where is this supposed shelter? Where? Is it that shed in the linked photo next to the headquarters building? That shed where Heather euthanized countless adoptable animals? You know, the one that PETA employees were FORBIDDEN to enter during her time there? That was open to the public? Hardly. Perhaps your research can show how many staff veterinarians PETA has employed in the intervening years? Questions, questions, questions…. https://www.google.com/maps/@36.853902,-76.300036,3a,75y,147.37h,81.68t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sjQfsTnFmFctdT12dLR5JJA!2e0

      • Eric – you probably have already figured this out but Ms. Meanie is a pathological liar. Frighteningly so.

      • OK, so I see now your assertion that the shelter is a room INSIDE the building. In Heather’s time, it was the closet across from her office. Have any photos of this space? How many of the hundreds of animals that they take in actually get there? The shed/warehouse, that is where the action is…

      • Hi Eric,

        PETA’s shelter is located inside their Norfolk headquarters. The VDACS inspector describes PETA’s animal housing as “group enclosures/rooms,” on par with the statements PETA has made about their animal housing. I have no idea how many veterinarians PETA has employed over the years, but aside from an independent state-licensed vet who oversees their euthanasia practices, they employ additional veterinarians who operate their mobile spay/neuter fleet and perform quality of life veterinary intervention to thousands of community animals every year.

        You can view a PDF of PETA’s shelter inspection reports here:

        http://www.whypetaeuthanizes.com/shelter-inspections-pdf.html

    • veganmeanie, in response to your second comment, I didn’t not disclose the scope of CAP’s program, or downplay anything, it just wasn’t the point of the blog post. There’s plenty of information out there about all of the things you’ve written, I don’t feel the need to regurgitate any of that and including all of it would have taken focus off the point of the post. As far as the “shelter” you’re referring to I honestly have no idea what you’re talking about because, when I was there, there was no shelter inside of PETA. @Lucy, I completely agree, and thank you.

      • 🙂 Keep up the good work and don’t back down. PeTA minions will harass you for speaking out and Ms. meanie will talk you into a coma. It’s important to keep countering her pedantic filibusters with the actual TRUTH.

        She doesn’t give up easily. And never tires of hearing herself yammer on and on in defense of the indefensible.

        It’s important to point out her lies repeatedly.

      • MORE FROM DR. KOVICH’S INSPECTION:

        4. Ms. Nachminovitch indicated that the majority of the animals that were
        taken into custody by PET A were considered by them to be
        unadoptable. Adoptable animals were routinely referred to other area
        animal shelters; conversely PETA often took custody of animals denied
        admittance by other area shelters. Ms. Nachminovitch confirmed that
        the shelter was not accessible to the public, and that most adoptions of
        animals were to PETA employees and affiliates.
        The findings of this site visit support the assertion that PETA does not
        operate a facility that meets the statutory definition of an animal shelter as the
        primary purpose is not to find permanent adoptive homes for animals. This is
        further supported by other information gathered by or reported to this office
        summarized as follows:
        1. The shelter is not accessible to the public, promoted, or engaged in
        efforts to facilitate the adoption of animals taken into custody. PETA
        reception has historically been unaware of the existence of an animal
        shelter (Attachment 1), and has stated to enquiring members of the
        public that no such facility exists (Attachment 2). PET A has published
        suggested guidelines for animal shelters on their website that indicate
        their organizational preference for the operation of such facilities; their
        own facility does not satisfy many of the key recommendations
        (Attachment 3). The agency is not aware of any substantive efforts to
        facilitate adoption of animals taken into custody.
        2. Previous inspections of this office have found no animals to be housed
        in the facility, or few animals in custody.
        3. Review of submitted annual animal record summaries by PETA and all
        reporting animal shelters for the past six years does not support that
        the facility has a primary intent to find permanent adoptive homes for
        companion animals. The following data was compiled by this office
        concerning the reported dispositions of dogs and cats taken into
        custody over this period:
        PREPARED BY Dan Kovich, DVM, MPH
        SIGNATURE

      • Tanya Whelan on said:

        Thank you again for telling the truth because it is people like veganmeanie who either refuse to accept it or are “true believers” in PETA’s philosophy that most pets that end up in shelters are better off dead. That’s why it’s been do difficult to get the word about PETA, people like veganmeanie.

      • Tanya Whelan on said:

        Thank goodness veganmeanie is on the case “investigating” everything. What is there to investigate when Ingrid Newkirk openly admitted that PETA kills healthy “adoptable” animals

        This woman is only confirming what Newkirk has said publicly and given us a bit more detail about the culture of death that PETA represents. And confirmed that PETA lies about it’s euthanasia practices and use of the kill drugs.

        They have done some good for animals but that doesn’t make this part of their mission ok!!!

      • Ashley on said:

        I have to agree with veganmeanie that you are painting a bad picture of PETA solely based on your experience which was 15 years ago. The problem with this is that, as veganmeanie points out, PETA’s Community Animal Project program was brand new around this time and a lot has changed in the program and at PETA since then. I’m sure euthanizing an animal can be a traumatic and emotional experience, especially after you’ve formed a bond with them. However, this is only a perspective of a former employee 15 years ago when PETA first began it’s fieldwork. I believe that you are unfamiliar with PETA’s current shelter because it has relocated to a new building (I believe in the past 15 years) where it has a handful of holding rooms with sofas, toys, blankets, and food. Please keep in mind that a large portion of the animals they euthanize are brought to them by guardians who want to relieve them from their conditions. I leave you with this video of PETA’s Community Animal Project fieldworkers who I cannot begin to believe do not have animals’ best interests at heart and just want to euthanize them all. http://youtu.be/u3AxNgrU51o

      • Hi Tanya,

        Here’s the transcript from that Ingrid Newkirk interview where she discusses euthanizing animals. What part of it specifically are you taking issue with?

        GS: You have PETA shelters that euthanize lots of animals.
        IN: Yes we do.
        GS: I suspect that that’s a real problem with your philosophy, because you’re killing lots of animals.’
        IN: Oh, it’s hideous. I mean, we’re the people who don’t kill for food, we don’t kill for clothing, you name it, we don’t. And yet, we are in a very rural, poor area of Virginia and the border of North Carolina, and we offer free euthanasia services for anyone who has a broken, or aged, or injured animal, and no money for veterinary care.
        GS: But you don’t just, it’s not just broken or injured animals you guys euthanize, you have lots of animals that go in and get euthanized because of population, right?
        IN: Actually, for us, we are usually picking up the worst of the worst, the unsocialized, the ones who have been on a chain their whole lives, they’re not even able to think about going into a home. Nobody wants them. So yes, in one way, it would be great if every broken animal, it would be lovely if there was someone who said yes, I’ll put in the time and effort, but there are wonderful, cute, fluffy small ones that you can’t find homes for, but we don’t take in adoptable animals usually, unless we have to, we let them go to shelters where people come through and can choose.
        GS: But you euthanize those pets, those ones, the adoptable ones, if you get them?
        IN: If we get them and we can’t find a home, absolutely. It’s the dilemma. It’s why I’m so against breeding, and why I say to everybody ‘spay and neuter,’ and ‘don’t go to the pet shop, go to the pound.’ Save lives, don’t take them.

      • Tanya Whelan on said:

        Veganmeanie, thank you so much for posting the complete transcript as PROOF from the head of PETAs mouth that they kill adoptable animals.

        “GS: But you euthanize those pets, those ones, the adoptable ones, if you get them?

        IN: If we get them and we can’t find a home, absolutely.”

        ABSOLUTELY they kill adoptable animals. In your extensive “research” have you asked PETA what are the guidelines for exactly how long the wait before killing an adoptable animal or exactly what measures they take to try to find homes for adoptable animals, or exactly how much of their budget goes to finding homes for adoptable animals????? Because it is a fact that they kill adoptable animals often immediately after getting their hands on them in the back of a van and throw their bodies away in dumpsters like garbage.

        http://www.nathanwinograd.com/?p=11813

    • Anyone can scour the internet for material that supports views they want to hold, but the downfall of pulling material only from the various anti-PETA websites is that you’re going to miss important information.

      Case in point, the VDACS 2010 site visit report. People who want to hold the belief that terrible things are going on on PETA’s shelter often share the VDACS 2010 site visit report they’ve run across on the various anti-PETA websites and simply “drop the mic.” Case closed, right? Nothing left to explain.

      What you’re not going to learn from the various anti-PETA websites (or in some cases, may not want to learn) is that the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services issued a second and superseding report, and here’s why.

      Often mistakenly referred to as an “investigation report,” this document is actually a “site visit” report, and it’s typically used by PETA’s detractors to create drama and confusion regarding PETA’s shelter.

      In 2010, precipitated by an email to his office asking for clarification regarding the purpose of PETA’s Norfolk animal facility, State Veterinarian, Dr. Dan Kovich, DVM, conducted a site visit at PETA’s Norfolk facility to get a better understanding of the type of work the animal rights group was doing there.

      Though PETA’s facility had been annually inspected by a State Veterinarian as an “animal shelter” for over a decade, Dr. Kovich felt it prudent at the time to reassess whether or not PETA’s shelter currently met the statutory definition of “animal shelter” and whether it would continue to be inspected as such, or considered to be a “veterinary establishment” going forth.

      As part of the reassessment process, Dr. Kovich spoke with Daphna Nachminovitch, the vice president of PETA’s Cruelty Investigations Department and the person who oversees PETA’s shelter. Additionally, Dr. Kovich performed an assessment of PETA’s facility and analyzed the data contained in PETA’s 2010 Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services “animal custody records.” He then constructed charts and graphs that quantified the proportions of PETA’s adoptions, transfers, and euthanasia procedures, in an endeavor to determine the facility’s “primary purpose.”

      When Dr. Kovich generated this site visit report, he documented that according to Ms. Nachminovitch, the majority of animals that were taken into custody by PETA were considered by them to be unadoptable, and that Ms. Nachminovitch had indicated to him that adoptable animals were routinely referred to other area animal shelters for adoption. Consistent with Ms. Nachminovitch’s statements, Dr. Kovich documented that according to the findings of his site visit, PETA did not operate a facility that primarily found homes for animals. Operating under the assertion that PETA’s facility must operate for the primary purpose of finding permanent adoptive homes for animals, in order to meet the statutory definition of “animal shelter,” Dr. Kovich documented that no further action would be taken regarding the findings of his site visit, until such time that Ms. Nachminovitch could respond with material supporting the “legitimacy of PETA for full consideration as an animal shelter.”

      Asserting the legitimacy of their facility for full consideration as an “animal shelter” was of paramount importance to PETA if they were to continue taking custody of animals for the purposes of adoption and transfer, and reuniting strays with their guardians. Interestingly, however, PETA’s facility did not need full consideration as an animal shelter to provide the service of humane euthanasia to community animals who require it, since PETA already operated a “veterinary establishment” that employed at least one full-time veterinarian, and veterinary establishments can perform humane euthanasia as a veterinary service with no requirements that they report their euthanasia “numbers” to the state.

      Ultimately, it was determined that PETA had had the law on their side the entire time. Dr. Kovich had made an honest mistake in asserting that facilities must operate for the primary purpose of finding permanent adoptive homes for companion animals, in order to be considered “animal shelters” by the state. At the time, this was the state of Virginia’s statutory definition of “animal shelter”:

      “Animal Shelter” means a a facility, other than a private residential dwelling and its surrounding grounds, that is used to house or contain animals and is owned, operated, or maintained by a non-governmental entity including a humane society, animal welfare organization, or society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or any other organization operating for the purpose of finding permanent adoptive homes for animals.

      There had never been a requirement that PETA’s shelter operate for the primary purpose of finding permanent adoptive homes for animals. Because PETA’s shelter did operate for the purpose finding permanent adoptive homes for the relatively few adoptable animals they received, PETA’s facility already met the statutory requirements for full consideration as an “animal shelter.” On March 30, 2011, Dr. Kovich generated a superseding document stating that his office had completely reviewed the materials PETA submitted and that his office was satisfied that PETA’s Norfolk facility met the statutory requirements for “animal shelter.”

      The state has since changed the statutory definition of “animal shelter” to specifically refer to “private animal shelters.” PETA’s shelter is now considered to be a “private animal shelter” by the state, and it continues to be inspected as such. This is the current statutory definition for “private animal shelter”:

      “Private animal shelter” means a facility that is used to house or contain animals and that is owned or operated by an incorporated, nonprofit, and nongovernmental entity, including a humane society, animal welfare organization, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or any other organization operating for the purpose of finding permanent adoptive homes for animals.

      So while one person may run across PETA’s 2010 VDACS site visit report and think, “this will shore up my case against PETA,” I ran across it and though, “hmm, this entity clearly requested PETA’s shelter records from the state, so why are they sharing only one?” Rhetorical question, of course.

      I took the time to request PETA’s VDACS shelter records myself and followed up with Dr. Kovich, DVM personally. He was able to clarify in an email that there is no statutory requirement that any Virginia animal shelter operate for the “primary purpose” of finding animals permanent adoptive homes. You can learn more about that, as well as view the email from Dr. Kovich, DVM, here: http://www.whypetaeuthanizes.com/the-scoop-on-petas-2010-vdacs-site-visit-report.html

      • Tanya Whelan on said:

        NONE of that is the gd point!!!!! The POINT is that they KILL adoptable animals, often almost immediately, and make no effort to get them adopted. They spend very little of their $50,000,000 per year revenue on finding homes for adoptable pets, encouraging the public to adopt instead of buy, encourage the public to foster pets. That’s what this whistle blower is testifying to!!! and the revelation that they maybe committing crimes by misusing the euthanasia drugs which are a controlled substance, and that they encourage their employees to lie to get people to hand over their pets.

        Nobodies arguing that they are acting illegally by killing these animals just that they make NO effort to get them adopted and have a %90 kill rate which is much higher then most shelters. AND they FIGHT against a no kill approach without even studying to see if it can be effective.

        Please wake up!!! And also please go away, this woman doesn’t deserve to have her beautiful blog cluttered up with your “research” that has nothing to do with point of the blog post.

      • My goodness, veganmeanie. Isn’t there a more productive use of your time than posting here? I’m not telling you that you shouldn’t, your first comment was so long that it went into moderation but I put it through because I don’t believe in censorship unless someone gets very, very nasty. But nobody is reading this stuff, at least I would be shocked if they were. You’re very deliberate and thorough, you’re also very wrong. And, as Tanya has pointed out, none of what you are writing is the point. PeTA could have a state of the art shelter at their disposal but if they’re stealing animals, lying to people, and recording the use of controlled substances inaccurately that doesn’t matter.

    • I think this the infamous Mary Tully- the PETA supporter extraordinarier? Or are you another sadly Misaligned entity posing as a human?

      • It’s fine. I’ll stop commenting, if that’s what you want. But IMHO, it’s important that people know that you left a few details out in your accounting of PETA, and have the opportunity to learn what those details are. Apparently, your mileage varies.

        The people who worked for PETA when their CAP program debuted in 2000, very well may have euthanized what some might describe as “adoptable” or “treatable” animals. The bigger picture, of course, was that the alternative to their euthanizing those animals would be their not being to spare as many North Carolina animals from gas chamber and firearm euthanasia. So, when you can’t outright save every animal, you do your best to mitigate their suffering. It’s what animal protection organizations do.

        It’s the proverbial rock and a hard place, and never mind that it happened fifteen years ago. But “that’s not the point of the blog,” apparently.

      • meanie, I really don’t need to be lectured on what animal protection organizations do, thank you anyway. You can comment or not, it doesn’t matter to me. I do think it’s funny how the pro-PeTA people who are commenting on my blog like to use quotation marks to express sarcasm. Is that something PeTA tells you to do?

      • Yes, you are correct, Ms. meanie is indeed dully tully. Boring everyone into a coma as usual.

        And to Heather – you are right – no one reads dully tully’s endless excuses either.

    • Veganimals on said:

      Thank you, veganmeanie, for presenting the full story. I have no doubt that it is incredibly heartbreaking to do this type of work for PETA, and I appreciate the blogger’s previous efforts in reducing animal suffering. Yet, the blogger’s report appears to be very one-sided, written with the intent to smear PETA. I am not even a PETA supporter, yet the fact that she is trying to defame PETA saddens me. In one of her comments, she questions why there is infighting between animal rights activists, but she has to know that she is the one causing the conflict by presenting a biased and incomplete story. Before reading this story, I did not know that PETA goes into neighborhoods to seek out abused and neglected animals, feed them, provide shelter, and, when situations are dire, end their suffering. I am surprised that most of the people commenting are not recognizing the good in that. Should PETA not do this? And, instead, the animals should be left to suffer to death? I too am completely uncomfortable with the termination of a life that could be saved. It would tear me up to have to be the one to end a life like that. I am sure that the PETA workers who are faced with this are completely devastated with each life that is taken. Yet, with 2.7 million “Black Boys” being put to death each year in animal shelters across the U.S., where is PETA going to find homes for these animals, many of them in need of extra care? Pet overpopulation is a sad situation from all perspectives. It’s not fair to blame PETA for this human-created problem.

      • Tanya Whelan on said:

        That’s how you know this whistle blower is telling the truth. She outlined the good and the BAD they do. Why do you PETA robots keep defending animal killers? Support the no-kill approach if you actually care about animals. And they don’t only kill suffering animals. They KILL healthy, adoptable animals and also steal and kill pets. It’s public record and a fact. Stop supporting animal killers.

      • Absolutely, Tanya. We are not talking about animals who are suffering, for whom euthanasia would be humane, or animals who are beyond rehabilitation (which is an incredibly tiny number if animals anyway). We are talking about healthy animals, sometimes animals who would be adoptable immediately and sometimes animals who just need a loving and knowledgeable foster home and who would then be adoptable. When PeTA supporters to say that PeTA isn’t killing adoptable animals they are either ignorant or lying.

      • If telling the truth is a smear on PeTA then that belongs to the organization, and what they do, and not on my telling of the truth. As for my “causing conflict,” again, all I am doing is telling the truth. Conflict within the animal movement has been around a long time, my blog didn’t cause it. And I don’t, for one second, believe that you are not associated with PeTA.

    • Veganimals on said:

      Veganmeanie has been nothing but respectful in her/his comments and I am appreciative of what she/he has shared. Other commenters, on the other hand, mom2nomads included, have not been so nice. I don’t understand mom2nomads’ suggestion that veganmeanie’s time could be better spent doing something else. Couldn’t the same question apply to you, mom2nomads?

  56. A must read.
    sometimes, you can break free on your own; sometimes it takes an intervention. Now you can and will find balance in the world, with animals And people! 🙂
    Ingrid Newkirk’s bloodlust has no boundaries seemingly. She is apparently charismatic, a “Jim Jones” type of character. Good luck to all the good little Newkirkians when and if the truth ever hits them.

  57. Jane Davidson on said:

    Thank you for writing this. I too think that PETA does some great work but needs to stay away from rescue. I have not been able to donate to PETA for years since I heard about their murderous ways. PETA is NOT another word for GOD!

  58. Blind Horse on said:

    I’m not opposed to Humane euthanasia, I think it far superior to the warehousing that occurs in no-kill shelters, however I deplore the farce that is PETA performing it under false pretenses. Please go to the attorney general/USDA/whoever and help get their shelter license revoked and their access to these drugs taken away.

  59. Thank you for your courage. I suspect that Black Boy had a soul contract with you. His sacrifice was his choice to allow you to change the course of your life so you could go on to help others see the inhumane treatment. As a professional animal communicator (for 13 years) I assure you Black Boy is not “gone” but transitioned back to his Spirit form. You can forgive yourself now, you clearly come from a place of love.

  60. Reblogged this on Ray the Vicktory Dog and commented:
    PETA has lost it’s way. All the wonderful work they have done to bring public awareness to issues with livestock, the fur trade, animal testing and puppy mills fades when you read this account of their policies regarding companion animals. Thank you for writing and sharing this important story.

  61. Bold to put it out there. Had made comments similar and always been told I was wrong. Guess I’m not as wrong as I was told. hmm.

  62. My life is in animal welfare. I live it, work it, breath it, dream it. But I have never read anything that resonated with me the way this piece has. PETA lost my support when they said the Vick dogs should be euthanized…that they were “ticking time-bombs”. My little brown dog, sleeping at my feet, would never have entered my life if Ingrid had her way. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for your courage and commitment. Thank you for being brave enough to say “no more”.

    • Thank you! I have been following the many paths the Vick dogs have taken, they are all incredible and wonderful and they give me so much faith in unconditional love and strength.

  63. It took a lot of courage and humanity to write this. You confirmed what a lot of others have said. I donated to PETA once many years ago, got wind of the massive euthanizations, and have sent my money elsewhere ever since. I’m glad that the State of Virginia is taking notice and hope that some good will come from this. I’m sorry for Black Boy and all the others like him. At least he knew some true kindness at the end. That matters.

  64. lee chomp on said:

    Kudos to you for speaking truth to insanity. I’ve often said PETA is a cult of lemmings led by a nut. They flock to touch her robe and kiss the ring. When working at D.C. she would arrive early to start euthanizing before co-workers came in. She has stated opposition to keeping animals as pets and considers euthanasia part of that solution. I work in the legal area of animal welfare and have realized PETA, like many successful psychopaths, does some good but works from twisted fundamentals. Lots of broken people have a big following- look at Jimmy Swaggart.
    Euthanasia is a last resort, not a convenient solution.

  65. Jacqueline Furby on said:

    You write very eloquently about something that must have been so painful to assimilate. It is incredibly sad for you and for all those poor innocent animals. I can’t understand how PETA has lost its way so desperately. Can you help me to understand why they do things this way instead of rehoming animals? Is it merely financial, or is there some deranged thinking behind this action?

    • My own opinion is that Ingrid truly believes killing animals in these numbers is the right thing to do because of the overpopulation problem. It is so wrongheaded and an absolute betrayal of what people working in animal rescue should be doing.

      • Actually if you read some of Ingrid’s personal ramblings- what she says is that companion animals do not have a right to live because they are not in their native wild state and have therefore be bastardized beyond reclamation. They cannot be placed back into the wild and survive. So they should all be killed.

    • BC, I hope you see this as I can’t reply to your comment. I’ve heard this many times and I don’t at all doubt it. It’s a jaw dropping, sick thing to believe.

  66. Ruth Sievers on said:

    U are fantastic. Very brave. THANKU.

  67. kimber on said:

    Thank you so much for writing this, and for sharing your experience. …I know it was hard. I appreciate the education you have provided to me, many years ago I used to support PETA but started hearing horror stories, so that support ceased. Although all of the stories that I had heard were hearsay and gossip, as an animal lover and advocate, I was still angry and believed. Reading your story years later, I’m sad, but validated and I have hopes that others will also rally to save the lives of the innocent and be the voice of the voiceless. You are a true hero, thank you again for writing this amazing article. ….it’s truly appreciated!!!

    • Thank you! My hope is the others who have firsthand knowledge of all of this will come forward, not anonymously as as happened in the past but actually stepping forward and telling what they know.

      • I hope so too. There is/was a shelter director I met at the No-kill conference in 1998 -who has first hand knowledge on one of their operatives that I had the unfortunate experience of meeting a few years later overseas. We compared notes and it was the same person. Unfortunately what I could share is quite frankly too unbelievable and literally gross. I deferred to my husband who has a masters and a PhD in mental health and he was able to educate me to the level of illness exhibited.

  68. I have never liked Peta and having met Ingrid myself I really loathe that women..

    I heard about an incident in PA at a AKC dog show, peta members came in ANNOUNCED that they were there to FREE the (poor neglected) dogs from their cages and proceeded to open kennels. the kennel club and the judges went into over-drive to protect all the animals there… When I showed at this venue several years after this happened in our stuff we get from the superintendent running the show was PLEASE lock your crates, extra time will be given to everyone showing as we have to make sure you are safe while pottying dogs, walking outside, etc. there were security guards everywhere. PETA did manage to somehow get into the building while the show was being held and an announcement came over the speaker…

    Peta is in the building please go back to your kennels and stay there with you dogs, if you only have one please stay in the ring you are showing in, as soon as this is resolved the show will continue!!! its something I will never forget.

    I have no clue how ANYONE including you, who can say you support anything they do!!! they want to END ALL pet ownership everywhere!! how is that OK? they want to end MY life as a scientist, my hubby’s job as a commercial fisherman, end farming, dog (all animal) sports, working animals.. this is NOT OK! and worst of all turn the world world vegan?? how can anyone support their REAL agenda???

    • I follow the reports of PETAs actions and cannot stand the group. As someone who occasionally shows my dogs in conformation, I worry about leaving my dogs crated at shows, so I don’t, they don’t leave my side the entire time. Few people know about what PETA members do when they go to dog shows: put antifreeze in water bowels, scatter nails and broken glass in outdoor rings and walking areas, offering dogs treats with glass shards and other sharp objects hidden inside, etc. So a group that is ‘supposedly’ for the ethical treatment of animals, is more than happy and willing to inflict pain on them?

      They bash those that show yet those show dogs are so pampered the majority of the time. Only the best foods, treats, tons of money spent on the best of everything for them. The breeders care where their pups go, require pups come back to them at any point in their life if the owner can’t keep them, etc.

      If the founder states that keeping animals as pets in any capacity is basically torture, then doesn’t that make the majority of the groups supporters hypocrite as most own animals themselves?

      I’m sorry, it’s a sick and disgusting organization and the bad FAR outweighs what good they might manage to do. They have so many people brainwashed into believing them and providing money.

      I commend the author of this article for sharing her experiences, no matter how long ago, because clearly things haven’t changed much and everyone needs to know the truth. It’s hard to speak up and out against an organization with as much power as this one, but it’s accounts like these that will help spread the word.

  69. Shannon on said:

    I think your an awesome person for overcoming their bullshit, and putting it out there to educate others and end PETAs killing spree. Black Boy is in a better place, you need to be to.

  70. Reblogged this on An Animal Advocate and commented:
    This is an important (and SHOCKING) blog by a woman who used to work at PETA. It confirms so many horrible things we have heard about PETA and so much more. It is a chilling account of what goes on behind closed doors at the slaughterhouse that is PETA.

  71. I just want to thank you for your post. I’m sure it took a lot of courage to write this as the memories will flood in, and so will all those feelings.
    It can also open a whole can of worms with people who are still “good little soldiers”, so please, know there are many of us who have opened our eyes and support you.

  72. Thank you so much for this very well written blog. It has taken tremendous courage. My heart goes out to you and maybe it’s safe to say that Black Boy did not die in vain. I am sometimes reminded of that famous quote: “Absolute power corrupts absolutely”. This is certainly one of those times.
    Many of my colleagues and I have been becoming aware, gradually, of the disparity between the Peta ethic and the way Peta practices that ethic. It just doesn’t ring true that Peta demos have young women, scantily clad, calling for mercy for animals. Our question is, how can you appeal for the humane treatment of one species of animal while you exploit and make an object of another? It just doesn’t wash.
    I haven’t supported Peta for some time now and your moving story has really closed that brief chapter of my life.

  73. I feel your pain and shame as I too done something I regret concerning an animal.
    (my own) But I loved him then and I still love him now. We can not change what we’ve already done but we can learn from that. You have learned a valuable lesson just as I did also. Know the Black Boy knew you loved him then even if you wish things were different. Forgive but not forget.
    Look at the other animals you have saved from writing this. I will never support PETA again!
    thank you,
    Cindy (an animal lover)

  74. Heather on said:

    Thank you so much for writing this. I have a step son whose cousin has been feeding him PETA bull for over a year now. She is 18 and someone at PETA got a hold of her and she spouts off about how great they are all the time. I believe in animal rescue and most of my dogs have been rescues, including my most recent pit bull rescue. All animals deserve a chance and I don’t like organizations like this one. People need to know the truth about PETA and stop them from killing innocent animals that could have been adopted out.

    • Heather, one of the SOP For PETA is to recruit impressionable young people and indoctrinate them. Every high up case worker I ever met who was not married- and most of them sent outside the continental US are not married were chosen for that position because they were able to quite quickly get a local “boy toy”. Trained in these techniques to on how to find and brainwash and have total control over the young men. With one i knew there was a 14 year age gap between them. Talk about cougars!! These young men were mesmerized by these girls/women, the money they had to spread around, and the interest these young men thought the PETA operative had in them.
      This was far from the case but it did give the PETA operatives instant protection and inroads in a foreign culture.
      Protect your son- his female friend is probably trying to get her stripes.

  75. Thank you for this. I know it was painful, but people need to know.

    And I agree that yes, PETA has some valuable things that they do and could be doing, but no, absolutely not, never, to kill the number of animals that they do.

    But I still wonder, which would Black Boy have chosen- his existence of misery, or a means to escape it? You (and PETA) could have offered a third option- and didn’t- so for him was option two still not better than what he had? Just a thought. Never easy choices.

  76. Kudos to you for your bravery and courage in speaking out to what we all know has been true of Peta for so long. I am a no kill advocate. Having said that I think Peta, like most of the huge national orgs with tons of money do some good on certain areas like refuting animal lab testing, factory farm conditions, the fur trade, puppy mills etc. However sadly the person running Peta is mentally deranged and actually enjoys killing animals. So when someone enjoys killing animals, there is no reasoning. Any help you can give or light you can shed on this will hopefully help end them in the “sheltering business”. They are not a shelter but a slaughterhouse. I only believe in the literal term of euthanasia and that is killing to end suffering. 90% of animals that come through a shelters doors are healthy and/or treatable, which leads to adoptable. So please don’t let a detractor get to you. Obviously as you did yourself at that time, the Peta cult kool aid drinkers have to try to put you down to rationalize the evil they do for a Sociopath as company President. I am so glad you have made it out from the other side and written this blog. Many thanks to you!

  77. I worked at a local (Hampton, Va.) no-kill cat shelter for several years somewhere around 2005 or so. I learned two things:
    The items that the state veterinarian was required to examine had very little to do with animal welfare and more to do with the facility, so that didn’t say a lot.
    I was told by the shelter’s founder and director to never give an animal to PETA because they didn’t have a shelter and would euthanize it.

  78. Ashley on said:

    I have to agree with veganmeanie that you are painting a bad picture of PETA solely based on your experience which was 15 years ago. The problem with this is that, as veganmeanie points out, PETA’s Community Animal Project program was brand new around this time and a lot has changed in the program and at PETA since then. I’m sure euthanizing an animal can be a traumatic and emotional experience, especially after you’ve formed a bond with them. However, this is only a perspective of a former employee 15 years ago when PETA first began it’s fieldwork. I believe that you are unfamiliar with PETA’s current shelter because it has relocated to a new building (I believe in the past 15 years) where it has a handful of holding rooms with sofas, toys, blankets, and food. Please keep in mind that a large portion of the animals they euthanize are brought to them by guardians who want to relieve them from their conditions. I leave you with this video of PETA’s Community Animal Project fieldworkers who I cannot begin to believe do not have animals’ best interests at heart and just want to euthanize them all. http://youtu.be/u3AxNgrU51o

    • Funny, the 2014 stats on all the animals PeTA “rescued” was recently released and it seems 2014 was another banner year for killing cats and dogs:

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/05/pets-shelter-euthanization-rate_n_6612490.html

      Might want to take a looksie at this^^^ The blogger even shows a comparison of PeTA’s killing numbers vs. other area humane society and shelters – PeTA has a kill rate that is unconscionable and if you can somehow rationalize how and why this is okay then you need to stop drinking the kool aid. Or you need to be more honest about how you really feel about cats and dogs. Because one cannot claim to love shelter animals, and think this killing is acceptable.

      • Ashley on said:

        Yes I am aware there are many critics of PETA, and this is mostly due to the misinformation that is spread by people like Nathan Winograd who does so for personal gain and Center for Consumer Freedom (http://www.ConsumerDeception.com) who does so on behalf of animal exploiting companies such as KFC, Outback, Phillip Morris, etc… and otherwise people who take their word for it but don’t actually have a clue except what they’ve heard. I would appreciate you not making any claims about me because in doing so, you are no better than Nathan Winograd or CCF. If you have not watched the video and actually listened to the other side, I encourage you to do so.

      • Ashley, I don’t have to make any claims about you – your steadfast refusal to accept the despicable truth about PeTA and it’s killing speaks for itself.

        Now on the other hand, you are defaming a man by blatantly lying that he is somehow connected to CCF and the meat industry. You might want to take your own advice and NOT post things that are made up.

        As for “listening to the other side”. I’ve lived it. Been involved in animal shelters and rescue for decades. Worked for many years for one of the biggest SPCA’s in the nation. I learned a great deal through the years actually DOING something to help animals and not just trolling on behalf of PeTA like you are doing.

      • Ashley on said:

        I made no claims that he is connected to CCF, you might wanna read again… As for listening to the other side of this story, you say you lived it but that doesn’t even make sense because you didn’t even listen to the other side of anything. Nobody is trolling except for you who seems so aggressive and ready to point a finger.

      • I have no patience for someone who defends needlessly killing innocent cats and dogs. You defend animal killers. That is disgusting.

      • Funny how Ashley didn’t mention that she is in fact, a PeTA employee…..Killed any puppies or kittens lately? You know, in order to “save” them?

      • Ashley, here is the way it works in a good shelter: it is considered good practice to differentiate on an intake sheet an animal who is brought in (or picked up) because the owner has requested humane euthanasia (and a good shelter, of course, will verify that this is needed) and an animal surrendered for the purposes of adoption. Intake sheets will note whether an animal is an intake or an intake from owner/guardian requesting euthanasia. Then, under the outcome section of records, it will be noted what happened to every animal–and this is very detailed. I have seen not one piece of proof from PETA that, like the parvo puppy written about in this blog, a great many of the animals PETA takes in are those who are surrendered to them by owners/guardians for the purpose of humane euthanasia, as PETA claims. Why is that? Why do other reputable shelters always keep vigilant records of that differentiation but PETA does not? And, if they do, where is it?

    • Ashley on said:

      You’re way out of line and actually quite rude. You know nothing about me or about anything for that matter. Until you can act your age and have an adult conversation there’s no need to speak to me or about me. I also encourage you to take a good look at yourself because apparently you have some kind of anger issue and act like a crazy person.

      • Ashley, you and I both know people are not lining up to hand over their poor, sick, elderly animals for euthanasia as you claim. Seriously, that is a weak talking point. We both know CAP is an active PETA effort to go out in Hampton Roads and recover as many animals as possible to help relieve suffering, yes, where it is found – but more importantly to relieve the overpopulation problem.

        The vast majority of animals are, no doubt, handed over willingly, based on a CAP workers “promise” that they will “try” to find the animal a new home. Based on the 2005 reports on the CAP workers prosecuted for euthanizing and dumping animals from their CAP van, and the 2014 case of “Maya”, and even your video, it seems Heather’s experiences from 15 years ago are directly relevant to the current situation. She euthanized in that van too – all the time. Not much seems to have changed except that their are now more workers in the office. Back then, there were only two of them. plus a supervisor. Heather did abuse investigations, she supported spay/neuter efforts, and she was apparently one of the first from PETA to cross into NC to visit shelters there and report back on their conditions in early 2000. She was encouraged to develop a rapport with these shelters so the animals in those poor rural shelters could be removed, when possible. For “adoption”, of course.

        From the sound of the the state investigation, the internal “shelter” is more the place where employees keep animals they bring to the office every day, than a place where animals receive a second chance. can you, or anyone, say what percentage of the animals PETA takes in ever see the inside of that “shelter” – even for an hour?

        You guys miss Heather’s point – that she did a lot of work to educate people on how to better care for animals, that she dropped of dog houses, provided food and bedding – ALL the things you highlight in your video. She just wanted a chance to avoid instant euthanasia of dogs, cats, kittens and puppies who could have found a home, given a chance. And if her goal was to shamelessly promote herself, or destroy PETA, she could have done so when she was fired, as she personally knew half the reporters in town.

      • We are all angry at the needless killing of innocents and PeTA LEADS the pack!!
        Nothing we can say to you will help salvage your existence. You are being judged by the Creator. You are defending the murder and murderers of the most innocent life-
        And Ingrids Peta would just as easily kill a child as kill a puppy.

      • Ashley,

        Are you denying that you work for PeTA? As far as being “rude” or “crazy” – I am not the one defending the needless killing of cats and dogs. But you are right, I am a little angry about it. Tough luck.

        Tell Ingrid I was asking for her. She does have a thing for me, you know….

      • Ashley on said:

        Do you simple minds have any idea how many MILLIONS of healthy/adoptable animals are euthanized every single year in animal shelters across the US because there isn’t enough room at the shelter or enough homes for them all? The animals PETA euthanizes every year is a micro fraction of that at a few thousand, yet that is who you chose to attack for the same work. You don’t even consider the fact that they spay and neuter well over 100,000 animals a year. Sorry I’m not jumping on the bandwagon just because I’ve actually educated myself. I have nothing left to say to ignorant people if you don’t want to take the time to learn something for yourself so gladly don’t expect another response 🙂

      • Tsk Tsk Ashley – your anger is showing. I hope you don’t take it out on some innocent kittens or puppies.

        First of all, you are exaggerating how many animals PeTA spays/neuters every year (almost doubling the real number). Why did you do that?

        And I’m still waiting for you to deny that you are employed by PeTA. Why can’t you answer the question?

        And if you don’t want me responding to your comments, then stop leaving them.

        I do happen to know how many millions of animals are killed every year in the nation’s shelter system – it’s between 3-6 million. I also know that every year there are reported to be somewhere around 17 million families who are looking to adopt a pet into their home.

        Are you capable of simple math? Because saving and rehoming 3-6 million animals IS actually an achievable goal. I don’t know what Ingrid is putting in the kool aid she has y’all drinking there in Norfolk but with the hundreds of millions in donations that PeTA has raked in over just the past decade – they could have single handedly ended the killing.

        and the same goes for the HSUS and ASPCA and any other massively wealthy “animal rights” organization that has amassed riches off of the blood of the millions of shelter animals they have betrayed.

      • Ashley on said:

        No crazy bimbo, I don’t work for PETA just because I’m not jumping on the bandwagon and have educated myself. You obviously don’t know simple math because if there was truly 17 million families looking to adopt every year then so many of them would not have to be euthanized in shelters…unless those 17 million people are buying from breeders and pet stores (which get dogs from puppy mills). You truly are a waste of my time and energy among being a waste of other things. In the future you should consider acting your age for the sake of those around you…unless you really are 12.

      • Ashley, I thought you were done responding? Another lie perhaps? And you do realize that resorting to the ad hominem and name calling only proves you have nothing intelligent to say?

        I may be a “crazy bimbo” and perhaps I’m only”12 years old” but I still know how to argue a point without taking a temper tantrum and making a giant fool of myself.
        I also know how to do simple math, something that you obviously failed in grade school. 17 million>3-6 million (do I need to explain how I did the math?)

        As far as researching the subject, I have posted the text from Dr. Kovich’s shelter report. I also only need to look at the IRS Form 990 for PeTA to see that the number you quoted about how many animals PeTA spays/neuters each year is greatly exaggerated.

        But then again, I don’t do my “research” at dully tully’s propaganda site, nor do I get it from PeTA’s propaganda site. I get it from legitimate third party sources like the State of Virginia and the IRS.

        Now Ashley, get a hold of yourself before you *don’t* respond. That sort of rage you display in your last response isn’t good for you or those around you. Especially puppies or kittens.

    • Ashley, this isn’t my “perspective,” it’s the truth, there is nothing subjective about it. It’s not me “painting a bad picture,” it’s me revealing a bad picture. CAP is capable of doing great things in the field, it has done great things, but PeTA should not be allowed to euthanize. Period. I’ve seen absolutely no evidence to show that PeTA’s practices with euthanasia, stealing animals, etc. has changed, in fact that is evidence to the contrary. And I know the organization well enough to know that it isn’t one that will allow the evolution of such a fundamental belief–that the vast majority of animals who can be attained by PeTA should be euthanized. I don’t for a moment believe that a “large portion” of the animals PeTA euthanizes are brought to them by guardians for the purposes of humane euthanasia. But I do know that was a line I was told to say 15 years ago when I worked there.

      • Tanya Whelan on said:

        “I don’t for a moment believe that a “large portion” of the animals PeTA euthanizes are brought to them by guardians for the purposes of humane euthanasia. But I do know that was a line I was told to say 15 years ago when I worked there.

        Thank you!!!!

        This is the thing so many have suspected but I hadn’t heard any witnesses of it until now. I lived in Norfolk right near PETA and never saw any advertising or anything about PETA offering this wonderful service. Just how do all the destitute people that come to PETA happen to already know that it is a “euthanasia” service provider when I always assumed it was a shelter and/or corporate headquarters (before I knew about them)??

      • Ashley on said:

        Do you simple minds have any idea how many MILLIONS of healthy/adoptable animals are euthanized every single year in animal shelters across the US because there isn’t enough room at the shelter or enough homes for them all? The animals PETA euthanizes every year is a micro fraction of that at a few thousand, yet that is who you chose to attack for the same work. You don’t even consider the fact that they spay and neuter well over 100,000 animals a year. Sorry I’m not jumping on the bandwagon just because I’ve actually educated myself. I have nothing left to say to ignorant people if you don’t want to take the time to learn something for yourself so gladly don’t expect another response 🙂

      • So because it’s a micro fraction their lives aren’t worth fighting for? And not getting another response is just fine, thank you.

      • Ashley on said:

        No, I never said their lives aren’t worth fighting for. In fact, that’s quite out of context. I’m saying that shelters and those who euthanize isn’t where the problem lies. It lies with breeders and pet stores and people who purchase pets from them instead of adopting from shelters which leaves dogs at shelters homeless in cages for extended periods of time until they are euthanized because the shelters can’t keep taking in countless unwanted animals if there is no room for them. Yes PETA euthanizes, but they euthanize on a case by case basis. And they DO take many adoptable animals to a local shelter. Many of the animals they euthanize would surely be euthanized in a shelter anyways because no one would want to adopt them for any given reason, so they are sparing the shelter from the cost and space. It is the unfortunate, ugly truth. Maybe you should write a blog to educate people on the need to spay and neuter and adopt from shelters.

      • Dear Ashley,

        How are people to adopt these animals when they are KILLED within 24 hrs. of being “rescued” by the likes of PeTA? And there is no shelter and no adoption hours???? And no marketing of the animals???

        Please, do me the honor of answering me just one last time. Now I realize my 12 year old intellect can’t match your brilliance – so could you please humor me and tell me how people can adopt animals that are already DEAD?

    • rebecca on said:

      Ashley, I thinks it’s pretty sad that an organization like PETA only has a “handful of holding rooms”. I’m curious how long these animals are held in these rooms? I for one know that when my acquaintance handed her cat over to PETA, she believed them when they told her it would be kept as an office pet. Had she known they were only going to kill it, she would have worked harder to find other options. She had no idea PETA would euthanize her pet, and I think that’s a huge problem. Yes, she should have done the research on PETA first, but since they have HUGE campaigns that show them saving animals and use celebrities in anti-fur ads, many people are clueless of their companion animal policies and beliefs. So believe what you will that these animals are brought to them to be euthanized from guardians who want to relieve them from their conditions. I’ll believe that the majority of these guardians do this because they are uneducated on PETA’s policies, and that is heartbreaking.

      • rebecca, if you are able to scroll through and read the text I posted from Dr. Kovich’s shelter report you will get those answers. In his analysis, over 80% of the animals PeTA takes in to their “shelter” are KILLED within 24 hrs.

        Also, in another comment I left a link to a blog that details the most recent KILL stats for PeTA – along with other area humane societies and shelters. PeTA’s KILL rate is always more than double the others and many times more than triple the others. And that is comparing them to other organizations that don’t even have PeTA’s resources or giant bank account.

        PeTA really has no other excuse for their killing other than they “can” and they “want” to. It’s not about overpopulation, or limited resources, or animals being beyond hope. They kill because it’s in their underlying philosophy to kill.

        They don’t believe in “pets” or “companion animals” – they do not believe or advocate in “right to life” for animals. They think domesticated animals are a creation of man’s intervention and therefore should not exist in the first place. And they would prefer (and work towards) a day when the domesticated animal is extinct.

      • Ashley on said:

        It’s the same at any shelter. People take their animals thinking they will find a good home but instead many of those animals sit in cages for long periods of time until they are euthanized because they need to make room for the flood of animals coming in. No kill shelters are no better because the animals there sit in cages for even longer and go even more insane because they are not euthanized or placed in a home. Many of them are also way overcrowded and have to turn adoptable animals away and send people to shelters that do euthanize. Not to mention the unadoptable animals they turn away simply because no kill shelters only take the cute adoptable ones. All of the animals they turn away end up on the streets with no food and water and no one to care for them and some end up in an open admission shelter anyways. But the no kill shelters are the ones who get most of the funding because they are keeping their euthanasia numbers low. It’s unfortunately a vicious circle created by ir”responsible” breeders, puppy mills and pet stores. This will not end until people take responsibility and spay and neuter and chose to adopt from shelters. I just choose not to point the finger because I know that although PETA euthanizes, many of the adoptable animals ARE taken directly to open admission shelters and given a chance to be adopted. Those animals aren’t accounted for in PETA’s numbers. Unfortunately, PETA must chose not to waste the shelters space and resources when an animal will likely sit in the shelter anyways until they are euthanized.

      • Ashley, I’ve worked at a shelter before, the Missoula Humane Society in Missoula, Montana. In my experience, when someone surrenders their animal to a shelter, they are told something along the lines of “This animal will be placed up for adoption and we will do our very best to find him/her a home.” And a good shelter does. They don’t, then, immediately hand the animal over to a euthanasia technician to be killed. What PeTA did, and I believe still does, is say “we will do our very best to find this animal a home” and then they kill them, without doing so. It’s lying to the public and it’s failing and betraying the animal. As far as when PeTA brings animal to a local shelter rather than killing them (which I suspect happens very rarely) I would be absolutely shocked if they didn’t record those animals as an “intake,” and then note what was done with the animal, especially since that only bolsters the number of animals you can say weren’t killed. Do you know for a fact that those animals are not accounted for in PeTA’s numbers and, if so, can you show me?

      • Ashley on said:

        Why don’t you just contact the Virginia Beach SPCA if you don’t believe me.

      • Because I neither need to prove or disprove your statement. If they are bringing animals to local shelters I think that’s great, it’s far better than the alternative. If they are not noting them on some intake sheet I think that’s professionally questionable because records are important.

      • Ashley on said:

        No, they cannot claim them as euthanized or adopted if it is a transfer. You should care if what I say is the truth because of what you are creating by doing this. Are you afraid that if you prove my statement to be true then your blog post, which is generating so much hype and attention, will be leading people astray and creating unnecessary hate toward people who really do care about animals and are some of their biggest advocates?

      • Anytime an animal is taken in my a rescue or a shelter, regardless of if that animal is then handed off to another rescue or shelter, the intake should be noted, and then what happened to the animal should be noted. I didn’t say I didn’t care if what you are saying is the truth. My blog can’t lead people astray because it’s the truth.

      • Rebecca on said:

        Lucy, Thank you for the information. I read the comments above before I commented here.

        Ashley, My biggest problem is the deception that I feel comes from PETA’s lack of giving full disclosure to pet owners. This may be the worst analogy ever, but It’s kind of like the surgeon general’s warning on cigarettes that says they can cause cancer which causes death, Etc. The warning is big enough for people to make a good informed decision.

        PETA has HUGE advertising campaigns against wearing fur for example. In my opinion people see that and think PETA is for the ethical treatment of ALL animals to include companion animals. Now, we can debate what we each believe is ethical treatment all day, but that gets us nowhere in solving the problem of what’s truly best for companion animals Bc we are not going to agree on ethics here. Because of their ad campaigns, visible protests, etc… People are misled into believing PETA will go to extreme lengths to protect the lives of Pets and that is a huge problem!

        Yes, shelters are overcrowded, and yes, animals are euthanized Bc they are not adopted, BUT it appears that PETA has the resources, the contacts, the funding to make a bigger and better impact on the lives of these animals. Social media and blogging are powerful!!! Look at how this blog post is blowing up! Maybe PETA does this, but I have never seen weekly adoptable animals posted on facebook, on Twitter, or on the news advertising for homes & fosters for these animals. Why not? So many people will see Pink’s ad Bc is Pink for PETA. Why can’t she save furs & advertise pets in need of homes? So many local shelters post animals up for adoptions AND even a deadline for euthanasia. From what I know, PETA does not do this. Why not?
        Do people that give over their pets hear that fine print warning of “We will look for x number of days or until our shelter meets capacity and then we will euthanize when all resources have been exhausted!” And then do they contact the owners to say, we cannot find a home the Animal will be euthanized on x date?
        Yes, sometimes Euthanization is the only option, and it sucks, but it should NEVER be the first one for an adoptable animal and PETA and even other organizations that euthanize should have CLEAR posted SOPs for how and when an animal will be put to sleep and that information should be given to the public in huge ad campaigns and when they hand over animals they can no longer care for.

        One other question – Ashley, do have budgets for the no kill shelters who get the most money? Does PETA fund any of these no kills out of their $50,000,000? I only ask Bc it’s stated that the animals are often handed over to shelters by PETA, and I wondered if you ever help support them financially as a way to give the animals a better chance, more food, bigger spaces, etc… If records were kept noting exactly how many animals are kept, euthanized, adopted, dropped at other shelters Etc…. It would be easier to fundraise and compaign for ways to cut back on euthanizing adoptable animals. As someone who has worked with non-profits, managed grants, and run a local food pantry, I can’t imagine not having logs of every animal that comes and goes. It’s how you know what your capacity is to take in animals, how much food you need, money to fundraise for, medication, vet supplies, gas is needed to deliver animals to shelters, that X shelter took 40 animals from you and needs extra food and blankets Bc they took the most from you, that X month brings in the most puppies and kittens so that you know when to push harder in spay and neuter campaigns or offer clinics, and so much more….

        If PETA is doing all of those things, then good on them, but I’m not finding that information and there is not enough transparency by their organization in order for me to believe them – and not just over what this Author has to say in her blog, but over anything.

        And that breaks my heart Bc despite what I’d heard negative about PETA over the years- I wanted to believe that the A stood for all animals, and when I saw that video of Maya being taken that, I wanted to be right in believing no way would PETA do that. Ashley, maybe PETA does some good work as the Author Heather says, but honestly, I’m beginning to believe that if they can mislead the public about what happens to companion animals, then, what else is untrue?

        Solutions – there need to be bigger and better solutions & Truth!

      • Ashley on said:

        Rebecca, if you haven’t seen them advertise animals for adoption on social media it must be because you did not look bc they actually do. Regarding the dog Maya, I understand that Nathan Winograd and CCF are portraying this story in a way that makes PETA look evil (because that’s what they do best), but it might help to read the statement from the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office http://www.ask4direct.com/InfoRead.asp?id=WESR&InfoID=954519.

      • Ashley, I do follow social media, enough to notice that PETA has been advertising more adoptions since this blogger posted her story. I get feed daily from local rescues and animal controls giving urgent messages with how long animals have before Euthanization, how much it costs to sponsor them, who can foster, ads looking for people willing to pick up and deliver pets to other states. If PETA does this for every adoptable animal that comes into their care, that’s great news Bc it means the animals are given a fighting chance, but I’m not convinced that this is the case. What are the standard operating procedures for 1. Who & How do you determine what makes an animal adoptable? 2. How long do you hold an animal before you euthanize. 3. Are there attempts to socialize animals that are brought in who lived out doors. 4. How many Foster Families does PETA have on file. 5. What is PETA’s daily budget per animal for what they spend to house animals while searching for homes? 6. What is the max capacity at the shelter that I’ve heard mentioned that PETA now has for cats, dogs, other animals?
        Since PETA is a non-profit these should be public record in their standard operating procedures. I would love to hear more.
        Thanks so much!

      • Ashley on said:

        It is not true that they post more animals for adoption on social media now since this blogger wrote this, the article was just written this a week or two ago and they have done so long before she wrote this………Most of the questions you’ve asked you should contact PETA’s Community Animal Project or Cruelty Investigations department about. As for how many foster homes does PETA have, I don’t know exactly but a lot of its staff and volunteers foster animals while they are recovering and looking for a home. The thing you should try to understand is that many of the animals they take in are in very poor health because of the conditions they’ve been forced to live in their entire lives. They actually do care about animals and don’t just wanna kill them for fun. The only twisted, demented ideals are the ones that people spread about PETA and its work.

      • Ashley, I don’t for one second think that PETA kills animals for fun, I think it happens because of a misguided philosophy. I’ve stated time and again that I think CAP does great things in the field, I hope they continue to do those things, but I don’t think they should be allowed to kill or euthanize. If they now have a foster network that’s fantastic! As for animals for adoption on social media, specifically Twitter, there has been an uptick in tweets since I published my initial blog. I know someone who pays close attention to Twitter and has noticed that. Again, fantastic! It can only benefit animals.

      • Ashley on said:

        I don’t follow twitter, I do follow FB and Instagram. I don’t see how there would be an uptick in posts about animals for adoption when they typically only have maybe a handful of animals for adoption at a time at most but whatever. I don’t really think they are concerned about your blog post when they have animals that need help to focus on. If you don’t think that animals who are in very poor health, geriatric, injured, suffering should be euthanized, then that’s your opinion but I think this has become more about you not wanting to be wrong about PETA when the information and truth has been provided to you. You can say that it’s about sharing your story or whatever, but it’s essentially defamation when you are presenting to a mass amount of people information that makes them believe that is how PETA operates when it is in fact not. Where are your morals?

      • They are firmly where they need to be. Ashley, you can believe me or not, it’s up to you and it’s not a bother to me either way.

      • Rebecca on said:

        Ashley, Not that it should matter, but I want to note that I do understand the harsh conditions that many of these animals are in – I was a probation/parole officer for several years and worked in rural communities and islands on the South Carolina Coast. I also lived for a year in a Guatemala, I’ve seen first hand some of the harshest animal and human living conditions.

  79. schipnut on said:

    It is so refreshing to read what many of us in the dog world have known for years regarding PETA and their true agenda. I have owned and lost many dogs over the years and never ONCE took any joy in having to euthanize an old friend the way Ingrid Newkirk has described her joy in “freeing” an animal from the hands of humans. As a dog show enthusiast I have experienced first hand when the PETA soldiers poured antifreeze in the dogs’ water buckets at the shows, released dogs from crates and subsequently consoled distraught owners when one released dog was killed in traffic just outside the show site. PETA and their followers are nothing more than domestic terrorists with such a skewed moral compass as to be unrecognizable as humans. I am Ingrid Newkirk’s worst nightmare. I breed, show, and rescue the breed of my choice and I fight every day for the rights of all to enjoy the companionship of dogs and cats. I assist several shelters in saving and placing as many needy dogs as possible. I educate people how to be a good pet owner. I firmly believe that humans are much better off with a dog at their side than to be alone. What you have written has intensified my passion to keep helping dogs and people. Others have said you are courageous, brave, etc., but the most important thing is that you are now true to what Black Boy needed and did not get at that time. Knowing dogs for over 50 years I truly believe Black Boy forgave you the moment you shed tears for him. He has been waiting 15 years for you to tell his story.

  80. alberquirky on said:

    could you make this essay a little longer? It only took my entire life to read.

    • Wow! I hadn’t realized that you were forced to read it! Next time you should feel free to click on the little x in the top right corner of your electronic device when you want to stop reading. ps. It’s a blog entry, not an essay.

      • Tanya Whelan on said:

        lol, love the restraint and the humor your showing

      • Meh. I’m guessing it’s bitterness caused by your blog being required reading at the “rehab” facility for those convicted of Vick-style dog fighting. You know… not a lot of high IQ battling going on there.

  81. It was definitely a hard way to be brought back to reality, I am sorry for Black Boy and hope he is running and playing at the Bridge. This heartfelt story shows how much regret you are dealing with and I hope you forgive yourself as I’m sure Black Boy has. Thank you for sharing this and putting yourself out there. Prayers and hugs for you.

  82. Thank you so much for telling the truth. I have known this for years, but most people won’t believe me. Hoping this goes viral.

  83. Like many people, I too believed the lies that Peta profess to stand for. I was too busy to donate time, but I donated money – I thank God that I did not donate a great deal before finding out who they really are – but every little bit counts, I’m sure.

    Thank you for your honesty and courage in writing this article. I am so sorry you have to live with the knowledge of what happened on that night with Black Boy. You may have made a bad decision that night, but how many dogs have you saved by choosing not to follow orders. Maybe you may not have made the decision to get out if that night was different. One will never know.

    Your courage, persistence, dedication and compassion are needed in organizations that would really appreciate you, and that do love animals. I hope you continue to follow your calling and end up employed with a great bunch of like-minded people…or, even open up your own facility and make your own rules; rules that revolve around doing what is in fact in the best interest of the animals you meet. You truly are an amazing person!

    • Thanks so much! I’m a stay at home mom now, of three compassionate and amazing children who I know will go on to make the world a better place. Any work I do in animal rescue is in a volunteer capacity, and we spread the word about the wonders of rescue dogs by bringing our little former street dog with us to show people how amazing rescues are!

  84. Kelly Flores on said:

    I have heard talk about how PETA truly is not an animal rescue but an on the spot kill center. I had prayed it was false rumor, but reading insight from an ex PETA employee… Thank you for confirming my worst thoughts.
    I sit here contemplating putting down my 11 year old Black Lab/ Chow mix rescue I saved from I-75 in Atlanta at 4 months old, due to her hip dysplasia being so bad she can barely get up off the floor, even on meds. It breaks my heart, and I do not know how you did that for so long. I really do not have a choice, and it is killing me inside knowing I need to for her sake.
    I pray you have turned your life around and have something to do with a true no kill animal rescue. May God bless you for shedding some light with this!

    • Kelly, I am so, so sorry that you are going through such a painful experience, to be faced with the loss of a companion you love. I’ve been there, it’s never simple or easy. Thank you for taking the time to write this, I appreciate it. I actually became a stay at home mom after leaving PETA, and now have three beautiful children. Any time I spend with rescue work is volunteer and with organizations who are truly doing great work.

  85. Your courage and the conflict of conscience you underwent and still undergo are noble tributes to Black Boy and all the animals PETA insists on destroying. I hope you will continue sharing your story, let it be the catharsis you need and let it serve to let the world know what a duplicitous and corrupt organization PETA is. Thank you for sharing your odyssey. Be well and continue to be strong.

  86. Jennifer M McKinley on said:

    Thank you for writing this. I’m so sorry it happened, and you had to go through this. Black Boy would be honored. Very well written and sad at the same time. It is time for people to see behind the curtain.

  87. Cathy Overmeyer on said:

    Thank you. I wish PETA would stick to the campaigns against animal use in entertainment, factory farms, fur, etc. I had a bad experience as a member of PETA who used to contribute $ every month for many years and had them in my will. Until…..I asked if I could get a dog house for some needy dogs in my area.
    They butted in called the local animal control, which at that time was part of the problem, the owner thought I did it and the relationship I had developed with him was destroyed. The dogs continued in their terrible housing and I was sorry I ever called PETA. They get into local situations when they have no knowledge of the work being done locally and had no respect for me as a reliable witness. They hounded me with phone calls when I stopped contributing and I told them exactly what I’ve written here.
    Please don’t beat yourself up too much, because years ago I thought putting an animal down right away was rescuing it. We all live and learn and hopefully do better.

  88. The number of comments here from from breeders, AKC dog show enthusiasts, Nate Winograd overpopulation crisis deniers, and well-known trolls from anti-PETA, anti-HSUS, anti-MFA, or anti-ASPCA articles just goes to show how much validity people who bother to do their own firsthand research should put in this “blog.”

    The sad thing is that some genuinely well-meaning people will read your diatribe and some of the comments and take them at face value. If you really do recognize the current overpopulation crisis and corresponding sad necessity of euthanasia/value of spay/neuter initiatives as you claim, surely you have to know you’re doing damage by spreading misinformation and giving CCF, Doug Cooper, and Nate Winograd’s acolytes more “proof” that the evil animal rights supporters are wicked and cray and that animals are better off locked in a box in someone’s garage for ten years than to never be born at all or to be humanely euthanized. And just–you know–let’s not listen to them about orcas at SeaWorld or animals having holes drilled in their heads in labs because they have a small local program that helps thousands of animals and euthanizes what amounts to some .0000000001% of the animals that ACTUAL slaughterhouses don’t euthanize but torture and kill each year.

    Contrary to the intent of Rick Berman’s internet aliases or Big Ag interns or breeder trolls (responsible for the overpopulation crisis) posting libel about illegal actions at AKC shows (really? that’s easily fact-checked, Holmes)–some of the real people who will read this as it’s spread by industry shills actually mean well, and you’re purposefully misleading them. You cannot in one breath admit that euthanasia is a necessity and then in another, criticize any organization for euthanizing animals turned away by local “no-kill” shelters because they’re unadoptable or dying, or dying family “pets” with guardians who can’t afford to pay a vet to peacefully end their suffering. Especially when you know full well everything others have related above regarding their work with North Carolina’s gas chambers around that time, etc.

    We all wish the issues were black and white, but anyone with open eyes who has worked in the sheltering community or at a vet’s office in impoverished areas of the country know that it’s not that simple. As you said in one comment reply, it’s so sad to see in-fighting amongst the animal welfare community. You’re absolutely right, and attempting to feed hysteria brought about by the anti-AR, for-profit “no-kill” turnaway shelter promoters is only contributing to further muddying the waters. Hopefully it won’t be too late in another 15 years when you have another crisis of conscience, this time about this “blog.”

    • Tanya Whelan on said:

      I guess you’ve done a definitive study that no-kill doesn’t work??? Why not try it, study it, try to make it work if you love animals?

    • Bonnie on said:

      Crazy, that’s for sure, like something rabid. If you could see the time and money and LOVE invested in the few pups I bring into this world, there is no way in hell I would agree with the mindset of someone who thinks animals are better off dead than with humans!

    • If PETA cares so much about animals, then why did they refuse to help starving cows stranded in Colorado after the 2007 blizzard? Why are they ignoring the Russian orca captures? Why are they being silent about a recent video of dolphin abuse occurring at a marine park in Spain? Why do they refuse to comment on the killing of a chihuahua named Maya? The higher-ups at PETA don’t give two shits about animals. They care about two things, money and getting attention at any cost. They don’t care who they hurt as long as they are noticed. They make millions of dollars every year. Less than one percent goes to actually helping animals. The majority goes toward fundraising to get more money. They use some of that money to live lavishly and not work real jobs helping animals. They have no problem paying people to deliberately abuse and neglect animals in order to get ‘undercover’ footage of animal cruelty if they find none. Their goal is total animal liberation, which can only be achieved by killing every animal on Earth. That would result in the complete destruction of the natural world, causing humanity’s extinction. PETA doesn’t have a problem with that in the least bit. They hate humans with a passion and want them gone from Earth. Animal rights greed is far worse than any greed industries that use animals have been guilty of. For you to turn a blind eye to that shows you don’t have a problem with animal exploitation as long as extreme animal rights groups are the ones doing it. Their monetary greed will be their undoing.

    • schipnut on said:

      Cari, regarding the “libel” of what happened at dog shows by PETA members, I was there. I helped empty the pink (tested positive as antifreeze) water from the water buckets with the police. I saw the people opening crates. Several of us chased them as they ran like cowards when caught in the act of deliberately attempting to harm the dogs. I have ZERO tolerance for anyone who harms a dog, especially one who is well loved and cared for and not in need of liberation to be killed.

      As for your overpopulation claims, I attended an animal welfare conference and listened in disbelief as the ASPCA speakers told us that shelters had only captured 20% of the pet market and we should do better by improving our “inventory” and having a varied selection of animals available. We were told to import more dogs from overseas, purchase litters from local people and transport dogs all over the country. It has been suggested and some shelters are already BREEDING THEIR OWN LITTERS OF MIXED BREED OR SEMI PUREBRED PUPPIES in order to fulfill the public demand for dogs. I don’t believe that overpopulation means adding to the population on purpose.

      I’ve been rescuing dogs for over 30 years and I always thought our goal was to put ourselves out of business by educating people so they would be responsible dog owners. This new wave of shelter pet commerce is insane. PETA, HSUS and the ASPCA are all complicit in perpetuating the overpopulation myth and then making it a reality by encouraging this “business” model. And sheltering IS a business. If you take a look at the NAIA shelter project you will find hundreds of shelters who have very healthy bank accounts. I’m not saying shelters should all live hand to mouth, but there are some with obscene amounts of money stashed away. Click on a state to view the financial information for each shelter. http://shelterproject.naiaonline.org/page/resources

      For the record, I am not a total fan of Winograd as he does not approve of purpose bred dogs. Since many of the dogs I’ve bred are service animals with excellent health and temperament I cannot agree with his blanket assessment.

      And I am most certainly not a breeder troll. I work, care for my dogs, rescue dogs and fight for my rights to do all of this.

      • Schipnut- I didn’t attend the conference you speak of – but recently the “market share” has entered the vocublary. I was floored when I read some of their proposals-
        Perhaps that is why Sayers jumped the rescue ship to represent breeders. He knows where the future money in his pocket will come from.
        In the meantime there is still much work to be done especially for kitties who are dying 10 to one in kill shelters. I too had hoped in my lifetime I could “go out of business”. Sigh…
        But I am encouraged that there are those in the breeder world that are rescuing. After all it will in the end benefit “ethical” breeders if we can spay neuter and save those born through no fault of their own.

    • Cari, my conscience about this blog (or, rather, “blog”) is clear because I have finally told the truth. And, having volunteered in a shelter in Costa Rica with far fewer resources than PeTA has, and in a far more impoverished area, I know the good that can be done by dedicated people, and I know the challenges that are faced. Our dog is a former street dog, someone found him in a crumpled heap after he’d been hit by a car and left for dead. She brought him to a shelter that is outside of San Jose (in Costa Rica). This is a dog who, had he ended up at PeTA, would have been killed immediately. But when he was handed over to Lilian, who runs the shelter, her first thought was to save him, not kill him. He barely survived but he did, because he’s a fighter and because Lilian loved him and believed in him, as did her vet who saved him, and every other staff member and volunteer at the shelter. He is now part of our family, and he is an absolute blessing to us. And trust me when I tell you that Costa Rica’s street dog population is beyond anything anyone in Virginia is dealing with. Lilian’s resources are spread thin but she and her staff are tireless advocates for, and rescuers of, companion animals. I am not “feeding hysteria,” I am writing the truth and I will continue to do so.

      • If you don’t know who Rick Berman is, as you have claimed in another comment you might want to educate yourself because your words are being used by Berman and Co. and their interest is clearly not to make the world a better place for animals (see the PETA Kills Animals facebook page).
        In a nutshell, PETA has long been the target of a smear campaign (PETA Kills Animals) created by Berman’s organization, the Center for Consumer Freedom. The CCF represents, in part, industries that benefit from animal use and abuse (for example, animal agriculture where horrific atrocities against animals occur every day). The CCF develops manipulative PR campaigns to discredit influential animal protection organizations like PETA and the HSUS, in an effort to lessen their impact on the industries CCF represents. Berman’s activities are so underhanded and vile that even his own son has spoken out against him.
        Perhaps you should also give some thought as to why people like Douglas Anthony Cooper and Nathan Winograd, who claim to be for the animals, put a great deal of effort into trying to destroy the same organizations that represent the biggest threat to the (animal use) industries the CCF seeks to protect. Mr. Winograd’s work has been widely promoted by the CCF as well as dog breeders and others in the anti animal rights crowd. He even granted the CCF an interview in 2007 which is still available on their website.
        You may be well-meaning, but it seems you are being used in a way you probably didn’t intend.
        Also, Cari is correct that many of the people who comment on blogs and articles disparaging PETA and other animal advocacy groups are not here out of an interest for the well-being of animals. They are more interested in protecting their right to use animals as they please and would love to see the animal protection movement fail. By allowing their comments to stand, you are giving them credibility and misleading others who may take their words as truth. It’s a tangled web for sure, but well worth the time it takes to connect the dots.

      • Jo, I know what the CCF is, I received an email from them requesting an interview, I am not doing it. I am not being used, this blog is public and people with an agenda will use it as they see fit, that can’t be helped. I take Mr. Cooper at his word, and by what he has written, and believe completely that his intentions are true. The ONLY thing that matters to me in the context of this blog is that I wrote the truth and I stand by everything I’ve written. If there are commenters who have an agenda that is counter to the well being of animals then that is unfortunate but I can’t go through and delete comments that may or may not be what they seem so folks are going to have to use their critical thinking skills and figure it out for themselves. Ultimately, we each need to do that and to make certain the stands we are taking are things we can live with and be proud of.

    • OMG- I support the Humane Farming Association and the No-Kill Advocancy center. I am anti HSUS and anti-PETA (actually same org in money transfers) I have no idea who Rick Berman is nor do I care. I am anti puppy mill but ok with truly legit breeders. Quick give me some of that blue juice. I have failed our God Ingrid.

      • Jo, you couldn’t be further from the truth. Many of us speaking against PETA do care about animals. We hate that they are killing animals without trying to find homes for them as well as using them to make money off them through deception and fraud. PETA may have done good for animals in the past, but all the bad things they’ve done has permanently tarnished their reputation. I’ll tell you a little something. PETA slams SeaWorld for having orcas day in and day out. However, they haven’t never said a word about the Russian orca captures going on right now. The reason why is because SeaWorld has nothing to do with the captures, so those orcas aren’t important. PETA turns a blind eye to their celebrity supporters who don’t practice what they preach, but they slam celebrities who don’t support them for doing the exact same things as the latter does. When you’re a PETA supporter, you can do whatever you want. They aren’t going to care. Ingrid Newkirk is a psychopath who cares for no one but herself. She has bragged about killing animals and will throw her own associates under the bus to save her own butt. She has no problem with animal exploitation as long as she is the one who is doing it. She and her associates live lavishly off money they make every year, which is tens of millions of dollars. They are greedy and want more money all the time. Animal rights greed is far worse than any greed industries that use animals have been guilty of. The ultimate goal of extreme animal rights groups is to destroy the natural world through killing every animal, so humans will never have a bond with animals again. Earth will become a wasteland like it is in Avatar, which will result in humanity’s extinction. Those groups have no problem with that because they hate humans with a passion and want them gone from Earth. As long as you continue donating money to them, you only further their mission to destroy nature.

    • Veganimals on said:

      Thank you, Cari. I could not agree more.

  89. Wow, thank you for writing this! I’m sorry black boy had to die for this lesson to be learned but maybe his death can help teach others that PETA is in my mind evil! They are not doing good work, they are killing defesless animals and to me are as bad if not worse than the abusers!

  90. Out of the darkness of Black Boy you found your light…his death was not in vain as it lit that spark that so longed to burn within you. Find your solace there and be proud. I had researched early on PETA’s methods and was sickened by it. Sometimes, though it saddens me, putting them down may be the most “humane” thing…BUT, I am a firm believer that the vast majority of these animals can be rehabilitated..if directed into the right situation (shelter or rescue group/foster).Hell, it’s not even rehabilitation to provide love and shelter and compassion…they just are not accustomed to it… I have never been an advocate for PETA because of what you wrote…helping out a few rescue groups when I can with any extra (and sometimes not so extra $$) that is needed.I sit here with 2 rescues – one pulled 2 years ago from a kill shelter…turned in because she was old. The other, tied to a door nob at a shelter… I will give them the life they deserve and do so gladly as it fills my heart. I can handle 2…and I can give a little time for transports, and I can give a little cash when there is an emergency…and the least costly thing I can do that I believe can make the biggest difference is to say whole-heartedly THANK YOU and BLESS YOU for the light you shine and the difference you make…God speed….

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  96. Thank you so much for speaking awful truth about this organization.
    I know there are many that start out for the right reason and for some reason either the workers, volunteers, board or whomever usually end up in a power struggle and loose the real reason for starting the organization.
    I hope more people speak out to Stop this organization from the help, grants, donations whatever they get and use it wrongly and possibly another group maybe eligible that will unanimously do the right thing for the animals.

  97. Thank you so much for writing this! I live in Virginia and have heard horror stories about the local PETA workers. They’re all dismissed because no one can believe that an organization who is supposed to be protecting animals would commit these horrible acts. I hope this goes viral and donations STOP! This is just pure insanity!

  98. Thank you for sharing this story. It just saddens me to believe this. Ever since I was young (i’m 24 now) I would watch these commercials with Awe and respect. I’ve always respected PETA, but the things I have heard the last few years are just too horrible and too plenty to ignore. Maybe they are not all bad, but I put my time, energy and money into my local shelters where I can see the change. I am so sorry you had to go through that, and I am so sorry that is how things are run. I have to believe there are more people like you who realize why they started working for PETA in the first place. I will NEVER understand the cruelty of animals, will NEVER understand how they get brushed aside. It kills me that I can’t save everyone of them. I hope you can take comfort knowing that there are people that DO sill want to make a difference.

  99. I know it has been said before …. however …. THANK YOU FOR YOUR STORY. I hope it helps you heal and most of all I pray it helps stop the killing .

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  101. This saddens me in the worst of ways and I feel sick to know that these innocent creatures were euthanized un-needlessly they could have been homed yet these cruel -heartless people did”nt even give them a chance God will see to them for what they did and they will be punished Vingince is mine saith the lord and he will get his revenge for what Peta has done for years Amen!!!!

  102. Reblogged this on thereisnosanityclause and commented:
    This is why I fight for animals!

  103. Reblogged this on my blog, There is no sanity clause. I am a dog mom of a 13 y/o golden retriever mix and 6 y/o golden/chow mix. I fight for animals and support no-kill whole heartedly. Thanks for the truth. I hope others will see it!

  104. You have a skill for writing, and you have carried allot of weight. So glad you let it out!
    So as the for Exec Dir of a US non-profit… I really do not see how Newkirk keeps her job!? What is the deal with the Board of Directors of this multi-million dollar behemoth? They can not all be as deranged as she is. The falsification of medical records and illegal use of the “blue juice” (a controlled substance) alone should have the lawyers on the Board out-of-their-minds at every Board Meeting?

    Anyway, thank you for writing this timely blog. Going to go read the follow-up interview now. Oh, and no matter where you are, remember that these people a chemically imbalanced, disconnected from empathy and have no problem with murder.
    Head-on-a-swivel! Be safe.

  105. ici schemm on said:

    Heather, what a powerfully moving story. I can feel and understand how distraught you were holding Black Boy’s head as he was euthanized. Working at the H.S. in Missoula held some of the best times of my life because we were all in it together, we were committed to the animals and to making sure they were loved and cared for. I’ve seen your dedication first hand and know your heart and your words are coming from the best possible place. You have honored Black Boy by telling his story. Thank you.

  106. Thank you for the truth. I’ve wondered about PETA for years, never hearing good things about them. You have settled it for me. I’m glad you survived your time there, but I feel very sorry for the work you had to do. I do understand why, and how you bought into their story. Please, you need to forgive yourself for Black Boy, I believe he was meant to save you, as sad as it was. You finally saw the light, thanks to him. God Bless you both. He’s at peace, running in his grassy heaven, and knows that he had found love and compassion at the end, which I’m sure was peaceful. Now you need to allow yourself peace and forgiveness. Move forward and work to save animals for honest and no kill shelters. Or, start your own. Whatever you do, forgive yourself.
    God Bless

  107. I cried for you. Black Boy would never hold it against you. Animals are forgiving, way to forgiving for people to understand. I am glad he touched you so.

  108. Thank you… I’ve tried to share the word about PETA but it takes people who have been there to shed light on their heinous acts. Thank you and thank you again and again.

  109. I had no idea that PETA killed animals, until I read this blog. Thank you for enlightening me – and I’m sure many others.

  110. Thank you for sharing your emotional story. Those of us who have been involved with animal rescue often have that one individual who touched us so deeply that it changes us in our core. Thank you for being brave enough and humble enough to let us know about your experience.

  111. You are my hero and to many of us who fight the good fight. All animals deserve a good life. Thank you for your insight on the “real” PETA that many of us have known about for a long time. Again, Thank you!!

  112. Andrés on said:

    Your story reminds me of one I heard long ago; about a kid who wanted to save every human in this world, while he was growing he noticed how it was impossible, so he decided to save every person in his line of sight, he became a soldier but in order to save people he ended up killing many.
    He died in his thirties, betrayed by the people he saved, after being abandoned by all the people who once loved him due to his lack of attention to them because of his ideal.

    It’s good that you opened your eyes. Very good post.

  113. Thank you for writing this story. I am so glad to see the walls of PeTA being cracked open for the world to see the stench that is PETA.
    Feel blessed you have such a strong moral compass because I never met a PETA Case manager who had any.

  114. If you are speaking about the Norfolk hq facility, please contact the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and file an official complaint, if you have not already.

  115. The way I look at it is that Black Boy may have chosen his path of suffering in order to not only save you but through you to save countless others. Forgive yourself.. it is only because of his sacrifice that you found your path.. and I am sure he is happy that he helped you get on that path. Angels come in many forms.. 🙂

  116. I have heard so many stories over the years of rescues vetting animals( vaccinate, spay, nueter etc) in and around VA and surrendering them to PETA to place thinking they would have a much better chance with a big organization – only to never hear from them again and to indeed find out those same healthy animals were euthanized. It must have ripped your heart out to write this – it’s frightening how many people think because they are the largest profile they are the best. SO many small rescues fighting the good fight with almost no money on a daily basis PETA is disgusting and should be banned from all work with domestic animals.

  117. This is a beautiful post. thank you for sharing your story.

  118. Thank you so much for speaking out about the issues that you encountered. It’s great that PETA is able to get a message out to so many people, but that message is so hypocritical. Who even wants to listen to them anymore? Definitely not us.

    It’s disgusting the amount of killing that goes on in an organization who are suppose to be caring for animals.

    PETA should stand for People for Euthanizing The Animals.

    Appalling.

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  120. Linda Amato on said:

    What a well written Blog. I could feel your emotions yet you did not feel you had to last out with bad language or over-do. I believe, in the end, this is what makes this so meaningful. I decided to get involved and volunteered at a local private home-based shelter. They had a room for cats but dogs were fostered. I promised a full day on Saturdays & special events. Next thing I know, I am being called every day, morning till after our normal bedtime. The swearing & yelling, according to the woman who ran the rescue was “just may way, ignore it”. I told her I suffered from PTSD & this constant yelling and swearing (*F* this & *F* that) in every sentence was disturbing…to the point I was crying and not sleeping. I was taunted for not being able to help 14 hrs. days. The final break came when I called & let her know I could not work the upcoming Sat. as our contractor was finally coming & we had to empty the entire kitchen! She told me to the the contractor he could not come. We had been waiting for him to finish his previous project that over-ran his time estimate by several months. No, I could not. I had been working on rehoming a beautiful male pit-bull who weighed over 100 lbs. She called on that Sat. saying I needed to show him. In my house. My husband was angry. He was upset at her calling constantly, not respecting my ONE day of not being available. Most of all, he was upset at the crying she caused. My heart was breaking. He said go get the dog, but only an hour. Next she is calling saying he needed a walk first, plus there was poo in his crate & nobody to let him out (she has a fenced yard!!) He had been left in a crate too small for his size! I ran over (5 min. away). Poor thing is cowering, trying not to touch his mess. I get him and brought him to my house. 3 hours later, no show. I called her several times. When I texted her asking if he should go back to her house or the owners home I got no answer. After having him for 6 hours!!!! I put him in the car & drover to her house. I let him in the yard and went into the cat kennel. She was “hiding” & “laughing” at how she got me to work on the phone. When she saw me she screamed “what the F are you doing her?” I replied trying to find out where to bring him. I texted you several times. She screamed (in front of a witness) “I don’t F…ing care; leave him in the middle of a busy F…ing St. Bring him to the shelter and say you F…ing found him; bring him to the F…ing police station…but DO. Your. F…ing JOB!”. I started shaking & crying. I walked out with her yelling at my back. Finally, she said something that broke me. I took my key to the house and just left it. I cried and shook for days. Then, when I decided to work at another shelter, I found she had blacklisted me. I was going to call & explain. I have some email exchanges to show her lack of compassion for people & dogs etc. but decided if they could not be bothered calling for my side (I wish I knew what she said) that I did not want to volunteer at such a place.

    I am gathering up my resume of experience….with Pit-Bulls (I offer free private training for locals that cannot afford it); my training experience (very expensive school that I traveled over an hour each way to attend; my rescues not only with dogs but ducks being attacked by a fisher cat & my favorite: emergency delivery of two goats with a nervous first time mom. I am going to try & get on one the rescue trucks. It has been three years, and I still scared to jump back in.

    Sorry this is so long. It’s just you hit a real cord and I can so empathize. I know my personal way is to try and educate as a first line of defense. Then I try and resolve issues to keep them in the home. Sometimes they lost their job or house. I try to find dog friendly rentals. I inform people of food banks for pets and no or low cost help for neutering & immunizing.

    I do get in trouble because I do not like being called a Dog Activist. I associate that term with “overkill”. They do not stop to think things through. Every situation is not Black & White. I am A Voice For The Animals. I look at the whole situation top to bottom then side to side.

    I am very frightened now of jumping in with both feet. I know I would be such an asset. And your story give me HOPE again. Thank you.

  121. janipurr on said:

    Everything I have ever read about Ingrid leads me to believe that she is a narcissistic psychopath with delusions of grandeur. I think that the more animals she has a hand in killing, the more powerful it makes her feel. She is a very sick person. Your inside account gives is just more confirmation of my suspicions.

    Being fired from PETA was the best thing that ever happened to you. Normal people with compassion and empathy don’t want to kill everything they get their hands on—it’s soul-killing. Thank you for being willing to speak truth. The more the public knows about PETAs true goals, the less support they shall receive, and that’s a good thing.

    • Tanya Whelan on said:

      I agree with your assessment. In the HBO documentary about her (on youtube) she tells some very weird, hard to believe stories about animal abuse she supposedly witnessed as a child and weird stories about how the animals were killed at the DC shelter she worked at. The stories just struck me as untrue. She also feigned a lot of emotion when discussing these things but no tears ever cam. I really wish someone would look into these claims and others she has made. Like what the guy who wrote the recent book on Scientology did
      , that needs to be done with PETA and Newkirk

  122. Lori Bailey on said:

    I too am a field worker for Peta and you are full of SHIT!!! When we see a bad situation for a dog we call local authorities to deal with situation appropriately. Never once have I been instructed to take a dog and bring it in for Euthanasia . According to you you do not even live in the US I did report this to headquarters they had already seen it . Enjoy lying to naive people . Maybe Rick Berman will put you on his payroll or are you already

    • That’s a good little soldier. I’m sure Ingrid will give you a promotion and up your supply of the blue juice as compensation.

    • Tanya Whelan on said:

      And here comes the vitriol. And the lies. It is well documented that PETA kills animals immediately after they are surrendered to them in their kill van. I guess those PETA workers who killed those dozens of animals in their van and then tossed their bodies in a dumpster and were arrested for it were not instructed by PETA to do so. And I guess the PETA employees who stole Maya the pet chihuahua off her porch and then killed her were also not instructed to do so. PETA doesn’t even deny the killings so why do you?

      account of the dumpster incident

      http://www.naiaonline.org/articles/article/two-peta-employees-arrested-for-cruelty-caught-dumping-dogs-they-rescued-fr

      local news account of the stealing and killing of Maya the dog by PETA

      http://wavy.com/2014/11/14/peta-silent-as-groups-push-for-answers-about-stolen-dog/

    • I have a serious question for you Lori Bailey. Since you claim to be a current field worker for PeTA. I already know you dispute any allegations that you have been instructed to steal anyone’s pets.

      Now please enlighten me. Why is PeTA’s kill rate so high? There are so many other area organizations taking in far more animals than PeTA ever does yet they don’t have the high kill rates that you do.

      Can you explain to us all, why?

      Also, do you kill healthy and treatable animals yourself? Animals that could be rehomed with a little effort?

    • Lori, I have no idea who Rick Berman is so that’s strike one. And I know they’ve already seen it. I’m not full of shit and I hope the way in which you interact with the public, who you are supposed to be educating and helping, is a little more respectful and a lot less nasty. And, no, I don’t live in the US, what does that have to do with anything? Good grief!

      • G. Owen on said:

        It would behoove you to find out who Berman is. Because you’re lining his proverbial pockets at the animals’ expense as we speak.

      • One more time, if people use my blog for their own aims I cannot help that, this blog is public and, as such, it will be cited by people who have their own agenda if it suits them to do so. But what I have written is the truth and I stand by 100%. THAT is what matters in the context of this blog. I will not allow anyone to demean this truth, and you will not sway me because I know what is right. And, ultimately, I am honoring Black Boy, what his legacy will be and, for him, I will not back down.

    • Lori, you must know you are on thin ice here. Heather is not only 100 percent truthful, she is not the only person with direct knowledge of what PETA was doing with CAP. And not the only one who has kept silent about this. Do you want others to step forward? Perhaps you are a field worker in a different division, because otherwise, you’d know better. When Heather was there in 1999-2000, what was done in that warehouse was so top secret only a handfull of people in PETA’s headquarters even knew about the euthanasia program. Then it came out in the press that Virginia had records that PETA managed phenobarbital and the lid came off the program.

    • Aww- Lori- I am so sorry for your debilitating mental condition. Scicopathy is both dangerous to society and livingbeings as oneself.
      I know if you were able to seek treatment you would lose your position with PeTA since you are exactly the type of mental illness that they seek. Have you been spayed yet?

    • Rebecca on said:

      Lori,

      Did you scroll through the blog or notice that she an AmCit who is living overseas in service to our country? You saw the title of her blog, right? So, your point about her living overseas is not just silly but invalid. If nothing else, it just confirms that she is a woman of strong moral character.
      Maybe, you work with blinders on and this article hit a personal nerve? Maybe, Heather’s words resignate somewhere deep inside you, but denying and saying she’s “full of shit” is easier than self reflection?

      And really, we’ve all got to google this Rick guy that the Peta workers keep referencing Bc clearly, they are not fans of him either. He should thank you guys for all the free marketing!

      Good luck with your gig at PETA. The work you chose to do is on you.

  123. Thank you for your story. Thank you. Please keep sharing your story. Evil must be exposed.

  124. Liz Armstrong on said:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I know it must have taken a lot out of you to relive it and I’m glad you were able to get that out and into words. I live in Norfolk currently and, knowing this (on top of seeing the reports about Maya, a little girl’s chihuahua that PETA euthanized), I’m just so grateful people are speaking up and getting the truth out.

  125. Thank you for your honesty and bravery. I’m honestly speechless right now – so heartbroken that this happens.

  126. Black Boy brought you to where you are, so let go of your guilt for he forfeited his life as a learning gift to you… And to us, your readers. Thank you for sharing what must be a truly painful wound to expose. I learned LOT. xoxo

  127. Katherine on said:

    Very honest and well put. As someone who works at an open admission shelter, I understand that there are cases that are beyond hope. BUT – those cases are few and far between, not the majority. Even though our shelter is an open admission serving a 13 county area there is never an animal that doesn’t at least get a chance to be adopted or pulled by another rescue organization unless they are literally at death’s door. Yes, even the aggressive, the heartworm positive, the pitbull-type, the semi-feral. We do behavioral training here, we network with local vets and rescue groups, have a foster network, do in-house rehab and a host of other things to help those not-so-adoptable animals get a home and almost all of them do. I have yet to meet an animal that wasn’t worthy of that extra effort. Thanks for sharing your story.

  128. I have never trusted PETA and I never will. It’s just another money hungry group that doesn’t believe in helping animals all they want in the all mighty corporate dollar to line their pocket.

  129. Krista on said:

    Thank you for sharing. I’m sure it was difficult, but people need to hear the truth.

  130. sounds like a disgruntled employee. I didn’t actually hear a solution to the unwanted pet problem from her. If the bill passes so many dogs will be left to suffer. PETA does the dirty work that others won’t do. I’m not sure how anyone could sleep knowing that. Just watch this: http://www.peta.org/blog/what-save-rates-mean-for-animals-in-shelters/ It will break your heart and make you questions the motivation of this blogger.

  131. Great job! I was also a whistle blower at a high school (special ed teacher abusing students – I was his aide while also a double credentialed teacher) and it was hell. I wouldn’t change a thing but I am still dealing with the health issues the stress brought on. I’ve yet to blog about it. But I applaud you – as one who now works with animals professionally (and in rescue for 30 years) I’ve known for years that the “PE” in “PETA” stands for “Pure Evil.” Thank you for being brave. You will be vilified and attacked right and left but know there are many of us whistle blowers out here supporting you. My prayer is that we soon will get notice that this cult has been shut down.

    • Thank you, me too.

      • Graham on said:

        I think that many of you need to have your heads examined. The idea that PETA is “pure evil” is absurd. If you don’t like what PETA is doing, then get off your computers and go to Bertie, County, NC and Ahoskie, NC and help the dogs in these poverty stricken hellholes. So far, PETA staffers are the only ones helping these poor animals: http://www.peta.org/features/lonely-backyard-dogs-helped-peta/

      • Tanya Whelan on said:

        Hey Graham, do you work for PETA? Cause I have some questions. Why does PETA disdain and vilify the poor so much? Why doesn’t PETA spend some of it’s $50,000,000 per year revenue to open shelters in lower income communities like Heather wanted to do, or on educating lower income people who don’t care for theirs pets on how to, or on helping lower income people to pay for veterinary care and medicine? Why does PETA not show up in Ghent or other middle class neighborhoods to expose pet abuse, do they think only poor people abuse animals? Oh, and why does PETA steal pets from the porches of lower income people and then kill them? Just curious.

  132. Niranjan on said:

    How much did Center for Consumer Freedom paid you for this story?

  133. Graham on said:

    To all of you keyboard warriors: don’t like what PETA is doing? Go out and do it yourselves! Here is how I spent one day while working at PETA: http://www.peta.org/features/justice-starved-pit-bulls/

    Please feel free to go to NC and give it a try. Maybe then you all won’t be so self-righteous and ignorant.

    • Tanya Whelan on said:

      That’s great but maybe you could also stop PETA from advocating the KILLING of EVERY, SINGLE, PITBULL that enters a shelter regardless of temperament or history. That is PETA’s stance right?

    • Boy, Graham – touched a nerve did she? You know Heather was the first to go to those “hell holes” in North Carolina that you mention? I’m sure the fine folks in Bertie and Ahoskie and Edenton would love to know what PeTA people REALLY think of them… You slander folks for not walking a mile in a PeTA workers shoes without pausing to think, maybe they are doing something to help neglected and abused animals? Maybe they do support reasonable euthanasia as a last resort, rather than a “best practice” administered within minutes of receiving an animal? Please relay to Ingrid that there are MANY people who have direct knowledge of CAP’s practices, and the trolling and personal attacks from “morons” and “assholes” like you is only encouraging them to come forward and defend a person who only wrote the truth, for her own conscience, and not as part of any conspiracy to take down PeTA. Any wounds the organization receives as a result of this blog are totally self-inflicted.

      • Graham on said:

        Oh Eric, you got me all wrong. I am not upset with Heather for being opposed to PETA euthanizing animals. I am upset with those who sit at their computers condemning others while doing nothing to help. I am also upset with those who condemn an entire organization and it’s work over one issue. PETA saves more animals and ends more animal suffering in one day than most groups/people do in a year. Upset about euthanasia? Then go after those who breed their dogs, run puppy mills, etc. The state of VA can pass a bill re PETA, but not one requiring mandatory spay/neutering? Or a bill against chaining your dog outside 24/7? Pathetic. I started at PETA in 1991, so I can assure you that I was in the field before Heather was; not that it matters. If you saw how dogs and other animals are treated in many parts of NC, you would see that they are hellholes. I saw starving pit-bulls on chains; “living” next door to a Sheriff’s Deputy. I saw pit-bulls whose ears had been freshly cut-off, covered in flies. I heard dogs “scream” for water as I filled up their bone dry bowls when it was 98 degrees/98% humidity. I saw dogs shivering on chains in muddy and snow filled pits they created by running around in circles on their chains. Imagine what could be done for animals if people put as much energy into helping them as they do going after PETA. Talk about misplaced priorities. Tragic. I no longer work at PETA, so I am afraid I won’t be able to relay your message to Ingrid; who by the way, fired me. I do work full time on behalf of farmed animals who are killed by the billions every year. I only wish more dog/cat “lovers” cared about these animals. Chalk it up to hypocrisy, I guess. p.s. – I just donated in support of PETA’s work in India. I hope you will too. http://www.animalrahat.com/

  134. John Anderson on said:

    It would seem that killing animals is only ethical if PeTA does it. I’ve read about PeTA’s stance that the animals they take in “want to die” rather than live in the conditions they had been. Have you ever seen an animal commit suicide? I haven’t. I can believe that the majority of the animals they bring in want a better life, but I will never believe they want to die.

    • Susan Thornton on said:

      Well said John…. one of the things that really crushed me was when she talks about gaining ‘Black boys’ trust, only to then betray it by leading him to his death!
      Who is SHE, or anyone else to ‘play god’ with another living creatures life?
      I have an image of that poor poor dog thinking he’d found someone who actually cares, and wagging his tail as he went with her.
      Before humans tamed dogs and made them domesticated, they lived quite happily in the wild, running free, and many still do.
      The only one blessing is that those animals really ARE probably in a better place. I hate some humans.

      • Ya know what, Susan, if your comments are meant to make me feel guilty or berate me or beat myself up you may as well stop trying because I’ve done it all already. And you neglected to capitalize the second part of Black Boy’s name.

      • Susan Thornton on said:

        Oh well if forgetting to ‘capitalize’ his last name is my only misdemeanor, then go me! I wont lose any sleep over it, I really dont know how you sleep though?
        All you people praising her and calling her a hero, and calling her brave etc….really??!
        If she was so courageous, she would have come forward 15 years ago….how many animals have lost their lives in that time?

        Oh and if you want to start nit-picking, its ‘Black Boys’ not Black Boy’s …..

      • Susan, I can delete your comments but I don’t care enough about your opinion of me to do that so spout off as you see fit, it doesn’t bother me. All you have to do to know my opinion on people like you is read the post I put up today.

      • Tanya Whelan on said:

        Did you read her account? She feels horrible and is coming forward to try to change things at PETA and stop the killing. When you don’t support whistle blowers they stop coming forward. She has also devoted her life to caring for animals so unlike many, myself included, she puts her money where her mouth is. Try to read her account with a more open heart.

      • Thank you, Tanya ❤

      • Susan Thornton on said:

        Unfortunately I did read her account Tanya, and because she’s ‘seen the light’ and realised the error of her ways, we’re all supposed to applaud her?
        No amount of good can compensate for the animals she killed….. I also devote my life to caring for animals… both here in the UK, and I support rescue shelters in Romania and Greece. I raise funds to send to these shelters to help pay for food, vets bills and to have them neutered, and in some cases to help pay for travel costs to have them brought over here for adoption.
        I have 8 rescue cats, the last one being a blind one from Romania, and 3 months ago I adopted a dog from Greece who’s suffered terribly over there…..and guess what?? I’ve never killed a SINGLE animal!
        If you want to see ‘real’ heroes, get in touch with some of the people that rescue dogs in Romania, who really can say they do it for the love of animals because they work tirelessly for not a single penny gain.

      • Tanya Whelan on said:

        OK Susan, so I can see you don’t have an open heart, so can you just go away? I’m sure that you’re Mother Theresa and all and have always spoken and acted upon injustice wherever you’ve seen it and that ya know, you’re perfect. But if you care about stopping the killing at PETA you’d put your self righteous bs and holier then though attitude aside and you’d support brave whistleblowers like Heather so more will come forward and you’d share Heather’s story.

      • Susan Thornton on said:

        You can see absolutely NOTHING Tanya if you think ‘I’ have a ‘closed heart’, in fact you must be completely blind. And who are YOU to tell me to go away? My comments are as valid as yours, I just happen to have a different opinion.
        She wrote a blog on a public site that allows people to comment. And as a matter of fact, YES I HAVE always acted on injustice….I am a police officer, and a union representative.
        How you can possibly think an animal killer has an open heart and I dont just shows your ridiculous mentality.
        As I said before, she could have, and in fact SHOULD have ‘blown the godamn whistle’ 15 years ago….. read her latest blog, she’s looking for absolution.

      • I would think, Susan, if you truly care about animals, that you would not want to berate me, regardless of your personal opinions of me, since it might make me back down (it won’t, BTW, but we’re talking hypothetical here). And I think I’m an asset to ensuring that the killing stops. Maybe your real aim is to make me feel like crap and make me go away. You never know who is hiding behind a keyboard …

      • Susan Thornton on said:

        No Heather, my intention isnt to make you feel crap at all, and yes, you are an asset and your account SHOULD absolutely be told.
        I just say the things I do because killing an animal is so far removed from my world that I find it hard to comprehend…..but I guess better late than never as they say

  135. Seems like Susan entirely missed the point of the blog, no? Heather has been living with what she did, under PeTA’s orders, for years. The point of writing Black Boy’s story is help reconcile the toll that took. And to help make his existence count by showing what has been happening to similar dogs, for years, after she left PeTA. Glad to see you are pure as the driven snow. Honestly, the infighting among people who are supposedly devoted to helping animals is really hard to comprehend sometimes.

    • Susan Thornton on said:

      Under PeTA’s ‘orders’ Eric? She had a choice, no one was holding a gun to her head, she did it of her own free will.
      I think you and a lot of others are missing the point….its taken her FIFTEEN YEARS to come out and say this.
      You really don’t have to look far to see what this organisation do, so what Heathers saying is old news.
      MY point is that she murdered a lot of animals. Hitlers henchmen, when brought to trial said that they were just ‘following orders’ but if they decided after the war to devote their lives to adopting children and becoming saints, would that vindicate them of all their wrongdoings?

      • Tanya Whelan on said:

        She was doing what is standard practice in almost every single shelter in America. Do you hold everyone who works in animal control and care to the same standard as you are holding Heather? because almost all of them are involved in a system that kills animals… I would like the killing to stop so I support the implementation and study of a comprehensive “no kill” approach and I support people like Heather who are brave enough to speak in the face of criticism from every angle so that more people might come forward.

      • Susan Thornton on said:

        Yes I do hold everyone who works in animal control and care to the same standard Tanya…. but as I said in another post, ‘better late than never’.
        PeTA are getting a lot of bad press lately and I see posts coming up more often on facebook which I share, but the more people who are willing to give their accounts the better.

  136. It is far better to encourage Heather to keep telling her story of her time at PeTA – so that she may influence change for the better for the animals – than it is to berate her for doing things she already regrets.

    I too have a hard time reading her accounts of killing animals, but without people like her who are willing to see the error of their ways and change – then those deaths would all be in vain.

    It’s quite obvious that she doesn’t consider herself any kind of hero, but she does want some good to come from her experiences. So if you really do love animals and want the killing to stop, you should not condemn the author of this blog, you should be grateful she’s come to her senses and stopped doing it.

  137. Exactly Lucy. This woman is a troll. Lovely that she is able to show so much empathy for animals. Not so much empathy for humans working through the devastation wrought by working for that organization. You know why more people aren’t speaking out about what happens there? Part of it is the cult-like nature of the organization, but a big part of it is people like you. You should be ashamed.

    • Susan Thornton on said:

      A Troll? aw boo hoo.
      Yes I DO have more empathy for animals than humans actually but I make no secret of that.
      And if ‘people like me’ are a reason that others wont come forward, maybe they shouldnt be so spineless and should stand up for what they believe in and be a voice for these defenceless animals.

      By the way, If I were a ‘troll’ I would have hidden my identity wouldnt I?

      • Tanya Whelan on said:

        Hey Susan, I think we are on the same page, it’s emotional for everyone who loves animals which I know you do but we all need to support whistle blowers so more will speak out and Heather has devoted her life to animal welfare which is more then I have done….

      • Tanya, thank you. While I would love to take credit for devoting my life to animal welfare I haven’t done so in a professional capacity for nearly 14 years, since I became a stay at home mom. Everything since PeTA has been volunteering, focused on volunteering in shelters, , volunteering with a vet who takes in homeless and abused animals in San Jose, Costa Rica to walk and socialize the animals. And A LOT of fostering, which I love to do. Being a bridge between an old life and a new life is something sacred to me and to my family.

      • Tanya Whelan on said:

        Yes, like I said, you’ve devoted your life to animal welfare despite the fact that you don’t get paid for it. Thank you for what you do, it’s certainly more then I’ve done.

  138. And truthfully – who is perfect? I guess Susan is a perfect human being who has never done anything in her life that she regrets doing.

    I myself worked for a very large SPCA for many many years. They had 5 shelters 3 state of the art animal hospitals and many millions – but they still needlessly killed animals in their shelters. They too claimed they were a “shelter of last resort”…..They too trotted out the Rick Berman/CCF scapegoat when anyone dared question the killing.

    Now, I didn’t work in the shelters (and you couldn’t pay me any amount to kill an animal) but I knew that they killed animals and they didn’t need to. I hoped that I would one day be able to work within the organization to change that. But unfortunately I came to realize that they didn’t want people like me there – someone who wanted to save them all. They just wanted to save a few and kill the rest. Status quo had been very good to them.

    Anyway, I am able to apply my experiences to PeTA because I clearly see how these organizations all use the same excuses, the same lies and the same propaganda to continue to betray the animals and amass a fortune for themselves.

    I can understand how a young and impressionable person can even buy into the lies – “there are too many” and “limited resources”, etc…

    But it takes someone with the ability to think for themselves to cut through the bullshit and realize what is really going on. And Heather was able to do that.

    I hope others will follow her lead and come out of the woodwork. The only way things will change is if people are brave enough to speak up about their experiences and withstand the ire they draw from all sides.

    Don’t be discouraged Heather. You may be just the catalyst needed to inspire others to come forward.

    • Susan Thornton on said:

      Its funny (not haha funny), that you should mention the SPCA because they are another one that I was going to mention….over here, it’s the RSPCA, and I just found out recently that they also put healthy animals to sleep.
      Ive been spreading the word about that and a lot of people I know have now stopped donating to them as a result.
      Personally I wouldnt donate now to any organisation that has staff on salaries. ‘Charity’ should mean exactly that. Anyone can do a job in those organisations for monetry gain, but I would rather help those who do it for the genuine love of the animals.

  139. Susan, I think you and me are on the same page on this issue. But try not to berate Heather so much – she clearly has many regrets about things that she did.

    As for the SPCA’s and PeTA’s of the world – the ones who have amassed great empires off of the blood of the cute puppies and kittens they murder – well I have nothing but contempt for them.

    I too always encourage people who want to help animals to donate to small, local rescue groups where they can verify with their own eyes how the money is being used.

    • Susan Thornton on said:

      Yes it looks like we are Lucy…. My emotions just got the better of me…it was hard reading and hard to comprehend. I just despair sometimes at all the cruelty I come cross on a daily basis online. Its especially hard when you see the figures of the money these organisations are raking in, and the salaries that their top management are on, all from peoples hard earned cash, and then I see something from one of the rescue groups on FB pop up and see a woman with 2 daughters living in a ramshackle shed who saves as many dogs as she can from the dog catchers, and relies solely on the generosity of the people in the group, to continue feeding them until they can be found homes.

  140. You are very brave to have written this and I hope it helped you to write. You have my admiration.

  141. Can anyone tell me if my question I posed yesterday to Lori has been answered yet? (I’m trying to keep up but I can’t find her response anywhere) Quite a few PeTA employees have taken the time to comment and any one of them can answer for Lori because I really am curious to know….

    I asked her why PeTA’s KILL numbers are so high? Especially when compared to other area shelters and humane societies? Many of these other shelters – who have far less money and resources are able to adopt out double and triple the amounts of animals that PeTA seems to be able to.

    Why is that? When answering keep in mind that I am looking at the actual figures that are presented in this blog:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/05/pets-shelter-euthanization-rate_n_6612490.html

    If any of you current or former PeTA employees can answer me, I would appreciate it. Thank you.

  142. Where are all the PeTA field workers and defenders when I am waiting for them to answer a simple question???? What gives?

  143. Elizabeth on said:

    Thank you for speaking out, and for sharing such painful memories. People have been ignorant about PETA for far too long. Stories like yours are helping people to learn the facts and make more informed decisions about where they choose to donate their time and money.

  144. Can someone from PeTA also explain why you advocate trap and release for cockroaches but promote catch and kill for feral cats????

    Please….anyone????

    • I think this post would be more honest if it admitted there is no feasible way for PETA to significantly increase animal adoption in the Hampton Roads area, which is well served by a number of large (and full) shelters, including the Norfolk and (excellent) Virginia Beach facilities. Opening their own shelter would cost millions (probably much more than is budgeted for all local casework) and would fill up with animals in a few weeks. Then where Black Boy, or the thousands of other animals like him, be placed in the following weeks, months, and years? They would be left freezing to death under porches or sick with untreated heartworm or bred for fighting dogs.

      A more honest post would say that you think PETA should stick to advocacy and end their local casework, AND that animals like Black Boy should stay in their inhumane situations. That’s the position I now take, if mostly because this sheltering controversy detracts from the group’s far more pressing advocacy work (which is really 98% of its mission). There really isn’t an available solution to this local Hampton Roads/North Carolina problem of widespread pet neglect, so I would appreciate it if you acknowledged that the real alternative to PETA’s approach is to do nothing (maybe some mostly symbolic adoption drives?), in which case more animals will live, but more will also suffer. I don’t begrudge you that position (it’s reasonable), but your post suggests an alternative that does not exist for the vast majority of the animals in question. Again, I personally think they should end all local services except for operating their spay and neuter van. But I acknowledge that move will leave hundreds or thousands of animals in conditions I deem cruel. There aren’t any good choices here.

      • Tanya Whelan on said:

        Sorry, I believe you care about animals, but the fact that you can’t admit that a no-kill approach is something PETA should spend some of it’s $50,000,000 per year revenue encouraging with public campaigns is just something I can’t understand. Even if you think no-kill is unworkable which there is no definitive evidence of since it hasn’t been implemented consistently on any kind of large scale and studied, instead of having a kill center couldn’t they spend that money on educating the public on the importance of adoption and spay and neuter? But instead they advocate for the catch and release of cockroaches and the killing of every single pitbull that enters a shelter. I just don’t get it.

      • First off, they already do quite a bit of advocacy for spay and neuter/anti-breeding, adoption/anti-pet store/anti-puppy mill, and related issues. They also run their own low/no cost mobile spay and neuter clinics (we don’t have to agree on “no-kill” because we can all agree on breeding, altering, etc., which is the only practical path to no-kill). And I agree that since the issue of euthanasia is so divisive they should divert the few hundred thousand dollars they spend on cruelty casework to another mobile clinic or a few more PSAs (but it frankly won’t buy that much in terms of national advocacy).

        But again, this does not really address the animals kept outdoors in all weather, with inadequate housing, with no vet care, intentionally bred for sale or fighting. These animals will be left where they’re chained in rural NC backyards. There’s no campaign or shelter that’s going to remove these animals from their situations, which are largely due to owner poverty and indifference. It’s where they are or euthanized. These are really the animals in question, and I just want people to realize that they (the Black Boys of this post) will stay right where they are if PETA ends local casework. And once again, I agree that PETA should probably just leave them there.

        What PETA shouldn’t do is divert the rest of their funds from the advocacy that is their core mission. They should continue to spend most of (90+%) their money advocating for the billions of animals abused in agriculture, laboratories, circuses, fur farms, and the like. After all, they’re not a humane society. This country has hundreds of humane societies and SPCAs, most with multi-million dollar budgets. But there are only a handful of groups working for the vast majority of animals abused domestically and abroad.

        And please stop with the cockroaches. PETA spends $0 each year advocating on cockroach issues. What you really mean is stop advocating for chickens and pigs. I’m sure you care about dogs and cats (as I do), but please don’t demean animal advocates for caring about other animals too.

      • The point of the post was to reveal the truth about what happens to the animals that PeTA takes in (in one way or another)– to shed light on illegal practices with controlled substances, to shed light on the fact that, in my experience, the animals PeTA killed were not sick/elderly animals surrendered to them by their owners the purposes of euthanasia but primarily healthy and adoptable animals, to shed light on the fact that people surrendering animals are routinely lied to. And to shine a light of the fundamental ideas the program operates under, which are not what people think. Hampton Roads does have some excellent shelters, the location my colleague and I were hoping to set a small shelter up in was in an incredibly poor area of Portsmouth. If you are familiar with Hampton Roads (and it sounds like you are) then you are likely familiar with Fairwood Homes, because even though it’s no longer around it was a notoriously poor neighborhood. A small shelter in that area would have done a great amount of good for the animals there, as well as for the people in terms of education, we had a chance to,create actual change and help stop the cycles that end up in neglect, abuse, overpopulation, etc. I think PeTA can do tremendous things in the field, I do not think they should be allowed to have access to phenobarbital, ketamine, or any other drug used for the purposes those drugs are used for. I was not disingenuous with the purpose of my post, I think you have misinterpreted it or read it through the lens of your own experiences, which is fine.

      • What I’m saying is that the portion of PETA’s budget you want to reallocate is what they spend on phenobarbital and waste disposal and maybe caseworkers (though it sounds like you’d still like to retain those). That wouldn’t pay (facility or operations) for even one small shelter, housing a handful of animals, in one specific locality.

        So in less you want to reduce the spay and neuter budget (which you wanted to increase) or reallocate money from vegan and other campaigns (the core mission of PETA, which I assume you do/did agree with), then you’re really not offering any way to save the Black Boys of the region. And that’s fine. So

      • Really. I’d say “how dare you” for sinking so low but the PeTA plants are quite obvious at this point so this is rather predictable.

  145. http://www.peta.org/issues/wildlife/dealing-household-guests/cockroaches/

    Why should we stop with the cockroaches? This is a link from PeTA’s website. They actually wrote the following:

    “Killing cockroaches is cruel and futile. Unless you make your home less attractive and accessible to them, killing some roaches will simply create a void that others will soon fill. It’s just a matter of time.”

    Now, replace the word, “cockroaches” with “feral cats” and tell me why PeTA advocates trap and release for one but turns around and advocates trap and kill for the other.

    Can you please take this seriously. This is a glaring hypocrisy on PeTA’s part.

  146. Some Guy – And another thing – with a yearly take of $50 million dollars (not to mention the $100 million windfall PeTA is promised from Sam Simon) How can you come here and expect anyone to believe that PeTA doesn’t have the money to afford to open a shelter that would accommodate a measly few thousand animals every year?

    What kind of bull is that?

    They can afford it. They don’t have to take away a penny from their advocating for chickens, pigs or cockroaches in order to do it either.

  147. I have researched PETA since Heather’s blog has educated me in the way things have been done. I see how much money they have donated yearly. The number of animals that they actually claim to save compared to the ones they put down? They save maybe 10 percent if that!~ For crying out loud. Lets admit that NO MATTER when It is good we are getting the truth. THE MORE THE BETTER> WHY are ANY being put down with the amount of donations they have. Animals are very loving and when given the chance if needed the behavioral rehab a animal can go through shows amazing change. Just with love. WHO sets standards of when or why a animal gets put down? What does it depend on? what kind of wardrobe we are wearing today or hair style or what? I have no idea or no comprehension of why so many would be put down. I rescue animals as well. I operate off my own funds any more. I cant have people tell me what to do either because I wont put them down either. However I have had to in the past and my own animals. I cant tell you how it will stay with me forever. ONe thing rescue work has taught me is learning which kind of person I want to work with. While NO one is perfect I think it is evident that We need to see changes In PETA and NOW> I cant imagine how Heather must have felt carrying this all this time. SHe has mentioned it to me while I have discussed rescue situations with her. SHE is very kind hearted and while we are discussing a past of working with Peta She does so much good for animals now. She is amazing. I really wish all of you who hate what she has written really ask yourself why you are so upset? Truth hurt? THe face this is happening to this day and WE must fight to stop the senseless killing? Attacking her is no way to accomplish that either. Without her coming forward and many like her NOTHING WOULD be done. SO shut up please.

  148. If peta is blatantly breaking laws why don’t you take action against them!? You can euthanize endless adoptable dogs but you can’t testify against a clearly psychotic organization? Pathetic. You are fucking pathetic.

    • Amy, people like you are half the reason people who know what’s going on stay silent. It’s bad enough to deal with the blowback from PeTA’s propaganda machine, then you have all you anti-PeTA zealots as well. Reasonable people just trying to make a difference getting insulted by the animal rights Taliban no matter what they do. YOU are pathetic.

    • Amy, I may live overseas but I am a voter in VA and, as such, I am taking action. You, however, are a troll so slink back to your bridge.

  149. Tanya Whelan on said:

    SHE JUST DID TAKE ACTION AGAINST THEM BY TESTIFYING!!!!!, on her blog and on the Huffington Post. Thats what this post is about!!!!!!

  150. Let say PETA does decide to stop their programs that help the cats and dogs in the local community, then what will happen to all those animals? Who will help those animals? Will you make sure that other groups will pick up were PETA left off?

    • I have stated repeatedly that I think PeTA should continue to work in the field, helping animals in that capacity. I do not believe they should be allowed to allowed to take in and kill animals.

      • If there is a law passed against PETA, there could be a great chance PETA will stop helping local cats and dogs in their community. Could you please just answer my question? Who will help these animal then?

      • I doubt that will happen. My understanding is that the law wouldn’t apply specifically to them but to any private animal shelter. Stronger laws for animals protection are good things, we need more of them.

  151. Nice to see you Gump – errrr Julie….I’m curious, do you practice trap and return for the cockroaches at your hair salon where you color client’s hair with chemicals that were tested on animals?

    • I ignore mean bullies who only know how to insult people that have a different point of view . Now the writer of this blog can see how mean you are. Now you have lost creditability with her. Insulting people is not a productive way to promote your point of view.

  152. Thank you so much for sharing your story. This information NEEDS to be shared. People’s eyes NEED to be open. I’m not sure if you know of the ask me anything section reddit has but it would be a great place for this eye opening story to be shared and for people to learn even just a little bit about what goes on behind the curtains.

  153. I think this is a sensitive issue. Regardless. I dont see how any one is taking away from the good things PETA has done. BUT for me when i found out they euthanize so many when they are for animal rights and should be able to be doing for the dogs. ? The dog houses they deliver… the “sterilization” yes all good. But why do they have to kill so many? THey dont. And that is what this blog is about. Fighting so the senseless killing does stop. YOU talk about the laws? Crap Laws for animals are pathetic. A wood box is ok for a dog house and Evidence of having some food or water by having a empty bowl is enough. Maybe The powers that Be can help change laws for that.

    • We definitely need stronger laws, both on the state and federal level, and people who are willing to enforce them. As you point out, so much of it is subjective, it’s open to interpretation what constitutes “proper shelter” so if you have an officer who doesn’t really care they’ll call a barrel on its side “proper shelter,” it’s ridiculous.

      • Trying to get them to do something in the town where I first started my rescue was a joke. I took pictures of a dog in a pickup on a hot day. Windows barely cracked. SO once the cops wouldnt do anything i put the picture on facebook. Still heard from the people thinking I was being judgemental and how dogs love to go for rides.. UM OK>so I think Common sense is gone. I just think it is one thing after another that people are so selfish on. Breeding , treatment, and worried about spending money on their pets. I really hope this is fixed soon. I doubt it will be a over night fix but animals deserve so much better

  154. Julie,

    I’ve lost creditability? So the writer of the blog isn’t going to give me a loan? How do you know, did she tell you personally?

    Why are you unable to answer the questions I asked? Do you practice trap and release for cockroaches, as PeTA advocates? And do you color your client’s hair with products that have been tested on animals?

    and if:

    “Killing cockroaches is cruel and futile. Unless you make your home less attractive and accessible to them, killing some roaches will simply create a void that others will soon fill. It’s just a matter of time.”

    *taken from PeTA’s website

    http://www.peta.org/issues/wildlife/dealing-household-guests/cockroaches/

    Why doesn’t this same logic apply to feral cats? TNR advocates have been saying the exact same thing for years regarding feral cats – that killing them is futile and will create a void that other cats will soon fill.

    Yet PeTA advocates against TNR and advises people to trap and KILL them.

    Please explain to me how this is not hypocritical on PeTA’s part?

  155. Thank you Heather, so you will approve that loan for me?

  156. I need it to buy have a heart cockroach traps.

  157. Dear Julie,

    I apologize for calling you Gump. The author of this blog has nothing to do with my personal issues with you, so please stop trying to drag her into this nonsense.

    If you want to talk about PeTA, we’ll talk about PeTA without name calling. Can you answer my questions regarding trap and release for cockroaches and trap/KILL for feral cats?

    This is a glaring hypocrisy on PeTA’s part. PeTA is very very vocal about their NOT supporting TNR efforts for feral cats.

    Yet, they use the exact same argument that TNR advocates use while advocating trap and release for cockroaches.

    And YES, PeTA does spend money on advocating for right to life for cockroaches, as they have an entire page dedicated to the subject on their website. And clearly it costs them something to maintain their website.

  158. I never thought I’d ever say this, but could someone please ask Mary Tully to come back and explain to me why PeTA advocates trap and return for cockroaches, while simultaneously advising trap and kill for feral cats?

    Since not a single one of the rest of you PeTA defenders are able to come up with an answer, lets ask the PeTA expert.

  159. BTW, thank you Heather, not only for coming out with your experiences while you worked for PeTA, but also for allowing me to leave so many comments.

    As you can see, I am quite passionate about the subject matter and have a long and sordid history with PeTA and it’s defenders who are coming here to respond.

  160. I would love for everyone who is on here who rescues to tell stories of things they have done to help animals. Just think the advice and support we could give each other!

    • That should be the focus. I know I got slammed the last time I wrote this because, apparently, I’m divisive, but I think rescue folks should work together. We create so many more obstacles for ourselves otherwise. But if someone insults me, calls me a liar, etc. I will defend myself regardless of who they are.

      • No one who gets to know you will know what you are about. The people who are saying all the things about you have no idea on who they are really talking about. They are only going off their own agenda and hatred for anyone that dares to speak out and tell the truth. ANd I never have heard you say that you want them Shut down. I think you are doing what needs to be done… Just concentrate on the rescue animals you have now. THey are truly blessed.

      • Thank you, Sandy. Our fur babies are such a saving grace to me, I don’t know what I would do without them.

      • I messed that up I meant to say those who are around you will get to know what you are about.

  161. Hey, when I get so many PeTA defenders and employees in the same room together I just have to take advantage of the opportunity, ya know?

    You notice how angry I make them? lol Sorry, but it makes me chuckle.

  162. They say everyone who dares speak out against the killing is divisive. (and that’s probably one of the nicest things they will say). But that’s only because they all march in lock step for the fuhrer.

    People who are able to think for themselves see many hypocrisies in PeTA’s policies and actions and have every right to point them out.

    I just find it really pathetically weak – that not a single PeTA defender is able to answer my query regarding the cockroaches/feral cat issue.

  163. Tanya Whelan on said:

    Thank you Lucy, still waiting for the answers to your questions, but then they never seem to address the hypocrisy of their positions so I’m not holding my breath.

  164. Do you think that they practice trap and release for insects that are on the produce they eat? How about bed bugs? Fleas? Ticks?

    Is there any legit reason why PeTA claims killing cockroaches is “cruel” That’s the actual word they use, it’s cruel….

    Do cockroaches feel pain? Anyone know? And isn’t trapping and releasing them considered animal abandonment? And wouldn’t that be considered also “cruel”?

    And yes, PeTA states cockroaches are animals.

    • Tanya Whelan on said:

      It’s only cruel if it’s cat Maria, cause cockroaches can take care of themselves and live glorious lives on their own without people but poor feral cats who have been living outside for 1000s of years need to be given the “gift” of death, according to PETA.

  165. Albert on said:

    have got to applaud your courage here. my girlfriend worked there (bet you know each other) and had very similar experiences. i’ll bet the propaganda machine is working full tilt to destroy your credibility; if so, keep your head up and know that you did the right thing. if not, sweet. hopefully they’re too busy defending themselves on the other fronts.
    it takes courage to do what is right. kudos.

  166. OMG, Tanya – how do you know my real name??? I thought I was so smart hiding my identity with this Lucy Van Pelt account. Oh no, I’m found out!!

  167. Tanya Whelan on said:

    I’m sorry, I’m an idiot, wasn’t thinking!! But if could I make the connection you know the crazies can too. Sorry girl.

  168. Tanya Whelan on said:

    And, it’s your wit, reasoned arguments and passion that give you away, try to act dumber, ya know, like them…

  169. Nuts….well I guess this will save PeTA the trouble of having to file another lawsuit to find out my super secret hidden identity. *chuckle*

  170. Well, the final thought, Black Boy did not die in vain—he gave you your soul back. Thank you for the insight into big business that gets so many donations …..donations that people thought was helping animals. I bet very few would donate if they had known it was just to purchase more blue juice. Thank you for your bravery and welcome back.

  171. Criss Bruneman on said:

    I applaud you! Your article is very poignant and moving and I am so glad that you have come to the realize that PETA truly is not a shelter for companion animals in need. I’m hoping that you went up to Richmond to support the bill that will affect their status as shelter. know it would be very difficult however several years ago a brave person named Jaqui Carrington, who was a former Foxtraper, also saw the light and went to Richmond to speak on behalf of the cruelty of fox penning and I think a lot of what she did and said was instrumental in changing those laws to protect the Fox’s. She was very brave and she was very scared and I went with her each time to support her and I’m hoping that you will do the same by showing yourself in Richmond as an advocate for those companion animals who are suffering at the hands of PETA.

    • Thank you for your response to my blog. Unfortunately, I am not able to go to Richmond because I live in Honduras. But I a, still a Virginia voter so I have taken the steps I can in that capacity, as well as some others, in order to speak my mind about the proposed law.

    • Tanya Whelan on said:

      I hope all Virginians will contact their legislature today as the new law requiring shelters to have as their primary purpose finding homes for adoptable animals will be voted on tomorrow. Let your voice be heard!and stop PETA’s killing of adoptable pets. Info including emails of representatives here

      https://www.facebook.com/nathanwinograd?fref=nf

  172. Leslie on said:

    Im so sorry that you had to go through that. Thank you for having the guts to come forward knowing that you will take hits from naysayers. Good luck to you. And thank you.

  173. Choosing Joy on said:

    Reblogged this on .

  174. Mary Drayer on said:

    Thank you for writing this. I worked for PETA for a short time many years ago, when the headquarters was still in Rockville, MD. I worked in the office, not in the field (there was no official CAP program then), but I learned within a few months of being there that there were staff members trapping and killing feral cats. We didn’t know all the details, but my coworkers and I knew it was happening. And, based on what the cruelty investigators told me about some of the cases they worked on, my understanding was that even animals who were adoptable and those who could have been adoptable with some rehabilitation were killed rather than adopted, except for a small number adopted by staff members. I think it’s fair to say that PETA’s philosophy was (and still is, apparently) that because there were so many homeless animals, so much potential for abuse, and only an extremely small number of good homes, “euthanasia” was the only solution, even for healthy, friendly animals.

    It was hard to reconcile all of this with what I thought PETA stood for when I went to work there. There was a disconnect between the message PETA was sending to the public about non-human animals and its own companion animal policies and practices. I did not belive it was an ethical or tolerable position for a group dedicated to promoting the rights of all animals and presuming to set the standard for our treatment of them. I still don’t.

    In his essay, “In the Name of Mercy,” Ed Duvin argues that it is time for us to evolve beyond the idea that a “humane death” is the best we can offer. “[I]t borders on the obscene to describe the killing of many millions of innocent and healthy beings as a merciful act,” he writes. “Whether picked up on the street or surrendered at the shelter, the vast majority of these animals experience the kind of psychological trauma and terror that we find so abhorrent for caged laboratory animals but tolerate in our own facilities…Euthanasia might be a relatively painless end to this journey of terror, but each death represents an abject failure – not an act of mercy…A new and larger vision is needed, a vision in which shelters hold themselves accountable for meeting demanding performance standards that preserve life – not destroy it.”

    Although he wrote it in 1989, Duvin’s essay just as relevant today, because even as a growing number of shelters are changing the way they operate, proving that it is possible to save the vast majority of animals they care for, PETA seems to want to maintain the status quo, going so far as to discourage shelters and local governments from implementing lifesaving alternatives and fighting the efforts of those working hard to change how we treat companion animals. PETA should be leading the way in this area, not insisting that we must continue doing what we always have. There is no reason why we can’t we keep educating and providing people with the tools they need to become more responsible caregivers, while also making our best effort to give each animal who needs help a safe haven and chance for a new life. Immediate death is not best effort. I hope that public pressure generated by your blog and all the other stories now coming to light will act as a catalyst for change.

    • Hi Mary, thank you so much for your thoughtful comment, I couldn’t agree more with what you wrote. The only way to change the conditions that create the atrocities of abuse, neglect, overpopulation, abandonment, and all the other thing that lead an animal to need rescue is education, examples of good works, advocacy, and a lot of hard work. A “kill first” policy fails animals on so many levels and it is an absolute betrayal of what rescue workers and volunteers should be doing. I had not heard about this essay but I will definitely find it, thank you. I wish you all the very best in the future.

      • Mary Drayer on said:

        Thank you, and I wish you all the best, too. You did the right thing by sharing your story. I wish I could say I am surprised by any of it, but I am not. I hope others come forward as well.

  175. Thank you so much for your honesty, I know it couldn’t have been easy to lay bare such painful truths.I have been trying to get the real story out about Ingrids’ dark destination for companion pets Its all there in your story! She could have fit in well in nazi germany with her corrupt vision of what lives are worth living. A hard hearted ,myopic ,sociopathic personality with a messiah complex, HER WAY IS THE ONLY RIGHT WAY. There are so many legitimate shelters who are saving lives, with fewer resources. Ingrid has never been privy to the sensitive sentient souls these creatures possess and that she has written off. If only she could,she would be compelled save them all. I pity any animal that finds themselves in Ingrid’s shadow ,all they will ever be is dead. I pity her . R.I.P B.Boy & All the innocent victims of Peta.

  176. The agony you must be dealing with, after realizing what was being done and you had been a part of it. But, like we former meat eaters, we can’t keep beating ourselves up on something we did, when we really didn’t know any better. It’s now that we know better that we’re held accountable. So, it is with you. You figured it out for yourself and now you’re doing something about it not happening again, whether you’re part of it, or others are a part of it. You have done the right thing and you have now warned others and they too must make this decision. You are now more courageous than before and your voice will be heard. It may not be easy, but a cleansed soul has much strength. Your God has forgiven you. Hold your head high, for the spirit of the black dog marches with you. He’s okay. He gave his life to help you accomplish this. He’ll be waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge. He won’t be chained. He won’t be cold. He won’t be hungry. He’ll be all groomed and full of energy and wants to run and play with you. God be with you.

  177. I think we should work toward having no kill shelters EVERY WHERE but we need someone to take the first step PEOPLE like you.

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  180. Thank you for your honesty, and your openness, my eyes have been opened as well. May you find peace.

    Smiles and blessings to you, Nancy

  181. RichardG on said:

    For the PETA shills who ask us to consider the good work PETA does re: non-companion animals, here is here is a PETA situation I can report from personal knowledge. I was friendly with a legendary circus elephant trainer named Murray Hill, who was known for his humane treatment of his elephants as well as his innovative training techniques. In retirement, he started an elephant sanctuary, and took in elephants that became unwanted and were at risk of euthanasia. The elephants had five acres on which to roam. At one point, PETA made public statements that they had eyes on him and were going to send a spy to infiltrate his operation. They said that, while they had no specific evidence that he was abusing the elephants, he must be abusing them because he had been a circus man. Several weeks later they said no, they won’t be investigating him after all. Shortly thereafter, Murray got a call from the local sheriff, telling him that an elephant had been observed grazing along a local interstate. It was of course one of his. After he recovered the elephant, he checked his property, and found that his fence had been cut and, judging by her footprints, the elephant had been run off the land. This elephant was old and arthritic, and never ran on her own. Interestingly, the call reporting the elephant along the highway was made to the City Clerk’s Office, where it could not be traced, instead of to 911. Shortly thereafter, PETA called the local District Attorney’s Office asking that Murray be prosecuted for cruelty to animals because he allowed the one to escape. That went nowhere. But here is a sidelight: the other elephant Murray had at the time was dangerous animal who had killed one of her keepers and injured several others. The morning after this incident, she was extremely agitated, and it took Murray several hours to lure her back to the barn. He easily could have been killed in the process. No, based on this evidence, I could not prove PETA was behind the incident. But I have no doubt in my own mind that they were, and that this is the most despicable and irresponsible conduct I have ever heard of by an animal protection organization. Their irresponsibility, malice, and poor judgment are not limited to companion animals.

  182. Alfred C. Martino on said:

    Apparently PETA’s deceptive practices extend to the financial statements it posts on its website: http://www.peta.org/about-peta/learn-about-peta/financial-report/ You’ll notice, PETA shows its 2014 Change In Net Assets in parentheses which indicates a loss versus a gain. However, its Revenues minus Operating Expenses is actually a positive (and very large) $4,551,786 — essentially a “profit” for the year 2014. The fact that this number is in parentheses could simply be a website error, but I don’t think so. I think this is done on purpose to deceive people who look at this page quickly, see a “loss,” and think, Wow, we need to donate more to help PETA cover its operating expenses. Further, a “profit” of $4,551,786 is an extraordinarily amount of money for an organization that, by its own numbers, euthanizes the large majority of animals that come through its doors.

  183. Question everything! Knowledge is power! Seek the truth, even if you think it’s the truth, for the actual truth may yet to be discovered. This post gives insight to many facets of PETA. Do the ends justify the means?

    It is puzzling to me how an organization purports to be advocates and saviors who defend the humane treatment of animals, and then euthanize them.

    While they do act and bring to light the neglect and abuse of animals, it is clear some actions of/or within PETA are no better than their adversaries.

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  185. Martha Benzing on said:

    I think Black Boy is very proud of you. Not only did you wake up, but by sharing his story, many of us now have access to the truth.

  186. I think one thing that you fail to mention, is that PETA is not an animal welfare group. They are an animal rights group. Those are two different things. They have brought awareness to such cruelties as foie gras, glue traps, and the way circus animals are housed, and trained. They have worked to end testing cosmetics on animals (often in their eyes) and have posted some major (and minor) victories against cruelty to animals, such as halting a school from auctioning off a puppy and stopping a fraternity “live goldfish shots” drinking contest. They promote veganism by showing videos of gestation crates used in factory farming, as well as exposing the cruelty of the dairy and egg industries. They exposed the cruel experimentation of live monkeys, and they are well known for their battle with the fur industry. Why don’t you mention any of this? Who else has done so much to expose the cruel treatment of lab animals?

    Yes, they have euthanized a lot of shelter pets, but how did those pets get there in the first place. You have to start the blame with people. Irresponsible owners and backyard breeding. Maybe PETA shouldn’t even have a shelter, and just stick to what they do best…fighting for the rights of animals. Then, people might go back to respecting them for what they really do best…advocating for the rights of animals.
    You really need to give both sides of their story if you want to be credible.

    • I think most people reading this are aware that PETA is an animal rights group, many might not be aware that CAP the an animal rescue/welfare division of PETA. This is not a piece of journalism, it is my blog and I have never said otherwise. Therefore, I am not obligated to report both sides of a story, I am only obligated to write about my experiences honestly, which I have done. I have also encouraged people, many times, to do their own research and come to their own conclusions. What anyone does with my story is up to them.

  187. Cory on said:

    Powerful stuff is life.
    Nothing is as it seems.
    Move forward, and carry Black Boy with you in your heart.
    Thanks for writing this.

  188. Judy Pelton on said:

    wow. I was so moved by your words that it’s hard to describe my feelings right now. Thank you for being so open and sharing so much of yourself. You write so well that I felt like you were sitting here in the room with me and crying sometimes as you told me this extremely sad and very personal, intimate story. I have been active in PETA for the past few years insofar as I sign a lot of petitions and repost them on my FB wall. I am poor so my ability to donate money is very limited. I do make a small monthly donation to North Shore Animal League which is a fabulous no-kill org – one of my former pets came from there. Anyway, I think I will not be donating to PETA but continue (as you do) to believe in much of what they say, what they stand for. Your story made me very very sad….but happy for you – that you “awoke” and got out of a situation that was tearing you apart and not saving animals that could have been saved. I feel lucky to have read your story. You’re a special lady with a huge heart. I wish you many blessings.

  189. maria c on said:

    PETA siphons billions from the public under the guise of ethical treatment of animals. They need their doors closed permanently and I’m going to do my best to see this done through social media and whoever will listen. This is a filthy outfit, and needs to be stopped. Those on here defending PETA (both employed by PETA I noticed) shame in you.! You have no business working around animals in any capacity.

  190. PETA is a disgusting enterprise. How does killing so many animals, serve the purpose of ethical treatment? Do you believe that an animal would choose to end its life, if it had a choice. The only way to stop something is to educate the masses as to why it is bad. PETA is so inane and close minded, they don’t even understand why normal people hate them so.

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  192. Thank you so much for exposing this corruption. I hope these people get their due justice.

  193. christine on said:

    I have believed in what peta do i have just found out and read some thing,s that are disturbing.1 Cant believe they kill healthy animal,s and 2 they preach that they will never kill a healthy animal this upset,s me that they sucked me in to believing in them i will do research from now on.

    • Thank you, Christine. I hope anyone who is considering PETA does their research first.

      • Grady Powell on said:

        Here’s the man that’s exposing all of PETA’S killing in shelters, and exposes HSUS corruption also, all crooks with big wallets–http://www.nathanwinograd.com/

  194. Pingback: Hey, PeTA, Leave Those Pets Alone! | Care Like I Do

  195. Pingback: Former PETA employee admits Ingrid Newkirk forced her to steal and kill pets and falsify records. | DC: Infowarrior

  196. Pingback: Dear PETA, Mess with My Family Again and This Mamma Bear Will Turn Demon | mom2nomads

  197. Pingback: Rescued by Black Boy: how a neglected dog set me back on my path, away from PETA | In my own little world

  198. Are you serious? I don’t know what Virginia’s laws are, but I’m pretty sure quite a few things weren’t legal. And who the fuck runs Animal Control? By law they have to investigate anything that they are called out. BY LAW. Man, everyone runs away from mean old Animal Control when we are out the saving animals and cleaning up the shit stains society has left on the wall. In in my county in Maryland, man, our ACOs (Animal Control Officers) go to court against the people who abused an animal. They are required BY LAW to respond to every call. We have what we call the A2 list where one or two kennel techs sign off on euthanizing an animal and then the director signs off on it as well. I’ll always find it ironic that they are against slaughter houses when they’ve become one themselves.

  199. Linda Rhoades on said:

    Thank You for sharing this. I feel sure that Black Boy understands now and is running through heaven telling all the others animals, that’s MY MOMA talking down there and she’s standing up for us. He’s PROUD of you for telling the TRUTH.

  200. Pingback: The Thread That Binds for PETA: Death | mom2nomads

  201. Christine on said:

    There is a HUGE difference between seizing a dog that is being grossly neglected, traumatised, badly socialised and kept in a life of total misery… and ‘stealing’ an animal.

    The RSPCA seizes animals because it is the right thing to do when basic needs such as food and warmth is concerned. Dogs that are constantly chained lack ANY form of proper exercise. This exclusion of natural behaviours, such as running, is excruciating for animals and it weakens their bones.

    Seizing ‘Black Boy’ and humanely euthanising this dog, while giving him gentle words of comfort, IS NOT CRUEL. One must consider the consequences of any situation where animals are being kept in horrific circumstances… allowing it to happen, instead, is not a good option.

    It is also totally unlikely that this dog could have been socialised to the degree that he was safe with or around children. To change that could take many, many years of care and attention… if ever. Not a realistic outcome. (In the meantime, such dogs may seriously injure a child.)

    The same goes for all those poor dogs used as fighting dogs. Being torn apart by their ‘opponent’ and forced to fight, again and again… they have been driven beyond the point of ‘sanity’ and may savage a child. So many dogs brutalised and crazed. Realistically, they will have to be euthanised! The prevailing issues with animal welfare organisations is a lack of funds to carry out this merciful work.

    I feel sorry for your pain… but you TOOK AWAY THE PAIN for Black Boy. You did the RIGHT THING for him… so, you should come to terms with that action. YOU were traumatised by it because you love animals. That does not make it a wrongful action. Sadly, this is the only right thing to do from a humane, realistic and CARING plan of action.

    • Christine, I agree that when an animal is in imminent danger and the owner won’t help it is morally acceptable to seize the animal. If I had left Black Boy in that storm I am positive he would have frozen to death. I don’t regret stealing him, I regret being complicit in his death. He deserved a chance for a better life and I truly believe, just based on the progress he was making with me while still living in horrible conditions, that he could have been rehabilitated. As for dogs who have been forced to fight, it’s just not true that they can’t be rehabilitated and need to be killed. The Vick dogs are a perfect example of this. They went on to be educators and ambassadors not only for pit bull type dogs but for dogs who had been so horribly abused that some people thought they could never lead normal lives. But they did, and are, leading normal lives. It is NOT morally acceptable to kill a dog based on breed type or history.

  202. Pingback: Commentary: PETA Should Stop All Its Dealings With Dogs and Cats | Social Commerce Revolution

  203. Pingback: Commentary: PETA Should Stop All Its Dealings With Dogs and Cats | Jeffrey Welch's Blog

  204. Pingback: I Stand With Maya — and With the Family Seeking Justice for Her | mom2nomads

  205. Pingback: Picking Apart PETA’s “Humane Euthanasia” Myth | mom2nomads

  206. Amazingly brave of you to speak the truth, more and more people are listening but we have a fight on our hands. One thing PETA does spend money on is PR and advertising. But with people like you who’ve come out the other side, we can stop Newkirks killing regime.

  207. Pingback: PETA: Lie Away, Doesn’t Change the Fact that Your Shelter is A Slaughterhouse | mom2nomads

  208. Pingback: Direct Action Everywhere: Stop Embracing Dog & Cat Killers – Nathan J Winograd

  209. Pingback: PETA – it’s not just the dog owners they’re lying to | mom2nomads

  210. Pingback: Virginia Can Adopt Its Way Out of Killing – Nathan J Winograd

  211. Selina on said:

    Thank you for speaking out on this. I’ve known for many years about PETA and their underhanded and cruel tactics. Forgive yourself XOXOXO

  212. Pingback: One Door Closes … my thoughts on the settlement of the Maya/PETA lawsuit | mom2nomads

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