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Archive for the tag “PeTA kills”

One Door Closes … my thoughts on the settlement of the Maya/PETA lawsuit

Over the course of the last few years I’ve written many times about Maya, a tiny chihuahua who was stolen from her porch, and killed just hours later, by two employees of animal right’s giant, PETA. Maya’s family went on to sue PETA for the theft and killing of Maya; recently the case was settled and PETA agreed to pay the family $49,000 dollars.

But anyone who has been following this case, and thinking critically about it, knows that Maya was not a “tragic mistake,” as PETA lawyer Jeffrey Kerr stated. In fact, the day Maya was stolen and killed, PETA also killed several other animals who lived in the same mobile home park as Maya — including two kittens, one puppy, and two dogs; that’s a fact that is documented by PETA’s own records. Furthermore, over the past thirteen years, again, according to their own records, PETA has killed 32,744 animals. Let that number sink in for a second, because it’s shocking and horrifying. So while Maya’s theft and killing was tragic, it wasn’t a mistake — it was PETA standard operating procedure.

I, and many others, have been fighting hard to expose PETA’s routine and callous killing of adoptable companion animals. So I will admit to being a bit gutted when I learned that Maya’s family had decided to settle the lawsuit, as the discovery process and the trial would have shone a very bright light on the pattern of PETA’s killing. But I’ve stated time and again that I would do whatever I could in order to help Maya’s family find justice — and the form that justice takes is not up to me. I am a mother and, as a mother, my priority in all things must be my family –most importantly, my children. Wilbur Zarate, Maya’s guardian, is a father and, ultimately, he had to do what he believed to be best for his family, for his child whose dog was stolen and killed. So while I am disappointed, I have a lot of empathy for the Zarate family, and for the hell I’m sure they’ve gone through with this lawsuit. I hope this settlement brings them closure and peace, and that they feel justice has been done. And I have so much admiration for them because they are the only family who has had the courage to stand up to PETA and to demand justice for their beloved companion animal.

I think it’s important to remember that PETA’s willingness to settle this lawsuit, in itself, demonstrates guilt — and not just in Maya’s theft and killing. In my opinion, and the opinion of those who know the truth about PETA’s killing, this was a pretty predictable end. While we were all hoping mightily this would go to trial we knew PETA would do whatever they could in order to prevent the discovery process, and in order to prevent their leadership from being under oath during a trial. I believe the things that would have been revealed would have proven the truth about PETA and the animals they routinely kill. And that is a not something PETA wants evidence of spilling out all over the place.

So this chapter of the fight is closed, and that’s okay. It doesn’t change what they did to Maya, or to her family. And it doesn’t change the fact that every year thousands of animals are killed at PETA headquarters and in PETA vans. It is my understanding that PETA is holding over the heads of people who were set to testify against them, including myself, the threat of lawsuits and that, any day now, I’ll get a letter from the charming PETA attorneys stating such. Once again, they are using the tactics of a bully to try to silence those of us fighting to reveal the truth about them. And, in response, I will tell them the same thing I always tell them — I am not scared of you, I am not threatened by you. I will not sit down and shut up and, as I’ve said before, each time you threaten me or my family in order to get me to do so, I only dig my heels in harder and deeper. I know the truth, and I know it from my time as one who held your lethal needles, who saw photos of the animals you killed and dumped in garbage bins in North Carolina, who watched the video of a tiny dog being stolen off her porch and whisked into a deadly van. I will continue to fight for the legacy of Black Boy, who saved me. He paid for my salvation with his life, and I will never let PETA forget his name. I will continue to fight for Maya, and for the thousands of anonymous animals PETA kills every year. So buckle up, PETA, because I’m in this for the long haul.

For anyone who wants to know more about my experiences while working for PETA please check out Nathan and Jennifer Winograd’s newly launch Podcast, Up at Daylight. I feel honored that their inaugural podcast is an interview I did with the Winograd’s, entitled “Inside the PETA Kill Room,” and I am so grateful for their tireless voices in the fight to reveal the truth about PETA’s killing.

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PETA – it’s not just the dog owners they’re lying to

It’s no secret that PETA kills the vast majority of the animals they take in at their Virginia headquarters — they admit to this, though lie about the circumstances, and my own experience as a field worker for PETA’s Community Animal Project gives me firsthand knowledge of their killing.

Since the first time I blogged about Black Boy, the dog who saved me from going too far down the PETA True Believer path, PETA has been working hard to discredit me. They’ve said I was lying, that I am a vindictive ex-employee who invented a “hateful fantasy” in order to enact revenge against them for firing me. Never mind the fact that I have nothing to personally gain by speaking about my experiences, or that I have been the target of a smear campaign and cyber bullying because I’ve been speaking out. Or that they sent a letter full of lies to my husband’s boss to try to get us to shut up (accusing us of “false and malicious” attacks and attempting to “interfere with PETA’s business”), and potentially endangering my husband’s career with their libelous claims.

I spoke out because I needed to make amends for the things that I did while I worked at PETA, because I wanted Black Boy to have a legacy of change and truth, and because I wanted to help the family of Maya, the dog who PETA employees stole and subsequently killed. Maya’s family is suing PETA and I have stated time and again in this blog that I will do whatever I can in order to help them find justice.

One of the ways PETA has attempted to discredit me is by saying the Community Animal Project (CAP) (the department responsible for the killing of Maya) didn’t even exist when I worked there so how could I possibly have knowledge of the work their field staff does? In fact, in court documents filed for PETA in the Maya case, PETA attorneys state, in reference to my blog and what I’ve written about PETA and their killing, “Indeed, at the time the blogger worked at PETA, PETA did not operate an animal shelter and did not have any program that would have performed the services provided at Dreamland II” (the trailer park where Maya’s family has their home, the home from which Maya was stolen before she was killed). This is a screen grab from a memo in support of motion to strike filed by PETA’s lawyers, from which I pulled the above quote, implying that I am lying about the fact that I was a field worker for CAP.

peta screengrab1

And this is the performance appraisal I received, which lists my position as “Fieldworker” and my department as “Community Animal Project.” I’ll also note, contrary to what PETA has alleged — that I was a poor employee — that I received an overall rating of “excellent” and was, in fact, given a raise. One of the people who signed the appraisal was PETA President, Ingrid Newkirk.

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PETA Performance pg 2PETA Performance pg 3

Obviously, my performance appraisal shows that the statement made by PETA’s attorneys, and filed in a court of law, is demonstrably false, and was designed to damage my credibility. In the end, it’s PETA who has the credibility problem.

PETA: Lie Away, Doesn’t Change the Fact that Your Shelter is A Slaughterhouse

I’ve written many times about Maya, the dog who was stolen and killed by PETA employees, about the lawsuit Maya’s family has filed against PETA, and about my desire to do whatever I can to help Maya’s family find justice. Things in the legal realm are well under way, and the most recent thing to happen is that PETA responded to the individual complaints against them. For a spot on run down of PETA’s latest lies, er, response you can read the most recent blog piece by Nathan Winograd, “It’s the Family’s Fault We Stole and Killed Their Dog.

There’s no point in reiterating what Mr. Winograd has already concisely laid out so I only want to touch on one thing. I was reading through PETA’s answers yesterday and when I got to point 19, the point addressing my blog and my employment with PETA, I was a little shocked. After I wrote my initial blog piece about Black Boy, the dog who ultimately saved me from going too far down the evil rabbit hole that is the cult of PETA, PETA predictably responded by writing me off as a vindictive ex-employee out for revenge — a plot for revenge, apparently, that took me 15 years to cook up.  Because I’m just that slow. Whatever. Then came the point where PETA attempted to put into jeopardy my husband’s job with lies and, frankly, libelous accusations. That pissed me off, because when you mess with Eric’s job you mess with my family — my children. And that is beyond the pale. But their threats were hollow and we all knew it so we shook it off. Then came the relentless cyber bullying by one, or several, anonymous Twitter users — all in PETA’s name, all tagging PETA (so they were seeing it), which they did nothing about. My own moral compass would have led me to do whatever I could to stop attacks — attacks of a sexual nature, attacks that made racial and anti-LGBTQ slurs, attacks that accused me of abusing my children — in my name. PETA, not so much. But all of that was predictable so I rolled with it. And my older kids (who are on Twitter and, therefore, saw everything), bless them, handled the attacks with grace.

But when I read PETA’s latest lie about me I was a little gobsmacked because it was so out of left field.

Upon information and belief, the blog author is a prior employee of PETA who was terminated after a few months because her instability prevented her from doing her job.

Now, I don’t know how that sounds to ya’ll, but it sounds to me like PETA’s legal team is implying I was (am?) emotionally unstable and, therefore, unable to do my job. Which is news to me. I can be kind of flighty, sometimes a little scatterbrained, and, thankfully, my friends seem to think my awkward quirkiness is cute. But emotionally unstable? Wow, PETA, kudos to you for creativity. And for actually surprising me for once. Again, with libel, but I didn’t see this particular lie coming. Because, frankly, the only thing that prevented me from doing my job the way that PETA wanted me to was my humanity.

I suppose they’re trying to paint me as unhinged for the judge. Maybe, once again, they’re trying to intimidate me in the hopes that I’ll sit down and shut up. I can’t control what the judge thinks of me, I can only continue to tell the truth. But I would like, once again, to tell PETA a few things.

First, I am still Honey Badger. I don’t care what lies you put out there, I don’t care what people might assume about me. The only opinions about me that matter are those of the people I love — and they all know I’m telling the truth. Your attempts to soil my reputation mean nothing to me.

Second, I am not backing down. I am still determined to do whatever I can to expose the fact that you don’t run a shelter, you run a slaughterhouse. I am determined to do whatever I can to help the Zarate family find justice in their lawsuit against you. And every time you make up new lies about me the only  thing that happens is I dig my heels deeper into the muck that is the truth about PETA. You don’t scare me, you can’t intimidate me. But keep talking, because with each lie you tell about me, my fire burns brighter. And, once again, I won’t back down.

Using Bigotry to Defend Theft and Killing — Well Done, PETA

Yesterday I spent a few hours reading through the latest court documents in the lawsuit against PETA (you know the one I mean, the one against them because they stole and killed a little girl’s dog). Predictably, it’s full of lies and half truths and, man, are PETA’s lawyers snarky. But what really got under my skin is PETA’s attempt to smear Maya’s family. This is typical PETA behavior — they’re bullies and anyone who dares stand up to them becomes a target, which I know from personal experience. But what is especially heinous about this particular smearing is the not so subtle racism and xenophobia they’re employing. I guess I shouldn’t have been too surprised, since PETA supporters also employ bigotry in order to try to silence truth tellers, and PETA never steps in to put a stop to it. But, holy hell, it’s low.

Time and time again Wilbur Zarate, the father of Cynthia, the little girl whose dog PETA stole and killed, was asked about his citizenship status, the citizenship status of his family members, the status of his green card by PETA’s attorney during his deposition. He even went so far as to ask if Cynthia was born in the US or in Mexico. Because Mr. Zarate’s citizenship status is relevant to the fact that PETA stole and killed his little girl’s dog how? From the beginning PETA has stated that the Zarate family is suing them in order to make money, which is offensive but not a shocking thing for them to say. But to bring into all of this the heritage of the Zarate family is a bridge too far even for PETA.

Here’s what I see: I see a massive labyrinth of an organization trying to shut up by any means necessary the one family — the ONE — who has dared stand up to PETA. I see PETA stating that Mr. Zarate is only after money and then, in order to further smear him, question his citizenship status. And here’s the larger picture — I see PETA asserting that anyone whose native language is Spanish, and/or is of Mexican heritage, can and should have their citizenship status questioned. Because, why the hell not? And, geez, if someone is in the US illegally how dare they stand up for their family, right? Some folks are just supposed to sit down, roll over, and ignore it when heinous things happen. Here’s what I see as PETA’s primary message to Mr. Zarate — “don’t you know your place?”

When you stole and killed a little girl’s dog, and it’s just the latest smoking gun in a pattern of behavior going back nearly twenty years, THIS is all you have left. The emperor has no clothes, so you throw everything you can at the victim. You know, the guy whose little girl’s dog was stolen and killed contrary to Virginia law. A dog who was not the only animal killed that day. The fact that PETA is using bigotry and xenophobia in order to defend themselves is offensive and shocking — as is the fact that the day of Maya’s death was just another day at the office for PETA employees. And keep talking, PETA, because the more your representatives say the more they reveal the moral wasteland at your core.

Another One Bites the Dust: What’s Up, Norfolk SPCA?

We all know PETA kills the vast majority of animals it takes into its “shelter.” That’s not a secret. In 2015, 72% of the animals PETA took in ended up dead. And we all know that PETA is vehemently anti-No Kill — for PETA there is no good to be found in searching for solutions, for finding alternatives to killing healthy and adoptable animals. So many animals end up dead at PETA’s hands that Virginia, the home of PETA’s headquarters and its “shelter”, had to pass a law aimed at stopping their wholesale killing (a law PETA has been fighting hard to undermine).

In 2015 PETA held an adoption event, several local shelters were invited to participate. I wrote a blog about their farce of an adopt-a-thon because, frankly, this was a publicity stunt for PETA. Another step in their dance of ingratiation, another layer to the mask they wear. One shelter that was not invited, or at least did not accept an invitation, was Norfolk SPCA. It made sense, they’re a No Kill shelter. Why would a No Kill shelter participate in an event being held by an organization that fights their moral center, so to speak. I saw that as a plus for Norfolk SPCA because any shelter who lends PETA credibility by teaming up with them should be treated with a lot of suspicion, IMO.

So I was a bit shocked when I saw Norfolk SPCA accepted PETA’s invitation to their  “adoption event” this year. I was a bit more shocked to learn that Norfolk SPCA seems to be partnering with PETA in the field. That was a real “say what?” moment for me. It seems the director of the Norfolk SPCA went into the field with PETA. To be clear, I think PETA does good work in the field, the problem is what they do with animals they bring back from the field. And because of what happens to the animals who fall into PETA’s hands, in my opinion, no ethical shelter should be partnering in any way with PETA.

I get that folks need to sometimes team up with people or organizations they don’t wholeheartedly agree with, compromise is an important way to build bridges and find solutions. But there are some devils you don’t put on your dance card and PETA is one of those devils. Because, at their very core, they believe animals are better off dead and any work they do is only done to that end. And any shelter that works with them is only lending credibility to that end. And any shelter that works with them should be questioned. So why, Norfolk SPCA?

More Questions Surrounding PETA’s 2015 Stats

I’m in no mood to fight the PETA battles today but something vitally important was just published — and it’s all based on the statistics of PETA and other area animal agencies.

PETA, Where Are the Missing Animals” is the title of the blog piece just published by Nathan Winograd. Mr. Winograd broke down some numbers — self-reported by PETA to the state of Virginia — and, unlike PETA, numbers don’t lie.

In 2015, PETA claims to have transferred 446 animals to other “Virginia Releasing Agencies,” and it lists on it’s VDACS paperwork where each animal was supposed to have gone. However, Mr. Winograd also has the numbers for the other VA agencies and this is where the massive red flag comes in because the numbers don’t add up. The entire blog is vital information for anyone who cares about animals so I encourage everyone reading this to read it. For now, let’s look at some of the most glaring red flags.

First,  the records for the Peninsula Regional Animal Shelter. According to PETA’s records, they transferred 7 dogs and 27 cats to PRAS. According to PRAS they received exactly this number of animals from PETA: 0. In fact, they didn’t receive any animals at all from any other shelters. So where are those 34 animals PETA claims to have transferred to PRAS? It’s possible, I suppose that PRAS would list any animals it receives from PETA as being an “owner surrender” but, considering there is a nice big column for “Animals Received from Another Virginia Releasing Agency,” and PETA is a licensed animal shelter, it doesn’t seem likely.

Here’s another Mr. Winograd points out, Norfolk Animal Care Center:

Likewise, while PETA claims it sent 70 cats, 22 dogs, and two “other companion animals” to the Norfolk Animal Care Center, Norfolk reports taking in only 61 cats, 31 dogs, and two “other companion animals” from Chesapeake Animal Control and Virginia Beach Animal Control. It does not report taking in any from PETA.

So now we’re up to 128 missing animals. Where are those 128 animals? 128 cats, dogs, and “other” animals. We know, again by PETA’s own numbers, that they killed 1,502 animals in 2015. And we know that we have 128 missing cats, dogs, and “other”s. 128 animals don’t just go missing from a shelter, something happened to them. And if we know these animals are missing because there are no records of them at the agencies they were supposed to have been transferred to how do we know all the other animals PETA claims it transferred to area shelters were really transferred? How do we know they’re not just missing too? Again, Mr. Winograd has some possible explanations for the number discrepancies so please read his blog.

Let’s say PETA actually did make a clerical error to the tune of 128 animals, hypothetically. What does that say about their capabilities? It’s pretty dismal. And how does that reflect upon their other record keeping abilities?

The more sinister explanation, of course, is that PETA falsified their records to keep their already outrageous kill rates just a little less outrageous. I assume it’s illegal to falsify state records? Obviously, we can’t prove this is what happened to the 128 animals who are unaccounted for, right now this is just a question mark. But, man, that’s one hell of a question mark.

 

 

 

 

Beating Your Head Against the Wall of PETA’s True Believers

Yesterday one of the most thoughtful and intelligent pieces I’ve ever read on PETA was published by Barkpost and written by Arin Greenwood. The piece, entitled “PETA’s Shelter Euthanized 72% of Its Animals Last Year. That’s a Problem and It Needs to Change” is one in which Ms. Greenwood does an amazing job of threading together a lot of seemingly little pieces — all of which point to the sick and twisted philosophy PETA holds about companion animals and how this philosophy leads to a kill first policy in its “shelter.”

What I’ve come to understand, after all this time, is that PETA’s approach to companion animals, to pets, doesn’t actually make sense — unless you hold the perverse belief, which I do not, that many animals should die to be saved.

These are the words of someone who believes in intellectual honesty and wants to be absolutely the best advocate (I think of her as a warrior but we’ll use advocate here) she can be for animals. These are not the words of someone who has an agenda, or who is trying to sell something. Anyone who follows her advocacy even peripherally knows this. Please, read her piece. It is so important.

For the most part — like vastly most part — the response to Ms. Greenwood’s piece in the comments on Barkpost and FB are extremely supportive. Many people know the truth about PETA and many people are, rightly, furious at their deceptions and killings. And then there are PETA’s defenders, the ones who make you want to beat your head against the wall because how could anyone who claims to love and respect animals excuse their killing? It’s maddening! I think these people fall into a few different categories.

First you have those suffering from cognitive dissonance. These folks are good people but they simply cannot reconcile the truly positive things the organization does with the truly evil things the organization does. The disconnect is too great for them so they just continue to believe in the goodness of PETA.

Then there are people who believe this really is just about overpopulation, and not about PETA’s better off dead philosophy. They defend PETA to the end without even thinking about it, they justify the killing of thousands of animals, and the fact that PETA kills thousands without ever attempting to rehome them. There’s no critical thought process, it’s just accepting PETA’s lies.

Folks in these two groups, I have found, can be open to learning the truth but they have to first be open to the fact that they might be wrong about PETA, that all these years they really have supported an organization that believes companion animals are better off dead, and that is a profoundly bitter pill to swallow. So I encourage them to research the hell out of it, the truth is there, you just have to think critically and independently.

Then there are the True Believers. These are the people who know damn well what the truth is and they defend PETA to the end with lies, allegations, snark, nastiness, and fabrications that hold kernels of truth. These people are a waste of breath and I generally have a “do not engage” policy — though I’ll admit I broke that today. These people are toxic and generally not worth the time it takes to type a response.

So this can be frustrating — this slog towards exposing the truth about PETA. I know I’m not the only one who feels it. I used to get so frustrated, I wanted to just throw my hands up and say “Nothing will ever change, this is pointless and stressful and hopeless.” Then someone, a woman who, like Arin, is a warrior for animals, reminded me that this battle is a marathon, not a sprint. In other words, she spoke the language of the runner — my language — and made me realize something. Here it is …

Things may change or they may not. Together we may stop PETA’s killing, it’s also possible that we won’t. But here’s the thing — do we have a choice other than to fight? Is it really in us to throw up our hands and sit on the sidelines? To look back when all is said and done, when nothing has changed and PETA is still killing, and think “I didn’t do all I could to stop this slaughter.” Over the past year I have met some of the most incredible people, people who spend countless hours advocating, fighting, observing, digging — these people are heroes to me. These people are focused and passionate. And they are unstoppable.

You have a choice. You can be someone who can’t wrap your head around the hypocrisy so you just stay in the same place and support PETA regardless. You can be an apologist for unhindered killing, someone who will justify PETA’s actions for no reason other than “they’re PETA.” But if you are truly someone who cares about the welfare of animals don’t you want to be certain you’re not supporting an organization that believes animals are better off dead? Don’t you want to find out for yourself rather than just take PETA at their word? Because, at the end of the day, it’s not really the “why” of how we act that matters so much as the consequences of our actions. And whether you’re a True Believer or someone who just can’t bear to think PETA is killing for the sake of killing, either way you’re supporting people who kill animals in a twisted attempt to prevent abuse.

And if you decide to research, and you discover the truth and want to help stop PETA, we are here, we are focused, we are unstoppable. And we will welcome you in this fight.

Why Hide Comments on Shelter Bill Benefiting PETA?

So, this is a curious case of “what the heck …?” Delegate Bobby Orrock is the Virginia delegate who recently introduced a bill that will benefit one organization — PETA. The bill, HB340, undermines a vital piece of animal welfare legislation that was passed last year and it will allow PETA to continue killing thousands of animals a year. Delegate Orrock states on his page that he is not working with PETA and has accepted no money from the Virginia Alliance of Animal Shelters, a group that works very closely with PETA. Which is fine, and very possibly true (though I seriously doubt it). What is curious is his Facebook page.

Delegate Orrock was taking a lot of heat for HB340 on FB, then his page was deactivated. Now it’s back up. He’s still taking heat but I’m wondering if he’s managing it a different way.

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These are screen shots of a post Delegate Orrock has on his page regarding HB340. I commented, as did the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies. The curious thing is only I and my friends can see my comment, and only people who have “liked” the VFHS FB page can see their comment. I’ve been told by someone who moderates a FB page that one can make certain comments available only to the commenter and friends, and only to people who “like” a page that has commented. He told me he uses this function when he deems a comment to be inappropriate. Fair enough, when someone is being rude or abusive. But respectful, fair comments being hidden from the public? Is that what moderators of Orrock’s page are doing? They don’t like a comment so they hide it from anyone who isn’t friends with the person who wrote it, or people who haven’t “liked” a page? This way the commenter is none the wiser and thinks everyone can see their comment. It’s a lot more subtle than pressing the delete button. Sneaky, even.

Our democracy relies on open, honest dialogue to function. You would think, ideally, an elected representative would welcome this dialogue. It’s the way we ensure we are truly a democracy, that we are truly hearing all voices, all opinions. Only people who try hard to mold a narrative, people who want to hide truth, to distract from issues, to sway with half-truths, hinder this vital dialogue. I can’t prove this is what those working on Delegate Orrock’s page have done, and there are comments from people who do not support HB340. But it’s rather curious that comments from certain people, and certain groups, seem not to be visible to the public. And if this is what is happening, that’s a sad way for an elected representative to run a public forum. Only people who are scared of the truth hide from it.

 

 

 

 

PETA’s Predictable Smearing of Maya’s Family

A few days ago I blogged about Maya, a tiny chihuahua who was stolen off her porch and then killed by animal rights giant, PETA. Maya’s family, the Zarate family, is now suing PETA. If you’d like to read the lawsuit (which is very enlightening) you can find it here.

Of course, true to form, PETA has already started its smear campaign against the Zarate family — because that’s what they do when people dare to stand up to them. Here is the statement by PETA’s general counsel, Jeffery Kerr:

It’s a money grab against a charity that had been called in to help a community, did its best, and made one tragic mistake for which it has tried hard to make amends. Those efforts have been refused. PETA will mount a vigorous and aggressive defense.

Let’s look at these two statements:

  • The theft and killing of Maya was a tragic mistake. It was tragic but it wasn’t a mistake — it was PETA Standard Operating Procedure. From the people who were targeted (low-income families) to actions taken by PETA workers in order to gain the trust of trailer park residents (telling them PETA would find good homes for any animals who were taken from the park, offering to provide medical care for residents’ animals), to the theft and killing of Maya. PETA claims it only euthanizes animals who are too sick or old or aggressive but within 24 hours Maya — a healthy, well socialized, young dog– was dead. In 2014 PETA took in 2,631 animals and killed 2,324. Killing is SOP for PETA. Killing healthy, adoptable animals is SOP for PETA. I know this because I worked there. I don’t know why PETA targeted Maya but I suspect folks at PETA, and folks who buy into their better off dead philosophy, believed that Maya was better off dead than living in a trailer park.
  • PETA has tried hard to make amends for stealing and killing Maya. How? By bringing a fruit basket and an empty apology to Maya’s family? And the Zarate family is just supposed to say thank you and not hold PETA accountable for their actions. And when that doesn’t happen PETA begins to smear the Zarate family, painting them as money hungry grifters. PETA stole and killed their dog. They went onto Mr. Zarate’s property, stole Maya, and killed her. Even in their apology PETA pointed fingers at the Zarate family, stating Maya was “collarless and without any indicia of ownership.” Except for the fact that she was sitting on her porch and the women who stole her knew she belonged to the Zarate family. But Mr. Zarate is not supposed to try to find justice for Maya, or stand up for what’s right, or hold PETA accountable for the pain his daughter has endured because her dog was killed. He’s just supposed to shrug and walk away. And PETA is outraged that he won’t do just that.

I find PETA’s treatment of Mr. Zarate deplorable and patronizing. I believe they thought they could walk all over him because of where he makes his home and the fact that he’s an immigrant whose second language is English. And they, therefore, saw him as someone who doesn’t have the resources or wherewithal to fight them — PETA’s behavior is offensive. And they were way off the mark in thinking the Zarate family wouldn’t fight them. Because they’re doing exactly that. #JusticeForMaya

 

I Stand With Maya — and With the Family Seeking Justice for Her

Maya, a tiny slip of a dog, and a family who loves her may just be the ones finally able to shed light into the darkness of PETA. Just over a year ago Maya was stolen off her porch and killed. Not by dog fighters or a person who enjoys harming animals, or any other of the usual suspects, but by the largest animal rights group in the world — PETA. And now Maya’s family is suing PETA, and the two women who stole and killed Maya, for upwards of $9.7 million dollars.

Even as much as I know about Maya and what happened to her I learned new things from reading the suit, which you can read here.

  • On the same day PETA stole and killed Maya, who belonged to the Zarate family, they also appear to have stolen and killed a dog who belonged to Mr. Zarate’s niece.
  • While I suspected the women who stole and killed Maya were the same women who had been working to gain the trust of the Zarate family and others at the trailer park where they lived the lawsuit confirms it: “Carey and Wood came to the Park and began to ingratiate themselves with the residents in order to build trust with the residents.” PETA has claimed that Maya’s theft and death were the result of mistaken identity, that the women thought she was a different dog. These women who spent time gaining the trust of the Zarate family, who spent time with Maya, didn’t realize that the dog they first tried to lure off the Zarate porch and then snatched off the porch, was Maya? It’s utterly ridiculous and now we know that these these women knew Maya, they knew the Zarate family, I assume they knew Cynthia, the little girl who adored Maya. And after grooming this family in order to gain their trust, much the way human predators groom their prey, they stole and killed their dog.
  • Carey and Wood “told residents that they would be trying to find good homes for the dogs they captured.” Which is exactly what PETA says in order to gain custody of the animals they then kill. They don’t say this because they honestly are going to attempt to re-home animals, they say this because they know nobody will hand over animals if they know the animals will be immediately killed. That’s the pattern of behavior. It’s what I was told to do when I worked for PETA, it’s what PETA employees are still doing. By any means necessary.
  • Mr. Zarate, who had installed a security camera on his porch that ended up capturing Maya’s theft, believes that when PETA representatives came to his house to apologize for killing his dog they had ulterior motives. “During the visit, the PETA representatives asked about the video and were visually searching for the camera. It was apparent to Wilber that the real purpose of the visit was for PETA to ascertain the location of the security camera and to learn the extent to which PETA’s illegal actions had been captured on video.” This makes perfect sense — they weren’t actually sorry for stealing and killing Maya, they were assessing how much damage control would be required.
  • “PETA believed that given the socio-economic status of the residents, PETA could take the pets and kill them without any repercusssion to PETA.” Absolutely. There is a reason they target people who don’t have a lot of resources — because those are the people less able to fight back.

As a mother this is the part of the lawsuit that pulled at me: “Cynthia experienced extensive and severe emotional distress. Among other things, she cried for weeks, became lethargic, lost sleep, refrained from eating and lost weight.” I have watched my children grieve for both animals and humans, I have watched one of my children experience the trauma of being badly bullied, I have watched my children as they say goodbye to people they know they will likely never see again. All of this hurts, all of it makes me want to wrap my children in my arms and shield them from any further pain and suffering. After reading Cynthia’s reaction to Maya being stolen and killed I felt myself relating to Mr. Zarate on a different level — not just as someone who knows he’s speaking the truth but as a parent who has watched her children suffer. And my heart just hurts for him, and for Cynthia.

This family who PETA thought would never be able to fight them is doing what few people have the courage to do — they are standing up to a Goliath of an organization that is known to sink to the lowest depths in order to stop anyone who dares to speak the truth about them, they are standing up for a beloved family member, they are standing up for the pain a child has had inflicted upon her. I hope that this lawsuit will finally convince other past employees to come forward to add their voices to the truth the Zarate family is speaking. I know there must be former employees who are also parents — think of what it would mean to you if someone hurt your child as badly as Cynthia has been hurt. Wouldn’t you do absolutely everything you could in order to fight for your child? Wouldn’t you hope others who could help in that fight would stand by you? They are battling a powerful opponent who has deep pockets and wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone who knows the truth about PETA spoke out in support of this family? I, for one, will continue to do that. I will continue to stand for Maya, for Cynthia, for a father who has had to watch his child grieve a terrible betrayal and loss, and for Black Boy. You have my full support and admiration, Mr. Zarate, and you are an example to my children of what it means to do the right thing even when it’s the difficult thing. Thank you.

 

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