January 24, 2007

Trial in PETA animal-dumping case

Two employees of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals are now on trial in a high-profile case. (Earlier post here.) They are accused of tossing garbage bags full of euthanized cats and dogs into a Dumpster behind a Piggly Wiggly in Hertford County, North Carolina.

Adria J. Hinkle and Andrew B. Cook, both of whom work in PETA's Norfolk office, are charged with 21 counts each of animal cruelty, a felony that can carry prison time, along with littering and obtaining property by false pretenses.

It is a strange turn of events for PETA. The group's supporters have often been prosecuted for their radical efforts to protect animals -- breaking into fashion shows to throw blood on fur-wearing models, liberating lab animals, showing gory videos outside the circus -- but PETA has never been accused of hurting animals. . . .

A PETA spokeswoman, Kathy Guillermo, said PETA never wanted to get into the business of euthanizing animals. But she said the group couldn't ignore the horrible conditions in animal shelters around Norfolk and in northeastern North Carolina. The group now euthanizes thousands of animals a year.

"Euthanasia is a better alternative to sitting in a stinking pound," Guillermo said.

PETA opponents are drawing attention to this little-known facet of the group's work.

On Monday morning, the Washington D.C.-based Center for Consumer Freedom, an anti-PETA group funded by restaurants and meat producers, drove a mobile billboard truck reading "PETA: As Warm and Cuddly as You Thought?" past the courthouse.

I wonder how PETA will try to spin this in their fund-raising. Lawyer David Hardy thinks that charging them with fraud would be better.

After all, Hinkle and Cook pretended to be adopting the dogs and cats before they killed them.

Their opponents are watching the trial closely.


Anonymous said...

We hope this trial will shine a spotlight on the staggering dog and cat overpopulation crisis that plagues the United States. Each year, 3 to 4 million dogs and cats must be euthanized in animal shelters, and countless others suffer far worse fates—languishing for years in cramped cages, or dying slow, painful deaths on the streets from exposure, starvation, diseases, or untreated injuries.

Providing a loving, peaceful exit to unwanted animals who were slated to die badly, by being shot, gassed, or injected with a paralytic agent that causes them to suffocate—fully aware and panicked—while their organs seize up, isn’t a crime. It is a kindness.

What should be criminal is abandoning animals when they are no longer convenient to care for and allowing animals to reproduce—as breeders, pet stores, and people who don’t spay or neuter their animals do—when so many are already dying for lack of good homes.

PETA works every day, through educational campaigns, by sterilizing animals in our mobile clinic, and by subsidizing spay/neuter surgeries at private vets’ offices, to bring about the day when every dog and cat is born into a home awaiting with open arms, but as long as breeders and pet stores are in business, animal shelters are forced to make heartbreaking decisions and euthanize unadopted animals.

If this upsets you as much as it does us, please help us end the killing: Have your animals spayed or neutered and help others to do the same, urge your city to pass a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance, and never buy animals from breeders or pet stores. For more information, visit www.HelpingAnimals.com.


Daphna Nachminovitch
Domestic Animals and Wildlife Rescue & Information
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

Chas S. Clifton said...

What did I say? The PETA "spinning" has begun!

I wonder if the "Director
Domestic Animals and Wildlife Rescue" is the one who ordered the lying, killing, and dumping.

Let's not forget the lying.