PETA is an animal rights group based in Virginia, which makes campaigns against companies that sell meat, or anything that involves animals. But PETA has been in several controversies, one of the most infamous is the dog killings.

Policy on euthanasia[]

PETA is against the no kill movement and euthanizes most of the animals surrendered to them. In 2005, PETA euthanized 1,946 companion animals in Virginia, out of 2,138 animals (or 91%) surrendered to them or picked up as strays. During the same year, 126,797 animals, out of 228,376 animals (or 55%) surrendered or picked up as strays, were euthanized at animal shelters in Virginia. The Humane Society of the United States estimates that 3–4 million dogs and cats are euthanized annually in the U.S. for lack of homes (HSUS Pet Overpopulation Estimates, Humane Society of the United States). PETA recommends euthanasia for certain breeds of animals, such as pit bull terriers, and in certain situations for unwanted animals in shelters: for example, for those living for long periods in cramped cages. It takes in feral cat colonies with diseases such as feline AIDS and leukemia, stray dogs, litters of parvo-infected puppies, and backyard dogs, and as such it would be unrealistic to operate a no-kill policy. Before founding PETA, Newkirk was chief of animal-disease control and director of the animal shelter in the District of Columbia. She has said that she was shocked by the way the animals were treated in the shelter, and by the methods used to euthanize them. Newkirk has said: "It is a totally rotten business, but sometimes the only kind option for some animals is to put them to sleep forever." PETA's policies and positions on euthanasia have been controversial.

Criminal proceedings[]

PETA was criticized in 2005 when police discovered that over the course of a month, at least 80 animals had been euthanized and left in area dumpsters. Two PETA employees were seen approaching a dumpster in a van registered to PETA and leaving behind 18 dead animals; 13 more were found inside the van. The animals had been euthanized by the PETA employees immediately after taking them from shelters in Northampton and Bertie counties. The group said it began euthanizing animals in some rural North Carolina shelters after it found the shelters were killing animals in ways PETA considered inhumane. Police charged the two employees with 31 felony counts of animal cruelty and eight misdemeanor counts of illegal disposal of dead animals. They were acquitted of all charges by April 2008.

Involvements with Animal rights extremists[]

PETA was criticized in 2005 by Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe, who said it had acted as a "spokesgroup" for the Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front, after those groups were listed in a draft planning document as domestic terrorist threats by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Activists say the movement is non-violent. In Behind the Mask, a 2006 documentary, American activist Rod Coronado said: "One thing that I know that separates us from the people we are constantly accused of being—that is, terrorists, violent criminals—is the fact that we have harmed no one."