A Letter From Ingrid Newkirk Co-Founder and President Of PETA
This letter below was issued by the co-founder of PETA. We have highlighted those areas in red that we found of particular importance and followed the paragraph with our own commentary in green.
MOST PEOPLE HAVE NO IDEA that at many animal shelters across the country, any "pit bull" who comes through the front door goes out the back door -- in a body bag. From San Jose to Schenectady, many shelters have enacted policies requiring the automatic destruction of the huge and ever-growing number of "pits" they encounter.
This news shocks and outrages the compassionate dog-lover.
Here's another shocker: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the very people who are trying to get you to denounce the killing of chickens for the table, foxes for fur, or frogs for dissection, supports the pit bull policy.
By INGRID NEWKIRK - Co-Founder PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals )
The pit bull's ancestor, the Staffordshire terrier, is a human concoction, bred in my native England, I'm ashamed to say, as a weapon. These dogs were designed specifically to fight other animals and kill them, for human sport.
Hence the barrel chest, the thick hammer-like head, the strong jaws, the perseverance, and the stamina. Pits can take down a bull weighing in at over a thousand pounds, so a human being a tenth of that weight is small potatoes to them.
Pit bulls are perhaps the most abused dogs on the planet. These days, they are kept for protection by almost every drug dealer and pimp in every major city and beyond. You can drive into any depressed area and see them being used as cheap burglar alarms, wearing heavy logging chains around their necks (they easily break regular collars and harnesses), attached to a stake or metal drum or rundown doghouse without a floor and with holes in the roof. This is pure speculation. Sure there may be a higher prevalence for owning Pit Bulls by these individuals but certainly not everyone criminal does. For the most part those who own Pits are not law breakers and are fine stewards of the breed. Banning Pit Bulls will only encourage criminals to move to other large breeds to accomplish their goals. This has proven to be true as the ownership of Rottweilers. In areas where BSL is initially placed to stop Pit Bull ownership Rottie's are soon used to take their place. Then other breeds and other animals. These same individuals also own guns and gun legislation has only had a negative impact on those who are law abiding. It is not the Pit Bull or the gun that is the problem but the individual seeking to break the law. Banning the ownership of Pits will have absolutely no affect on their activities. Only with diligent law enforcement, accountability through prosecution, elimination of profit, and education will curb criminal activity from happening.
Bored juveniles "sic" them on cats, neighbors' small dogs, and even children. In the PETA office we have a file drawer chock-full of accounts of attacks in which these ill-treated dogs have torn the faces and fingers off infants and even police officers trying to serve warrants. This goes back to my previous statement of accountability. In today's society we have dropped our standards to the point we hold no one accountable. Children who do this type of thing should be punished to the full extent of the law and parents held liable. More often than not these type of children are products of irresponsible parenting and poor socialization.
Today, organizing dog fights is a federal offense in this country, yet pits are still king of the ring. Humane officers and other law enforcement agents routinely break up rings in New Mexico, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Florida. They confiscate dog-fighting paraphernalia, including treadmills used to build doggie endurance and drugs used to numb pain from injuries inflicted by opponents and to "jazz up" the dogs. Does anyone really think that by eliminating the Pit Bull that this would stop dog fights. Common sense tells anyone that these people would just move to another breed. And as for calling tread mills dog-fighting paraphernalia this goes to show her bias against the use of them for any purpose. What about those who regularly compete in dog pulls and other endurance type activities? Of course PETA probably would not advocate these types of things either even though they are done in a very humane way and where the dog is a willing and eager participant.
They find mesh bags in which kittens, rabbits, puppies, and other small prey are suspended over the dogs to encourage fighting spirit. Not uncommonly they find what's left of dogs who have lost their battles. They are not always dead.
Those who argue against the euthanasia policy for pit bull dogs are naive. One dog that had just been adopted by a family suddenly clamped his jaw onto the thigh of a 7-year-old boy. Two grown men had a hard time getting the dog off and the child suffered permanent nerve damage. I guess PETA feels that it's animal activism is not naive. Why is it naive when someone else wants to do something positive for an animal that it is naive and when PETA wants to do something it is not? The only reason we can figure out why they have such a double standard is to raise money for their own coffers. We find their double standard to be the epitome of hypocrisy.
Tales like this abound. I have scars on my leg and arm from my own encounter with a pit. Many are loving and will kiss on sight, but many are unpredictable. An unpredictable chihuahua is one thing, an unpredictable pit another. This statement here is where the truth may be gleaned. Ms Newkirk has had a bad experience so there for she over generalizes her experience on the entire population. If this "experience" is her basis of measure, how can she be against the killing of any wild animal, or for that matter any domesticated animal, that has ever harmed anyone. Bears kill, bulls kill, rabbits bite, chickens attack, etc. I dare say that all animals have the potential to cause harm.
People who genuinely care about dogs won't be affected by a ban on pits. They can go to the shelter and save one of the countless other breeds and lovable mutts sitting on death row through no fault of their own. We can only stop killing pits if we stop creating new ones. Legislators, please take note. What about those who care about "Pit Bull" dogs. To make a statement like this is like saying to them lets kill all chickens because it really will not affect those who love birds. This is obviously not the case or else PETA would not be taking up for chickens.
These are the kill sats for PETA. What exactly do they mean by "ethical"?
This section shows how hypocritical PETA is:
PETA exposed for killing homeless animals instead of spay & neutering...
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, under fire for killing homeless animals and knocking no-kill shelters, is co-sponsoring a mobile neutering clinic to serve Hampton Roads district of Virginia. The other major sponsor is the no-kill Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, of Kanab, Utah.
To debut on March 1, the mobile clinic will be staffed and run by the Houston-based Spay-Neuter Assistance Program. PETA has agreed to fund three SNAP mobile clinics during the next three years, while Best Friends agreed to help fund the first, SNAP founder Sean Hawkins told Animal People. Hawkins acknowledged that PETA and Best Friends are not likely partners.
"We've never had any discussions with PETA about this and don't view this as any sort of partnership," Bests Friends communications director Bonney Brown told Animal People. "The fact that PETA is giving money too is entirely coincidental, albeit welcome, as far as we're concerned."
The PETA headquarters at Norfolk is within the Hampton Roads district. The nine Hampton Road animal shelters killed 30,000 animals in 1999, or 58% of those they handled, said Hawkins.
PETA, which has no shelter, received 2,103 dogs and cats, killing 1,325 (62%) according to reports required by the state of Virginia. The data was disclosed in July 2000 by Michael Barakat of Associated Press. PETA in fact killed more animals than 80% of the animal control shelters in Virginia. One really has to question where is PETA's stance on the killing of animals and why is it alright to kill some but not others.
PETA co-founder Ingrid Newkirk in February 2000 media statements called the Best Friends "No More Homeless Pets" drive to make Utah a no-kill state "at best, naive." I guess PETA feels that it's animal activism is not naive. Why is it naive when someone else wants to do something positive for an animal that it is naive and when PETA wants to do something it is not? The only reason we can figure out why they have such a double standard is to raise money for their own coffers. We find their double standard to be the epitome of hypocrisy.
Best Friends co-founder Michael Mountain - rarely critical of other organizations - in turn ripped PETA killing policies in September 1999, after he and two other Best Friends staff visited Norfolk to probe the Associated Press disclosures.
Newkirk "declined to meet with us," Mountain reported to Animal People and the Visakha SPCA, of Viskhapatnam, India.
"Other staffers at PETA said that they routinely kill the animals that they pick up," Mountain continued. "We have received unsolicited reports from former PETA staff, describing how they joined because they wanted to help animals, only to find that they were sent out to kill them. We have also heard from numerous people who were visited by people calling themselves PETA volunteers, offering to 'find a good home' for homeless pets, and saying that the animals would be taken to a 'PETA shelter.' These people discovered too late that there is no PETA shelter and that no one at PETA would even tell them what had become of the animals. Local rescue groups reported that PETA basically competes with them, trying in many cases to kill the animals before they can be rescued," as detailed years earlier by Animal People. Lets say one could understand PETA's reasoning in killing pets that they acquire as a byproduct of their business, how can they justify going to such an extreme to kill others? How does this make them any better than someone who raises chickens, cows, or pigs to eat? In fact in my opinion this makes them much worse, at least those who are farmers are going about getting their animals in an ethical manner.
SNAP was a Fund for Animals project from 1994 until early 2000. The Fund in 1996-1998 clashed in court with PETA over control of the New England Anti-Vivisection Society, whose board the two groups had dominated since 1988. Hawkins and SNAP, however, were not involved.
SNAP operates neutering programs in Houston and San Antonio, Texas; Monterey, Mexico; and Native American reservations in Colorado, Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico.
In another seeming paradox, PETA on February 9 reportedly made a futile attempt to take custody of 18 of the 19 surviving pit bull terriers among 33 who were seized on September 6, 2000 from alleged dog fighter and marijuana grower Ben Butts, of Surry County, Virginia. Butts gave up the 18 dogs in a February deal to escape prosecution, two months after a judge ruled that the first set of charges filed against him were improperly based on information from an August 31 search without a warrant. Findings from that search led to the September 6 raid.
Local media described the PETA attempted intervention as a would-be "rescue," but Newkirk in a January 2000 syndicated op-ed column declared, "Those who argue against the euthanasia policy for pit bull dogs are naive." I would classify this not as an attempt of rescue but an attempt at media exposure. For those who are "truly naive" (such as I was before doing my research) most would have been happy to have PETA involved because they would "think" that these Pit Bull were going to be taken care of and loved, not put to death after all isn't PETA in the business of saving animals.
Newkirk did not respond to a February 12 Animal People request for clarification as to what PETA had hoped to do with Butts' pit bulls.