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AKC and VVMA Express Outrage at PETA Approach to Euthanasia in Animal Shelter

(Wednesday, July 10, 2013)

The American Kennel Club® (AKC) and the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA) have today issued statements to highlight their vehement disapproval of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)’s apparent policy of euthanizing animals frequently at its shelter in Norfolk, VA. Furthermore, the AKC has called for the PETA shelter to take steps towards balancing its adoption and euthanasia rates for dogs and cats in its shelter.

“While most shelters strive for a 90% re-homing rate, PETA is apparently proud of their 99% killing rate and callously boasts that the animals it rescues are ‘better off dead’.That is an alarming ratio that should be fully investigated. PETA’s track record is absolutely unacceptable,” said AKC Chairman Alan Kalter. “Legitimate animal shelters in America re-home most of their sheltered animals. If some of Michael Vick’s fighting dogs can be rehabilitated and re-homed then PETA can – and should – do better. If they cannot – or will not – then they should leave sheltering to others.”

“Re-homing a dog is not always the easiest but it is AKC’s preferred route. PETA’s apparent lack of commitment to re-homing is hypocritical. Our experience, through AKC clubs’rescue network,proves that a rescued dog can often thrive if given the much-needed love, medical care, rehabilitation and responsible placement into a new home. AKC is disgusted that euthanasia is seemingly so easilyemployedby PETA.”

“While it is true that some animals at shelters are too physically injured or psychologically scarred to be adoptable, many of them can be successfully treated, rehabilitated and adopted, said VVMA President,Mark Finkler, D.V.M.“Veterinarians throughout Virginia work with numerous shelters and rescue groups to assist in the care of these dogs and cats. It is disappointing to hear that PETA has a different philosophy regarding the handling of these abandoned and unwanted pets."

  • AKC affiliated clubs and dedicated volunteers comprise the largest dog rescue group network in the country. www.akc.org/breeds/rescue
  • The AKC Humane Fund also supports rescue group activities through its Rescue Grants. Learn more at: www.akchumanefund.org
  • The American Kennel Club believes euthanasia should be employed only as a last resort when all reasonable efforts to place adoptable dogs have failed. At the same time, AKC recognizes that not all dogs are adoptable due to temperament and health issues.
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