This article was originally posted in Nutricula Magazine, on August 12th, 2013
A commentary by Al Plechner, DVM
Dr. Bob Berger and I have both taken issue with PETA and other groups that accept donations from well-meaning supporters for the wrong reasons. (For further information, please see our articles about PETA and Pet Euthanasia in the “Nutricula Pets” section of Nutricula Magazine.)
Recently, the American Kennel Club®(AKC), has released their thoughts about PETA, along with those of the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA), in a letter addressed to: “Dear Dog Lover,”.
The following are some of their thoughts released in this letter:
The American Kennel Club® and the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association issued a statement that they vehemently disapprove of the organization referred to as the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), because of their apparent policy of too frequently euthanizing animals in their Norfolk, Virginia Animal Shelter.
The AKC letter further states that, “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 if rescued are better off dead”.
AKC Chairman Alan Kalter, DVM, states that, “This alarming ratio is absolutely unacceptable and needs to be investigated”.
Dr. Kalter further states that, “Legitimate animal shelters in America re-home most of their sheltered animals, and if PETA cannot do better with their ratio of re-homed pets to euthanized, they should leave sheltering to others.”
Mark Finkler, DVM, president of the VVMA states, “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”.
Dr. Finkler further states that, “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”.
Dr. Bob Berger and I commend both the AKC and the VVMA for their statements, their actions, and their help, care, treatment, and placement of these abandoned, unwanted, yet beautiful and loving animals.
As a long time practicing veterinarian in Southern California, I know I support my local animal shelters, and like most veterinarians in our state, as in most states in America, we as veterinarians volunteer free exams for every animal shelter pet that finds a home. We further assist with any health needs that a rescued pet may require, and also help new owners to provide better healthcare for their new family member.
“Yes, I am proud to be a veterinarian and to be involved!”