PETA responds

It was disappointing to read this needlessly inflammatory and grossly misleading Daily Gamecock editorial that The Minnesota Daily published about the dog and cat overpopulation crisis. There are many companies and front groups that profit directly from the exploitation of animals and they attempt to discredit PETA because we hurt their bottom line. They aim to damage our organization by misrepresenting the situation and the number of unwanted and suffering animals PETA euthanizes because of injuries, illness, age, aggression and other problems; because their guardians requested it; or because no good homes exist for them. Most of these animals are not socialized. Most of the animals PETA euthanized were not adoptable and were taken in precisely because they were not adoptable. PETA handled far more than 2,124 animals in 2008. In fact, we took in more than 10,000 dogs and cats, spaying and neutering all of them at low or no cost. We gave them shots, treated their wounds and illnesses, and returned them to the community. The figures that the editorial cites also do not include the hundreds upon hundreds of dogs whose owners are indigent and whose suffering PETA works to alleviate by providing them with free food, clean water buckets, sturdy wooden doghouses, straw in the winter and much more. The figures also do not include the hundreds of adoptable dogs and cats we do not take in but instead refer to walk-in animal shelters and adoption centers. Since 2001, PETAâÄôs low-to-no-cost mobile spay-and-neuter clinics, SNIP and ABC, have sterilized about 50,000 dogs and cats, preventing hundreds of thousands of animals from being born, neglected, abandoned, abused or euthanized when no one wanted them. The fact of the matter is that overpopulation is an issue that animal shelters are dealing with nationwide, and for the author of this piece or anyone else to place the blame for this issue on PETA or other animal protection organizations that are trying to help combat the crisis is misguided at best. Ryan Huling PETA college campaign coordinator