A recently discovered Site Inspection document from the Virginia Department of Animal and Food Industry Services shed some interesting light on the controversial organization’s adoption practices.
Excerpts from said document:
A site visit was performed to the PETA headquarters building on July 7,2010 to determine if the organization’s current activities allowed for the continued inspection of the facility as an animal shelter; if the primary purpose of the facility was to facilitate finding permanent adoptive homes for companion animals. The following items were noted during the course of this visit:
1. The receptionist stated that PETA did not operate an animal shelter. When I indicated that PETA did report to operate an animal shelter and that this office has inspected in it in the past, an additional staff member was called to the desk and reiterated that there was no shelter. At this point I asked for Ms. Nachminovitch. Ms. Nachminovitch was called and indicated that she would be at the facility shortly. No other staff was available to begin the inspection.
2. The facility contains three rooms designated as animal enclosures. The rooms are not further subdivided into runs or cages. The three animals occupying the rooms were not being held for adoption purposes (one was being held in conjunction with the clinic operations, one was being boarded for an indigent community member, and one on behalf of a PETA employee). The facility does not contain sufficient animal enclosures to routinely house the number of animals annually reported as taken into custody.
3. PETA’s animal custody records were reviewed, finding that a total of 17 or 6% were recorded as adopted or in foster homes, while 273 or 94% were recorded as euthanized. Of these, 245 or 90% were euthanized within the first 24 hours of custody.
4. Ms. Nachminovitch indicated that the majority of the animals that were taken into custody by PET A were considered by them to be unadoptable. Adoptable animals were routinely referred to other area animal shelters; conversely PETA often took custody of animals denied admittance by other area shelters. Ms. Nachminovitch confirmed that the shelter was not accessible to the public, and that most adoptions of animals were to PETA employees and affiliates.
The findings of this site visit support the assertion that PETA does not operate a facility that meets the statutory definition of an animal shelter as the primary purpose is not to find permanent adoptive homes for animals. This is further supported by other information gathered by or reported to this office summarized as follows:
1. The shelter is not accessible to the public, promoted, or engaged in efforts to facilitate the adoption of animals taken into custody. PETA reception has historically been unaware of the existence of an animal shelter and has stated to enquiring members of the public that no such facility exists. PET A has published suggested guidelines for animal shelters on their website that indicate their organizational preference for the operation of such facilities; their own facility does not satisfy many of the key recommendations. The agency is not aware of any substantive efforts to facilitate adoption of animals taken into custody.
2. Previous inspections of this office have found no animals to be housed in the facility, or few animals in custody.
3. Review of submitted annual animal record summaries by PETA and all reporting animal shelters for the past six years does not support that the facility has a primary intent to find permanent adoptive homes for companion animals. The following data was compiled by this office concerning the reported dispositions of dogs and cats taken into custody over this period.
Given the findings of the visit, it was determined that an inspection would not occur at present. It was indicated to Ms. Nachminovitch that no further action would be taken regarding this site visit until such point that she could respond with information supporting the legitimacy of PETA for consideration as an animal shelter.
All this to say that I certainly wouldn’t want my doggie to end up in a PETA shelter.