Lariat Letter: PETA editorial misleading

I am writing in response to your April 11 editorial “Hypocrisy of PETA Gets Our Goat.” We’re grateful for the opportunity that this editorial—despite its deceptive intent—gives us to discuss the animal-overpopulation crisis. We’re on the front lines in the battle to help unwanted dogs and cats, and we need your readers’ help.

PETA’s caseworkers strive tirelessly to rescue homeless animals from environmental dangers and situations involving cruelty or neglect. They crawl through sewers, poke around junkyards, climb trees and dodge traffic in order to reach animals in danger.

During floods and storms, we are out saving animals’ lives at all hours, often because no one else will.

Some of the animals PETA rescues are beloved companions who have gotten lost. We are always happy to return such animals to their homes. However, most of the animals we receive are damaged beings for whom euthanasia is without a doubt the most humane option.

For example, our caseworkers were able to gain custody of a starving and severely emaciated dog whose collar was attached to a 15-pound chain.

We had to carry her into the emergency clinic because she could barely walk. On the veterinarian’s advice, we gave her food and water and a comfortable place to sleep and monitored her progress overnight. But the next morning, she couldn’t keep any food down, so we rushed her back to the vet. Because of the severity of her condition, he recommended euthanasia.

She was in a lot of pain and faced an agonizing, lingering death otherwise. The most humane option for her was a peaceful and dignified release from her suffering.

We pursued criminal charges against those responsible for her condition, which led to their convictions for cruelty to animals.

People have every right to be upset about euthanasia, but we must place the blame for animal overpopulation on those who deserve it.

Breeders and pet stores continue to churn out animals while healthy, deserving cats and dogs languish in animal shelters. For too long, shelters have had the heartbreaking task of taking in and having to euthanize unwanted animals while breeders and pet stores keep breeding more.

Buying an animal from a store or breeder means a death sentence for an animal in a shelter. The best way to save the lives of homeless animals is to reduce their numbers through spay-and-neuter programs such as PETA’s three mobile clinics, which provide low-income neighborhoods with low-cost and free sterilization surgeries and other procedures.

Since starting our first mobile clinic in 2001, we have sterilized more than 87,000 animals, including more than 9,200 in the 2012 fiscal year alone.

Students who are interested in finding out other ways to help animals can visit

-Kenneth Montville
College Campaign Assistant