Best Friends Blog

PETA’s at it again

In a letter to the mayor of Albuquerque, PETA asserted that city employees are guilty of illegally abandoning animals. This is on the heels of Best Friends partnering with the city of Albuquerque in an exciting new community cat project that will save thousands of cats’ lives.

PETA is concerned that the city’s practice of neutering community cats and handing them over to rescue groups to be returned to the area where they were trapped poses an unacceptable risk to the cats’ well-being. This from an organization that, in February of this year, staunchly defended the fact that in 2011 they killed 95 percent of the animals who had the misfortune of entering their Virginia headquarters, and they did so with a degree of pride. Perhaps it was simply pride in their efficiency at killing homeless pets since it was reported that 84 percent were killed within the first 24 hours, presumably with little or no effort to find them adoptive homes or provide needed veterinary care.

So by PETA’s self-referenced logic, adult cats who have demonstrated the ability to thrive in the community are better off dead than being fixed and returned to the same location where they were thriving, even though they can no longer reproduce.

What are they thinking?

Is it this? “Hey, kitty kitty, it’s way too dangerous for you out here where you’ve been living for years, so we’re going to take charge of your tiny, tragic, risk-filled life, and, well, we’re going to put an end to all that stress that you thought was a life. All of your worries will be over. Yes, kitty, we’re going to kill you.”

If this isn’t the height of anthropomorphic arrogance, I don’t know what is!

How afraid of risk does one have to get to come to the conclusion that killing cats and kittens to protect them from life is a good idea?

PETA has long promoted the notion that when it comes to shelter animals and strays, killing is kindness. That’s the ethic behind their opposition to the no-kill movement, adoption of pit bull terriers from shelters, and community cat colonies of any type. It is why we cannot remain silent as PETA actively works to sabotage progressive lifesaving programs across the United States.

The next time you hear PETA proclaim that killing is kindness, I hope you hear their real message — life is too risky to be lived.


Francis Battista
Co-Founder, Best Friends Animal Society

  • Why am I not surprised.

  • crazy about cats

    PETA is a shame, they’re full of it! It’s about time somebody investigates them for the cruelty they dispense!! Thank you BFAS for all you do, I also have a TNR colony & they are very happy & spoiled, plus the 4 that decided they wanted to live inside with me!! I love them all with all my heart, how dare PETA to say their life isn’t worth living, who gave them the right! I keep thinking of that poor man in Florida with the Cat Ranch. How they fabricated the story against him & devastated him! Beware people PETA is the wolf in sheep’s clothing!!

  • Enchantedapril

    i think the PETA prganization ought do there home work , they also pulled the plug on HBO SERIES LUCK judging an industry they know nothing about , they ought to keep there big mouths shut until they know what they are talking about

  • Brian
  • Tday

    Thank you, Francis, for so eloquently making your point.  I appreciate the efforts of Best Friends and wish other organizations would embrace your great, progressive ideas!

  • Astewart7

    A lot of people within the PETA organization want pets to be a thing of the past.  Wayne Pascalle of the United States Humane Society has the same agenda.

  • I find PETA’s policy interesting. Sometimes I wonder if it is not because companion animals are not vegetarians, and the chickens and cows they work so hard to save are vegetarians???

  • Michelle

    yoiu know its disgusting to see that while both organisations stand for pets of all kinds, they both have to focus energy on each others negatives and put each other down instead of REMAINING FOCUSED ON THE SUBJECT(S).  IF YOU BOTH FALL THEN THEY ALL LOOSE. So its time to grow up, shake hands and fight for the greater good.  i mean for hells sake

  • N Abell

    All of the homeless animals in the world cannot be adopted. Plain and simple. If every homeless dog in the unites states were to have a home, each household in America would need to adopt over 750 dogs.. there is NO WAY.

    • Tina Clark

      That is a ridiculous assertion. Would you care to show your math on that?

  • Faith

    They certainly ARE NOT an ANIMAL RIGHTS group. It seems they endorse some perversion of the “greatest good for greatest number” a utilitarian ethic. Utilitarian ethics cannot support rights. Really it seems that it is an organization dedicated to the whims of Ingrid and really who the hell is she??? I have never heard of PETA helping a single animal. They also support slaughtering horses. Talk about a group gone bad. More and more communities where I live are getting on board with TNRC (C) return to caretaker. Guess  what it works. Ingrid seems to be the feline version of the horse hater Slaughter House Sue Wallis. Not surprising horse haters and cat haters seem to go hand in hand. They actually troll newspapers to make comments aginst TNRC.

  • Margb1967

    If you believe PETA likes killing animals (a belief I don’t agree with), why do you think that PETA has three big spaymobiles going around the state doing high numbers of spay/ neuters?

    • 3katzz

       In Nazi Germany, there were attempts to make the Fuhrer look good by occasionally doing something `nice` for people…to make him look human until the time was ready for the extermination to begin.  PeTA does this.  Undermines the bad with a dab of `good` to take the heat off.

  • nicole

    PETA is death cult. They believe keeping animals as pets is a form of slavery and therefore there are better off dead. Huffington Post has done a huge expose on PETA:
    Never support PETA and let everyone know the truth about these killers.

  • Leeonabre

    Many things I would like to say about PETA being a rescue pit bull mom….but I will leave it at PETA SUCKS!

  • Rrllort

    PETA is a bunch of low life people, they worry about how a restaurant/manufacturer kills chickens or whatever and peta kills 1000’s of cats and dogs each year

  • Katbrown88

    PETA is insane! Albuquerque was doing just fine with Best Friends. I was so delighted to hear about the efforts here on behalf of feral cats. I am owned by two kittens from a friends colony and if you can get them in they are wonderful but their parents are now fixed and healthy and well fed but outside. And most important they are loved. 

  • The next time you tend to be impressed with PETA, STOP!!  The TNR movement and monitored cat communities are helping feral cats who had no chance to become domesticated.  Cared for, fed, and veterinarian treated feral cats have high quality of life!!  PETA, your belief that “killing is kindness”  takes us backward many years!  What is the matter with you?

  • Shelbeeray

    Wow. What hypocrites!!! Our rescue, Northern Animal Rescue Alliance, has begun the pay, neuter & return  of feral cats and it is working out wonderfully! The animals who aren’t feral are adopted out and volunteers built shelters (with plastic totes…) and other volunteers who have land and shelter take in the cats and care for them. Well, as much as the ferals will tolerate being cared for!  Plus, there is another family in town who took it upon themselves, years ago, to begin caring for a feral colony. All of the cats were speutered and are now in a safe, and very secret, place. They are all ALIVE and doing well. Animal rights groups who kill – are NOT friends of the animals they espouse to protect. If they kill one healthy animal, they have failed in their mandate. IMHO

  • Carolyn

    I have an indoor/outdoor cat.  He is microchipped but not collared because he is too smart and independent for collars ;D.  He is fixed.  I never used to worry about him when he’s outside because of the aforementioned intelligence: but now I’m a little worried about the possibility of him getting caught up in a massacre by unintelligent humans.  If they’re so fast and efficient, couldn’t they be accidentally killing pet cats as well?  Do they stop to check for microchips?  (Do they? I actually really want to know)

    • 3katzz

       I am not sure but I wouldn`t think so.  An animal wandering loose is an animal wandering loose.  Don`t believe they carry the readers in their pockets.  I would keep my animal inside.

  • I never knew PETA did this and have supported them for years.  We have TNR in my area and I am deeply grateful for it.  Next thing you know they’ll be killing all the squirrels, birds, prairie dogs, coyotes, etc that are out there living wild and free because their lives are tough sometimes. Wow.  I am really shocked…and disappointed

    • Theresa

       PETA is famous for going to dog obedience and confirmation shows and opening dog crates to let the dogs free…free to run into oncoming traffic, free to get lost in the woods, etc.

  • John T. Maher

    Well said Francis! PETA’s kill-on-sight policy is ethically indefensible and it is great that someone of your stature is calling them out on it. When someone takes and animal to PETA or a shelter gives PETA an animal they are denying that animal a chance for adoption. In the case of feral cats, who live in social colonies,someone who gives a trapped cat to PETA is denying that cat a life with its friends. In the marketplace of ideas PETA should make their case for killing as public policy — which they can not — or get out of the animal welfare field. If PETA is so bent on making the world better through killing they should start with Ingrid Newkirk.

    Thank you Best friends for pioneering a sustainable and eralistic solution for cats in Albuquerque that I hope will be a model for the rest of the U.S.

    John Maher

  • Bglock

    PETA is disgusting.  I echo Mary’s comment – let them go first.  They have caused so much trouble for Susan Marino at Angels Gate Hospice in Delhi, NY.  She takes in animals that are sick and dying and cares for them.  I have visited and those animals are well cared for and loved.  She travels from there to NYC, about a 3 hour drive, to get special care for the animals that need it and they have the nerve to say she abuses them. 

    • Susan

      PeTA doesn’t give a crap about the reputations they destroy with their illegal undercover tactics and their staged evidence. It is all propaganda. And only the KOOL-AID KROWD believes that they have the animals best interest at heart. With the millions of dollars they have to spend on PR campaigns, you would think they might have the resources to help struggling organizations that they perceive as sub-standard. Because of PeTa’s hate campaign against AG and Caboodle, animals lives are in danger. Not only that, but these organizations very foundation has crumbled due to the bad press. Does it make sense to destroy everything AG and Caboodle have created, the buildings, the resources, the donor base?  If they think that these groups are over-whelmed then why the hell don’t they help them out, like Best Friends?  Because they don’t believe in No Kill. They believe in killing our pets and dropping them off at the Piggly Wiggly.

  • Thinker22

    Putting the cats back on the streets is a threat to the continually dwindling population of songbirds across the the continent. Cats kill birds. That’s all there is to it. Cat’s kill lots of birds.

    • Jon Dunn

      Unfortunately there’s not a lot of data to back up your claim. Certainly, cats do kill birds, but as you’ll see in this article  from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds from the UK, there’s simply no evidence that bird populations are declining because of cats:

      Jon Dunn

    • Anonymous


      Unfortunately there’s not a lot of data to back up your claim. Certainly, cats do kill birds, but as you’ll see in this article from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds from the UK, there’s simply no evidence that bird populations are declining because of cats:
      Jon Dunn

    • Theresa

       Cats do not kill nearly as many birds as clearcutting and overdevelopment do.  There’s also rat poison, which kills raptors.  And food litter on the side of the road attracts rodents, which attracts owls.  Next thing you know, you’ve got a dead owl on the side of the road.

    • Drcartel

      Dear Thinker22,
      The greatest threat to the dwindling population of songbirds is development encroaching their habitat. Lack of proper habitat kills birds, so, that’s not all there is to it.
      Best WIshes, Dr. Cartel

  • Mhmama

    I am caring for two feral cats here in Tampa.  I was able to trap them and get them their shots and neuter/spayed but they are feral.  I returned them to our back yard where they spend most of their time and of course we make sure they are fed.  I also check for any injuries they may get but so far so good.  Like Linda below said, they are probably living better than most homeless humans and they aren’t adding to the population. 

  • Anonymous

    When PETA says they want  ZERO pet reproduction, the mean just that: ZERO.  Not just for now, but for all time.  What that means is NO PETS.  That really is their aim, because if they had their way there would be no pets in anyone’s home.  They’ve said pit bulls are too dangerous because of HOW PEOPLE ABUSE THEM, which is like saying that women shouldn’t even exist because they might be raped.  Of course, they give other reasons for their hatred of pit bulls, all of them just as despicable.  In their Virginia shelter, they frequently take in a pet and walk it IMMEDIATELY into the kill room.  What makes that especially sad is because the owner is taking their pet to PETA, they assume that pet has a good chance at life, never dreaming they’ve only given it an immediate death sentence.

    PETA does some good things.  They work hard to expose cruelty on factory farms and the like.  If they’d just stick with that instead of the kill mentality they have toward COMPANION animals, I’d have no real problem with them. 

    • Yankeeterrier

       Their stance On Pit Bulls stems from Furher Newkirk once being ‘menaced’ by one in a shelter.  Sounds to me like the dog was just a good judge of character.

    • Jencam3

      I was a PETA supporter, a long time ago.  Back when either they were still geared towards providing better lives for animals or I was too naive to know the truth about them.  Now they are a bunch of fanatics who have crossed the thin line into insanity.  A shame, because with ll their energy and money they could do a lot more good than they currently do.  Primarily now they simply make all animal people look like nut cases.

  • Anonymous

    From this blog post, I don’t have nearly enough information to decide whether or not PETA has advanced a justifiable position. Can you at least post a link to their letter? I don’t know enough about the program they’ve criticized, and I don’t know enough about why and to what extent they’ve criticized it.

    I confess I’m also a little annoyed by the tone and incompleteness of this response to whatever it is PETA has done—you’re not giving your readers very much credit, and you’re perpetuating (possibly even starting, for all I know) a turf war that distracts from the actual goal of helping animals who desperately need it. Pragmatic, this is not.