PETA Upset With Pet Columnist; Pet Columnist Responds

By: E&P Staff

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) sent “Pet Connection” columnist Gina Spadafori a strongly worded letter about a recent article.

Spadafori responded to PETA’s Thursday letter today on the Pet Connection blog.

PETA General Counsel Jeffrey S. Kerr wrote that his letter was “to demand the immediate retraction of, and apology for, the false, malicious and defamatory statement made against PETA in a March 25, 2008, article you wrote and posted on your Web site, Pet Connection. In that article, you falsely allege that in 2006, 97% of the animals that arrived at PETA ‘in search of new homes’ were killed.”

Kerr went on to add that the animals “were not brought to PETA to find new homes. These animals were bought to, or picked up by, PETA because they were unadoptable for a variety of reasons, and had been surrendered precisely because they were not adoptable. Many of these animals were sick, and euthanasia brought them a peaceful release from the suffering that they had endured.”

The letter also said: “We reserve all rights and remedies we may possess at law or in equity regarding this matter….”

Spadafori — who writes “Pet Connection” with Dr. Marty Becker for Universal Press Syndicate — responded on the blog: “So, were there medical examinations by a veterinarian, and written records of the same for each animal killed? A behavioral analysis by a qualified behaviorist, and written records of the same for each animal killed? May we see them?

“Or were these determinations made by the animal’s previous owners, and if so are there the signed forms standard at every veterinary office and shelter making sure the previous owner understands that they are turning the animal over to be killed? May we see those forms?”

Spadafori later added: “Honestly, it’s impossible for me to determine if I was wrong without such documentation. PETA?s kill rate seems awfully high, so it’s natural we animal-lovers should wonder how it got that way. So show us those records, so we can understand. We want to understand.”

The entire PETA letter and Spadafori’s entire blog response can be seen here.

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