In defense of PETA

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 29, 2005

Editor, the News-Herald:

People have asked lately about the duties of PETA’s field staffers. I am one, and would like to share some &uot;highlights&uot; from work last week, during which my colleagues and I touched the lives of 143 local animals.

A North Carolina woman intent on keeping 22 feral cats-some who had been shot, hit by cars, or killed by other animals-hung up on me as I tried to persuade her to sterilize them or give them up.

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After dozens of attempts, I finally received permission to take a permanently kept backyard dog, a hairy chow suffering in the heat, to be shaved and spayed at the vet. The dog was so terrified of being touched that I had to use a box trap to catch her.

On Sunday, my day off, I used bolt cutters to remove a tight padlocked chain from around an abandoned puppy’s neck. The original owner had left the country and left the dog.

A Portsmouth resident gave PETA an unneutered dog who was not eating properly, was vomiting, and had diarrhea and other signs of parvo virus, a contagious disease. I found him chained in the boiling sun, exhausted, his skin rubbed bare where he had been chained.

Please, spay and neuter, don’t acquire animals you can’t care for properly, and adopt animals from shelters instead of from pet shops or breeders. To learn more, visit

Jessica Cochran

CAP Field Assistant

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Norfolk

Editor, the News-Herald:

I am beginning to wonder what ax someone has to grind with animal welfare groups.

You don’t have to agree with PETA on all points to support their good work to help North Carolina’s homeless animals. Too bad the media aren’t as devoted to educating the public about stopping overpopulation and preventing the need to euthanize animals in the first place as they are to criticizing those who give unwanted animals a painless death.

Aside from occasionally finding a loving home, PETA puts animals out of their misery, saving them from being killed in a gassing box or shot with a .22. Why vilify those working to end the tragedies of overpopulation? Why don’t we instead see headlines decrying those responsible for overpopulation-people who don’t spay or neuter their animals, breeders, and pet shops? I, for one, am very curious.

B.B. Knowles

Greensboro, NC