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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals

Mission: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is dedicated to establishing and protecting the rights of all animals. PETA operates under the simple principle that animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment. PETA focuses its attention on the four areas in which the largest numbers of animals suffer the most intensely for the longest periods of time: on factory farms, in laboratories, in the fur trade, and in the entertainment industry. PETA also work on a variety of other issues, including the cruel killing of beavers, birds and other "pests," and the abuse of backyard dogs. PETA works through public education, cruelty investigations, research, animal rescue, legislation, special events, celebrity involvement, and direct action.

Programs:   PETA receives complaints of cruelty to animals; works for the release of and obtains care for abused, neglected, and at-risk animals; investigates cruelty cases; gathers evidence of law violations; and takes action to ensure the enforcement of laws and regulations in an effort to protect the animals involved. Among other highlights of fiscal year 2009, we publicized the results of our undercover investigation into Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, where we documented workers beating and whipping elephants dozens of times in venues across the country. PETA’s undercover investigation showing workers kicking, beating, jabbing, and slamming piglets against the floor at an Iowa Hormel supplier resulted in 22 criminal charges, and our undercover footage of workers stomping, kicking, throwing, and inhumanely killing turkeys at Aviagen's factory farms in West Virginia resulted in 19 indictments for cruelty—the first time in U.S. history that factory-farm employees have faced felony cruelty-to-animals charges for abusing birds. We also aided in bringing many other animal abusers to justice, including a New York State Thoroughbred breeder accused of starving and neglecting 177 horses, and two Texas men charged with shooting and killing a dog.

We were victorious in a lawsuit to stop the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) from granting licenses to animal shelters that employ gas chambers, a cruel form of “euthanasia” used to kill cats and dogs, and were instrumental in having the Clay County Animal Control in Florida cited for performing an experiment in which a dog was left in a sweltering car to see if he would suffer from heatstroke. We worked with law enforcement officials to humanely euthanize a suffering “downed” cow; got help for 30 dogs who were being kept in mud-filled pens in South Carolina; and rescued a 140-year-old lobster who had been confined to a tank inside a New York City restaurant. We also operated our highly successful spay-and-neuter program, which makes surgeries available at little to no cost to disadvantaged animal guardians, preventing thousands of unwanted litters and providing relief to overburdened, government-run animal control offices and local animal shelters.

 

PETA conducts educational campaigns and publishes materials that are distributed to students, teachers, the general public, and supporters. Major publications include materials made available through our programs for younger children, high school and college students, and educators as well as publications such as factsheets, booklets, fliers, posters, and PETA’s magazine, Animal Times. Campaigns involve renowned celebrities, extensive media attention, interactive Web site features that reach millions of viewers, and public service announcements, which are typically placed for free in high-exposure outlets.

 

PETA organizes campaigns to inform the public about, among other things, how animals are abused in the food, clothing, experimentation, and entertainment industries. Among other events in fiscal year 2009, PETA pressured Bolivia to enact their first animal protection regulation against horrific military training exercises; convinced the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to discontinue testing a sweetener derived from stevia on rats; prompted the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) to ban the use of anabolic steroids for all racehorses and "snapper" whips for harness racing;persuaded Zappos.com, JCPenney, and Urban Outfitters to go fur-free; persuaded the University of Connecticut Health Center, and a Florida medical conference to stop torturing and killing animals in outdated medical training e

Community Stories

127 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Donor

Rating: 5

PETA's persistent, intelligent, courageous work on behalf of animals has been and continues to be of benefit to human animals as well. The awareness raised by their undercover work and collaboration with media and others has helped raise the health of humans, while saving and improving the lives of so many innocent, precious animals.
We learn about the benefits of being vegan, which in turn helps make a more compassionate planet for all.

2 Hilary14

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Five years ago, I was an uninformed animal lover who wanted to help animals in need. I knew of PETA through its campaign ads but didn't know much about its inner workings, or how PETA compared to other animal rights/welfare organizations. I was in graduate school at Stanford University and ended up writing a 100 page thesis titled "Ingrid Newkirk and Her Critics." (Newkirk is the co-founder and President of PETA.) After thorough evaluation, I found PETA to be by far the most effective animal rights group. It has helped persuade more people around the world to treat animals with compassion than any other organization. I know I do the most good for suffering animals when I donate to PETA.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've been a PETA member for over 25 years. It was thanks to PETA that I went vegan two decades ago, after reading the heartbreaking story of the "downed cow" in a PETA magazine. I have taken more stray cats and dogs than I can count on both hands to PETA's low-cost spay-neuter clinic over the years--it is an invaluable resource to the community that has prevented an incalculable amount of suffering. I have also called PETA's 24-hour emergency hotline several times, a service that no other national animal-protection organization offers, at least not to my knowledge. They will help any animal, large or small--they once helped me with a rat who'd been hit by a car and a pigeon who'd been poisoned. These are animals that very few people care about, but PETA does.

3 William101

Donor

Rating: 5

We have been greatly impressed with the commitment and success that the
People at PETA have exhibited over a long period of time. These are clearly people
are dedicated to helping the helpless in our world and we are proud to be
contributing members of this organization.
Bill and Pat Muraoka

3

Donor

Rating: 5

What I love about PETA is that they fight for all animals... not just the companion ones, or endangered ones, or popular ones... they lead the fight against speciesism and give a voice to all. I have attended a number of their events and fundraisers and am always struck by how kind, down-to-earth and genuine their people are; their speakers and presentations leave me proud to be a supporter and inspired to do more in my own life for animals every day. As many battles as there are still to fight, I can't imagine what this world would be like for animals if PETA hadn't been around the last 35 years doing such difficult work, and I'm hopeful for the future as PETA continues to lead the way for change. So thankful for PETA... love you guys!

3 Jc__4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have the pleasure to work as a volunteer for this organization, I'm proud of it, I met the most wonderful people working as a volunteer and I will keep working for them because I believe in their work, and thanks to them now I'm a proud vegan.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a monthly supporter of PETA for many, many years. I can always count on them to to do right by the animals when so many other organizations fail to do so. I am an AR activist and do a lot of vegan outreach and PETA is always there to donate literature to help me help the animals as well. LOVE YOU PETA!!!!!

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a child I knew about PETA's efforts to be a voice to all animals and this mission seem to resonate throughout my life. I am 50 now and have been a vegan for 30 yrs, because I am reminded by PETA's cause that animals are not ours to be used for food, clothing , sports and experiments. Their years of dedication of helping animals and educating humans has taught me that it does not take much to be kind to animals, PETA taught me to have Mercy and Compassion so I am proud to be vegan not because it was a choice but because it is the right thing to do. PETA has done amazing work to help all animals all over the world - so glad that they are a voice and speak for animals - I am glad that I heard that voice. Because of PETA, I now support many animal organizations and educate humans on why I am vegan.

4 wylderich

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been associated with PETA for the past eight years, concerning a number of animal protection issues in Las Vegas where we've needed assistance. They come through with a caring staff and any available resources. They've been great about conducting follow up afterwards, as well. I have gotten to know many of their staff members around the country, and I cannot express how effective I feel they are. I will always be indebted to them for helping us with chained dogs, poisoned birds, animal neglect, captive wildlife, bad zoo's, and a host of other animal welfare issues. They are also a wonderful one-stop shop for obtaining information from experts and getting help with legislation to protect animals. I routinely order their materials for my humane education presentations, which have become popular. PETA is among my top favorite global animal welfare organizations and I am very happy to support them, as a donor, volunteer and collaborator in the cause.

2 Stewart D.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I somehow got onto PETA's mailing list in the mid-1980's, and was horrified at the things I learned. I was previously unaware of much of the egregious abuse commonly inflicted upon animals, and that most of the cruelties are routine and legal. This information led me to bring my lifestyle in line with my ethical beliefs, and I will be forever grateful. I have now been a PETA member, volunteer, and vegan for almost 30 years. I am very proud of the time I spent advocating for animals alongside PETA. I have never been around such a great bunch of dedicated individuals, and I believe much of the reason is because of the example set by the co-founder and president, Ingrid Newkirk. Her incredible work ethic and integrity are undeniable and infectious. It became clear once I got to know Ms. Newkirk that what is important to her is the welfare of the animals, not the promotion of the organization or an increase to her bank account. She accepts only minimal compensation, which is is quite rare these days. So many non-profit executives seem much too interested in self-promotion and personal enrichment.

My only complaint about PETA is that I wish they would spend more time explaining the numerous ways they work on behalf animals. Many people know of the organization only because of some of the attention-getting antics. I totally support those antics and have often taken part; they are necessary to call attention to the plight of animals that would otherwise be ignored. But unknown to many are the number of scientists, PhD's, attorneys, and other dedicated professionals on staff who are working around the globe on so many levels to make the world a less cruel place for animals. Thanks to the work of PETA, many abusive practices that were once routine and commonplace have been relegated to the history books. The incredible accomplishments that have been achieved by PETA are even more remarkable in light of the fact that the organization is less than 40 years old. No group in the world has done more for animals than PETA.