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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

51 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

4 Brendon B.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

They have a 32 billion dollar budget, yet an 87% kill rate in their own "shelter". PETA has been caught several times taking animals under the premise these animals would find a "new home", they were then allegedly killed on the spot. Furthermore, they a large habit about using the 3-4 animals they don't kill as a fake positive message that they actually care. They've used their donation money to attack children's video games, stand in the way of other charities, and have donated money to convicted criminals. Do not donate to this organization, they do far more to hurt the cause of animal rights than actually help it.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

People choose not to see what PETA has done in the world, because they are so successful. They get things done BECAUSE they are so committed and controversial. They have improved the lives of small animals such as mice, by spreading word of the cruelty of glue traps. They have also saved animals such as Ben the Bear from a horrific roadside zoo. These are only a few of the miraculous cases. On a daily basis, PETA spays and neuters animals for FREE to help with animal homelessness and the overpopulation of dogs and cats. They are changing people's views of animals worldwide.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

This "not-for-profit" is one of the most, if not THE most, hypocritical organizations I have ever seen. They claim to be for animals, but seem to treat them as gods in the public, treating any human as a lesser being. Then, behind closed doors, they kill any animal that is sick, injured, or has the possibility of being a pet. They put down animals (many times incorrectly, causing a long painful death) as a "better" alternative to adoption. There are so many horror stories about this nfp that I am surprised the organization is allowed to exist anymore. And I'm sure they got their wish with their "attention-grabbing" games, they waste money they could be using to help animals, commissioning crappy advertisements and copyright violating games (their not-for-profit status does not help them, because it can only be satire if it's not defamation, so they have Nintendo, Game Freak, Team Meat, and Office Create's attention, as well as all their lawyer's attentions.) They are a mockery to people who actually care for animals.

3 Darren V.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I had believed in PeTA's claims of helping animals in the past, and knew they were a bit extreme. Never before did I ever know that PeTA does little to no good in helping animals. They have a way of skewing reality to try and fit their own purpose, and are not what I want to see "helping" animals. Based off of their euthinization rates I'd have to say they lie more than anything else. Their recent abuses of video games, most popularly that of Mario and Poke'mon is anything but acceptable. The only facts that they have ever had right so far, is perhaps a basic outline of the entities in which they pursue recreation of. They are not what the people of my generation want to see, if anything they've only dug themselves a hole.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

PETA is an organisation, that, while based on good ideas, are extremists, attacking things likely to make no difference in the world instead of actually working to protect animals.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

This is an organization based on deceit and lies. in actuality, they do next to nothing to actually helpl animals. They talk and talk and talk to get you to donate, then use all of your donations to pay for promotions, and garbage video games such as Pokemon Black and Blue. The facts are simple, about 1% of all donations actually go to the cause of helping animals while the rest is spent on promotional campains against everything from child video games to dissections. If you really want to help animals I suggest you donate to a much more credible organization, as well as volunteering at your local shelters. Stop feeding these egotistical maniacs and actually do something to make this a better place to live!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Thank goodness for PETA! Animals have the voice and protection they otherwise would not enjoy. PETA does immeasurable good for animals throughout the United States and the world. We are so blessed to have strong representation for those creatures unable to speak for themselves.

5 Pam_12

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

PETA has no shelters and kills more animals than it saves! There is a move in Virginia where it is headquartered to have it declared a slaughterhouse, as it has killed more than 90% of the animals it has "rescued"! It's founder and CEO, Ingrid Newkirk has stated that no one should own pets and agrees with Wayne Pacelle of HSUS that she would not be upset if animals were to go extinct. Why would you give money to this organization?

Comments ( 1 )

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ScottV 08/07/2012

Thank you for your comments about PETA’s stance on animal companions and the breeding and pet trades. Please be assured PETA does not oppose kind people sharing their lives and homes with animal companions whom they love, treat well, and care for properly. We even have a Web site, http://www.PETA.org/issues/companion-animals/default.aspx, devoted to helping people become better guardians. However, we very much oppose the industry that supplies many animal companions. Breeding facilities, pet shops, and many kennels offer notoriously little comfort and care to the animals they buy and sell. Like all businesses, they are out to turn a profit, not to advance animal rights. By producing animals under highly unnatural conditions despite the fact that millions of cats and dogs are already languishing in animal shelters, breeders contribute to what has become an overwhelming overpopulation problem. Pet stores acquire their animals from puppy mills—breeding kennels, located mostly in the Midwest—which are notorious for continually breeding unhealthy, hard-to-socialize animals in cramped, crude, and filthy conditions. PETA encourages everyone with the time, money, and patience to properly care for an animal companion to adopt a sterilized cat or dog from a local animal shelter or rescue organization. Purebred rescue groups and shelters are the only responsible place to obtain a purebred dog (or any dog!). Millions of homeless, unwanted animals are euthanized every year for lack of the necessary resources to give them the comfortable lives that they deserve. As for the hard work that PETA is doing to help unwanted animals in Virginia and North Carolina and why we offer a euthanasia service, please visit the following links: • http://www.PETA.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/2012/02/20/a-gentle-hand-for-the-toughest-cases.aspx • http://www.PETA.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/2012/02/17/meet-some-of-the-animals-peta-helped-in-2011.aspx • http://www.PETA.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/2012/02/16/pepper-s-story-justice-for-a-forgotten-victim.aspx • http://www.PETA.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/2011/02/03/an-open-door-for-animals-in-need.aspx • http://www.PETA.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/2011/02/01/the-stories-behind-the-statistics.aspx • http://www.PETA.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/2010/02/11/will-you-nip-just-one-birthing-machine-in-the-bud.aspx • http://www.PETA.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/2010/02/12/placing-the-blame-where-it-belongs.aspx PETA is on the front lines in the battle against animal homelessness. Our field workers are on duty around the clock, and our emergency pager is always on. During hurricanes, snowstorms, heat waves, and cold snaps, we are out helping cats stuck in tree tops and drainage ditches, ducklings stranded in sewer pipes, and dogs left to die at the end of a chain—any animal who needs help, anytime and anywhere. Some of the animals we take in are lost companion animals—we eventually reunite them with grateful guardians, while others are taken to local agencies where they will have a chance to be adopted. PETA helps guardians keep their animal companions by offering counseling tips, helping to find animal-friendly housing, and assisting in providing humane care. We do not run a traditional adoption facility; PETA is a shelter of last resort—the vast majority of the animals we accept are taken in specifically for euthanasia. We take responsibility for the animals nobody wants—the sick, the scarred and broken, the elderly, the aggressive and unsocialized, and the perfectly healthy ones who are thrown away like last year’s fad toy. We do everything in our power to help these animals. We treat their injuries if we can, we feed them, we love them with all our hearts, and we give them a safe place to rest, if that’s what they need. Sometimes they need the comfort of being put out of their misery—a painless release from a world in which they were abused and unwanted. PETA is not alone in this work: Millions of homeless animals are euthanized in animal shelters and veterinary offices across America because of simple math: too many animals, not enough suitable homes. As many as 8 million animals flood U.S. animal shelters annually, and half must be euthanized. Even if those 8 million animals could be placed with loving families, there would be 8 million more the next year, and the year after that. The answer lies in prevention. We must stop irresponsible guardians, backyard breeders, and puppy-millers who churn out litters without a thought as to where these helpless animals will go. PETA runs three mobile spay-and-neuter clinics, serving low-income residents in Virginia and North Carolina. The clinics offer free and low-cost sterilization surgeries as well as other services, such as flea and tick treatments, vaccinations, and deworming. Since starting our first mobile clinic in 2001, we have sterilized more than 80,000 animals, including more than 11,000 in the 2011 fiscal year alone. You can help: Please go to https://secure.PETA.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=2875 to send a letter to your state’s governor asking him or her to make spaying and neutering mandatory statewide. Not only do they save lives, mandatory spay-and-neuter laws also make good fiscal sense: Taxpayers pay approximately $2 billion to house, euthanize, and dispose of unwanted dogs, cats, and other animals in the U.S. each year. Finally, please know that a lot of the misleading and outright false rumors that are spread concerning our efforts are the work of the deceitfully named “Center for Consumer Freedom” (CCF), a front group for Philip Morris, Outback Steakhouse, KFC, cattle ranchers, and other animal exploiters who kill millions of animals every year—not out of compassion, but out of greed. To learn more about CCF—whose website USA Today said should be renamed “FatforProfit.com”—please see the following websites: • http://www.ConsumerDeception.com • http://www.citizensforethics.org/legal-filings/entry/irs-complaint-against-center-for-consumer-freedom-tax-exempt • http://prospect.org/article/bermans-battle • http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/18/us/politics/18berman.html?adxnnl=1&pagewanted=all&adxnnlx=1310490040-rGzoElznpxXMPZtmzw6L2g • http://bermanexposed.org/facts#consumerfreedom PETA and animal shelters that provide humane euthanasia use the same method that a veterinarian uses when we take our own beloved dog or cat in to say our final goodbye. To compare humane euthanasia to what takes place in a “slaughterhouse” is absurd; please see Paul McCartney’s Glass Walls video at http://www.meat.org/ to see the usually-hidden cruelty that PETA is working to end. Thank you for all that you do to help animals.

Review from CharityNavigator

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have known this charity for years. They have done great work, all around the world, investigating and working against the abuse of all animals. I get regular action alerts from them to participate in anti-cruelty campaigns, such as signing petitions and sending e-mails to companies and organizations that abuse animals. They have also been helpful to me personally when I've had issues and concerns about animals that needed help. I had kittens outside my house a number of years ago. I had no experience with trapping, spaying the mothers, etc. Someone at PETA spoke with me on the phone concerning taking care of the ferals. She was very helpful with her advise. Another time I called PETA about glue traps for mice being used in my building. The PETA contact got the name and telephone number of the building manager from me, then called them, asking them to remove the traps. The PETA contact followed through with them a couple of times, and also stayed in touch with me so I could let them know the outcome. My point is, they not only investigate cruelty worldwide for all animals, and campaign against animal cruelty worldwide, they also help people on a local level who need help and advise with a local problem. I don't know of any other org that does this.

1 Linda74

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I am not at all a supporter of this PeTA insanity. My question would be where is PeTA in the world when thousands of dogs and cats are consumed every year in China? I thought their mantra was we shouldn`t eat meat of any kind...dogs and cats are not meat? Where are they when dogs and treated horribly in insane ways by so many cultures around the world. Using them as sex toys is what I really mean especially in Europe. Where are they then? I guess dogs and cats are not animals to this org. and, therefore, do not need their protection. Until PeTA decides that all animals are worth saving, I will do my part to try to pull them and Ingrid down off their lofty peak of power. And, animal testing still goes on in US but this is using, once again, cats and dogs, as the subjects. There we go again...PeTA doesn`t care about this as they are not animals. Who died and told PeTA that they are the only ones who know what animals are.

Comments ( 1 )

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ScottV 05/07/2012

Thank you for your concern about dogs and cats. PETA is a leader in advocating for their rights, as well as promoting respect for all animals. In China, some 2 million dogs and cats are killed each year for their skins and flesh. PETA is working to end this abuse as noted at http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-clothing/chinese-fur-industry.aspx and you can help by making sure friends and family don’t buy fur. As noted at http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-experimentation/dogs-in-laboratories.aspx some 75,000 dogs are used in U.S. laboratories every year. No organization is more effective in ending cruel animal tests and in promoting modern, non-animal methods. You can find lists of companies that do and don’t test on animals, as well as health charities that do and don’t fund cruel animal tests, and much more information at http://www.peta.org/living/beauty-and-personal-care/caring-consumer.aspx It is a tragedy that consumers continue to buy cats and dogs from breeders and pet stores when so many wonderful animals are in shelters. PETA promotes spay-neuter and proper care, as well as solutions to the homeless animal problem, at http://www.peta.org/living/companion-animals/default.aspx Disgusting “crush” videos result in animal suffering and death. PETA affiliates have taken action leading to the arrest of those who produce such vile material; see http://www.peta.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/tags/crush+videos/default.aspx for more information. For a quick glimpse of remarkable progress, and at financial statements that show extremely efficient use of funds, see www.peta.org/annualreview