22 Agosto 2017 07:36
The chihuahua was a birthday present for nine-year-old Cynthia Zarate
In 2014, PETA made what, in its own words, was a ‘terrible mistake’. When Victoria Carey and Jennifer Wood, two members of the animal rights organisation, took a call from a resident of a mobile home park in Accomack, Virginia, asking them to capture a number of stray dogs and cats, the women decided to pick up an apparently unattended chihuahua, which they found running loose in the area.
Maya had been given to nine-year-old Cynthia Zarate as a birthday present. 24 hours later, the dog was dead. PETA decided to flout the rule of a five-day minimum waiting time before an animal can be put down and euthanised Maya on the spot. The group was later ordered to pay a derisory 500-dollar fine.
Wilber Zarate, Cynthia’s father, reported the organisation for snatching the animal from their property and putting it down ahead of the legally required grace period. Mr Zarate believes it was not a mistake, but rather that PETA routinely operates in this way, killing healthy, as well as unhealthy, animals, as the group ‘considers pet ownership to be a form of involuntary bondage’.
After reaching a legal agreement, PETA will pay the family $49,000 and will donate a further 2,000 dollars to a local animal shelter in honour of Maya.
‘PETA again apologises and expresses its regrets to the Zarate family for the loss of their dog Maya. Mr Zarate acknowledges that this was an unfortunate mistake by PETA and the individuals involved, with no ill will toward the Zarate family’, both parties said in a joint statement.
Although the organisation claims to help 25,000 animals each year, in 2016, PETA put down 1,400 of every 2,000 animals that it had taken into its shelters.