People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has agreed to pay a Virginia family $49,000 after the animal rights organization authorized the euthanasia of the family’s dog.
The settlement, which also includes a $2,000 donation to an area SPCA (to honor the memory of the family’s dog), was the result of a lawsuit which was filed by the dog’s owner, Wilber Zarate.
Zarate had been seeking $7 million dollars against PETA for the death of the family’s Chihuahua “Maya,” who had been a gift to the family’s nine-year-old daughter.
The dog, who was unattended at the time, was taken by two women, affiliated with PETA, who were at the Accomack mobile park in 2014.
Rather than being held for the mandatory five-day stray hold, Maya was euthanized on the same day that she had been picked up.
PETA calls the tragic incident a “terrible mistake,” but Zarate alleged that “PETA operates under a broad policy of euthanizing animals, including healthy ones, because it “considers pet ownership to be a form of involuntary bondage,” reported the Washington Post.
Following the settlement, a joint statement from the family, and PETA, was released:
“PETA again apologizes 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.”
PETA has released their own statistics about the animals who are helped by their rescue team:
Our fleet of mobile spay-and-neuter clinics sterilized 15,107 dogs and cats, including 1,349 pit bulls, helping to reduce the suffering that results when animals enter a world in which so many of them are already literally dying for lack of a good home. Operating the clinics cost PETA more than $1,402,000 just in 2016 alone.
We took in 2,007 animals, roughly 1 percent of all the animals who entered Virginia shelters.
We transported more than 1,000 dogs and cats to and from our clinics, free of charge, for people who have no transportation.
We assisted more than 3000 indigent families in keeping animals they were about to give up by providing free medical services, including repairing prolapsed organs, performing lifesaving surgeries on dogs suffering from dangerous uterine infections, removing tumors and ruptured growths, performing drainage surgery for hematomas and infected wounds, and treating ear, skin, and upper respiratory infections.
(Images via Pixabay)