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AKC and VVMA Express Outrage at PETA Approach to Euthanasia in Its Animal Shelter

The American Kennel Club® (AKC) and the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA) have today issued statements to highlight their vehement disapproval of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)’s apparent policy of euthanizing animals frequently at its shelter in Norfolk, VA. Furthermore, the AKC has called for the PETA shelter to take steps towards balancing its adoption and euthanasia rates for dogs and cats in its shelter.

“While most shelters strive for a 90% re-homing rate, PETA is apparently proud of their 99% killing rate and callously boasts that the animals it rescues are ‘better off dead’. That is an alarming ratio that should be fully investigated. PETA’s track record is absolutely unacceptable,” said AKC Chairman Alan Kalter. “Legitimate animal shelters in America re-home most of their sheltered animals. If some of Michael Vick’s fighting dogs can be rehabilitated and re-homed then PETA can – and should – do better. If they cannot – or will not – then they should leave sheltering to others.”

“Re-homing a dog is not always the easiest but it is AKC’s preferred route. PETA’s apparent lack of commitment to re-homing is hypocritical. Our experience, through AKC clubs’ rescue network, proves that a rescued dog can often thrive if given the much-needed love, medical care, rehabilitation and responsible placement into a new home. AKC is disgusted that euthanasia is seemingly so easily employed by PETA.”

“While it is true that some animals at shelters are too physically injured or psychologically scarred to be adoptable, many of them can be successfully treated, rehabilitated and adopted,” said VVMA President Mark Finkler, D.V.M. “Veterinarians throughout Virginia work with numerous shelters and rescue groups to assist in the care of these dogs and cats. It is disappointing to hear that PETA has a different philosophy regarding the handling of these abandoned and unwanted pets.”

AKC-affiliated clubs and dedicated volunteers comprise the largest dog rescue group network in the country. www.akc.org/breeds/rescue

The AKC Humane Fund also supports rescue group activities through its Rescue Grants. Learn more at: www.akchumanefund.org

The American Kennel Club believes euthanasia should be employed only as a last resort when all reasonable efforts to place adoptable dogs have failed. At the same time, AKC recognizes that not all dogs are adoptable due to temperament and health issues.

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The American Kennel Club (AKC) proudly celebrated its 125th Anniversary in 2009. Since 1884 the not-for-profit organization has maintained the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world, and today its rules govern more than 20,000 canine competitions each year. The AKC is dedicated to upholding the integrity of its registry, promoting the sport of purebred dogs and breeding for type and function. Along with its more than 5,000 licensed and member clubs and its affiliated organizations, the AKC advocates for the purebred dog as a family companion, advances canine health and well-being, works to protect the rights of all dog owners and promotes responsible dog ownership. Affiliate AKC organizations include the AKC Humane Fund, AKC Canine Health Foundation, AKC Companion Animal Recovery and the AKC Museum of the Dog. For more information, visit www.akc.org. AKC, American Kennel Club, the American Kennel Club seal and design, and all associated marks and logos are trademarks, registered trademarks and service marks of The American Kennel Club, Inc.

The Virginia Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA) is a professional organization of veterinarians dedicated to preserving and enhancing the quality of human and animal life through veterinary medicine. The organization aims to establish and enhance open communication between members of the association and industry representatives. The VVMA provides continuing education programs and conferences, supports its members through mentoring programs, lobbies on behalf of the interests in the field of veterinary medicine and serves as an advocate and voice for the Virginia veterinary medicine community. For more information, visit http://www.vvma.org, or call (800) 937-8862 or (804) 346-2611.

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