The deadly PETA-Houston SPCA connection

Houston, TX – PETA has been getting a lot of criticism lately, especially in the last few weeks, as people become aware of PETA’s UNethical, inhumane, deceitful and reprehensible practice of killing the vast majority of the helpless animals that fall prey to PETA.   Nathan Winograd’s books and recent Huffington Post article have raised awareness to new levels.  This is a good thing.   People deserve to know the truth about the “non-profits” that they support.   Several years ago I too was fooled by PETA and used to donate to them monthly.   I am sickened to now know that my donations were probably used to kill adoptable animals instead of save them.

I have previously written about another high kill facility, the Houston SPCA.  The Houston SPCA’s KILL rate was 65% the last time that they were honest and released their records to the public, and they had an adoption rate of only 25%.  Current and former employees have said that they believe that the Houston’s SPCA’s KILL rate is currently as high as 80%!    The Houston SPCA killed over 20,500 in 2004 alone.   According to reports coming from the public and former employees and volunteers, I assume that they have killed as many animals or more each year since then.

Although PETA has killed “only” around 2,000 animals per in the last 11 years (29,426 dogs, cats, rabbits, and other domestic animals in the last 11 years), their KILL rate is consistently a shocking 90% or higher and has reached as high as 97%.  

PETA and the Houston SPCA have a lot in common:  

  • Both are multi-million dollar “non-profit” organizations;
  • Both are funded by good hearted people who have been fooled into believing that their donations are helping to save lives;
  • Both claim to “rescue” animals yet kill the vast majority that end up in their clutches;  
  • Both are nothing short of slaughterhouses.  

There is another deadly connection between PETA and the Houston SPCA.

PETA and the Houston SPCA have actually teamed up to carry out their better dead than fed style of “rescue”.

Below is an article I wrote on in February, 2011.  Since I have new subscribers on this blog who may not have seen it, I am re-printing it below.


February 2011 – As I have written previously, I am no fan of PeTA i.e. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.  Their fight against life saving No Kill efforts is both mindboggling and infuriating.  In the past, PeTA has even taken time out of their busy killing schedule to attack and oppose No Kill efforts in Houston.

As background, in 2008, Houstonians began demanding No Kill reform in Houston’s city funded shelter BARC.  We were astonished when PeTA, a self proclaimed “animal rights” organization, began attacking our efforts (click the link and scroll down to “No kill shelters are no good”) and attacked Nathan Winograd (see Winograd’s  response here.)

At that time, No Kill Houston was a new and small organization, so we reached out to the national “humane” organizations and asked for help in combating PeTA’s killing agenda in Houston.  The only national organization that responded to my requests for help, besides Nathan Winograd of the national No Kill Advocacy Center,  was Priscilla Feral, President of Friends of Animals and Primarily Primates sanctuary in San Antonio.

During one of our conversations, Priscilla told me a very disturbing story regarding PeTA and the Houston SPCA.   In light of the questionable raids of late and the Houston SPCA’s refusal to make a commitment to life saving, this story seems particularly pertinent.

On October 13, 2006, before Friends of Animals took over the Primarily Primates sanctuary, PeTA caused the Texas Attorney General to raid the sanctuary.  PeTa had collected allegations from a former disgruntled employee and a volunteer with a vendetta.  Both had made connections with PeTA and allowed them onto the sanctuary’s property.  They schemed to shoot videos to cast the sanctuary in the worst possible light and then turned it over to the Attorney General.

Granted, there were weakness at the sanctuary since the founder and director at that time was in trouble with alcohol.   But, PeTA’s goal was not to help the sanctuary or the animals. No, instead they wanted to dismantle the sanctuary. Once dismantled they could force the sale of the valuable land and they already had several buyers lined up, ready to cash in.

A judge in Austin appointed a receiver for the sanctuary that had been recommended by PeTA.   Before Priscilla could hire attorneys in Austin, that receiver was installed along with a large group of PeTA employees and volunteers.   Priscilla remembers that they were “a deplorable mess of incompetent people — directed by a receiver intent on shutting the sanctuary down to follow PeTA’s agenda.”

The receiver later admitted to the sending away, and to the deaths, of 336 sanctuary residents.   Two hundred of those animals had been rounded up and trucked 200 miles to the Houston SPCA during the first week that the receiver arrived.   This included dogs, guinea hens, Canadian geese, several ponies, a 27-year-old horse, chickens and more. “It was a stroke of evil.”

Friends of Animals wrote, faxed and telephoned the Houston SPCA to ask about the confiscated animals, but the Houston SPCA was not cooperative.  Feral says that “the Houston SPCA treated Friends of Animals as though we were criminals.”

Priscilla further laments “I am sure the Houston SPCA killed all of the confiscated animals as fast as possible.   It breaks my heart to think of the killing and how heartless they were. The horse… how could a horse grazing on the property be dispatched to the flipping Houston SPCA — a kill center that answers to no one.   And the chickens, free-roaming birds … every peacock they could catch.   What hope did they have?   Our several feral cats escaped these goons and so did male peacocks.”

In late April 2007, the Texas Attorney General dismissed all allegations against the sanctuary and asked Priscilla to head up the Board of Primarily Primates.  A settlement was fashioned much to PeTA’s chagrin.   But it was too late for the 336 victims of the PeTA/Houston SPCA “raid”.   Two hundred animals had been captured and taken away, never to be seen again. The Houston SPCA never responded to requests regarding their fate, so we have to assume that they are dead.  The other 136 animals disappeared – many of them dead as well.

PeTA had also “confiscated” primates which were then trucked from the sanctuary to exhibits and zoos.   Primarily Primates did get a few of the primates back, as well as a Longhorn steer in May 2007.   Some of the primates had been sent to two other sanctuaries in Texas and it was decided that it was in the primates’ best interest to leave them there. (More details on this story are at the bottom of this article).

For several years, it has puzzled me why animals that were seized in a San Antonio sanctuary were shipped 200 miles to the Houston SPCA, a high kill shelter.  San Antonio has shelters and so do many other cities much closer than Houston.  I never doubted this story, but the circumstances have always puzzled me.

I recently ran across some information that sheds more light on the situation and bonds the Houston SPCA and PeTA together more tightly.

It seems that Houston SPCA director, Patty Mercer and PeTa director, Ingrid Newkirk are both on the board of Ruby McKibben Foundation for the Protection of Animals.  (Also note that Houston Humane Society director, Sherry Ferguson [89% KILL rate], is also a board member.)

So, it would appear that Newkirk and Mercer have bonded and joined together to carry out raids which ultimately cause the deaths of many of the unlucky animals involved.  And why wouldn’t they be buddies?  After all, they both run high kill “shelters”.

In light of the questionable raids, and the ghastly outcomes for many of the animals, the PeTA – Houston SPCA connection is a very disturbing connection indeed.

You can read more about PeTA’s attacks on Primarily Primates here:

* Wallace Swett of Primarily Primates Denounces PETA’s Continuing Attacks on Primarily Primates 

* Cumulative cost of PETA-funded lawsuits against Primarily Primates may reach $1 million

* Will the animals at Primarily Primates survive PETA’s single-minded determination to destroy this sanctuary along with the lives of hundreds of abused animals who want only peace and refuge?

* PeTA: End your lawsuit against PRIMARILY PRIMATES!

* Help stop the assault on Primarily Primates


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