OH: PETA Allegations Prompt Authorities to Raid No Kill Cat Shelter

PETA has long made clear how they feel about the no kill movement.  Just this week, PETA president Ingrid Newkirk announced that all no kill shelters are “hoarding facilities” operated by people with untreated mental illness.  Seeing as PETA has been killing nearly every single pet they get their hands on for years, some people are inclined to think the organization should look inward on the whole mental illness thing.

In any case, it’s hard to fathom how allegations of hoarding at a no kill shelter made by PETA could be taken seriously.  They admit their own bias by declaring that all no kill facilities are operated by hoarders and they themselves kill pets by the thousands year after year – not exactly the qualities one would look for in a trusted animal welfare source.  But apparently authorities in Youngstown Ohio gave serious consideration to PETA’s accusations against the Cat Ladies Society:

“Complainants were reporting to us that animals were living in filthy, substandard conditions and being deprived of proper veterinary care,” said Stephanie Bell, a representative with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

PETA officials said they received those allegations last week and informed local authorities. Youngstown humane agents conducted a raid [September 15] and seized around 80 cats.

According to humane agent Joe Borosky:

“Upon talking to the Youngstown prosecutor, he believed we had enough evidence to execute a search warrant. Upon executing that search warrant, we found what we believed we would find.”

We found what we thought we’d find.  Hmm.

Within days, most of the seized cats were dead – killed by “humane agents” because of their supposedly poor health.  (You can’t get much worse health than dead.)  The shelter disputes the claim:

“All of those 80 cats that they took were adoptable cats,” Cat Ladies volunteer Edie Gostz said. “Some of whom had a kitty-cold, some of them had a fungal infection. All of which is easily, easily cured.”

As of today, no charges have been filed against the shelter.  Authorities still have the cats:

Borosky said only 29 of the 83 cats brought to Animal Charity were saved from euthanization due to severe health problems. He said they had upper- respiratory infections, fungus, open wounds, uncontrollable diarrhea, ear mites and external bleeding.

A couple things jump out at me:  all these things sound treatable yet no indication is given that any attempt was made to treat the cats after they were seized.  Assuming that not every cat had every condition listed above, this would indicate that some cats were killed for having ear mites, ringworm and/or sneezes.  Killing is not a “rescue”.

“It wasn’t just one thing. It was their overall health,” he said. “Now what we’re finding out is the 29 that we still have are coming down with the same things.”

Anyone else get the feeling the remaining 29 will be joining their unfortunate kitty friends in the dumpster?  Take a look at the videos at the first two links and see what you think.  I see what look like regular cats in a nice shelter environment.  And I don’t see a single photo provided by authorities of a cat who was medically hopeless and suffering.  Or even one with ear mites.

16 thoughts on “OH: PETA Allegations Prompt Authorities to Raid No Kill Cat Shelter

  1. There is an upside to this story. Every piece of video, every still shot shows exactly what I would NOT expect to see in a place that contains 80 cats.

    I did NOT see matted fur, thin cats, overcrowding, stress behaviour, wounds, any form of discharge other than the occasional eye booger or snot formation (hello, 80 cats in one place, you’re GOING to have these things – that’s like going into a school and closing it down because one kid has a skinned knee and his friend has the sniffles – except the immediate reaction wouldn’t be to eradicate the students, would it?).

    What I did see was incredibly organized, incredibly clean spaces and VERY well cared for cats. Note that no one was wearing masks or mentioned odor?? Not once?? Ever been in a house with a half dozen cats? There’s generally an odor. Ever been in a house with more? We topped out at 22 once, while we held cats for a local rescue group. We managed to control the litter box smell, but it wasn’t easy. These people had 80 cats and no one complained about an odor? They were doing something right.

    And the biggest thing – read the comments. Aside from the usual “People are better than pets, why are you reading this” comments, the remainder of the posters were calling it like it is. There’s also a post on there stating that the animal group responsible for holding and killing the cats has a tendency to dump cats on the Cat Ladies when they themselves get filled. Meaning they’ve been releasing animals into the care of a rescue they didn’t bother to check out? Keep an eye on?

    Nope, this whole story is BS. I think a collection needs to be started and the local authorities should be sued – along with PeTA.

    In fact, the entire No-Kill Nation should set aside a few dollars and sue Ingrid “The Butcher” Newkirk for defamation. People who believe her dreck (and sadly there are a LOT of them) will now avoid no-kill shelters.

    Sorry – but this woman bothers me to my very core. There’s got to be a link kicking around of Penn & Teller’s BullShit episode about PeTA. They expose her for what she really is – it should be posted as a warning at the top of PeTA’s web pages.

      1. Thanks Pai. It’s worth a watch. I send it to anyone who is naive enough to believe their propaganda. 90% of the time it turns them immediately. My favourite part is that Ms. Newkirk’s number two in command is diabetic – she’s alive thanks to animal testing, mostly on pigs and dogs.

        Takes hypocrisy to a WHOLE new level – particularly when you consider the fact that these people have KNOWN ties to terrorist organizations that target animal testing facilities. Imagine, blowing up the people responsible for your continued survival.

  2. As long as PETA has the public perception of being people who wuv widdle kitties and doggies, they are unfortunately going to have an influence on local authorities.

  3. I don’t see any sign whatever in the videos that this was a hoarding situation either. It looked clean and even tidy, and the cats themselves looked to be in good shape. I imagine it’s possible some of them had mild URIs or other infections and I did see a cat with weepy eyes, but no signs of serious or neglected illness. No cats looked depressed or shut down, and in the couple of quick shots that showed kittens’ bums, there was no sign of fouling.

    That the remaining 29 cats in the care of local authorities are ‘coming down with the same things’ now – whatever those are – seems to me to more likely reflect on the stress of the raid and care they’re receiving now than on the Cat Ladies.

    On the face of what’s in the articles, this stinks to me of a grudge case, with local authorities now trying to cover their asses. I’ll be interested to see if there’s any follow-up.

  4. It’s unbelievable, and yet I’m not surprised.

    It’s even worse here in Canada. The SPCA is fully in charge of animal cruelty cases, and publicly funded… and very political. Some are worse than others, but none are trustworthy. They allow horrendous conditions to continue, and then produce these huge busts of animals that seem to be in good condition.

    I think it’s about money. The busts bring in the dollars, and healthier animals are cheaper to adopt out. At least that’s how things go around here.

    The story of the Cat Ladies has something of a whole different sinister nature. These are people who used to use the Cat Ladies as an overflow shelter. Who then took all of the animals, euthanized the immediately without providing proof (and you can bet your ass that if there were such photos they would be ALL OVER the place) and could not possibly have thought that this was a valid seizure, or a good decision politically, ethically or legally.

    I’m truly baffled.

  5. “A couple things jump out at me: all these things sound treatable yet no indication is given that any attempt was made to treat the cats after they were seized…”

    Of course not. Yet one main reason given for their confiscation was that “animals were…being deprived of proper veterinary care”. One can only conclude that PETA believes “proper veterinary care” is equivalent to systematic, planned murder.

    I hesitate to use the word “euthanasia” here because like the term “pro-choice,” it is a euphemism used to disguise what is really happening. Those cats were not “irremediably suffering.” They were victims of political ideologuery and vengeance. As long as PETA has this pristine image among the general public and the traditional, backwards animal “care” crowd, they’ll continue to use the authority of municipal governments as a billy club.

    I sincerely hope there is a lawsuit filed by the CLS — and soon, before all the hubbub is past and the evidence swept under the rug. Somebody needs to put these clowns in their place for the good of all cats everywhere and the collective sanity (what little is remaining) of our country. These people have totally lost all reason.

  6. PETA is given too much credit…we need to bring home the point to our local officials, newspapers, law enforcement officials, ‘shelters, pounds, etc. that PETA, HSUS, and ASPCA have their heads so far up their a$$es they could french kiss themselves…..although we might want to choose a different way to say it…..

    These groups are scum murderers…nothing more.

    Their opinions dont mean sh*t.

    When it comes to saving lives, these groups are not only NOT experts, they are not even on a Kindergarten level.

    The more people realize this, the less society will give a crapola what these killers say.

  7. PS: Ingrid Newkirk is THE poster woman for mental illness. She has more loose screws than a Home Depot’s floor after an Earthquake.

    On various message boards, I have challenged PETA members to have the guts to peacefully overthrow Newkirk (and HSUS members to peacefully overthrow Wayne Pacelle, and ASPCA members to overthrow Ed Sayres, Jane Hoffman..everyone connected with them)……by saying that unless they become No kill, they will not get one more donation. The members of these groups are either not seeing the messages, or they are gutless cowards, who choose ignorance and arrogance over animals, and death over life.

    They can, of course, feel free to prove me wrong anytime, by peacefully getting rid of their poor excuses for ‘leaders’ and replace them with No Kill leaders.

    Of course, ASPCA head assassin Ed Sayres once advertised himself as being ‘No Kill’, and tens of thousands of animals have died because of him, so it’s not always so cut and dry.

  8. Thank you for the kind words. We have re-opened our shelter, with much difficulty since the raid has left us bankrupt. Hopefully we’ll get our costs back when we sue ’em.

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