Who Kills More Animals: PETA or HSUS?

While this is not a website about People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the group does occasionally come up. For instance, a number of staffers from PETA have migrated to HSUS. One notable example is HSUS food policy director Matt Prescott, who while at PETA designed the noxious media campaign comparing using animals for food to the Holocaust.

Unlike the Humane Society of the United States, PETA does run an “animal shelter” at its headquarters. And PETA kills the vast majority of cats and dogs in its care at this shelter—about 90 percent, or 1,647 cats and dogs, in 2012 and about 30,000 animals since 1998. That’s shocking to many people, and the news is making waves both here and abroad at the London Daily Mail. (Please join our PETA Kills Animals Facebook page to stay up to date.)

Based on public information, it seems PETA directly kills more animals than HSUS, since the latter doesn’t run a shelter. But what about indirectly? According to HSUS, 3-4 million dogs and cats are put down in shelters every year, and according to our survey, most HSUS donors think their gifts will help care for pets or trickle down to shelters. If HSUS chose to use this money to either run pet shelters of its own or gave the money to other groups, as people think it does, how many pets that are currently euthanized would instead be alive?

Given that HSUS raises over $100 million a year, it’s probably a lot more than the 1,647 cats and dogs that PETA killed last year.