Letter to the Editor: PETA Says Keep Pets Leashed

Dear Editor:

In light of the cat who was found seriously injured near Battlefield Estates after he was apparently shot with a projectile, I urge readers to protect their animal companions by never allowing them outdoors unattended (“Police Seek Public’s Assistance in Animal Cruelty Case,” 1/3).

Cats and dogs who are left outdoors are easy targets for cruel people, and cases like this are common. Most of the 400-plus cruelty cases PETA receives weekly involve animals who were victimized while outside unsupervised. Every day, countless animals are poisoned, shot at, used as bait for dogfighting, stolen for experimentation, hit by cars, and worse after being left outside alone for “just a few minutes.” And we mustn’t forget the toll that free roaming cats take on wildlife populations.

Please, keep animals indoors and allow them outdoors only on a leash or in a fenced yard, under constant supervision. Anything else is irresponsible and invites tragedy. To learn more, visit www.PETA.org.


Martin Mersereau, Director
Emergency Response Team
Cruelty Investigations Department
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)


  1. I agree with the sentiment, unfortunately cats cannot be leashed (for long).

  2. the Bold Truth says:

    “And we mustn’t forget the toll that free roaming cats take on wildlife populations”

    PETA Really !!!???!! you mean like the 100+ field mice- or the bird population- the moles- crickets- bee’s….Really get a grip and look for the idiot that shot this poor helpless cat- he/she should also be shot or tortured and need medical assistance- probably some unattended young adult is my opinion !!!

    • REALLY? You want to torture or kill a human being over a poor helpless cat! Maybe you should get a grip! Maybe if the “unattended” cat was attended, this unfortunate event would not have happened. We have our laws for a reason. I certainly wouldn’t let my pet Boa roam the block, no matter how many field mice, moles, crickets, bees or birds are annoying you!

  3. This is just a follow up on leashing cats: Apparently, at least two people think that you can leash a cat. If a cat can be leashed, it doesn’t need to be, as it is a docile lazy cat. . If a cat needs to be leashed, a roaming athletic cat, It will wriggle its way out of it..

  4. Rice St. Resident says:

    It is times like this that I wish there was a legitimate spokesperson to speak up, rather than the usual quacks…

    I find it amusing every time I see a member of PETA write in regarding animal cruelty. I think before they focus on other agencies, people, etc. they need to focus internally instead. In 2010, PETA euthanized 80% (yes, you read that right) of the animals in they received into their care at their Norfolk facility. They adopted or transferred out 19%.

    In comparison, Clarke County Animal Shelter adopted or transferred 37%, and euthanized 37%.


    How about hearing from a respected veterinarian from the community next time?

    • Rice St. you should read into the details a little more before posting with ignorance. How many animals are we talking about here? How many unwanted pets were surrendered by irresponsible, neglectful pet owners to the Norfolk facility VS little Clarke County Animal Shelter? It takes many $ and and a facility with space to care for unwanted animals. Why do you bash those who try to do good? It’s called “ethical” treatment. You may want to look up that word.

      • Rice St. Resident says:

        We can look at two more shelters, one with a similar amount of numbers, and one with 2500 more animals, and the same median income. As for space, have you ever been to the Fairfax County Shelter? It is about the same size as Clarke County.

        PETA: 4569 animals

        Fairfax County Animal Shelter:
        4365 animals
        40% adoption/relocate
        26% euthanized

        Virginia Beach Animal Control:
        7089 animals
        30% adoption/relocate
        35% euthanized

        To have an euthanasia percentage at 80% is ridiculous. I would say that for even county animal control. But PETA’s message is about how animals should be treated, and they are one of the worst offenders in Virginia.

        • You should compare apples to apples. The shelters above do not receive the animals in the conditions PETA does. Most of their pets are unadoptable.

          “PETA says many times when they get the dogs and cats, they are terminally ill or severely injured. He explained that owners are fully aware that euthanasia is a real possibility when they surrender their animals.”

    • PETA opposes the no kill movement, and euthanizes an estimated 85% of the animals it takes in.[7] The group takes in feral cat colonies with diseases such as feline AIDS and leukemia, stray dogs, litters of parvo-infected puppies, and backyard dogs, and says that it would be unrealistic to follow a no-kill policy in such instances.[88] They offer free euthanasia services to counties that kill unwanted animals via gassing or shooting—they recommend the use of an intravenous injection of sodium pentobarbital if administered by a trained professional, and for severely ill or dying pets when euthanasia at a veterinarian is unaffordable.

  5. n3utr0nRU says:

    PETA claims to be an authority on the ethics of animal care, but their hypocritical support of barbarous breed-specific bans against dogs such as the American Pit Bull Terrier (Rottweilers & Dobermans) in cities like Denver and Miami strips them of any credibility on such matters! Due to PETA’s support of ignorance-based, destructive policies, families have been separated from CLEARLY well behaved, cherished pets and threatened with seizure & instant euthanasia of their beloved four-legged family members. PETA has no right or ability to address the public from a position of authority regarding ‘ethical’ treatment of animals! Readers would be better suited to apply common sense to their pet care strategies than to listen to PETA – as PETA demonstrates absolutely NO common sense when engaging the public regarding many, truly amazing, large breed dogs!

    About the APBT:

    MSNBC.com Story on Ban Effects: