If the shoe fits

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Under normal circumstances, when a question is posed the correct way to handle that inquiry is to supply a direct answer.

Apparently, the situation involving two PETA employees arrested last week in Ahoskie on animal cruelty and illegal disposal charges does not fall under the normal circumstances heading.

Here’s our first question -are the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals above the law?

Here are some additional brain twisters – how long has this type of &uot;ethical&uot; behavior been going on? Who is responsible for allowing this to happen? Are PETA workers in the field given the green light to take whatever action they deem necessary based on the situation at hand? Are they licensed to administer lethal injections? Are they licensed by the DEA to transport those medications?

The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald has placed a pair of phone calls to PETA’s headquarters in Norfolk, Va. in regards to these questions, as well as other inquires we have. To date, our phone has yet to ring.

However, that has not prevented PETA supporters from across the nation from sending us e-mails.

One, from Washington state, praised PETA’s humane way of ending the lives of these animals. Instead of addressing why euthanized pets were hastily tossed into a dumpster by these animal rights activists, the e-mail’s author instead pointed the finger of blame at local dog breeders and why we have failed to develop a low-cost spay and neutering program.

Another response, from right here in the Tar Heel State, asked us to investigate why the Hertford County Animal Shelter had not supplied the required documentation concerning the number of euthanizations of unwanted pets.

We did follow up on that and learned all documentation is up to date and was sent to PETA as requested.

Even PETA president Ingrid Newkirk skirted the main issue, saying only the organization would be &uot;appalled&uot; if the charges were true. Part of her focus dealt with the overpopulation of unwanted dogs and cats in an area she referred to as &uot;down there.&uot;

She went on to refer to our area of the state as &uot;impoverished.&uot;

Translation – we’re undereducated when it comes to raising animals. In PETA’s thinking, when it comes to the point where we grow tired of our pets, we simply put a .22 caliber pistol to their head and pull the trigger.

Are there cases of animal abuse in North Carolina? Sure there are, and ditto nationwide. Is that unfortunate? Sure it is.

But don’t lose sight of what occurred last week in Ahoskie. To kill animals – ones whose health conditions had yet to be assessed by a PETA veterinarian – while riding down the highway and then place their cold carcasses into a dumpster (where health-related issues could affect humans) is just as inhumane as what PETA accuses us &uot;country bumpkins&uot; of.

If the shoe fits, wear it.