Probably the thing that bothers me the most is folks clinging to the misguided belief that the five or so people a day who seek out PeTA's 24 hour a day companion animal euthanasia services aren't acting in their loved ones' bests interests.
I say this a lot, but we're not talking about hypothetical animals here. We're talking about actual animals with actual guardians who've reached out to PeTA on what was likely a very bad day. From the outside, it's easy to assume that these people rushed to judgement or were indifferent to their animals altogether, but I do not believe that these animal guardians, or the PeTA staff taking the call, take the matter of euthanasia lightly.
No one will ever convince me that the citizens of the greater Norfolk area are contacting PeTA's emergency hotline at all hours of the night to end the lives of animals they meant to take to a shelter because whatever life circumstance interfered with their commitment to them, or they just couldn't suffer their companionship until morning, or Monday, or after the holiday, or whenever the shelter opened.
From the outside, it's easy to ignore the relationships between these animals and their guardians, because we haven't had the pleasure of knowing them personally. We are not privy to the promises made at the onset of terminal illnesses or made after lifetimes of faithful companionship. We don't get to bear witness to the events leading to the decisions, or have to endure the minutes, hours, days, weeks, months of suffering leading to the phone calls. To the "enough is enough."
These decisions are not ours to make. They are not PeTA's to make. These decisions are for the guardians of these animals to make, just as the decision about how much is "enough" is ours to make when the relationships we have with OUR animals culminates in a "very bad day."
When someone says to me (and someone ALWAYS says this to me) "Why doesn't PeTA find these animals homes," I know that they just don't get it. I think back to our cat Lucy, and how we, to this day, don't know what could've happened to her, whether it was being hit by a car, or attacked by a dog that unhinged her jaw so that it laid across her chest, and broke her back so that she could only breathe and blink, and I think to myself, what if our veterinarian had suggested their trying to find her a home in that condition--as though we weren't already acting in her best interest by begging the vet to end her life. And people call PeTA "crazy."
There will always be people who look at these matters from the comfort of their computer screens and sit in judgement of the unknown, but I choose to remain here in the real world. I am proud to support PeTA in what has become the single-most misunderstood service they provide. I think back to Lucy. What if we had had to wait till morning, or Monday, or after the holiday, or couldn't afford to have her euthanized at all. What if we had to endure the scorn of strangers for not just releasing her to a shelter with a tearful wave and a "good-luck." Because that's what these people are suggesting. Get a grip, people. You are not King of the Universe. Some decisions are just not yours to make.