Authorities in Ahoskie, North Carolina dropped a disturbing bombshell
yesterday with the news that they had charged two employees of People
for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) with 31 felony counts of
animal cruelty. PETA's Andrew Cook and Adria Hinkle were arrested late
Wednesday night after police saw them dump bags containing seven dead
puppies and 11 other dead animals in a grocery store's dumpster. Their
PETA-owned van, seized by police, contained another 13 animal bodies.
Ahoskie's police chief told reporters: "We've been investigating animal
cruelty and illegal disposal of dead animals within our city for the
last four weeks" -- roughly the same period of time in which our
popular PetaKillsAnimals.com website and giant Times Square billboard
have been making news.
PETA Norfolk HeadquartersResponding to our website, PETA has claimed
that most of the animals it kills are "broken beings" and that: "[W]e
refer every healthy, cute, young animal we can to shelters." But the
dead animals included a female cat and -- according to a local
veterinarian -- her two "very adoptable" kittens. "These were just
kittens we were trying to find homes for," he told PETA's hometown
Virginian-Pilot. "PETA said they would do that, but these cats never
made it out of the county."
PETA's Andrew Cook & Adria Hinkle
The animal-control officer responsible for the county where Cook and
Hinkle were arrested told the Associated Press that PETA had picked up
the animals just a few hours earlier. He added that PETA's employees
"told him they were picking up the dogs to take them back to Norfolk
where they would find them good homes."
Instead, the animals wound up being treated in a decidedly unethical
fashion. This morning the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald began distributing
a grisly photograph showing a police detective in hazmat garb removing
a puppy carcass from a garbage bag found in the now-infamous dumpster.
Last night WAVY-TV's coverage in Norfolk included heartbreaking details
from the manager of the supermarket whose dumpster became an impromptu
pet cemetery. "They just slung the doors [open] and started throwing
dogs ... beautiful cats. I saw a [dead] beagle last week that was
pregnant ... last week it was 23 or 24 dogs ... it's happened to us
nine times ... they drove straight from there, straight here, and
disposed of the dogs in 30 seconds."
Authorities told WNCT-TV in Greenville, NC that they've discovered more
than 70 dead animals in the last month that may be connected to PETA.
WKTR-TV reported today that Cook and Hinkle are out on bond, "thanks to
the President of the People for the Ethical Treatment."
In a story that eerily resembles the current charges facing PETA's
employees, the Associated Press reported on April 8 that an additional
150 euthanized dogs were found in rural Virginia, apparently dumped in
trash bags near a riverbank. The Scott County, Virginia Sheriff is