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Outside the Circle

According to the Virginia Department for Agriculture and Consumer Services, People for the Ethical Treatment euthanizes over 1,500 animals a year. Pictured above is the organization’s headquarters.

PETA falls under scrutiny 

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has more of a dark side to it than its members throwing paint at fur coats. The organization claims to protect animals from ending up as clothes, experiments, and entertainment. They also aim to protect them from abuse, neglect, and death. However, PETA has been under scrutiny recently for their treatment of animals. Every year, approximately 2000 animals enter the PETA facility, and according to a 2011 statistic, 96 percent of them exit the facility having been slaughtered. Pet Cremation Services of Tidewater visits the facility regularly to pick up the animal remains.

Before the cremation service arrives, the animal bodies are kept in a large walk-in freezer. Donations that PETA receives regularly from animal lovers go towards cremation services and powering the animals’ frozen tomb. It is estimated that in the past 11 years, PETA has killed over 29,000 dogs, cats, rabbits, and other domestic animals. Most individuals believe that PETA does not believe in killing animals. However, their belief states that it is okay to kill animals, as long as the killing is “humane.” For them, the “humane” method used most often is poisoning the animals with a barbiturate overdose.

When police first entered the PETA facility, they found piles of garbage bags, filled with animal bodies. The veterinarian who examined the bodies found that the animals were perfectly healthy and adoptable. Similar scenes have played across America in vans owned by PETA filled with killing kits and more dead bodies. Although registered with the State of Virginia as a “humane society” and “animal shelter,” PETA does not have any adoption hours, promotion, or adoption floors.

An inspection done by the Virginia Department of Agriculture said that the PETA facility did “not contain sufficient animal enclosures to routinely house the number of animals annually reported as taken into custody…the shelter is not accessible to the public, promoted, or engaged in efforts to facilitate the adoption of animals taken into custody.” The inspector, who participated in the inspection, said, “90 percent of the animals were euthanized within the first 24 hours of custody.”

When asked what efforts they make towards finding animals homes, PETA had no comment. Since this discovery, other disturbing facts have begun to surface. A postcard from Ingrid Newkirk, PETA’s founder, stated that PETA does not advocate the right to live for animals, and there are always exceptions to that rule. The postcard was addressed to Nathan Winograd, whose blog continuously attacked PETA for their cruelty to animals. Winograd, along with other people who have publically condemned PETA for their actions, has received mail from the PETA legal department that threatens them with a legal action.

According to published records from the Virginia Department for Agriculture and Consumer Services, PETA euthanized 1675 of the 1877 animals in its care in 2012. PETA told the Daily Mail that their reasoning behind euthanizing the animals is that it would be difficult to find homes for many of them and they would most likely be euthanized anyway. Jane Dollinger, PETA spokeswoman, said, “Most of the animals we are taking in are society’s rejects: aggressive, on death’s door, or someone unadoptable.”

A 2011 medical helicopter crash is currently under investigation over allegations that texting by the pilot during pre-flight safety inspections distracted him from checking his fuel gage. The helicopter ran out of fuel before it could reach an airfield, and crashed in a small farm field.
A 2011 medical helicopter crash is currently under investigation over allegations that texting by the pilot during pre-flight safety inspections distracted him from checking his fuel gage. The helicopter ran out of fuel before it could reach an airfield, and crashed in a small farm field.

Testing helicopter pilot investigated

Since amedical helicopter that ran out of fuel and crashed in Aug. 2011 killed all four of it’s passengers, further investigation has recently ensued. The pilot, 34-year-old James Freudenbert, was reportedly distracted by text messages when he was supposed to be completing his pre-flight safety checks. Freudenhert had received 20 text messages in the two hours preceding his flight. He then crashed into a small farm field approximately one mile away from where he had intended to refuel.

The text messages were received from a female co-worker with whom the pilot had a romantic history. In addition to the messages sent before the helicopter entered flight, eight messages were also exchanged during the flight. He was transporting a hospital patient to another center for treatment. Freudenbert reportedly did not check the amount of fuel in the helicopter before he took off from his base, even though he had been told that the fuel might be low, as the aircraft had been used for training exercises the night before.

Immediately after take-off from the base, Freudenbert radioed that the helicopter only had about two hours of fuel, but when he touched down about 10 minutes later in Bethany, Mo., to pick up the patient, he told the communications center that he only had about 45 minutes of fuel left. Freudenbert chose to continue the transfer to a hospital in Liberty, Mo. regardless. The airfield he had planned to land at was 32 minutes away. As it turned out, the helicopter only had 30 minutes. The investigation is still ongoing to determine further details.

Cleveland city council leadership commended 

A coalition of individuals gathered in support of Cleveland City Council’s leadership this past Monday, April 8. According to a media release from the City of Cleveland’s Office of the Council, demonstrations were to include Councilman Matt Zone, Cleveland Sustainability chief Jenita McGowan, Lorry Wagner, president of LEEDCo., Dawna Rotert, president of BDL General Contracting, Laura Ponikvar of Mom’s Clear Air Force, and Al Frasz of Dovetail Solar and Wind.

The Council’s leadership has worked over the past decade to promote sustainability, renewable energy, and energy efficiency by means of initiative and other actions. Their work was honored during a press conference that focused on the city’s energy investments that “saved money and energy, put citizens to work, saved taxpayer money, and strengthened the city’s bottom line.” Because Ohio’s energy efficiency and renewable standards are currently under review, the leadership’s band of followers hoped to convince Columbus that Ohio’s Clean Energy Laws needed to be protected rather than weakened or removed.

Public action to occur on tax day

April 15, tax day, will be host to a “countrywide coalition of justice and peace groups [that] will demonstrate in downtown Cleveland for just and peaceful federal budget and tax policies,” according to a news release. Demonstrators plan to hold up colorful signs and banners that prod federal officials to “Stop the Cuts! Protect Social Security! Grow ‘Family-Wage’ Jobs! Tax the One Percent! End U.S. Wars and Occupations!”

Greg Coleridge, Director of the Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee and coalition representative, said, “Recently enacted social spending cuts, under sequestration, will impose cruel hardships for millions of persons across America, impacting hardest on mothers, children, veterans, students, and seniors here in Northeast Ohio.”

Among the demonstrators are Cleveland Peace Action, Veterans for Peace, Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee, Cleveland Jobs with Justice, Women Speak Out for Peace and Justice, No Cuts Coalition, Stop Targeting Ohio’s Poor, Black on Black Crime, Inc., Oppressed People’s Nation, Family Connection Center, and Imperial Women.

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