People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is going to pay a Virginia family tens of thousands of dollars after it was found that the animal activists euthanized a 9-year-old girls’ Chihuahua well before the state’s five-day waiting period.
Wilber Zarate sued PETA for taking the dog, which was at a mobile home park in Norfolk, unleashed and unattended, and for putting the dog down before the end of the state’s five-day mandatory grace period, The Associated Press reported.
Zarate says PETA has a policy of euthanizing pets, saying the group “considers pet ownership to be a form of involuntary bondage.”
PETA had been tasked with rounding up wild dogs and feral cats in the mobile home park where Zarate’s dog was captured. The dog, Maya, was killed later that same day. PETA was fined $500 for not waiting for the required five days, according to the AP.
PETA also settled with Zarate’s family for $49,000 and will donate an additional $2,000 in Maya’s memory to an animal shelter in the area. The family was seeking up to $7 million.
PETA, which works against factory farming and animal testing, runs a shelter at its Norfolk headquarters. It will care for local animals, but will euthanize ones that are considered too sick, aggressive or feral for adoption. The group said that the animals it euthanizes are turned away from other shelters. It said it helps up to 25,000 animals a year and spays or neuters many for free, according to the AP.