A family is suing People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) for $9 million after two senior employees stole their pet Chihuahua Maya off their porch and had the dog killed.
The family captured video on their home surveillance system of two PETA employees, Victoria Carey and Jennifer Woods chasing Maya down, taking her off the family’s porch and shoving the dog into a white van. PETA admitted four months later it euthanized Maya later that day.
Victoria Carey was a contract worker for PETA and had been the organization’s human resources director. Jennifer Woods is PETA’s senior communications administrator. Carey’s contract with PETA has been terminatied, but Woods remains employed.
State law requires that animals be held for five days before they are euthanized to allow people to recover their animals in situations like this. An investigation by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services founded PETA violated the law and imposed the largest fine it could, $500.
The family says the two PETA workers apologized by giving the family a fruit basket.
PETA euthanized 2,454 of the 3,369 cats, dogs and other animals it took in in 2014. Only 23 dogs and 16 cats taken in by PETA were adopted. A PETA press release claims the organization offered “free euthanasia services for 2,454 dogs, cats, and other animals in just one area of the United States.”
A statement by PETA to a local news channel on Maya’s death claims the incident “was extremely upsetting, therefore, to discover that in the course of doing something helpful and good, something bad had happened.”