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In the meantime, here's the wrap-up from Jim Shepherd, who has been following the trial of PETA members, who picked up unwanted 'pets' from animal shelters, transported them a few blocks, then injectected the animals with lethal substances (for which they have no license to possess, let alone use) and tossed the bodies into Dipsy Dumpsters behind the nearest Piggly Wiggly store:
PETA Trial Ends
PETA employees Adria Hinkle and Andrew Cook were found innocent of the majority of charges brought against them for animal cruelty and obtaining property by false pretenses. Rather than facing criminal charges for picking up animals from an animal shelter and veterinarian's office and killing them, rather than taking them for possible adoptions, Judge Cy Grant reorganized the charges prior to sending them to the jury, dropping most of the felony charges and consolidating several charges into a single one.
If convicted of the criminal charges, the PETA employees, who had admitted picking up animals and killing them only moments after having told veterinarian office employees they were going to find them new homes, could have faced jail time. Instead, they have been found guilty of littering, receiving suspended 10-day jail sentences, 12 months' probation, 50 hours of community service, $1,000 fines and nearly $3,000 of restitution.
Their "death van" was confiscated by the town of Anhoskie, North Carolina.
The facts of the case made it completely obvious the pair had, in fact, committed all the offenses of which they had been accused.
The Piggly-Wiggly dumpster containing pets that had been picked up only hours before around Ahoskie were identified by the veterinarian and shelter workers who had handed them over to Hinkle and Cook.
The forensic evidence showing the animals had been killed by lethal injection of chemicals found in their so-called "death van" was never called into question.
Adria Hinkle testified under oath that they had, in fact picked up the animals, injected them with drugs, bagged them, and tossed them into the dumpster. She also testified that "maybe" they hadn't been forthcoming with the fact they had no intention of putting the animals out for adoption, it was "possible" they might have been misleading, and perhaps it was a "mistake" to toss the animals into the dumpster (an action she admitted having done previously).
So why were they found innocent?
Through what might be best called "smoke-and-mirrors" of their defense team.
After all, their lawyers argued, there had to be "malice" involved in felony animal cruelty charges. The pair of defendants had no malice, they argued, they were simply doing the "most compassionate thing possible" for animals no one wanted, sparing them lives of loneliness and confinement (hope my kids don't read about this when I get older).
Further, the animals themselves had no intrinsic value, so there were really no demonstrable damages in the case. For an organization that says it would oppose medical experimentation on laboratory animals - even if it meant not finding a cure for AIDS - to argue that the animals in question had no value should make your blood boil.
PETA raises hundreds of millions of dollars annually - allegedly fighting to defend the rights of animals - all animals. But their convenient manner of disposing of animals given to them by animal caregivers shows the total lie upon which their so-called pro-animal organization is founded.
PETA kills thousands of animals every year - and will continue to kill them for years to come. They purchased walk-in freezers for their Virginia headquarters to store animal carcasses and have paid thousands of dollars to an animal cremation service to dispose of them later. But they are acting out of "compassion" not indifference.
They dress up in outrageous costumes - or demonstrate in the buff - to draw attention to their animal rights movements - and collect funds from people stupid enough to believe they're serious about their so-called work.
They terrorize children with books which characterize parents who serve meat as mass murderers; they have drawn no distinction between meat processors and the Nazis who murdered millions of people in World War II, and they have no compunction about giving money to environmental terrorists.
When Adria Hinkle and Andrew Cook were arrested and charged with felony animal cruelty more than 15 months ago, we had hoped this trial, if nothing else, would shed some light on the PETA organization.
It accomplished exactly that.
Hinkle and Cook will not be going to jail for killing animals given to them with the belief they were going to be placed in adoptive homes.
While it might look like a big win for PETA, it's really not.
This trial has forced PETA to admit that it does not rescue animals, it kills them.
The defense used by their attorneys to avoid felony animal cruelty charges was that these animals had no intrinsic value. That should make everyone writing a check to PETA for the "ethical treatment of animals" think twice - and maybe stop sending checks to an organization that isn't protecting animals - at least not when it's an expense or an inconvenience for PETA.
If that's a win, I can only wish PETA many more courtroom successes.--Jim Shepherd
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