The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) requires all animal shelters to report the number of cats and dogs they take in each year. The records indicate how many cats and dogs were reclaimed by their owners, adopted out, transferred to other Virginia releasing agencies (i.e. animal shelters and animal control), transferred to out-of-state releasing agencies, died of natural causes, euthanized (killed), and how many the shelter held alive at the end of the calendar year. We added the dogs and cats euthanized and divided by the total number of dogs and cats taken in excluding those held only for sterilization surgery to determine the percentage of dogs and cats PETA killed in a given year. In 2009, Virginia modified its policy and eliminated animals held for sterilization from the records.
We obtained the reports by filing public records requests under Virginia's sunshine laws with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The information for years 2004-2010 is also available on the VDACS website for public inspection (animals classified as "other" from 2004-2009 include those reported by PETA as held for sterilization).
* figures represent the second half of 1998 only
† Other than spay/neuter animals
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