Fatal Dog Attack Prompts Plea From PETA to Overturn County’s Irresponsible ‘No-Kill’ Policy

For Immediate Release:
March 28, 2023

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Putnam County, Fla. – PETA rushed a letter today to the Putnam County Board of Commissioners following the recent announcement that the man whose five dogs killed mail carrier Pamela Rock won’t face charges because he had tried to surrender the dogs twice to the county’s “no-kill” animal control facility and was refused help both times. PETA, which copied the letter to U.S. Postal Service leaders, is urging the board to immediately overturn the county’s inhumane turn-away, “no-kill” policy, which increases the population of unwanted companion animals and puts the community at risk.

“When ‘no-kill’ shelters inevitably and almost immediately fill to capacity, the animals most in need are turned away, an inherently dangerous and deadly policy that results in the birth of more unwanted animals and potentially fatal consequences when the rejected animals are aggressive,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA urges Putnam County to open its shelter doors wide and take its obligation to serve and protect its residents seriously.”

According to media reports and an investigation conducted by the state attorney’s office, the owner of the dogs had previously told authorities he couldn’t afford to feed them. They repeatedly escaped through a poorly constructed fence cobbled together with bricks and stones and had attacked a man and a car on two separate occasions before they mauled and killed Rock.

Around 70 million dogs and cats are homeless in the U.S. at any given time. Many animal shelters—under pressure to avoid euthanasia at all costs—are turning dogs away and refusing to accept cats altogether. Many end up abandoned on the streets, where they may be hit by cars, infected with diseases, or hurt by cruel people—and the aggressive ones may injure local residents or other animals. That’s why PETA urges shelters—especially taxpayer-funded ones like Putnam County’s, which are obligated to serve the community and ensure public safety—to adopt a socially conscious shelter model that addresses critical public safety issues, prioritizes quality of life, doesn’t turn anyone away, and treats each animal as an individual, not a statistic.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind