Letter to the editor: A response from PETA regarding the petting zoo on campus

Jennifer O'Connor | PETA Foundation


We at PETA agree with letter writer Connie Corzilius Spasser that hauling animals around to be used as petting props is cruel. Washington University has no business supporting the animal exploitation business. As evidenced by the substantial number of emails we received, it’s clear many students concur.

Jammed into cages and spending most of their time in tractor trailers or being manhandled by crowds of people, animals used in petting zoos have no quality of life. They often become severely depressed and develop neurotic behaviors, like constant pacing or grooming themselves until they are bleeding and raw. Withholding food and water to avoid unsightly “messes” is routine.

What is disappointing is that Ms. Corzilius Spasser has put credence into groups like the Center for Consumer Freedom, which devotes considerable manpower, time and money in an attempt to make people who care about animals believe false and misleading information about PETA’s work. Like open-admission animal shelters across the country, PETA performs the heartbreaking task of euthanizing animals who are unwanted because they are aggressive, sick, hurt, elderly or at death’s door. No good homes exist for them. Front groups for animal-exploiting industries seize on this aspect of our work to further their agenda, attempt to divide our movement and protect their profits.

People who want to meet just a few of the desperate animals PETA has rescued can do so here: http://investigations.peta.org/petas-rescue-team/

Yours truly,
Jennifer O’Connor
Staff Writer
PETA Foundation

  • JJ in DC

    Ms. O’Connor, is PETA against the holding of animals, primarily dogs and cats as pets? If not can you explain the difference between a petting zoo and a dog locked up in an apartment for 10 hours a day waiting for it’s owner to get back from work?