The Official Response to PETA:
We are aware of the untruths that PETA has stated in their latest attempt to fool the general public about our Pony Penning events. In their last letter to us which by the way was sent to me through a newspaper reporter, it wasn‘t emailed to me or mailed to me (unless it’s at the post office as I write this), they claim that one of our mares, Butterfly Kisses, was “chased into” the pen. Nothing could be further from the truth. She was already in the pen and had been there for over 24hrs. We have eye witnesses to prove otherwise. This is the same pen that she has been in numerous of times without incident. They also claim that we “force” them to swim. I have photos to prove that the ponies swim all the time on their own. They also claim that while in the care of the fire Company during round ups that the ponies aren’t provided shade. Again, false and we have photos to prove that we provide shade when necessary. They also claim that while during round ups that no fresh water or food is provided to them. Again, false. There are at least a dozen water troughs at the carnival ground pens and hay is placed quite generously throughout the pen. Again, we have photos to prove that. While these ponies are out in the wild, they also have access to fresh water troughs in case the freshwater ponds are dry in the summer or frozen in the winter. During the winter, extra feed is provided to them. Twice a year, there are two complete vet checks. At these times the ponies get de-wormed, vaccinated for eastern and western west Nile disease, hooves checked, teeth checked and much more. All of the ponies that live out in the wild on the Virginia side of Assateague are microchipped with meticulously kept records of each one. When one is reported to be injured, someone from the pony committee is on the scene within usually a half hour. If the pony needs more care then the pony is brought over by trailer and seen by our vets. Same if a pony is sick. If the pony cannot recover then the pony is humanely euthanized and given a proper burial, not just tossed out on the marsh. At auction, the vet decides which ones can leave their mares at which time. If they are too young, then they go back with their mares until the fall. When each foal leaves our care and goes with their new families, a coggins test is done as well. Once again, while these ponies mean a great deal to the Fire Company, the town and the county financially, we are also human beings who see these gorgeous animals as the beautiful creatures they are and we handle them with the care and respect they deserve. If we did not do this event, these animals would end up over populating, eat themselves out of house and home, suffer diseases and injuries without any help at all. These are the facts about how we do what we do.
Now, I’m just going to throw out some facts about PETA so everyone can be as educated as PETA thinks to
hey are about us. Since 1998 PETA has killed more than 36,000 animals. 95.9% of animals under PETAS care have been killed in one year! Yes, one year! PETA has handed out literature to children with a graphic comic stating that “your mommy kills animals“ while also funding arsonist and terrorist groups. Their own president, Ingrid Newkirk, stated “ it would be lovely if we stopped this whole notion of pets altogether”. Would really love to know if she has any pets herself. In October 2014, members of PETA drove their van to the small town of Parksley, VA right here on the eastern shore and stole a pet dog off the porch of a family by coaxing the dog off the porch with treats. Within hours, the dog was killed. PETA broke two laws that day, larceny and euthanizing an animal before the 5 hold period that is the law for kill-shelters. The family ultimately sued PETA and PETA settled the case with the family for $49,000 dollars. In 2014, PETA killed 2,324 animals of the 2,626 it had acquired. It had a 1% adoption rate. A former PETA field worker testified that workers were mislead in the field, they were told to lie as much as possible to gain access to an animal under the ruse that the animal would be sent out for immediate adoption but instead were immediatelay taken to a kill room. One worker quit on the spot when witnessing healthy, vibrant animals in the kill room. Another former field worker testified the PETAS objective was to get as many animals as possible and the vast marjority was killed. She then testified that she was told to lie by her immediate supervisors to gain access to any animals and then told the same by President Ingrid Newkirk.
So, my friends, there you have it. All of the information I have just provided can be found at huffpost.com/killing
animalsPetasopensecret and petakillsanimals.com
I truly believe that what The Chincoteague Vol Fire Co does is good, fair and caring. I have personally been involved going on 29 years. There are many others that have been involved longer than I have and many younger ones coming up through the ranks. Until you have been here, seen it with your own eyes then we ask that you reserve your judgement until you do. I have done my homework and ask that PETA does theirs.
Denise P. Bowden
Public Relations Officer