By: Staff  Date: 01/16/2012 Category: | Animal Rights Extremism | Shelter Issues |

Two shelter workers in Virginia have sued People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals for $1.5 million each. The lawsuits allege that the animal rights group damaged their reputations by conducting an undercover investigation at the shelter and using secretly-made videotapes to falsely accuse them of cruelty.

Keith Jeter, executive director of the Portsmouth Humane Society, was acquitted of 32 charges of animal cruelty and failure to provide care. Shelter worker Holly King was acquitted of six charges.

The tape showed kittens and dogs with mange, broken bones, and respiratory infections. They were made in July and August 1999 by former PETA employee Bryan Monell, who took a job at the shelter. PeTA claims it is not responsible for the charges brought by the prosecutor’s office.

PeTA sought to have the suits dismissed, but a judge ruled in May that there is sufficient evidence for the cases to proceed.

PeTA has used undercover videos in several other cases. In New Jersey, undercover infiltrator Michelle Rokke got a job in a veterinary clinic and secretly taped the doctor at work. She and PeTA took the edited tape to prosecutors; the veterinarian was charged and convicted of cruelty in spite of testimony in his favor from staff and clients, and he lost his license to practice. However, his conviction was overturned by an appeals court judge who determined that Rokke was not a credible witness. His veterinary license was reinstated after the successful appeal.

Rokke also infiltrated a New Jersey research company with her spy camera and PeTA sent the edited tape to the media and to the company’s clients. The company sued, then reached an out-of-court settlement that required PeTA to return or destroy the materials stolen from the facility and to stop its action against the company.

Other PeTA spies have entered animal enterprises and used secret tapes to incite public outrage at medical research, farming, and entertainment venues using animals.

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All Authors Of This Article: | Patti Strand |
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