Animal rights charity PETA killed almost 90 per cent of dogs and cats placed in the care of the shelter at its Virginia headquarters last year, it has been revealed today.
The charity, well-known for attention grabbing publicity campaigns such as the 'I'd rather go naked' anti-fur campaign, euthanized 1,647 cats and dogs last year and only placed 19 in new homes according to the data submitted to the Virginia Department for Agriculture and Consumer Services.
PETA told Mail Online that the animals they take in at the center are 'unadoptable', however 89.4 per cent of pets is much higher than their own approximation that half of animals taken to shelters end up being euthanized.
According to the statistics 1,110 cats and 733 dogs were handed in to the charity in 2012.
22 cats and 108 dogs were transferred to another shelter, two cats and three dogs were reclaimed by their owner while 1,045 cats and 602 were euthanized.
34 cats and 7 dogs were placed under a category entitled 'Miscellaneous'.
A PETA spokeswoman told MailOnline that they had no choice but to euthanize the animals.
'We have a small division that does hands-on work with animals, and most of the animals we take in are society's rejects; aggressive, on death's door, or somehow unadoptable,' she said.
It said in some cases euthanasia is a necessary evil and PETA is willing to do 'society's dirty work'.
'As long as animals are still purposely bred and people aren't spaying and neutering their companions, open-admission animal shelters and organizations like PETA must do society's dirty work. Euthanasia is not a solution to overpopulation but rather a tragic necessity given the present crisis,' it said.
In response to the post, supporters of the charity were torn on the issue but many said a charity in its position on issues such as medical testing, the fur trade and as advocates for veganism should never allow the killing of healthy animals over a lack of suitable home.