If this pans out, it's even more bad news for PeTA:
There may be more problems for Norfolk-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
Norfolk Animal Management is investigating PETA after learning some employees of the group may not be certified to put animals to sleep.
Last week, WAVY News 10 broke the story when two PETA employees were arrested for allegedly euthanizing dogs and cats taken from a North Carolina animal shelter and tossing their bodies in a shopping center dumpster in Ahoskie.
After the arrests last Wednesday, PETA said, as part of its euthanization program, its employees have all the paperwork and training needed to put animals down. But WAVY News 10 has now learned the two employees charged in North Carolina may not have been certified to perform that task.
PETA employees Adria Hinkle and Andrew Cook are facing felony charges after police say they dumped dozens of dogs and cats into a shopping center dumpster.
The two supposedly picked the animals up from a North Carolina shelter, euthanized them in a van registered to PETA, then tossed the bodies in the trash.
Now questions have been raised whether the two are able to perform euthanizations in the first place.
The state Department of Agriculture says people like Hinkle and Cook who put animals down must have state certification.
Virginia Beach animal control officer Steve Kemper says that's common knowledge for people in his field.
"Anyone who does euthanasia has to be trained to the standards of the state Board of Agriculture."
But certification is not what the state found in the PETA workers' files.
"We have no records of training PETA employees because we were informed that euthanzia was being done by a local veterinarian," a spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture told WAVY News 10 Monday.
PETA attorney Jeff Kerr says that is absolutely not the case. Kerr says Hinkle is a certified euthanasia technician.
"Because of the case, I can assure you that PETA has all of the required licenses and staff is properly trained and certified."
The state Department of Agriculture is double checking to make sure it hasn't overlooked any documentation or certifications for PETA employees. [My emphasis . . . ed]
Anyone whose ever dealt with a state bureaucracy knows how vast are the ethers into which things can "disappear themselves" . . . so it's entirely possible that PeTA is in the clear on this one.
On the other hand, this would be the same PeTA who didn't notice that Hinkle and Cook repeatedly returned without the animals they were supposedly transporting to PeTA's facility, even as they apparently were offing them in the back of PeTA's van.
Even if this is untrue, it is negative publicity, and negative publicity sticks. And PeTA knows it — indeed, PeTA regularly makes use of the "sticking false accusation" tactic to vilify its targets. So it is deliciously ironic that PeTA now gets a taste of its own medicine.