Dogs & Laws

Man Claims PETA Stole, Killed His Family Dog

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A Virginia man is making the claim that PETA entered his property, stole his dog, then euthanized her – and he’s got some pretty solid evidence to back it up.

Wilbur Cerate described his family’s Chihuahua, Maya, as very well loved and cared for, with a loving family and home. That’s why he’s so confused as to why an organization that’s supposed to look out for animals took her and euthanized her.

Every day, when Wilbur pulled into the driveway, little Maya would run outside to greet him. One Saturday in October, his tiny welcoming committee was nowhere to be found. After searching the house, yard, and asking neighbors, he checked the surveillance video that films his front porch.

What he saw both surprised and confused him. He watched as a white box van, with the PETA logo clearly written on its side, backed into his driveway. Two women exited the van, one walked up the stairs and onto his front porch, picked up little Maya, and put her in the back before the pair drove off.

“I was angry. I understand they pick up my dog, if it was in a tree or another place, but this is in my house,” Cerate told WAVY 10 News.

Three days later, both women visited the Cerate home again, this time with a fruit basket and devastating news – little Maya had been euthanized. Cerate immediately called police, hoping for charges against the women and the organization responsible.

The local sheriff charged the PETA workers with larceny, as dogs are considered simple personal property, but the commonwealth’s attorney dropped all charges, claiming that the video showed no criminal intent. (what?!)

But, after digging further, WAVY 10 News learned that stealing a dog is considered a Class 5 felony according to the Code of Virginia.

Many questions remain unanswered. Why did PETA enter private property to take a well-cared for family dog? Why did they euthanize her? Why were charges dropped, despite video evidence? 10 News continues to investigate.

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  1. Avatar Of Frances



    PETA kills more animals that come into their “shelter” than they find homes for.

  2. Avatar Of Marie



    By leaving your dog running loose and unattended each day, wouldn’t your worry about Maya getting hit by a car?

    Most cities do have a running at large law, so it would NOT be unusual to have your dog picked up by someone especially in animal welfare or animal control.

    What is weird though, is the women returning with a fruit basket. And how the author does not say if the owners had contacted the group trying to get their dog back.

    Something is being left out, perhaps?

    • Avatar Of Anne



      You didn’t read the article well or listen to or watch the video.

      His security video shows the Peta workers entering his porch to steal the dog. Clearly the dog was not running loose.

      He had also called Peta to find his dog. Peta responded by bringing him a fruit basket.

  3. Avatar Of Alice In Lala Land

    alice in LALA land


    stay on this one.. while you are working PETA is busy doing damage control and making up a good story INVESTIGATE.. you are doing a great job.. keep up the good work and shut the killers down.I would love to see that building used to save lives instead of killing them..

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