This latest assault against PPI is just the latest lawsuit in a series of lawsuits instigated against PPI by PETA. The first lawsuit, which was filed in 2006 and named 9 chimpanzees as plaintiffs, alleged animal abuse. This suit was dismissed by the Honorable Andy Mireles for lack of standing. None of the allegations of animal abuse were ever substantiated. The second lawsuit was filed by the Attorney General’s office at the behest of PETA. This lawsuit alleged financial mismanagement. However, this allegation also proved to be unsubstantiated, and the Attorney General voluntarily agreed to dismiss the lawsuit, finding it was in the best interests of the State of Texas, PPI, and the animals entrusted to its care to do so.
After the first two lawsuits instigated by PETA against PPI failed, PETA went knocking door to door in PPI’s neighborhood to recruit additional plaintiffs for yet another lawsuit. They found two-Virginia Baker, an elderly woman with brain cancer, who has since dropped out of the suit, and Carl Hensley, a retiree. Although Plaintiffs’ lawyers initially refused to answer questions about the funding of the lawsuit, they were later forced to admit at a hearing on Plaintiff’s application for a temporary restraining order in front of the Honorable Andy Mireles (Judge Mireles denied Plaintiff’s application for a temporary restraining order) that the entire suit is being funded by PETA.
PETA’s latest attempt at shutting PPI down alleges that PPI is in violation of the “dangerous wild animals” statute. The suit asks the Court to force PPI to get rid of all of its “dangerous wild animals,” including its chimpanzees, African lion, and baboons. However, the “dangerous wild animals” statute does not apply to animal shelters such as PPI. Although PETA’s own recruitee, Mr. Hensley, admits PPI is an animal shelter, his attorneys, who are being funded by PETA, insist that PPI is NOT an animal shelter. In a desperate attempt to find something to “get” PPI on, Plaintiff’s attorneys then go on to argue that even if PPI IS an animal shelter, it is violating the rules and regulations governing animal shelters. In this vein, Plaintiff has asked the Court to (1) force PPI to pave over its outdoor enclosures with natural grass flooring, (2) separate non-breeding males and females living in family groups; and (3) separate cockateils from parrots and brown-tailed lemurs and ring-tailed lemurs.
It is not clear whether PETA’s motivation is personal vendetta, greed, or a movement to shut down all animal sanctuaries, but this latest assault against PPI threatens every animal sanctuary in the state of Texas. As a $30 million per year organization, PETA can afford to file all the frivolous lawsuits it wants, hire as many lawyers as it wants, and make all of the frivolous arguments it wants. However, PETA is hard-pressed to explain how this lawsuit helps any of the animals in PPI’s care. We are asking for your help to stop it.
Friends of Animals