Cat controversy: Franklin woman says PETA killed her kittens

FRANKLIN, Va. (WAVY) – A Franklin woman says she’s outraged that kittens promised to friends and relatives are dead. Vickie Cossavella says she asked animal activist group PETA to come to her house and spay her cats, including one who was pregnant. PETA agreed and took the cat, but returned it without the kittens, she says, they promised to save.

“I told her this one was pregnant, Ganny, and she told me it would be OK,” said Cossavella. “She said they could still spay her, that she would still have her litter of kittens, just not another one. First thing I did when she came back was check to make sure she still had her babies, and they were all gone. I flipped. I just don’t understand how PETA can do this.”

But Thomas Mitchell, a veterinarian who works for PETA, spoke to WAVY News’ Anita Blanton.

“Spaying means to remove reproductive organs,” said Mitchell. “The litter is inside so if you spay, they’re coming out. If they’re that far along, like mammary glands starting to get larger, we’ll tell the owner to take them home because it’s harder to make the incision, they bleed more and it’s more of a problem.”

PETA admits they spay pregnant animals to fight overpopulation, but they say they’d never assure something that’s impossible. Ganny, the cat, was 3 weeks into a 68-day gestational period.

“I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that’s an impossibility,” said PETA spokesperson Daphna Nachminovitch. “No person on my staff would have told someone something that is so obviously untrue. We picked up the animals, transported them to our building, housed them overnight, spayed them, and vaccinated against rabies, all totally free of charge.”

She said they can’t believe Cossavella’s claims, and that they thought they were going out of their way to help. However, Cossavella says the damage they’ve caused can’t be undone.

“I would not trust PETA with anybody’s animal,” said Cossavella. “Don’t trust them.”

PETA says they do educate people about their procedures if asked. WAVY News’ Anita Blanton asked PETA what they tell people who might question this practice of spaying a pregnant cat. They said this required no euthanasia, and plenty of organizations do the same thing. The idea behind it is that they’re preventing more unwanted animals from being brought into the world.

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