Written by Michelle Kretzer
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Her story is a haunting reminder of why
it should be illegal to chain
Storm was just 2 years old when she strangled to death at the end of her chain after being chained
up outdoors like a rusty old bicycle and left unsupervised.
calls about Storm's horrific death flooded our office, PETA wrote to the mayor
of the town in which she died, Portsmouth, Virginia, asking him to introduce "Storm's
Law," an ordinance
that would ban or seriously restrict chaining.
Storm's owners claim to suspect foul
play, but cruel people—who often poison or shoot dogs because they are annoyed
by their barking or steal them for use as "bait dogs" in dogfights
or to sell to laboratories
for experimentation—are only one of the many dangers that chained dogs face. Obviously,
Storm should have never been chained in her sad little mud patch to begin with.
receives hundreds of reports of chained dogs, like the one pictured here, every
Dogs can strangle or injure themselves
when their chains become tangled, or they can be attacked by other animals. Often
deprived of food, water,
veterinary care, and shelter,
chained dogs routinely suffer from a range of maladies, including malnutrition,
dehydration, flea infestations, mange, and untreated injuries, and can freeze
to death or die of heatstroke.
And dogs aren't the only ones who suffer
the ill effects of chaining. Subjecting a social pack animal to a life of
isolation contributes to aggressive behavior, making chained dogs three
times as likely to bite.
More than 120 jurisdictions
have passed laws banning or restricting chaining. If, like Portsmouth, your
area still allows dogs to be chained, please use PETA's tips
to get a chaining ordinance passed.
Written by Jeff Mackey
Over the last couple of days, we've told you about some of the
ways that PETA worked in 2011 to end the suffering of animals in its own "backyard"—southern
Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. PETA staffers are in the field every
day working with guardians and local authorities, delivering doghouses and
straw, providing transport to our clinics for spay/neuter procedures and other
veterinary care, and much more.
you may have read about many of the animals whose lives and futures were made
brighter by PETA's fieldworkers, which is always what we hope for. But since PETA's
hands-on work focuses on finding and helping the most abused, neglected, and
underserved animals—those whose years of illness, injury, deprivation,
exposure, and isolation typically make rehabilitation and adoption into a
loving and responsible home impossible—offering
love, kindness, and a peaceful release from suffering is sometimes the kindest
The following are a few of the animals PETA helped in 2011, along
with information about how you can help us prevent more animals from suffering from
neglect and abuse (warning—graphic images):
An elderly couple called us for a doghouse for their dog,
DJ. PETA's fieldworker discovered that DJ was not just terribly unsocialized
but also had a chain wrapped directly around his neck that had become deeply
embedded into his skin as he grew. DJ's guardians had no idea that this had
been happening and were shocked to discover his condition. They surrendered DJ
to PETA, and he is no longer suffering.
The girlfriend of the person responsible for two dogs,
Trixie and Hitler, contacted PETA because Hitler was already dead on her
property and Trixie was severely emaciated. A necropsy later confirmed that
Hitler had starved to death—the tip of his own tail was found in his stomach.
The vet determined that Trixie was about 20 pounds underweight. The animals'
guardian signed a contract agreeing not to acquire any more animals.
PETA took in this cat who was suffering from an open wound
over his entire back that was teeming with maggots. A local woman had been
feeding stray cats in her yard for months but was totally oblivious to this cat's
When little Pokey's family moved away, they simply left this ill puppy in the yard
Despite days of intensive treatment and being showered with love, Pokey's
condition deteriorated, and her veterinarian said that the most humane option
was to give her an immediate release from her suffering.
Turning away cats and dogs like these just to avoid having
to euthanize them doesn't help unwanted, suffering, and dying animals. If PETA,
like many animal shelters
cared more about how its statistics look to the public than the well-being of
the individual animals who so desperately need help, animals like Pokey would
be left to suffer and die in agony instead of being gently relieved of their
misery in the soothing embrace of probably the first and only people ever to
show them any kindness.
PETA has renewed
our call for the National Governors Association to use its influence to end animal homelessness by helping pass mandatory
spay and neuter legislation across the country in 2012, requiring dogs
and cats to be sterilized unless their owners purchase an annual breeding
permit, the cost of which would fund low-cost spay-and-neuter services. Without
such laws, animal homelessness and neglect will continue—causing animals like
DJ, Trixie, the homeless cat, and Pokey to continue to suffer.
Please join this effort by asking your governor to support strong spay and
Although more and more municipalities are passing laws against chaining dogs, many cities still have no such legislation, and there are many dogs still suffering and dying at the end of a chain, especially in freezing weather. Now PETA is making some of these cities—including Spokane, Washington —an offer they shouldn't refuse: We'll shovel the snow off the sidewalks outside City Hall if they’ll let us stencil ads on those sidewalks to focus attention on the plight of dogs chained outdoors all winter.
Chained dogs are forced to endure extreme weather conditions and usually go without veterinary attention and any form of companionship. Cold winters spell extra hardship for dogs left outdoors, as they may suffer from dehydration when water sources freeze as well as frostbite and exposure. Frustrated dogs tied out on chains are also more prone to aggression and biting and are vulnerable to acts of cruelty.
Whether or not these cities accept PETA's win-win proposition, there are plenty of ways that we can all speak up for freezing, lonely chained dogs. If your community lacks an ordinance against chaining, demand one—and if you see dogs chained outdoors, help them.
Written by Heather Faraid Drennan
of the perks of working in PETA's offices is that we get to share our work
space with the dogs
who go to work with their guardians. As enjoyable as it is for us, though, the
dogs are the ones who benefit the most because they aren't left home alone all
day. Here are the stories of three of the dogs who help make working at PETA a
little bit more fun.
was adopted from a local animal
four years ago and now has a full-time job overseeing PETA's office in Oakland,
California. He loves getting to see his canine best friend, Monster, and greets
everyone with a hearty "Arooorooroo!" His favorite part of the job is
helping with outreach events, at which he attracts people to the PETA booth
by looking irresistible in his PETA doggie T-shirt.
PETA Community Animal
staffer found Sophie chained
to a car with no food or water when she was about 6 months old. She was living
in a mound of trash, and her rescuer at first mistook her for an old tire until
she saw the dog's frightened little eyes. Now 10 years old, Sophie accompanies PETA
Senior Vice President Lisa Lange to PETA's Los Angeles office, which has helped
bring Sophie out of her shell and provided her with things to think about and
watch and the opportunity to learn that not all humans are cruel.
Maguire was a puppy, his family moved and left him at an animal shelter. He was
shy and depressed and, since he'd been largely confined to a basement, was not very
comfortable with the outside world. A PETA Foundation staffer who volunteered at the
shelter adopted Maguire, and when she took him home at 10 months old, he didn't
even know how to play with toys. Now 12 years old, Maguire has been part of PETA's
Norfolk office crew for years.
you can't take your pup to work, be sure to go home at lunchtime or hire a dog
walker or neighbor to let
your dog out.
No one wants to stare at the walls for eight hours or more, let alone "hold
it" for an entire workday. One way to minimize the loneliness of these
pack animals is to have more than one dog so that they can keep each other
Written by PETA
Sophie is a rescued dog who accompanies PETA Vice President Lisa Lange to work at PETA's Los Angeles office. Not to be outdone by Bubbles, Sophie has also written to Kris Kringle, asking him to help less fortunate dogs.
If you can't bear the thought of wrapping up another
video game or pair of gloves, why not give your loved ones the gift of alleviating
animal suffering? We've rolled out our PETA Presents website just in
time for the holidays, and the site features gifts from $5
that protect animals every time your loved ones pull off a big red bow.
You are guaranteed not to hear, "You
shouldn't have," when you wrap up a toy for a lonely chained dog,
a spay/neuter surgery,
or a day off for a working
We'll send your recipient a beautiful
e-card thanking him or her for helping animals. Or, if you prefer to have
something to put under the tree, you can print a picture and description of the
gift and create an attractive certificate suitable for framing.
Long after the gift
cards have been spent, the candy has been eaten, and the golf clubs are gathering
dust in the closet, your gift will still be helping animals. Visit PETAPresents.org to start giving today.
poor mother dog was so emaciated that she barely had the strength to nurse her
six puppies. She was confined to a bare wooden box located behind a pizza
parlor and was weighted down with a heavy chain.
a member of Hoovers Hause All Dog Rescue spotted one of the pups wandering near
the busy street beside the restaurant, she soon discovered the mother dog and called
the sheriff's department. But catch this: Law enforcement gave the owner two to three weeks to put weight on the
mother dog. Hoovers Hause All Dog Rescue had a better idea—the group posted
pictures of the dogs on Facebook and asked people to get the sheriff's department
to act now.
a PETA supporter alerted
us to the situation, we asked
the poster to try to persuade the owner to give the dogs over to her. Bingo! All
the dogs were whisked off to a veterinarian (likely the first time the mother
dog had ever received medical care). The rescue group paid for the mother dog's
heartworm treatment and agreed to care for her and her puppies while screening
owner had told police that the mother dog was so thin because she had been poisoned,
but with simple helpings of good food, this lucky rescued girl has already
gained 8 pounds. PETA is now urging officials to pursue cruelty charges.
If you see anything
on social-networking sites that suggests an animal could be in danger, please contact
authorities—and, if they are unresponsive, call PETA.
What do dogs forced to live outside
in all weather extremes long for? Being inside with their human "pack,"
of course. But when they are denied that basic opportunity, a sturdy doghouse
stuffed with straw to help keep out the freezing winter weather can make a huge
difference in these dogs' tiny backyard
a pit bull who recently received a PETA doghouse to replace the plastic barrel
that had been his poor excuse for shelter (imagine it filled with rainwater and
the cold wind blowing night after night all miserable winter long), was delighted with his new digs.
In addition to aiding
sick, injured, and abused
around the clock, PETA's Community
Animal Project (CAP)
delivers houses to dogs like Tonka in the area surrounding PETA's headquarters—southeast
Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. CAP staffers check in regularly with the
dogs to make sure that they have adequate food and clean water and talk with
their owners about proper care. They also routinely deliver toys, treats, and,
of course, love and affection to these neglected animals. Many doghouse
recipients are also clients of PETA's mobile spay-and-neuter
clinics and, therefore, will not be contributing to the homeless animal crisis.
Never pass by a "backyard dog"
who doesn't have adequate shelter: Contact local animal-control officials
immediately. Click here to make a donation to support the doghouse program and CAP's
vital work to bring relief to neglected and abused animals.
by Heather Faraid Drennan
The first four years of Oliver's life
consisted of little more than a small patch of dirt, a metal barrel, and a heavy chain.
This sweet mixed-breed's owner gave him food and water in dirty, rusty metal
bowls—and little else. Day after day, he waited for the kind word or gentle pat
that never came.
Desperate to help the dog, a frequent passerby
made numerous calls to animal control and the local humane society but to no
avail. Faced with the onset of another harsh Midwestern winter, the man then called
PETA for help.
It took some persuasion, but we convinced
the neglectful owner
to surrender Oliver. A PETA member in the area offered to foster him until we
found an adopter, but it soon became clear to the foster "mom" that Oliver
was right where he belonged.
Now the lovable dog sleeps in bed with
his doting guardian every night. Free from the chain, he has discovered the joy
of running and makes his guardian laugh while he gleefully zips around 2 acres
of land under her watchful eye.
Oliver's story would not have had a
happy ending without the persistence of his rescuer. If you know of a chained
dog in your area, please
may be the dog's only hope.
by Michelle Sherrow
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.