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Brother, Can You Spare a (Dog Named) Dollar …

Written by PETA | October 2, 2009

… from a miserable life under a pile of heavy cinder blocks and plywood?


Dollar before


This makeshift pen was “home” for a sweet 5-month-old mutt named Dollar, who was discovered by a PETA fieldworker in North Carolina.

Our relentless efforts to educate people about the terrible mental and physical suffering endured by backyard dogs—as well as the dangers posed by cruel humans and occasionally other animals—almost always make an impact. Occasionally, the owners agree to bring the dogs inside. Other times, they shrug and hand us the leash.

In this case, our fieldworker was canvassing a North Carolina neighborhood and signing up needy dogs for PETA’s spay-and-neuter and doghouse programs when she spotted Dollar’s head poking out of his ramshackle “fence.” It was a dangerous barricade that possibly could have collapsed and crushed him. Dollar’s guardian refused to bring Dollar inside or to let us take him.

Dollar’s owner did agree, however, to let us neuter him and to clear the cinder blocks from around his doghouse.


Dollar after


There is no doubt that Dollar’s life is better than it was. He’s no longer forced to eat and sleep in that feces-littered cinder-block prison that was about to cave in on him. He’s also scheduled to receive a in the coming days. But there’s also no doubt that Dollar’s life, like that of so many other backyard dogs, could still be so much better.

Backyard dogs spend every moment of their lives yearning for a family who loves them and keeps them indoors where it’s warm and dry—and you can help them by taking action. If your neighbors keep backyard dogs, talk to them and educate them about the animals’ social, physical, and mental needs. Investigate chaining laws and shelter requirements in your area, and work with legislators to strengthen the laws. Our information about anti-chaining ordinances can help.

Fall is here, and winter is right around the corner. Make a decision to be a person who refuses to give backyard dogs the cold shoulder.

Written by Karin Bennett

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  • Adrna says:

    I would love an update on Dollar. His story and photos have stayed with me for a long time. I wonder how is is doing right now (April 2012). Hope he is free from his chain!

  • carla says:

    People who do this and worse to Dogs and other animals should be punished. This owner does not deserve to have a dog! Why the hell are the laws not there to protect animals from these vicious humans who have no regard for an animal It makes me soooooo damn mad!!!!!!

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    I am just about blue in the face from talking to my own cousins about how dogs need to be part of the family and not left to rot outside. One cousin has both a dachshund and a miniature Australian Shepard both normally friendly breeds who both go into defensive attacking frenzy every time my husband and I visit because they are not accustomed to human company. I usually make friends by bringing dog treats and giving them out when I go in the yard and they quickly relearn that something good is going to happen every time they see me and calm down. My cousin says they are outside because she does not have the time to housebreak them. I tell her if that is the case she does not need to have the dogs find them a new home including mine. So far she refuses to do anything. Now to cousin number two and the pit bull mix they recently acquired to watch their house while they are working which is all day. Another backyard dog still friendly but he’s young yet. Again not allowed in the house because his claws will scar the parquet floor. I am not a perfect housekeeper but the floor could not look much worse as her two children ages 5 and 3 have already left their mark on it. My advice was to cover the floor and let the dog in or find the dog a new home and install a security system. Clipping his nails would not hurt either and will save all who come in contact with him a few bloody scratches. I swear I am past talking and I am just about to do a drastic thing call the humane society with a formal complaint on both of them.

  • Elphaba says:

    That’s very sweet of you Scott but I bet there are dogs like Dollar in your own neighborhood. Could you maybe direct those great intentions to helping a few of themthey need you just as much as Dollar needs the folks helping him.

  • Kai says:

    our neighbor once had a dog…and whenever they leave they would always leave the dog without water and food outside where its hot. so we would always try to give him water and food. but one day i found out from my siblings that the dog was gone…it made me so sad to think that i actually didn’t get to save the dog from the cruelty of its owners.

  • scott says:

    if someone knows the owner of this dog I will pay very well for his release please email me with details.

  • scott says:

    Jesus Christ! What is wrong with people? I am writing this while I am lying in bed with my dog sleeping beside me and can not understand why the world is so cruel. Thanks Peta for all you do to help the poor animals of the world.

  • Robin says:

    Its sad how people treat their pets..

  • NT says:

    Someone should get that dog away from that hell whole in the middle of the night.