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H.R. Goes to the Dogs

Written by PETA | May 14, 2010

One of the best things about working for the PETA Foundation is the knowledge that we are helping make a difference in the lives of animals every day. Even those of us in support roles (such as Finance and Human Resources departments) have the option to get out of the office and spend a day with PETA’s amazing Community Animal Project fieldworkers.

On April 15, I did just that. I traded my heels for work boots, and I took a day off from helping humans so that I could make a huge difference in the lives of some very special dogs in our community.

The experience was as heartbreaking as it was rewarding. These beautiful dogs exist in backyards, exiled from the families they long to love, with little food or water, chained to whatever will hold them. They are kept among the trash, in blocked-off areas only few square feet in area. Sometimes we could barely tell that there were animals in the yards.


A yard littered with “things.” These “things” included two cats and two dogs.
Vicki Carey


At each house we visited, we got right to work. We untangled and replaced heavy chains with lighter tie-outs so that the dogs could have room to move. We relocated doghouses to shadier spots, and we moved crap (both figurative and literal) out of the way so that the dogs would have a cleaner, drier place to lie down.

We were so lucky to come across Fluffy, whose area was so full of feces that it reached the top of his food bowl! I could barely stand the stench for 15 minutes—I can’t imagine how he could spend his whole life among it. After a lot of hard work, we were able to move his PETA doghouse under a tree, secure his water bucket, and finally give him some fresh air to breathe.

With that, we were on to the next house. At this house I met an angel. She doesn’t have a name and simply exists in a backyard, tied to a tree—and I’m unable to get her out of my head. My mission was to clean her filthy water bowl, but it was clear that what she really wanted was my attention. She could barely contain her excitement. She continually jumped up and down, wiggling her whole body, so happy to have someone notice her. If I tried to leave, she would jump up, grab my legs, and look into my eyes. This girl was starving … for affection.


Vicki Carey


At the end of the day, I’m not sure which was harder: Seeing the way these animals were forced to live or having to walk away.

If you’re inspired by these stories, there are so many ways that you can help. First, you should have your animal companions spayed or neutered so that fewer dogs and cats end up in situations like these. You can volunteer in your community to help backyard dogs or to educate your neighbors about the importance of spaying and neutering. You can also take a moment to donate to PETA’s Investigations and Rescue Fund, which supports PETA’s outreach efforts.

Written by Vicki Carey, PETA Foundation Director of Human Resources

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  • EEE says:

    Jane perhaps you don’t understand that the court system laws police and even some veterinarians STOP people from giving aid to suffering animals? You and the rest of us need to change the laws!!!!

  • Shawna Flavell says:

    Jane Please see my comment to Lindsey and Courtney Mcelwee posted on May 14 at 455 for the reasons that we can’t take each dog away to a better place no matter how much we’d love to.

  • Jane says:

    Spaying and neutering is a requirement to help prevent future incidents like these from happening. BUT I think PETA should be confiscating these chained animals in abusive environments INSTEAD of this temporary fix. These owners ARE NOT GOING TO CHANGE! The new water bowls and fresh water PETA provides and the nylon rope these animal abusers will let dry up and mold over AGAIN just as the nylon rope gets hopelessly tangled around the tree. REMOVE THESE ANIMALS AS YOU CAN SEE AND HAVE PROOF THEY ARE BARELY SURVIVING IN ABUSIVE ENVIRONMENTS! I would rather see an abused pet go to loving owners or even be sedated and held and cuddled until they are super drowsy and then gently euthanasized by a LICENSED VETERINARIAN then continue to be ABUSED. REMOVE THEM PETA THE OWNERS ARE BREAKING THE LAW! The animals don’t need a band aid when they are bleeding to death! Thank You.

  • Missy Lane says:

    Vicki! I’m so proud of you and love you so much! Yay VC CAP!! Woot Woot!

  • Samantha says:

    Go Vicki!!

  • Savannah Stone says:

    Not everyone has the right to share their life with something as wonderful as a dog! This is clear! A dog if is not a posession! These people should be fined!

  • mary says:

    These story is amazing and heart breaking at the same time. thank you for all that you did to make those lives better. i can believe some people can neglect an animal like that. i want to do something like this one day. keep doing what your doing.

  • Lilian Pesce says:

    Our pets give a lot of unconditional love and it seems that this attention they give us besides being a comfort it help us to improve our health not only they must have our respect we should reciprocate the inmense love they give us and that will make us better quality human beings

  • Rayla says:

    Shawna will that owner consider selling that black Lab? Would she understand that the dog is begging for love and that someone will provide that love? I’d even buy her an alarm system too if she feels she needs that so she will sell the dog to someone with love for that dog. Perhaps she is a Christian and may remember that Jesus was the good Shepherd who preached kindness.

  • Janet says:

    Animals and humans were meant to live together in harmony but humans being the destructive ego filled creatures we are believethat we are superior to other creatures. We Do Need Federal laws to protect all creatures. State laws don’t work for all states. The state of Missouri and Kansas is very laxed and I have seen in Miami county Kansas where they found 20 dead horses piled on top of one another. these people still have horses and some of the remains of the dead horses are still there. It’s been on the news and they still have animals. Nothing was done to them! WE NEED FEDERAL LAWS!!

  • Shawna Flavell says:

    Lindsey and courtney mcelwee Please know that if we had the authority we would take away every single dog left outside and that we do remove as many as we are allowed to by the owners. We have rescued a great many dogs in this way from life at the end of a chain. However many of the dogs that we help live in behindthetimes placeseconomically depressed areas that are illequipped to respond and enforce the few laws that exist. In many of these jurisdictionssuch as northeastern North Carolinathere are no animal control agencies or humane officers to respond to calls like these. We have been working for years to bolster and assist the animal control agencies in the area and we are making progressbut we have a long way to go. In these areas if we are not extremely patient and polite to the dogs ownerswho often dont believe or understand that dogs need the bare minimum i.e. food water shelter a place to escape the beating sun or pouring rain and respite from biting fleas ticks chiggers mosquitoes flies and other tormenterswe run the risk that owners will refuse to let us help their animals at all.

  • Patty says:

    Thank you all for what you do for the animals. When will humans even begin to understand the animals they “own”? There needs to be some kind of education process that people go through before they are allowed to become pet owners. Much suffering could be avoided. I feel so sorry for the animals they ignore.

  • Rayla says:

    Nathan Winograd of this No Kill madness flat out says it is ok and good to treat dogs like this Lab to let dogs die outside on chains 247. He says that is a good thing. When he got involved with the breeders he forgot all about humane treatment of animals.

  • Rayla says:

    The frustrating thing for me is that No Kill is participating in this handing out beautiful dogs like that Lab to give to people to chain up and let die in a yard so No Kill can pretend animals are finding happy homes and get donations based on falsehood. No Kill is one of the biggest fakes going. They are killing animals animals like this Lab in bad ways.

  • Rayla says:

    WE NEED LAWS! Without antichaining laws it is ok for bad people to let dogs rot and die outside 247 More and more communities are passing antichaining laws that limit chaining. Get together with your friends and neighbors and get laws passed in your community The dog fighters and puppy mill breeders and the AKC that supports puppy mills may oppose you but these laws ARE getting passed! By the way dogs chained outside 247 are DISEASE VECTORS! They attract potentially rabid wildlfe spread heartworm and parasites spread tick borne diseases. Chaining dogs outside 247 is dangerous for EVERYBODY in the community Chained dog in your town? REPORT THE ABUSE!! TAKE VIDEO AND POST IT ON FACEBOOK AND ANYWHERE ELSE! ASK FOR HELP!

  • Lindsey says:

    Thank you so much for all that you do! I am so terribly sad that you had to walk away and that they won’t have you to count on only those who put them in that situation in the first place. Were things not bad enough to put an end to it? Why weren’t the animals removed and rehomed? Is this not abuse or neglect? Just curious seems that would have been a much better goal than just cleaning the water bowl right?! ‘ What was the reason for just helping them momentarily and not in the long run? I have to ask as I completely support everything PETA stands for and this seems different. I have animal companions who are all neutered and have regular vet care I as well devote a lot of my time to volunteering at a rescue stable local cat shelter and we are a dedicated foster dog family on top of being advocates for children! Please help me clarify why this didn’t go any further and I would feel much better thanks! PETA Love

  • Christine says:

    Unfortunately I know quite a few people who think a dog is just some ‘thing’ to tie in the backyard for protection. I can’t seem to make them understand how much a dog wants to be WITH its people. Thank you for what you do.

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    I regularly watch a T.V. show called “Pickers.” I also call it “The Antiques Roadshow From Hell.” In the show two men drive the backroads of America looking for yards just like the ones the lady in the first photo is standing in. They ask the owners if they can go in and look around and if they find anything valuable and unbelievebly they do they offer the owner a price for it. I can’t help noticing the number of animals running out from under the piles of bicycle frames rusty jalopies that have been in the yard on blocks since the 1950’s or the many animal hoarders that end up on the show. They sometimes even refer the pickers to their neighbors up the street who have even more junk than they do!! PETA should watch the show try to find out where the animal hoarders are a good part of the show is taped in and around Virginia and make life a little easier for the animals. The people seem just fine with the way they live most of them seem to be lifelong bachleors.

  • Mandy says:

    Sorry I don’t agree that spaying or neutering would end a situation like this. The dogs are obviously yard ornaments or kept there to scare people off. Where was animal control? These dogs should be taken away from these people given the chance to have a better home!

  • courtney mcelwee says:

    What a heartwarming and heartbreaking story. Im so glad their are loving people like you to look after these animals..such a small things can make a huge difference. I am curious though in these situationswhat qualifies as grounds to remove an animal? For example the dog that was living in its own feces?

  • Rebekkah says:

    I think this really awesome helping dogs that are being tied in their back yard and forgotten mostly. I have 1 dog and 4 cats and they all have been spayed and nutured. plus i do my part by volnteer at my local animal shelter and i send donations to help with animals in the shelter.

  • Mario says:

    Thanks Vicki for this great work. The dog sounds better then it’s “owner” actually. I can’t believe that there are such peoples around. They should be supervised before given the right to have a pet.



  • Kim DiMarco says:

    It is amazing the work you do to make this world a better place. All creatures on earth are connected please keep up the great work!

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