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No More Torment for Tripp

Written by PETA | September 18, 2009

The following is a guest post from PETA fieldworker Misty Collins.

This is the story of my friend Tripp. A sweet, gentle golden retriever, Tripp was easy to love, yet he spent most of his life feeling lonely, lacking the affection that he so desperately needed.

Banished to a junk-filled backyard, Tripp spent every moment of every day outside. At the age of 16, he had endured a lifetime of bitter winters and scorching summers. By the time we discovered him during one of our routine straw deliveries, years of lying on frozen ground had taken their toll, and he was stiff and arthritic. He was going deaf and blind, and his frail body was riddled with softball-sized tumors. His owners refused to relinquish him, so I returned again and again to check on him and give him clean bedding, treats, and, most importantly, the love and companionship that he so desperately desired.

Just a few weeks ago, I made my final visit to see Tripp. When I arrived, he was nowhere to be found. Trudging though the junk-filled yard, I climbed over scraps of splintering wood, rusty nails, jagged pieces of metal, and other dangerous debris. Following a trail of swarming flies and puddles of diarrhea, I found Tripp behind the garage—curled up and unresponsive.


Lying in garbage, Tripp’s tumors bulged on his emaciated frame.


He went back there to be alone and die. Dogs do that. Can you imaging being deaf, blind, and covered in cancerous tumors and spending your last days in a trash pile surrounded by flies waiting for you to die? In tears, I begged his owners to let me take him and give him a dignified death. They finally relented, and I gently shook the old boy awake and helped him into my truck.

Back at PETA headquarters, I was determined to help my friend live the last day of his life as he should have been allowed to live every single day of his life—rolling in the fresh grass and receiving lots of love, attention, and belly rubs.


Tripp’s last day


Barely able to stand, he ate his last meal. Later, I held him and stroked him gently as he quietly passed away. I was honored to be with him during his last moments in a world that had never loved him. And though he spent most of his life thrown away and forgotten in that miserable backyard, I will never forget Tripp as long as I live.

Written by Misty Collins

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  • Dietmar says:

    It’s very sad and almost unbearable to read how some people treat their dogs. My own labbie had to be released from his tumors two years ago. So thanks and be blessed for what you’ve done for Tripp.

  • Kelsey says:

    I’m so glad that Tripp is no longer suffering and will never again feel any pain sadness or loneliness. Thank you to Misty and to all of PETA for all of the courageous and kind work that you do!

  • Chris says:

    This story has been really bothering me. This poor dog lived 16 lonely years on this planet. How many nights did he shiver himself to sleep? How did he pass the hours? What did he think? He never had any affection. Left to live in a filthy garbage dump. He knew his time on this planet was coming to an end so he goes behind the garage to die alone. I cannot think of anything more sad. Imagine when he was a puppy so young and full of life. How little he knows his life will be miserable and lonely.

  • G. DeMaria says:

    I cried so hard when I read this story that my own dog came up on the couch to lick my tears away! All the more reason why I can’t understand how any human being could treat such a loving beautiful creature so disgustingly! Heartless doesn’t even begin to describe the monsters that were Tripp’s owners!As far as I’m concerned people who treat unconditional loving souls like Tripp are a waste of space on this earth! I wish that stiffer laws would be implemented for the creeps who do this! Pets should not be considered possessions! They are a precious life with which comes a huge responsibility! Having a wonderful pet in your life is a privilege and those who take that for granted are not worthy of the unconditional love that an animal companion provides! Where were the police or the neighbors in all this?!!! Poor Tripp should have been spared this horrid existence years ago!! Thank You Misty for caring and for showing Tripp the “other side” of the human fence in his final hour! For all the dogs that are still living the same fate as Tripp let’s keep raising awareness that it is NOT alright to abuse mistreat or neglect an innocent being! RIP Tripp! May the rest of your eternity be filled with all the joy and love a dog could want! Bless you sweet Tripp!

  • Kim willard says:

    How could you not gotten him from the owners as he was being abused? In what state do we need to work on so this won’t happen again? This is heartbreaking!

  • Katie says:

    Thats so sad.

  • melody paderna says:

    some people think that dogs are just an animal. they just don’t know how loving and affectionate dog can be.. while i was reading this i was in tears.. i remember my dog she just passed away last sept.13..

  • NT says:

    There has to be a way to hold these people accountable for this. Are there no laws against such treatment of animals?

  • Tara says:

    The tears just rolled as I read this thank you for bringing love into his life before he left this sometimes cruel world people like you inspire me to move from my current position into animal rescue work

  • kavitha says:

    Why was the humane society not called to rescue this animal? There are laws against this type thing! I can not understand why someone would keep a dog and treat it so poorly! Makes me so sad and mad.

  • Chris says:

    I was crying as I read this story. I’m so glad that he’s now in a better place. I hope his owners have a slowly painful and lonely death so that the can suffer the same things that Tripp did. Evil Evil people

  • Edward says:

    What I don’t understand is why the author didn’t take the dog immediately after seeing his living conditions.

  • Missy Lane says:

    Misy Collins you’re my hero! I can hardly express how thrilled I am that you shared this story. Your department is what gives me so much pride in working for PETA. If more people only knew the what you all endure for the sake of animals you’d never have to hunt down volunteers again! I wish y’all had your own show! In the mean time I’ll hope for more blogs giving you the props you deserve! RIP Tripp bless your caring heart Misty 3

  • Carolina says:

    Oh my god! God bless you!!!!

  • Linda Seely says:

    Mitsy Poor Tripp had a horrible life. Without you he would have died a terrible and lonely death. Only God knows how sad I feel from reading about and seeing the pictures of Tripp. Thank you so much for rescuing and doing all you could to help Tripp in his final days. God will bless you many times for helping his little creatures on this earth. The owners should be prosocuted for treating precious Tripp so inhumanely and they deserve to be treated as badly as they treated Tripp. Thank you for doing all you can to help all animals and thanks to PETA for having such a great person such as you to get out and do all you can to help the animals. May God continue to bless you and all the other employees at PETA. Linda Seely

  • ava says:

    That made me cry why is it not illegal to leave your dog outside? his oners disgsut me a total disgrace. Thank god you got to him in time to show him some love on his last day which is what he so desperatly deserved. You meant the world to him on his last day. Its nice he had compansionship. Isnt not providing veterinary care illegal?.

  • Raquel says:

    I can’t stop crying! This story just breaks my heart. I don’t think I will ever understand peoplewhy would they discard such a beautiful being? I am saddened by Tripp’s life but I am realieved by his deathhe suffered so much. Thank you Misty for showing him love during his last moments.

  • Ana says:

    I was heartbroken when I read this story. Why in the world couldn’t this animal be taken away from it’s cruel owners? Dogs are such loving loyal beings they will even sufferjust about anything to remain devoted to their owners. Tripp’s owners should be chained outside for a while so they can experience and understand the horror they put their dog through. I wish you could have done more to give Tripp a good life but thank you for trying so hard.

  • katie says:

    This left me speechless.. why own a dog if you’re gonna let it suffer! Rest in peace Tripp…

  • Tasha says:

    This story made me so sad.My dogs are so so lucky.

  • Sorav Jain says:

    Great you cared for him God bless you mate. Love you for this.

  • candice merabak says:

    i think every dog should have the right to pee on a rughave at least 1 swim in their life be allowed to roll in something dead and stinky and sleep on a couch.

  • natasha says:

    As a vet tech I have kennel duty every other weekend and I’ll never forget this one dog that was a chocolate lab at least 11 years old and his name was Onyx. His owners left for vacation WHILE HE WAS DYING and left him at our office. I spent more hours than I was allowed there after hours just sitting with him making sure he knew that someone was with him while he was in an unknown place without his owners. It was so hearbreaking just to see him slowly go away but to have him look at me and to see that he knew he wasn’t alone meant so much for me. His owners showed up on there scheduled arrival date not a day early not a bit concerned. Just wanted to pay the bill and apologize for the inconvenience…. I’m crying while typing this but I just don’t understand people sometimes….

  • Kristi says:

    God bless you for giving such a wonderfully beautiful dog the best moments of his life. We need more people like you in this world. I can’t even imagine what would possess an owner to be so cruel to such a beautiful creature… Much love to you Misty.

  • JIll says:

    I can’t stop crying! Why would they do this to him I am so sad! years of this? Why?!?!! Thank you for helping him! I am at the point of hating people in general! I just feel so beat down. I try tohelp the animals but people are so apathetic. It’s just disheartening!

  • Sandra Newell says:

    Thank you Misty from the bottom of my heart

  • susan says:

    I couldn’t have said it better Carlos! Tripp now romps over the Rainbow Bridge!

  • Niranjan says:

    I was in tears! Love you PETA! 3 I’m happy that Tripp died in arms who loved him . . .

  • Brien Comerford says:

    The crimes against this dog are tantamount to torturing a human to death. The human race is a disgrace to God !

  • Shari says:

    I don’t know what to say. I am so upset. Poor doggy this should never have happen to him the police should never let this dog suffer for so long. Thank you for letting him feel what love is for at least one day in his life. Misty I believe he will be in heaven when it’s your day to pass waiting for you with his tail waging waiting to show you all the other animals that are there who know what a hero you are for helping all the animals down here on earth. You go girl keep fighting for these animals your love for them is touching them and all of us.

  • Brandon says:

    thank you so much for giving that dog the affection he deserved. He was able to know a loving caring human before he died

  • Jeanie Brown says:

    I cannot express the anger surging through my body at this moment I’m so angry I have tears running down my face and I’m not a crier! These people should be thrown away in the middle of a war torn desert to live in fear and without love and that would be kind…I can think of far more dasteredly ways to vent my anger. That poor sweet dog…someone once said “the average dog is a nicer person than the average person” and “you can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals” I cannot agree more! I whole heartedly believe in Karma and whoever these bastard people are have whole heaping helping of Karma coming their way. As for Tripp he’s walking the Rainbow Bridge and is loved beyond imagine. And you you have a lot good beautiful Karma coming your way thanks for being so caring there are few people like you in this world.

  • emma says:

    I echo carlos’s comment im mad as hell that someone could do this to a beautiful dog I too have tears rolling down my face reading this i think u have to have a heart made of stone to not be affected in some way with this story Im remembering my dog bonnie who i had for 12 years and who was very loved and very spoilt she was fit and well for many years but she suffered a stroke and i had no choice to put her to sleep she had 20 chance of pulling through and was in pain so we made the right choice for her and let her go it broke my heart but i knew it was the only thing i could do for her These people DID have a choice with this dogs life and they left him to die a horrible lonely death thank god there was someone there to give this dog the last bit of love before he went. It winds me up how people could do this and not care i would give anything to have just one more day with bonnie.

  • Sue says:

    I am sooooo sad to read about Tripp. As I am writing this I am crying as if my own dog had passed. It’s aweful that Tripp lived like this for most of his life and it makes me SO MAD!!! We all have to realize that there are so many dogs out there that are living in these kinds of conditions. We must support PETA and all the other non profit animal rescue organizations. Every dog and animal in this world should be spoiled and living happy every day of their lives. I’m really glad that Misty was able to give him the love he so deserved before his final day. Thank you Misty and PETA for all that you do. RIP Tripp. Hope you are in heaven playing with the angels. I’ll never forget this story. xoxo

  • Yuri says:

    you know what Carlos I feel exactly the same way.I just want all of this to end and for all people who mistreat animals to die painfully.

  • Yuri says:

    I couldn’t help breaking into tears as I was reading this story. I can’t imagine anything more painful then living a life like this. How can these people be so uncompasisonate to their companions pain and leave him to die on his own. This people should be punished for allowing this poor dog to live in this conditions.

  • Azdle says:

    WOW there are two reasons for saying that. One is how can someone due this to an animal even though I see it all the time on Animal Cops and the second is how much one person can make an animal feel good look at his face its peacefull. He looks like he would say “Thank you for this last beutifull thing you have given me”.

  • Ali says:

    I can’t understand how these people could get away with this. How was poor Tripp not taken away from these terrible people? This story made me cry a lot but also just made me feel disgusted at how cruel and uncaring some people can be.

  • Carlos says:

    Words can’t describe how I feel right now…but if I had to choose it would be saddened heartbroken ANGRY! and at the same time happy that Tripp is FINALLY in a place BETTER THAN THIS PIECE OF SHT World where there are HUMAN TRASH like those who kept him like that! I can only HOPE PRAY every single day that his owners DIE SUFFERING! Even jail is not enough for them!!! Agghhh!!! Makes me MAD!!….SO MAD that tears are rolling down my face!…A 27 year old GUY…YES I’M MAD!! I WOULD LOVE to THANK YOU MISTY PETA for making Tripps life just that much better! I am happy he got to see how REAL PEOPLE with FEELING can be and that was his last memory! R.I.P TRIPP!! Go on and play with your heaven friends eat all the snacks you want roll around and keep running around buddy!

  • Sarah says:

    to tripp’s heartless exowner i hope you feel like garbage because you are. God bless you Misty.. i’m happy for tripp finally resting in peace..

  • Vicki Robertson says:

    God Bless.

  • Mitchell says:

    that is awful. what kind of owners would do such a horid thing? Thank you for taking care of him as soon as you found out about him. YOU did the right thing.

  • alex says:

    What a horrific life for this dog to have suffered through. Misty thanks for sharing this story.

  • Alicia says:

    I am glad they finally got him but why the heck did it take so long? I read that the owners wouldn’t relinquish him but could they have gotton the police involved or SOMEONE. Or heck go one day take the dog and leave the gate open. The obviously didn’t care for the animal and probably would have just thought it ran away. Or maybe call the citycounty if the property is THAT bad it could be a “hazard” condemend something.

  • lori rockefeller says:

    What kind of people treat loving companions like that? His owners deserve to be locked up in the trash that they are!! Poor dog…

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    I just saw an ad for a new reality show coming on t.v. yes I still hate reality shows but I think I may like this one. Rescue Ink is about a group of bikers who have started their own animal rescue organization. The promo looks good…they are pulled up in front of a house one of them drives a car or truck to transport the animals banging on the door. One of them explains “We don’t leave notes.” It shows them swarming a back yard such as the one described above taking the dogs out and loading them into the vechicle. One biker explains “We are not your normal rescue organization.” I think I’ll give this one a shot and see if it’s any good.

  • Dave says:

    WE CAN STOP THIS! WE all need to call write email our state legislators and DEMAND antichaining laws so that dogs can’t be chained outside 247 Some states towns and counties already have these laws. We have only ourselves to blame if we don’t DEMAND that OUR legislators pass these laws The breeders and dog fighters want to be able to do this to dogs but if more of us make the effort to contact state legislators these deaths and suffering will stop

  • samantha says:

    I cannot even think of appropriate words right now. Sleep with the angels darling Tripp you beautiful fur baby. Bless you Misty bless all of you at PETA.

  • Simara says:

    heartbreaking. what a beautiful dog. thank you for caring

  • Shallu says:

    I couldn’t help but cry reading this! How can anyone do that to an innocent speechless being!!! Why do these people keep pets if they can’t take care of them? Wouldn’t PETA do anything against these people who inflicted such cruelty?