Ride Along With PETA’s Field Team! We’ll Show You How to Help ‘Backyard Dogs’ in Your Community

Whether you’re an animal control officer, animal shelter staffer, or a lone good Samaritan, if you’re keen to improve the lives of vulnerable animal companions in your local community, this video from PETA’s field team is a must-see.

Watch the video above to join PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch and Community Animal Project Field Operations Associate Director Jes Cochran on a ride-along as they cover the basics, like what to wear and take with you in the field. These seasoned fieldworkers also cover important actions to take, including assessing a dog from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail, approaching a “backyard dog” for the first time, and preparing to alert local law enforcement to a possible cruelty case.

In southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina, PETA’s fieldworkers often collaborate with local shelters, animal control agencies, and other law-enforcement officials to improve the lives of mistreated and abandoned animals in the region. This hands-on approach has enabled PETA to rescue many dogs, cats, and other animals from heartbreaking neglect and cruelty. With this new video, we’re taking our vital mission nationwide—together, we can reach even more animals in desperate need of aid.

Helping “backyard dogs” in your local community starts with PETA, but it ends with you. Here’s what to do after you’ve watched the video above:

If You’re an Animal Control Officer, Shelter Staffer, or Other Law-Enforcement Agent

As an animal control officer or animal shelter worker, you can make a world of difference for the dogs you visit and serve. Your actions may sometimes even make the difference between life and death. But in order to help animals in need properly, you need the right tools, which is why we included this “how to” video in our 2021 animal rights conference—and it’s why we’re making it available for free online. We’d also love to know whether you found the ride-along helpful and how you currently (or plan to) implement Daphna and Jes’ tips in your professional life. Click the link below to fill out a brief survey that’ll help us keep helping you:

Watch the Video Above, Then Tell Us What You Think

If You’re a Good Samaritan

Have you ever been concerned that a neighborhood dog looked too thin or noticed that their water bowl is always empty? Or perhaps you have reason to suspect that someone is neglecting an animal. Helping dogs like this is important and doable—and after watching PETA’s video, you know that taking careful notes and photos is vital, as is reporting emergency situations to local authorities and following up with them afterward. Learn more about reporting cruelty to animals here.

You may encounter an animal control or other agency that isn’t eager to do its job. In these situations, take a page from our fieldworkers’ book: Make it your job to provide them with all your documentation—all the information that they need—and hold them accountable. Click the button below to forward PETA’s “how to” video to your local animal services agency—then encourage the staff to watch it and follow up with them to confirm that they filled out the survey above. Please copy and paste the links below into your e-mail to your local agency so that all they’ll have to do is click.

To find the correct e-mail address, google your city or county and state as well as the search term “animal control” to find your local agency’s website. Then search for a “Contact Us” or similar page—sometimes you can find this information by scrolling all the way to the bottom. If you’re unable to find an e-mail address, try calling the agency and asking it to provide one.

Inspire Your Local Agency to Do More for ‘Backyard Dogs’

As a local resident and good Samaritan, you can also work to change and improve local regulations that affect dogs, including tethering ordinances. It should be illegal to keep dogs tethered or penned outdoors. PETA can help you pass legislation like we’ve passed in the cities surrounding our U.S. headquarters—the Sam Simon Center in Norfolk, Virginia—and in the state of Virginia itself, where tethering in certain weather conditions is now restricted. Unattended tethering is even banned in some towns and cities. Click here to review how you can do the same, and click the link below to learn more about “breaking the chain” with a tethering ordinance:

Help End Chaining in Your Community

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind