It Takes a Village: N.J. Residents Pull Together to Save Dog

Published by Michelle Kretzer.

For a dog, being forced to spend every night alone in the dark, locked inside a grimy auto-repair shop, would be bad enough. But Coco’s situation was far worse. The tiny poodle was also almost constantly confined to a crate that was so full of dust, dirt, and feces that anyone looking at her would think that her fur was gray or brown—even though it had once been white.

When two patrons of the New Jersey garage spotted Coco on a frigid winter day, the shop was so cold that the water in her bowl had frozen solid. They asked for permission to give her a bath and fresh water and to take her for a walk. The owner agreed, and Coco relished every second of her freedom, sniffing everything in sight, playing with other dogs, and bounding about. The pair begged her owner to surrender her, but he refused, claiming that the crated, 15-pound dog “guarded” his shop

Undeterred, one of Coco’s advocates contacted PETA. The owner wasn’t willing to cooperate with us, either, so we tried a different tactic. We recruited several PETA supporters in the area to drop by the shop to check on Coco and suggest to her owner that she would be happier in a home. We also alerted the local police department, and officers helped by stopping by and talking to Coco’s owner about her situation and whether it met legal standards.

Soon, tired of people “bothering” him, the owner turned Coco over to the police. Now she has a loving home, and her filthy crate is a distant memory.

Would you like to help dogs like Coco? Join PETA’s Action Team to volunteer to assist animals in your area.

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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