Rain, Shine, or Pandemic, PETA’s 2020 Rescue Efforts Were Stronger Than Ever

Published by Elena Waldman.

In 2020, PETA proved once again that nothing can get in the way of our animal rescue efforts. With the help of our generous members and supporters, we continued our hard work through the pandemic to rescue animals from neglect and abuse—from individuals suffering in decrepit enclosures in roadside zoos to companion animals left outside 24/7 in heavy chains and tight collars.

Dillan the Bear

Dillan the bear was rescued and transferred to an accredited sanctuary after a vigorous PETA campaign. Before he was moved to The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado, he was confined to a cramped cage at the Union County Sportsmen’s Club in Pennsylvania, where he suffered from painful, untreated dental disease. The roadside zoo denied him mental stimulation, proper veterinary care, and exercise, causing him to become severely stressed and morbidly obese. Now, he has all the space he needs to stretch, walk, and roll around in the grass.

Nala, Leo, and Amelia

PETA won a court order to rescue three juvenile lion siblings—Nala, Leo, and Amelia—from Tiger King exploiter Jeff Lowe and his now-defunct Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma. When PETA rescued the animals, Nala was so lame that she could barely take a few steps without falling over. All the big cats were suffering from vitamin deficiencies and other effects of improper care. They’re now getting the expert veterinary care they need, and once they’re fully recovered, they’ll have acres of land to explore.

Luna and Remington

Dade City’s Wild Things in Florida used tigers Luna and Remington as photo props, forced them into public encounters, and used them in its cruel “swim with a tiger” program. As a result of a PETA lawsuit, they were transferred to a true wildlife sanctuary, Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas, where they now have the opportunity to climb, run, and swim when they choose to.

These are just some of the animals PETA’s Captive Animal Law Enforcement team helped rescue in the last year. You can help us win even more heartwarming victories by taking action for animals in roadside zoos.

Take Action to Help Animals in Roadside Zoos

Our fieldworkers also put the pedal to the metal in 2020, offering sturdy doghouses, insulating straw bedding, flea and tick medication, food, toys, affection, clean water buckets, and comfortable collars to dogs—as well as counseling to families with animal companions—all over Virginia and North Carolina. These services got thousands of animals out of harm’s way so that they wouldn’t have to battle the elements without protection. Our fieldworkers also transferred animals to high-traffic shelters where they had the best chance at adoption, and we adopted out more than 900 animals into fully vetted, loving homes. They were finally able to live comfortably indoors, where they’d always belonged.

Mingo

PETA fieldworkers fell in love with sweet Mingo, a senior golden retriever mix who was kept in a small chain-link pen 24/7. They visited her regularly for seven years, bringing her a doghouse, toys, treats, straw bedding, and fresh water. They also walked her and gave her some much-needed affection. When Mingo’s health began to decline, her owner finally gave her to a persistent fieldworker, who then became her permanent caretaker. It took no time for Mingo to make herself at home!

Mikey

After many hours of persistence and contortionism, PETA’s fieldworkers finally recovered Mikey from deep down a drainage pipe. The kitten was filthy, exhausted, and ravenous. He’s now safe and happy in a new home, where he’s loved and kept strictly indoors and out of harm’s way.

Bea the Mini Horse

Thanks to a call from a concerned neighbor, fieldworkers found a mini horse named Bea kept all alone in a sewage-filled field and suffering from painfully overgrown hooves. Her elderly and impoverished owner wanted what was best for her and let PETA take her in. We provided Bea with vital veterinary care and placed her in a wonderful home with tons of open space and a new friend—another PETA-rescued mini horse named Toby. They are inseparable!

If you’d like to get a more in-depth look at PETA’s fieldworkers and the animals we help, watch the 2020 documentary Breaking the Chain, which highlights the important work that our fieldworkers do every day.

Watch ‘Breaking the Chain’

Here are some of our other favorite rescue stories from 2020:

For every uplifting story we’ve highlighted, there are countless animals who were spared being used for experimentation, food, and fashion. If you want to see even more happy endings for animals in 2021, please support our rescue efforts with a generous donation.

Donate Now to Defend Animals

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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