With PETA’s Fieldworkers, Every ‘Princess’ Gets the Royal Treatment

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7 min read

There’s no working from home for our field team and volunteers. They’re out every day, in all weather conditions, making sure that dogs like Princess (below)—who are kept penned or chained (and sometimes both) outdoors 24/7—have food, water, shelter, and insulating straw bedding during the winter.

PETA Fieldworker and Princess the dog smiling
We can’t tell whose grin is bigger—Princess’ or our fieldworker’s. It’s smiles like this dog’s that help PETA’s field team live in hope as they respond to cases and calls for help around the clock.]

Get to know a few of the thousands of animals PETA helped during the first quarter of 2021:

One spay/neuter procedure at a time, PETA is curbing the homeless-animal crisis.

The veterinary staff of PETA’s mobile spay/neuter clinics sterilized Nina, who was suffering from pyometra, a potentially fatal uterine infection. We performed the surgery—which would cost up to $1,500 at a private veterinary clinic (and significantly more on an emergency basis)—free of charge for Nina’s grateful guardians. PETA performs many sterilization surgeries and other services at no charge to help indigent families.

Batman, Pebbles, Cupcake, Bandit, and Max were among the 165 animals we transported free of charge to and from their no-cost spay/neuter appointments.


The proof is in the kisses! PETA’s free services empower guardians to keep their beloved animal companions happy and healthy.

Left to right are Bandit, Cupcake, and Max.
PETA mobile clinic
Five of our mobile clinic staffers also traveled nearly three hours from our headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia, to an underserved rural community for a “spay-a-thon” in collaboration with the Lake Country SPCA of Clarksville, Virginia, where we sterilized 105 animals in just two days.

Many of the animals PETA takes into our shelter are elderly, feral, sick, suffering, dying, aggressive, or otherwise unadoptable. We transfer the adoptable animals we don’t place ourselves to high-traffic, open-admission shelters for a chance at finding a new life.

Take Snowball, for instance: After many visits and much persistence, her owner agreed to surrender the young dog, who was kept on a chain. We transferred her to the Norfolk SPCA, where she was quickly adopted.

Snowball, before and after PETA
Snowball before, chained to a tree with only an inadequate plastic doghouse for shelter. Snowball after, getting some much-deserved lovin’ from her new family.
Olga "before and after" PETA
Talk about “before and after”! When Olga’s owner realized that her energetic young Labrador retriever mix—kept outdoors 24/7 in this small pen—needed far more attention and exercise than she could offer, she gave the dog to PETA. We transferred the sweet pup to the Norfolk SPCA, where a lovely family soon adopted her.
Africa the cat
This cat, named Africa, was living outdoors and suffering from a lice infestation and a severe upper respiratory infection. We got her off the streets and into the caring hands of the Virginia Beach SPCA for medical treatment and a chance at adoption. PETA subsidizes the cost of any needed veterinary care when we transfer animals like Africa to partner shelters.
When we got a call from someone concerned about a cat who had been stuck in a tree for more than four days, we found a local tree climber to help get her down safely. After recovering from the harrowing ordeal and receiving a clean bill of health, Wendy was adopted into an indoor-only home with Sherman, another cat rescued by PETA.
This terrified little beagle named Delilah was confined to an outdoor hutch with nothing but pine needles for bedding. Weak and barely mobile from a tick-borne disease and severe malnutrition, she was able to recover in a foster home that PETA secured for her. She has since been adopted by her foster family, and her new canine sibling has helped her learn how to run, jump, play, and snuggle like a champ.

PETA’s field team does everything that it can to help animals in need—whether that means finding new homes for homeless or neglected animals or helping guardians keep and properly care for their animal companions.

One of the requests for assistance that we received this quarter was for Dior, whose ear infection caused her to shake her head so much that blood vessels in her ear flaps broke, causing blood to pool under the skin. Our veterinary staff drained the hematoma and treated the ear infection. We also transported Dior to and from the clinic, all free of charge.
We delivered toys (like the one that we gave to King, left), trimmed nails (including for this puppy, right), repaired doghouses, and replaced short, heavy chains with 15-foot lightweight tie-outs.

We gave new wooden doghouses to “backyard dogs” like G.

Before PETA showed up, G’s “shelter” was an old, rotting house on a perpetually muddy patch of ground. We set up his new house on a more suitable part of the property, replaced his choke-chain collar with a comfortable nylon one, and swapped his heavy chain for a lightweight tether.

In Norfolk and its surrounding areas, PETA is a part of the community.

Through our Barks & Books program, we gave out children’s books with animal-friendly themes to kids we met in the field and at our spay/neuter clinics. We also delivered dozens of children’s books to Little Free Libraries to ensure that they’re stocked with animal-friendly reading material.
We held straw giveaways in local communities and advertised the new Virginia legislation prohibiting tethering in extreme weather (which was passed after a massive push from PETA!) with an impossible-to-miss banner on our van.

We provided free end-of-life services, because every guardian—regardless of their means—should be able to ensure that their animal companion remains comfortable to the very end.

Autumn, a 13-year-old pit bull, was brought to PETA for end-of-life help because she had gone blind and was suffering from numerous cancerous tumors, including one that had ruptured. She was one of the animals we euthanized at no cost for guardians who couldn’t afford this vital service at a private veterinary clinic.
Jack spent his life chained outside 24/7. His owner called PETA when he began to show signs of end-stage heart failure from heartworm disease. He was lethargic with a greatly distended abdomen, and he could hardly breathe. We rushed to his aid, and his owner made the humane decision to end his suffering.

You Can Make a Difference for Animals in Your Community, Too

Doing what’s best for our animal companions means spaying and neutering, adopting instead of buying animals from breeders or pet stores, keeping animals indoors …

Why Cats Should Be Kept Indoors

… providing them with love and security, and treating them like the family members they are. To learn more about the ways PETA is making the world a better, kinder place for companion animals, watch Breaking the Chain—now free on Amazon Prime Video.

Press Play on ‘Breaking the Chain’
Breaking the Chain Movie Poster
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