On Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and every other day of the year, thousands of animals are chained or penned outside 24/7 in all weather extremes, and many of them are hungry, sick, and lonely. Fortunately, PETA fieldworkers are there to help. We provide sick and injured animals with veterinary care, organize or participate in community events to raise awareness and promote empathy, and do everything we can to help local animals. See how we took action for animals in our Norfolk, Virginia, community from October to December 2023:
5 Ways PETA Fieldworkers Helped Animals in Our Community in Late 2023
1. We Arranged Spay/Neuter Appointments for Thousands of Animals
The veterinary staff on our mobile spay/neuter clinics sterilized 3,237 companion animals, including Coco, who was just one of the 181 animals PETA’s Community Animal Project (CAP) fieldworkers transported for free to and from their no-cost spay/neuter appointments.
We also sterilized 104 cats and a dog in just one day in Hayes, Virginia—a community that’s overrun with homeless cats—treated a cat for a hernia, and removed another cat’s injured, necrotic tail. The surgeries were free and sponsored by a donor in memory of his feline companion.
2. We Rescued Animals From Bad Situations and Gave Them a Chance at Adoption
Dave, a young puppy kept chained outside, was suffering from a horrific flea affliction as well as internal parasites, anemia, and mange.
We gave him the veterinary care he desperately needed, and he spent several weeks recovering in protective police custody before we transferred him to Reba’s Animal Rescue in Chesapeake, Virginia, where he was quickly adopted.
PETA fieldworkers also secured the relinquishment of Pearl, a dog we had been visiting for some time, although we were refused custody until we found her companion, Thor, deceased and still chained just a few feet away from her.
After some TLC, we transferred Pearl to the Chesapeake Humane Society, where she was soon adopted into a family with another dog. In total, we transferred 123 companion animals to our shelter partners for a chance at adoption.
The PETA team also found homes for many other companion animals, including Archer and Lydia, Burt Reynolds, Sandy, and Karate.
3. We Engaged With Our Community to Help Teach Empathy for Animals
We participated in the annual Grand Illumination Parade in Norfolk, during which costumed volunteers and one of our mobile clinics shared the animal-friendly message “Make Their Sweet Dreams Come True. Unchain, Uncage, Make Them Family.”
We also participated in the annual One City Celebration in Newport News, Virginia, by offering spay/neuter surgeries in exchange for nonperishable vegan food items. We sterilized 39 animals and donated the items to the city’s food drive.
4. We Helped People Keep and Care For Their Animals
We provided 51 dogs, including Chocolate—who had been kept outside in a small wire crate without protection from the elements—with a custom-made, insulated doghouse and a long, light-weight tether, greatly improving their living conditions. Fieldworkers visited hundreds of other “backyard dogs” kept outside 24/7 in the increasingly cold weather and ensured that they were given shelter, insulating straw bedding, food, and treatment for parasites.
One of the 492 requests for assistance that PETA received was for senior dog Rosie, whose guardian couldn’t afford surgery to treat her potentially fatal uterine infection. We performed an emergency spay surgery and accepted a donation that her family could afford, an amount approximately one-tenth of what most veterinarians would have charged for her care.
5. We Provided Suffering Animals With Free End-of-Life Services
When beloved senior dog Dunkin’s potentially cancerous tumor ruptured, he stopped eating and became very lethargic. His family brought him to PETA’s shelter for free end-of-life services. He was among the 190 animals we euthanized this quarter at no cost to families who couldn’t afford this vital humane service.
Their guardians filled out postcards asking their state legislators to safeguard our ability to offer free end-of-life relief. This quarter, 627 of our constituent families sent postcards to their elected officials in support of our services, including free compassionate euthanasia—a service that only PETA provides in the region.
How YOU Can Help a Cold Dog This Winter
Support PETA fieldworkers’ vital work to care for “backyard dogs” with a generous donation. You can also advocate for tethering bans in your community, joining thousands of other caring individuals across the U.S., and work with elected representatives to pass ordinances that ban or restrict chaining. To get started, see what current legislation on tethering dogs exists in your community.
Dogs should never be left outside unattended, but when they’re outside and deprived of access to water, food, or shelter, the situation becomes an emergency—and local authorities should be contacted immediately. If they’re unresponsive, contact PETA for help. Anyone who leaves animals outside to suffer in severe weather may face criminal charges. Dogs’ well-being—even their lives—could depend on you.