Saved After 10 Years in a Pen, Missy Can’t Stop Smiling

Published by Michelle Kretzer.

For 10 years, fieldworkers with PETA’s Community Animal Project (CAP) visited Missy. The sweet lab-chow mix spent her entire life—through hot summers, cold winters, hurricanes, thunderstorms, and blizzards—confined to a tiny, junk-filled pen from which she could barely see anything around her. PETA spayed her when she was a puppy, gave her a doghouse, cleaned out her dirty pen, and showered her with affection. Missy seemed to live for the visits from her CAP friends.

animals helped by CAP

But during CAP’s visit with her in May, staffers noticed that she had lost weight. They tested her for heartworm disease, and the results came back positive. After another conversation with her elderly owner about her medical needs, PETA was finally allowed to take this sweet girl away from her desolate scrap heap.

animals helped by CAP

At PETA’s shelter, Missy appreciated her first bath, loves having a soft bed to curl up in, and investigates every enticing aroma (which must smell so much better than a feces-filled pen!). PETA will be treating her for heartworm disease as soon as she puts on some weight, and the staffers who know Missy best are confident that this energetic girl will get to spend her remaining years indoors, surrounded by a loving family, as every dog should. If you think you may be the person Missy has waited a lifetime for, check out her adoption ad here.

animals helped by CAP

Missy was just one of the many animals PETA fieldworkers helped in May in the impoverished areas of Virginia and North Carolina surrounding PETA’s Norfolk, Virginia, headquarters, the Sam Simon Center. CAP staffers work to rescue, find homes for, or, at the very least, improve living conditions for hundreds of animals just like Missy every month, as well as ending the suffering of those for whom there is no hope.

Here are a few of their stories.

Fieldworkers discovered Scarlett underneath a truck camper top, her only shelter. They gave this red-haired sweetheart a sturdy doghouse, which they placed in a grassy area, as well as a lightweight tie-out, clean food and water bowls, and some much-needed affection.

animals helped by CAP

animals helped by CAP

Little Bit and her sister got a free ride to and from their PETA spay appointments.

animals helped by CAP

It’s hard to imagine anyone not wanting to keep gentle Lab mix Black Betty. But when her owners tired of her, PETA fieldworkers were there to scoop this black beauty up and take her to the Virginia Beach SPCA to find the family she deserves.

animals helped by CAP

During Whisper’s spay appointment, PETA’s veterinary clinic staff noticed that she had an ear infection, and we provided her with some much-needed relief.

animals helped by CAP

Poor Roscoe had been chained and neglected for as long as CAP had known him. His owners called PETA when he lost his appetite and began having trouble breathing. Still, they refused to let us take him to the vet, insisting that he needed to “go at home.” After some difficult conversations, the owners finally allowed PETA to get Roscoe the care he so desperately needed. His abdomen was extremely distended, and he was in such an advanced stage of heart failure that even his back legs were swollen with fluid. We rushed him to the nearest veterinary hospital, where, with the help of a caring medical team and surrounded by people who cared about him, Roscoe was peacefully released from his suffering.

animals helped by CAP

These charming cat siblings were sterilized at no cost to their owner on PETA’s mobile clinics.

animals helped by CAP

Staffers couldn’t help but fawn over Coco, who basked in the attention. In May, when she was still a puppy herself, she gave birth to five babies in a cluttered, muddy yard, and she lost a significant amount of weight. CAP workers begged her neglectful owner to let them take her and her pups, and at last, they got permission. The little family was transferred to the Norfolk SPCA, and they were immediately taken in by a loving foster family. Coco will soon have her happy ending, and her babies will never know the loneliness and isolation of a chain.

animals helped by CAP

animals helped by CAP

Devus’ loving guardian couldn’t wait to tell us that when he went on a senior center boat ride that passed by PETA’s riverfront building, he pointed and told everyone on the ship, “That’s who spayed my dog!”

animals helped by CAP

Diamond’s guardians contacted PETA because they were concerned that she was having complications with her pregnancy. But as PETA’s veterinary team found out, she wasn’t actually pregnant. Instead, she was suffering from pyometra, a dangerous uterine infection, and had over 5 pounds of pus in her uterus. Thanks to PETA supporters, Diamond got the emergency surgery she needed to save her life. Her family was thrilled to have her on the mend, and they brought a little cart with them to meet the CAP van so she wouldn’t have to walk after her surgery!

animals helped by CAP

Chuck spent his days tied up on a dilapidated porch surrounded by his owner’s castoff belongings until CAP workers came to his rescue. They persuaded his owners to let them take him and whisked him away to the Virginia Beach SPCA to look for a new indoor home.

animals helped by CAP

“Starfish” is the perfect name for this rare beauty, but an appropriate moniker was about the only thing her neglectful owner ever gave her. Chained outside 24 hours a day and denied human contact, she was desperate for affection. CAP workers were able to rescue her and take her to the Virginia Beach SPCA, and we hope she will soon be splashing in the waves with her new guardians.

animals helped by CAP

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Thank you to all the PETA donors who made these stories possible. If you’re not one yet, consider becoming a PETA member for just $16 a year and helping to fund our vital work for animals.

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“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