A PETA Story You’ll Never See in the News

Published by Michelle Kretzer.

A PETA Community Animal Project (CAP) fieldworker spotted a lone pit bull sitting in a trash-strewn patch of dirt behind what appeared to be an abandoned house. A heavy chain was wrapped around his neck, preventing him from reaching even a single blade of grass. He had no food or water, and his dilapidated doghouse had no floor. When the fieldworker offered him a big bowl of water, the dog lapped it up as if it were the first drink he’d had in a very long time.


Knowing she couldn’t legally take the dog, whom she was calling “Dusty” because of his dirty surroundings, the fieldworker forced herself to leave—but not before she left plenty of dog food with the neighbor and implored him to continue to feed Dusty and give him water.

A public-records property search yielded the homeowner’s name, and when the fieldworker called him, he said that he was having work done on the house and would be moving back in soon. He refused to part with Dusty but let PETA replace the heavy metal chain with a lightweight tie-out, give Dusty a new doghouse, and move him to a grassy area.

While he still isn’t living indoors with his family—the kind of life every dog deserves—Dusty is at least more comfortable. When fieldworkers check on him, he has food and water, and his owner has agreed to have him neutered in PETA’s mobile clinic. 

Their stories rarely make headlines, and in fact, many people aren’t even aware of how much suffering PETA fieldworkers spare animals like Dusty every day. But PETA can’t do it alone. If there is a Dusty in your neighborhood, please alert animal control. And if officials are unresponsive, please contact PETA for help. We will never turn our back on an animal in need.

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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