What would they say? What are they saying?
When did you decide to ignore me? Did you know that you would? Who told you that I could live like this? Did you know that I would suffer? How did you think I would survive?
Why did you get me at all?
We can only guess just how confused “outdoor dogs” would question their guardians if they were able to speak our language. Instead, they show their pain, fear, hunger, stress, and overall discomfort by shaking, jumping, barking, trembling, or—tragically—completely shutting down. PETA fieldworkers encounter countless chained and neglected “backyard dogs” every day. Thankfully, a slew of celebrities signed up to shine a light on the suffering of forgotten dogs: Priyanka Chopra, Tom Hardy, Casey Affleck, Bill Maher, Edie Falco, Kate del Castillo, D.R.A.M., and Courtney Stodden lent their voices to the cause.
In frigid winter months, “outdoor dogs” struggle to keep warm and have no choice but to curl up into a tight ball and shiver—or hop from foot to foot in an effort to escape the cold ground. Dogs may have fur coats, but they’re not immune to the cold any more than humans wearing coats would be if we had to sit outside on the frozen ground all day and night. Many dogs—including short-haired breeds, young or elderly ones, and small ones—are even less able to handle the cold than humans are.
Dogs crave companionship. And in addition to having their social needs ignored, many chained, penned, or otherwise neglected dogs left outside are deprived of proper food, water, shelter, and veterinary care.
Some have nothing more than a card table, a plastic carrier, or an overturned trashcan for shelter. Others have no shelter at all—even in freezing temperatures and heavy snowstorms. They can only watch from cold, wet patches of dirt as their owners come and go, enjoying the warmth indoors.
Dogs are pack animals who aim to please their guardians, and all they want is to spend time with the rest of the family—and live—indoors. That’s where they’re healthiest and happiest.
If you know of any “outdoor dogs,” try to persuade their guardians to allow them indoors. Encourage your city or county legislators to ban chaining, and consider sponsoring a PETA doghouse so that one more dog will have a refuge from the cold.