Anjelica Huston’s New Film Follows the Heroes Who Help ‘Backyard Dogs,’ Other Animals

Breaking the Chain Examines the Heartbreak and Hard-Won Triumphs of PETA's Field Rescue Team

For Immediate Release:
September 1, 2020

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va. – From executive producer Anjelica Huston, the new documentary Breaking the Chain introduces viewers to a nationwide crisis of abused and neglected dogs, cats, and other animals through interviews and behind-the-scenes footage following PETA’s dedicated team of fieldworkers, who live in hope as they respond to cases and calls for help around the clock and in all weather extremes. The film tells the animals’ stories, including those living in underserved areas of the South, and highlights efforts to improve and save their lives or, when needed, alleviate their suffering. The trailer is available here, and the film is available on video-on-demand.

“It’s one thing to hear about the animal neglect and overpopulation crisis and another to see for yourself how dogs are left to shiver, pant, limp, and suffer in backyards, where they’re confined to wire cages or chained to pieces of junk,” says Huston. “This is what PETA fieldworkers see every day, and I want everyone else to see it, too.”

From Zena, an emaciated German shepherd who spent years chained in a backyard swarming with flies, fleas, and mosquitoes, to Edith, a gentle chow mix who was chained outdoors for nearly a decade, these animals’ stories will make viewers ask what they can do to help—and heartwarming moments and hard-won victories will show them how lives can change when people refuse to give up.

Breaking the Chain allows viewers to join PETA’s first responders on the front lines as they persist and often prevail against all odds,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “It shows how each one of us can change the world for animals in our own communities so that one day, no one is condemned to a life sentence of isolation and deprivation without love, respect, or even basic care.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, a press kit is available here or visit

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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