Chained Chihuahua’s Rags-to-Riches Story

For Immediate Release:
March 26, 2014

Shakira Croce 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va. – Here’s the heartwarming story of Squirrel, a little dog who might not have made it through this winter if PETA hadn’t intervened. “Before” and “after” photographs of Squirrel are available here.

PETA works hands-on throughout poor rural Virginia and North Carolina to help “backyard dogs,” providing them with sturdy doghouses, straw bedding, and fresh food and, when possible, giving them a chance for adoption. We were desperate to find a new home for Squirrel, a tiny, short-haired Chihuahua mix who was tied up in a backyard with only a flimsy plastic doghouse—one that was far too large to retain the heat from Squirrel’s little body—for shelter. PETA’s fieldworker knew that Squirrel wouldn’t survive in the fast-approaching winter chill, and after weeks of discussions with his owner—who had repeatedly refused to allow him indoors or let PETA take custody of the vulnerable dog—PETA’s persistence paid off, and Squirrel was whisked off to a safe, warm new home. He has traded in the lonely North Carolina backyard for a posh New York City apartment and a family who adores him. When he’s not accompanying his new “mom” to work, Squirrel—since renamed Ringo—can most often be found snuggling on the bed or on the couch with the family’s 6-year-old son. Ringo is in heaven!

PETA can serve as a resource for anyone who may be confronted by dire situations in which animals need help. Here are stories of other little dogs PETA has rescued from freezing backyards, such as Simon and Sophia (photos are available here)—more information about these rescues is available on PETA’s blog.

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