Chained Dogs’ Heatstroke Deaths Prompt Call for Emergency Tethering Ban

After PETA Discovers Three Dead Dogs in Three Days, Group Calls On Bertie County to Follow Virginia's Lead by Restricting Chaining or Tethering in Weather Extremes

For Immediate Release:
August 1, 2020

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Bertie County, N.C. – In the course of just three days, PETA fieldworkers discovered the bodies of three dogs who had been kept chained outside in the heat—so the group has sent an urgent letter calling on the Bertie County Board of Commissioners to pass an emergency ordinance prohibiting the unattended tethering of animals in the area. Videos and photos of the dogs can be viewed here.

As PETA’s letter describes, it was 100.6 degrees with 81% humidity when the group’s fieldworkers discovered the decomposing remains of a chained dog boarded up inside a doghouse on a property in Kelford. Just two days later, they found the bodies of two pit bulls—who were tethered and tangled in direct sunlight, unable to reach water or shade—at a property in Windsor. PETA’s plea to Bertie County officials follows the group’s work with Virginia legislators to pass a law that went into effect last month and makes it illegal to keep dogs tethered in extreme heat or cold, among other conditions.

“Chained dogs are in danger every minute they spend helpless in the heat in someone’s yard,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA is calling on officials to follow Virginia’s lead by taking immediate action to prevent even one more animal from enduring an agonizing, wholly preventable death on a chain.”

PETA points out that unlike humans, dogs can sweat only through their footpads and cool themselves by panting, so even brief sun exposure can have life-threatening consequences. Anyone who sees animals in distress and is unable to help should note their locations, take photos and videos, and alert authorities immediately.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit


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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