Chained Dogs’ Heatstroke Deaths Prompt Urgent Call to Bring Dogs Inside

After PETA Discovers Three Dead Dogs in Three Days, Group Issues National Appeal: Don't Let Dogs Suffer and Die Outside

For Immediate Release:
August 1, 2020

David Perle 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va. – In the course of just three days, PETA fieldworkers discovered the bodies of three dogs who had been kept chained outside in the heat—and with much of the U.S. in the grip of a dangerous heat wave, PETA is urging people across the country to bring dogs inside immediately.

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. 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 another property. Videos and photos of the dogs can be viewed here.

“Our fieldworkers see only a fraction of the dogs left helpless in the heat in yards across the country,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “We urge everyone to keep their dogs inside and notify authorities immediately if they see a dog out in the heat. Just one phone call could save a dog’s life.”

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 local law enforcement immediately.

PETA worked with Virginia legislators to pass a law that went into effect last month making it illegal to keep dogs tethered in extreme heat or cold, among other conditions. The group has asked officials in Bertie County, North Carolina, where the three dogs’ remains were found, to pass a similar local ordinance.

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