Charged With Cruelty: Woman Kept Dogs Caged, Deprived of Basic Necessities for Years

PETA Tipped Police to Dogs Confined to Small Backyard Pen so Filled With Waste That They Were Forced to Defecate on Top of Their Doghouse

For Immediate Release:
August 31, 2017

David Perle 202-483-7382

Boykins, Va. – Following a complaint from PETA to police, Southampton County resident Tonya Y. Brown was charged on August 22 with two counts of cruelty to animals stemming from her persistent neglect of two female pit bulls, Princess and Gigi, who were perpetually kept caged in a small chain-link pen in her mother’s backyard, where there was so much feces on the urine-soaked ground that the dogs defecated on top of their own doghouse.

Brown’s arraignment is scheduled for September 5 at the Southampton County courthouse, with her trial date expected in October.

“These dogs were kept isolated outside 24/7, in all weather extremes, deprived of exercise, companionship, and affection and unable to escape their own waste as it accumulated around them,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “Dogs are highly social pack animals who invariably suffer when left out of sight and out of mind in the backyard, and PETA hopes the court will order Ms. Brown to relinquish these long-neglected dogs and permanently ban her from having any others.”

So-called “backyard dogs” often have nothing but an overturned trash bin or plastic barrel (or nothing at all) to protect them from the weather. Many are deprived of adequate food, water, and veterinary care, and their emotional and social needs are completely ignored.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—urges anyone who witnesses neglect to report it to local authorities. If possible, witnesses should take pictures and keep track of how long an animal is without adequate food, water, or shelter.

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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