Deputy’s Dogs’ Heatstroke Deaths Prompt PETA Rally for Cruelty Charges

For Immediate Release:
November 15, 2022

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Rockdale County, Ga. – Carrying signs reading, “Dogs Left for Dead in Extreme Heat” and “Dead Dogs Found in Deputy Tolbert’s Trash,” PETA supporters will hold a peaceful protest outside Rockdale County District Attorney Alisha Johnson’s office on Thursday, urging her to file cruelty-to-animals charges against Deputy Eric Tolbert of the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office. The action follows the release of evidence that three American bully dogs—a breathing-impaired breed—died in a shed on the deputy’s property as temperatures soared to 95 degrees with a heat index of more than 100 degrees. Following the deaths of the animals—named LaLa, Storm, and Luke Cage—Tolbert told an investigator with the sheriff’s office that he “trashed ’em.”

When:    Thursday, November 17, 12 noon

Where:    Rockdale County Courthouse, 922 Court St. N.E., Conyers

After Tolbert posted about the dogs’ deaths on Facebook, the sheriff’s office obtained a search warrant for his residence, where deputies found his assigned K-9, Aegis, confined to a squalid outdoor pen littered with moldy feces in nearly 100-degree heat. Tolbert has not been criminally charged, despite a push from the sheriff’s office to the district attorney’s office for an indictment.

“Officer Tolbert left dogs he knew were susceptible to heatstroke to die in his own backyard,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “Nobody is above the law, and PETA is calling on District Attorney Alisha Johnson to prosecute this officer for cruelty to animals.”

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 or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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