‘Don’t Let Dogs Die on Chains!’ Record Heat Prompts Plea to Legislators

PETA Calls For Chaining Bans As Dogs Suffer and Die Across the State

For Immediate Release:
August 2, 2019

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Richmond, Va. – Hot on the heels of reports that July is likely to rate as the hottest month ever recorded, PETA sent urgent letters today urging state legislators to introduce, cosponsor, and support chaining bans and other laws to protect dogs who are kept outdoors 24/7.

PETA is also asking lawmakers not only to watch but also to share with their constituents the group’s new video about helping dogs beat the heat, which includes footage of “backyard dogs”—dogs chained up or locked up in pens outside with little to no protection from the blazing sun—assisted by PETA’s field team. In recent weeks, with temperatures near 100 degrees, PETA’s team found countless chained dogs without water or access to shade or shelter from the burning sun, including “Blue,” who died from heatstroke after his chain became tangled and he couldn’t reach water or even a hole that he’d desperately dug to try to stay alive.

“This extreme heat is a crisis for ‘backyard dogs,’ who are dying in hideous ways with no shade, no water, and no way to cool themselves off because dogs can’t sweat as humans can,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA is pleading with legislators to prevent dogs from suffering next summer by a banning chaining at the next session.”

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

PETA’s letter to state legislators follows.

August 2, 2019

Dear Legislator,

We hope this letter finds you well and that you will take a moment to read it on behalf of our constituency of almost 129,000 members and supporters in Virginia, many of whom live in your district. As you know, Virginia has experienced prolonged high temperatures and humidity this summer, and the heat index has risen higher than 110 degrees in some areas. In fact, July is shaping up to be the hottest month ever recorded. This weather is very dangerous for dogs left outdoors 24/7. Would you please share this brief video with your constituents to show them how they can protect dogs in their community?

You may already know that PETA has a fieldwork division based in Norfolk with workers who are out every day helping dogs chained and penned outside all the time without relief. Over the past few weeks, with temperatures near 100 degrees, our team found countless chained dogs without adequate water or access to shade or shelter, including one named Blue who died from heatstroke after his chain became tangled and he couldn’t reach water, shade, or a hole he’d dug for himself in an effort to keep cool. We do what we can by filling water buckets, moving dogs to shaded areas, and trying to inform residents about basic animal care and needs, but these animals are suffering.

Thousands of “backyard dogs” are currently suffering from the effects of sweltering heat and humidity across Virginia. We’re doing all that we can, but our small team can cover only a limited area. We respectfully ask that in addition to informing your constituents about ways to help dogs beat the heat, you join us in considering this an emergency and introduce, cosponsor, and support stronger laws to protect dogs who are kept outdoors 24/7.

We’re here to help you in any way that we can to draft and implement preventive laws for the safety of your community. I hope to hear from you soon to discuss any thoughts or questions you may have regarding a ban on chaining.

Thank you for your time, your compassion, and all that you do to keep the Commonwealth safe and humane for all its residents.

Most respectfully,

Daphna Nachminovitch

Senior Vice President

Cruelty Investigations Department

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