Patriots Star Dont’a Hightower to Fans: Never Chain Dogs!

For Immediate Release:
December 21, 2021

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Boston – New England Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower is back, this time with a plea of compassion for the upcoming “Unchain a Dog” Month (January). In a sky-high message near Gillette Stadium, the three-time Super Bowl winner and his dog, Meko, join PETA to emphasize that dogs belong inside, not chained or penned outdoors.

“I would hope that you guys love your dog as much as you love the Patriots,” says Hightower. “I couldn’t imagine … leaving my dog outside in New England.” He continues, “[I]f I’m cold, I know my dog is cold.”

PETA responds to thousands of reports every year of chained dogs struggling to survive in the elements, where their tethers can get tangled, leaving them unable to reach shelter—if they even have any. Water sources freeze in winter, snow turns food into inedible mush, and the ground gets muddy and icy. This leaves dogs vulnerable to frostbite, exposure, and dehydration.

“Being trapped on a chain 24/7 is a life sentence without parole for dogs, who are social pack animals who need and deserve companionship and respect,” adds PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “It’s time Boston joined the hundreds of cities around the U.S. that have banned the cruel and antiquated practice of keeping dogs chained alone outdoors.”

Since 2020, there have been at least 28 cold weather–related companion animal deaths. Those are just the ones that have been reported—most aren’t. PETA asks that the city of Boston ban unattended chaining completely and that residents speak out against this cruel practice.

Hightower is part of a long list of athletes—including former Patriots quarterback Cam Newton, Tyrann Mathieu, Jarvis Landry, Devin Funchess, Chris Harris Jr., and Ronnie Stanley—who have teamed up with PETA to promote kindness 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 PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

The billboard is located along Route 1, just a mile north of Gillette Stadium.

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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