PETA Calls for Cruelty Charges in Chained Dog’s Heatstroke Death in Roanoke Rapids

Group Rushes Out Urgent Warning PSA: Heat Kills!

For Immediate Release:
June 1, 2021

Tapi Mbundure 202-483-7382

Roanoke Rapids, N.C. – PETA is calling for cruelty charges to be filed against the person(s) responsible for the death of a female pit bull mix named Star, whom a PETA fieldworker found dead of heatstroke on Friday at a Roanoke Rapids residence. Photos of Star before and after her death are available here. (Warning: graphic images)

In Halifax County, unattended tethering is illegal and punishable by a fine, but even though PETA had made Halifax County Animal Control aware of tethering violations at this address, Star remained illegally tethered outdoors, which ultimately killed her. Halifax County Animal Control was called and responded to the scene of Star’s death on Friday but—despite recognizing that Star died as a result of being tethered and tangled in the full sun without a drop of water or any shade—did not take any enforcement action or steps to pursue a prosecution.

“Tethering and leaving a dog to endure an agonizing death by heatstroke is a crime, but what good are laws if law-enforcement officials can’t be bothered to enforce them?” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA is urging the community not only to report cruelty but also to hold animal control officials accountable for enforcing animal protection laws, so that no other dogs suffer as Star did.”

PETA is rushing out its brand-new televised public service announcement throughout the state, urging people to call authorities if they see dogs chained up and/or without water and shade. In cases in which authorities are unresponsive, people should call 757-622-PETA.

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