PETA Statement: Deputy Indicted for Dogs’ Heatstroke Deaths

For Immediate Release:
January 10, 2023

David Perle 202-483-7382

Rockdale County, Ga. – Following appeals and protests from PETA, including from members of the local community, Rockdale County District Attorney Alisha Johnson announced today that Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Eric Tolbert has been indicted by a grand jury for three counts of felony aggravated cruelty to animals and two counts of misdemeanor cruelty to animals. The charges arise from the deaths of dogs LaLa, Luke Cage, and Storm—American bullies, a breathing-impaired breed—who were owned by Tolbert and who died in a shed on his property, where he left them in 95-degree weather, and from his neglect of an unnamed pit bull and a K-9 dog, Aegis—who was assigned to him—both found confined to hot, squalid, outdoor pens littered with mold-covered feces.

Below, please find a statement from PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch:

Nothing can bring these dogs back or make up for their suffering, but these charges send the message that there are consequences for anyone who causes dogs’ agonizing deaths, including those charged with enforcing the law. PETA is calling for Deputy Eric Tolbert to be barred from owning animals for life so that no other dog dies slowly and painfully in his stifling shed as LaLa, Luke Cage, and Storm did.

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

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