PETA Statement re Verdict in Deputy’s Dogs’ Heatstroke Deaths

For Immediate Release:
May 18, 2023

David Perle 202-483-7382

Rockdale, Ga. – Please see the following statement from PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch regarding the “not guilty” verdict in Deputy Eric Tolbert’s cruelty-to-animals trial:

There’s no excuse for leaving any dogs, let alone breathing-impaired ones such as LaLa, Luke Cage, and Storm, to wallow in their own waste while panting out their last agonizing breaths in a stifling shed in 95-degree heat. Hot weather is especially dangerous for American bullies and other flat-faced breeds, since their distorted airways make it difficult for them to breathe—and with summer approaching, PETA urges everyone to keep their dogs indoors, never chain or confine them outdoors or in sheds, and speak up if they know of any animals in danger of enduring the kind of horrific deaths that Tolbert’s dogs experienced.

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, listen to The PETA Podcast, 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