Photos: COVID-19 Hasn’t Stopped PETA’s Animal Services in the Poverty Pockets of North Carolina

For Immediate Release:
March 30, 2020

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va.

COVID-19 may have brought the country to a standstill, but there’s no working from home for PETA’s “miracle workers”—its field team, whose job means giving shelter, affection, and medical care to dogs and other animals belonging to indigent families in northern North Carolina.

While staying 6 feet away from animals’ human guardians, PETA’s fieldworkers are still heading out every day—as they do all 365 days of the year—to low-income communities, where they get up close and personal with dogs whose whole lonely lives are spent chained in the far reaches of a backyard. All of PETA’s field services are focused on low-income areas and provided totally free of charge.

Here are a few of the animals PETA has helped in just the last two weeks:

Wayne, Mary Puppins, and Luna were all given to PETA after their owners had a heart-to-heart talk with the fieldworkers, who explained how much dogs crave affection and need to run and play. Wayne is now in a foster home and available for adoption, and Mary Puppins and Luna have been transferred to local-placement partner shelters.

Brownie received a desperately needed haircut to relieve him of a badly matted coat that was eating into his skin in places.

Boss and Casper remain in their yards, but PETA provided them with sturdy new doghouses to replace inadequate, dilapidated structures that offered them little protection and raked clean the pen in which Casper is confined 24/7 and which was covered with his waste.

A dog named Missy was suffering from end-stage liver failure. Her elderly owner, desperate to end her suffering, had contacted several veterinarians and animal shelters but couldn’t find help because of COVID-19 shutdowns—until someone referred her to PETA. The group afforded Missy a peaceful release from her suffering at no charge. PETA did the same for Boe, a severely emaciated pit bull who was wracked with cancer. He had spent his entire life chained up, trapped and neglected. 

“Animals aren’t exempt from times of crisis,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “As long as there are dogs and cats and other animals in our community who depend on us for basic necessities of life, including food, water, shelter, and urgent veterinary care, PETA will be out there, doing all we can to help them.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—is also delivering free bags of dog and cat food to animal guardians who are struggling as a result of COVID-19 layoffs and closures.

More details about PETA’s work in the field can be found here, and tips for keeping animal companion safe during the pandemic follow:

PETA offers the following tips for keeping animal companions safe during the COVID-19 outbreak:

  • Never put face masks on animals, as they can cause breathing difficulties.
  • Allow animals to move about your home normally—don’t cage or crate them.
  • People who are sick or under medical attention for COVID-19 should avoid close contact with animals and have another member of their household care for animals so as not to get the virus on their fur. The coronavirus can be left on animals’ fur, just as it can remain on any other surface that an infected person has touched.
  • Don’t stockpile unnecessarily—as this could result in shortages for others—but do plan ahead and ensure that you have adequate food and medicine, if needed, for your animal companions (approximately two to three weeks’ worth).
  • Assist neighbors who may not be able to shop for their animal companions and donate companion-animal food to food banks.
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