For Immediate Release:
July 28, 2022
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382
San Jose, Calif. – The beloved stars of Disney classics such as Toy Story and 101 Dalmatians are getting a reimagined retelling, chained up or stuck in a pen, courtesy of PETA’s senior social artist Tiani Hernandez, who has created a satirical new series, available here, as part of PETA’s national campaign to get dogs out of filthy breeding mills and off chains in backyards. The images include Dug crying on a “chain of pain” attached to a decrepit doghouse; Lady and the Tramp straining on their tethers, unable to reach a plate of spaghetti; and Pluto panting outside in the scorching heat as Mickey and Minnie enjoy lemonade inside a cool house.
For Hernandez, the illustrations are personal. As a child growing up in San Jose her best friend and “little brother” was the family dog, Kalani. “He was so smart and expressive—I couldn’t imagine him not being treated as a member of our family,” she says.
Hernandez went on to study visual communications and design at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles, where she was encouraged to consider humans’ impact on animals and the environment—and she went vegan after realizing that “animals used for food are no different from Kalani.” Now at PETA, she explains that her goal with her artwork is to help people “imagine themselves in the animals’ position, empathize with them, and understand that they are living, feeling beings just like we are.”
Hernandez with Pluto and Dug. Photos courtesy of the artist.
Hernandez’s reimagined images are rooted in real life, not fairy tales. As this Washington Post Magazine cover story details, “backyard dogs” often go without adequate food, water, shelter, and veterinary care, confined to the same few square feet of space day in and day out. Some freeze to death in winter, and many suffer from deadly heatstroke and dehydration with no relief from the blazing sun. PETA’s fieldworkers—who provide chained dogs with basic needs, including food, fresh water, sturdy doghouses, and flea and flystrike prevention on a daily basis—have found dead or dying dogs, many of whom were imprisoned for life in small pens and/or had heavy chains around their necks, which is why the group works to press charges against their abusers, find loving adoptive homes for surviving animals, and pass chaining bans nationwide.
Hernandez’s drawing of a crying Pongo and Perdita surrounded by Dalmatian puppies in a filthy pen also takes inspiration from what she has seen “on the job,” notably a Michigan-based breeding operation where dozens of dogs and puppies were confined to small, barren kennels with little protection from the bitter cold until it was shut down after a spirited PETA campaign.
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.