String of Starvation Cases Prompts Plea: Report Cruelty to Animals

As Winter Nears, PETA Urges Residents to Be a Starving, Cold Dog's Best Friend: Call to Help Them

For Immediate Release:
December 5, 2019

Contact:
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Northampton County, N.C. – Multiple recent cases of starvation in Halifax, Northampton, and Bertie counties have prompted PETA to issue an urgent appeal: As temperatures drop—exposing often-neglected “backyard dogs” to frostbite and exposure, dehydration when water sources freeze, and even death—please be a dog’s best friend. Waste no time reporting suspected cruelty and neglect, as it may be the difference between life and death for that dog.

“The winter months are some of the hardest for dogs who are left shivering and starving, alone in the backyard, and every year we find some who don’t make it through,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA is urging caring people to report suspected neglect and cruelty to law enforcement authorities—and if they don’t act, call PETA at 757-622-7382.”

Recent starvation cases include the following:

Brownie, who weighed only 34.4 pounds when PETA’s fieldworkers picked him up, was so emaciated that his ribs, spine, and hip bones jutted out from under his skin. He gained 1 pound per day during the week he was held at PETA’s shelter just through the simple provision of nutritious food. Brownie’s case is currently with the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office.

Coco, a dog who was kept chained outside 24/7 and repeatedly used for breeding, was dying when PETA volunteers found her. She was skeletal, could barely lift her head, and had to be euthanized. A necropsy determined that the cause of her emaciation was malnutrition and neglect: She was at least 20 pounds underweight, there was no fat on her body, and her intestines were empty.

Cassie, who PETA found lying on her side and unable to stand, was severely underweight, shaking and vomiting, and trapped in a pen filled with mud and feces with her puppies huddled next to her. A veterinarian recommended euthanasia and said that her condition—the worst he’s seen in a long time—didn’t happen overnight. Cassie was also found to be suffering from starvation. Her case is with the Bertie County Sheriff’s Office.

A small, bony puppy who had been abandoned at a backyard breeding operation was so malnourished that his growth was severely stunted. The 5-month-old youngster was the size of a 12-week-old puppy. His tail had also been “docked” in what was clearly a home job. He is recovering in foster care and doing well.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—notes that dogs like these depend on good Samaritans never to be silent and to speak up if they witness an animal in need.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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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