Urgent From PETA: Cruel—and Criminal—to Abandon Animals During Tropical Storm Ophelia

For Immediate Release:
September 22, 2023

Nicole Perreira 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va. – As Tropical Storm Ophelia approaches, people should never leave dogs tethered or penned outside and should always take their animal companions with them if they have to evacuate their homes.

Every time there’s a natural disaster, many dogs and other companion animals are left outside to fend for themselves or even left behind when humans evacuate. Dogs kept tethered will swim to exhaustion and drown—and there are tethered dogs everywhere. PETA’s Animal Rescue Team has witnessed firsthand the trauma that animals endure when left to face floodwaters and flying debris. During previous storms, we have found dogs dead. We have also found them up to their necks in water, unable to sit or lie down, and in almost-submerged crates inside houses and seen animals who have been flung around by high winds. Please be on the lookout for any animals kept chained or penned outside without adequate shelter from the storm and alert local law-enforcement authorities immediately.

dog in storm

Credit: PETA

PETA’s “Natural Disasters: Have a Plan video and natural disaster–preparedness PSA remind people to make plans to ensure the safety of their animal companions during a tropical storm. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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