VIDEO: After a Lifetime of Neglect, This Dog Can’t Stop Smiling—See Why!

For Immediate Release:
August 16, 2018

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va. – As this new video (released today) shows, Ellie the dog has a smile that stretches from ear to ear. But it wasn’t always that way: She spent years locked inside a filthy backyard pen in Boykins, VA, with her sister Gigi.

After PETA had pleaded for years with their owner to give the dogs up, things went from bad to worse. PETA called the police, and after a long legal battle, their owner was convicted of cruelty to animals and banned from ever owning animals again. But this victory came too late for Gigi. She had died in the pen with Ellie at her side. PETA won custody of Ellie, and after intensive veterinary care—and lots of love—she finally has a life worth smiling about in Virginia Beach, from snuggling on her new guardians’ laps to snacking on bananas (her favorite!).

“Despite losing her best friend and enduring years of neglect, Ellie’s strong spirit has prevailed,” says PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA hopes this story will inspire people to open their homes and their hearts to old dogs who have had a tough past and need a new lease on life.”

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way.” More information about the group’s work to help dogs and cats is available here, and more photos of Ellie are available on PETA’s blog.

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