Video: ‘DWTS’ Pro Sharna Burgess Delivers Care to Neglected ‘Backyard Dogs’

Star Urges Everyone to Treat Animals Like Family After Seeing How Many Local Dogs Live Without Basic Necessities

For Immediate Release:
September 26, 2017

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va. – It was 95 degrees when Dancing With the Stars‘ (DWTS) Sharna Burgess joined PETA fieldworkers as they visited neglected dogs near the Sam Simon Center, PETA’s Norfolk, Virginia, headquarters. But as a new PETA video reveals, the heat didn’t stop Burgess from helping the group give toys, clean water, shade, sturdy doghouses, food, flea treatments, and much-needed attention to dogs tied up in local backyards.

Together, the team visited animals who were isolated, had no clean drinking water, suffered from parasites, and had no shelter from the hot sun.

“I don’t understand why animals are kept like this and what kind of a life this is for an animal. They’re not objects,” Burgess says in the video. Shocked by many of the dogs’ living conditions, she urges viewers always to treat their animals like family and never to chain them: “They’re living, breathing [beings] with feelings and needs, and … they need … love and care. Food, clean water, shelter, for God’s sake.”

Many dogs across the U.S. are kept “out of sight, out of mind.” They’re denied proper shelter and often have nothing but an overturned trash bin or plastic barrel—or nothing at all—to protect them from the weather. Many are deprived of adequate food, water, and veterinary care, and their emotional and social needs are completely ignored. “There is truly no excuse for these animals to live this way,” Burgess wrote on Instagram after her day with PETA. “[N]obody should ever live this way.”

People who witness neglect should report it to local authorities—and, if possible, take pictures and keep track of how long an animal is without adequate food, water, or shelter.

Burgess is part of a long list of celebrities—including DWTS judge Carrie Ann Inaba, former pros Karina Smirnoff and Kym Johnson, and former contestants Elisabetta Canalis, Joanna Krupa, Terra Jolé—who have teamed up with PETA (whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”) to promote kindness to animals.

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