Every day and night, in all weather extremes, PETA’s Community Animal Project fieldworkers answer calls for help from people living in some of the poorest communities in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina, where animals have no one else to help them. Meet our field staff and just a few of the countless animals they serve.
Most of the dogs PETA’s fieldworkers assist are pit bulls, who are arguably the most abused breed on the planet. Many of the pit bulls we see spend their entire lives isolated and alone at the end of a heavy chain, watching as life passes them by—without love, companionship, exercise, or even, in many cases, basic necessities, such as regular food, clean water, adequate shelter, or veterinary care.
Katina FergusonPETA Fieldworker
I see dogs chained without shade in the sweltering summer sun, penned for life amid their own filth, yelled at, or just forgotten. We improve their lot as best we can, try to persuade people to allow them indoors, show people how to care for them in basic ways, and offer euthanasia for those animals who are too far gone and unadoptable.
We do everything we can to make their lives better. We deliver free doghouses and straw bedding to those who would otherwise go without any shelter, we replace heavy chains with lightweight tie-outs, and we swap tight, makeshift collars with comfortable ones that fit.
PETA assisted more than 20,000 animals in 252 cities in 2015.
In 2015, PETA delivered more than 275 doghouses and more than 1,700 bales of straw bedding to needy “backyard dogs.” PETA’s program has given away more than 6,000 doghouses since its inception.
We visit these dogs regularly in order to monitor their health and living conditions, improving both by treating flea and other parasitic infestations, applying anti-flystrike ointment to their ears in the summer, providing water buckets, shaving matted fur, offering food, giving them a toy to play with, and showing them affection.
We saved hundreds of thousands of animals through our community outreach programs and prevention in 2015. Here are just a few of the ways we helped animals last year in the Hampton Roads, Va., area:
- Our mobile clinics spayed or neutered 11,929 dogs and cats, including 1,045 pit bulls and 409 feral cats, helping to reduce the suffering that results when animals enter a world in which so many others are already literally dying for lack of a good home. Operating the clinics cost PETA more than $620,000 just in 2015 alone.
- We took in 2,063 animals, roughly 1 percent of all the animals who entered Virginia shelters.
- We reunited lost animals with their frantic guardians.
- We transported 800 dogs and cats to and from our clinics, free of charge, for people who have no transportation.
- We assisted more than 2,000 indigent families in keeping animals they were about to give up by providing free medical services, including repairing prolapsed organs, performing lifesaving surgeries on dogs suffering from dangerous uterine infections, removing tumors and ruptured growths, performing drainage surgery for hematomas and infected wounds, and treating ear, skin, and upper respiratory infections.
- We also counseled and helped dozens of people keep their animals by showing them how to cope with behavioral quirks, grooming challenges, housetraining woes, and more.
- We delivered 451 adoptable animals to high-traffic open-admission shelters and referred many others to them so that we could concentrate on helping the ones no one would ever want.
- We found wonderful permanent homes for 94 dogs, cats, rabbits, rats, pigs, chickens, and other animals―truly “forever homes” because, instead of just giving animals away, we carefully screen potential adopters and place vital safeguards on all our adoptions.
Euthanasia: A Painless Way out of a Pain-Filled Life
In 2015, PETA took in and euthanized 1,502 feral, sick, suffering, dying, aggressive, and otherwise unadoptable animals. More than 435 of those animals were brought to us by loving but destitute guardians who were desperate to relieve their animal companions’ suffering from old age, illness, or injury. PETA provides this free community service, which most other shelters do not.
Many came to us after being turned away by other local facilities, including those with “no-kill” policies, which reject unadoptable animals in order to keep their euthanasia statistics appealing while at the same time criticizing PETA for taking in those no one else will accept.
Emily AllenPETA Associate Director
Euthanasia of homeless animals exists because people continue to buy animals, instead of adopting them, and breed animals, instead of sterilizing them. Those simple choices can either hurt or help countless animals.
Animal homelessness is 100% preventable, and you have the power to help us end it once and for all.