WARNING: Some of the images below are disturbing, but for those who are concerned about animal suffering, it’s important to face the tragic reality of the overpopulation crisis and its consequences. Animals can’t afford to have people look away.

Chances are, you’ve read about PETA in the news. You’ve seen our eye-catching protests on TV. You’ve probably even shed a tear or two after watching our undercover investigations, which expose some of the worst cruelty to animals imaginable. But there are a lot of things that happen at PETA that you won’t read about in the news.

What PETA Does

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.

I see dogs chained without shade in the burning-hot summer sun, penned for life amid their own filth, yelled at, or 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.

—Kelly Kercheval, PETA Fieldworker

Life at the End of a Chain

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.

PETA helped 5,500 “backyard dogs” in 65 cities in 2014.

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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.

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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.

Euthanasia: A Painless Way out of a Pain-Filled Life

In 2014, PETA took in and euthanized 2,454 feral, sick, suffering, dying, aggressive, and otherwise unadoptable animals.

More than 500 of those animals were brought to us by loving but penniless guardians who were desperate to relieve their animal companions’ suffering from old age, illness, or injury. We provide this free community service, which most other shelters do not.

Many dogs and cats came to us after having been turned away by “no-kill” facilities, such as the Norfolk Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Portsmouth Humane Society, which reject unadoptable animals in order to keep their euthanasia statistics low.

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.  

—Emily Allen, PETA Associate Director

The Animals You Don’t Hear About

We saved hundreds of thousands of animals through our community outreach programs and prevention in 2014. Seriously, just look at these cuties!

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Here are just a few of the ways we helped animals last year in the Hampton Roads, Va., area:

  • Our mobile clinics spayed and neutered sterilized 10,950 dogs and cats, including 851 pit bulls and 584 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.
  • We transported 600 dogs and cats to and from our clinics, free of charge, for people who have no transportation.
  • We assisted more than 2,500 low-income families in keeping animals they were about to give up, by providing free medical services, including repairing prolapsed organs, amputating legs, and treating ear, skin, and upper respiratory infections.
  • We delivered 312 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 162 dogs, cats, and rabbits―truly “forever homes” because, instead of just giving animals away, we carefully screen potential adopters and place vital safeguards on all our adoptions.

How YOU Can Help

Animal homelessness is 100% preventable, and you (yes, YOU!) have the power to help us end it once and for all. Here’s how:

Want to Do More?

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