For Immediate Release:
December 20, 2023
Sara Groves 202-483-7382
Windsor, N.C. – This Christmas, Santa’s helpers at PETA brought Duke everything on his wish list: a warm house out of the cold, a loving family who thinks he’s the cat’s pajamas, and a sister to romp and play with. As a new video reveals, Duke spent most of his life, at least four years, chained outside in the summer heat and winter storms 24/7, starved for food and love, alongside five other dogs he couldn’t reach to play with or even sniff.
PETA fieldworkers visited the severely neglected dogs as often as they could, providing free food, clean water, flea treatment, and affection and pleading with their owner to take care of or surrender them. After one of the dogs was found dead—still attached to her chain—PETA finally persuaded local law-enforcement officers to seize the survivors. The owner was ultimately charged with multiple counts of cruelty to animals, and PETA sued for and won custody of all the surviving dogs. Duke was soon adopted by one of his rescuers. Now, instead of struggling to survive, he is experiencing plenty of firsts: his first toys under the tree, his first visit with and special cookies from Santa, his first walk by his guardian’s side through a holiday light show, and his first time playing with another dog.
Duke before his rescue. Photo: PETA
Duke’s first Christmas with his new family. Photo: PETA
“PETA’s fieldworkers never gave up on Duke, and after enduring years of extreme neglect, his life has gone from miserable to merry in a safe, loving, warm home,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA urges everyone to give dogs comfort and joy during Christmas and year-round by keeping them indoors where they belong and to always report neglect and abuse when they see it.”
Although Duke is now well cared for, countless other dogs are still out there, chained and/or penned around the clock, neglected, mistreated, and watching the world go by. Every year, PETA’s rescue team finds dead or dying dogs confined to pens and/or with heavy chains around their necks. “Outdoor dogs” often go without adequate food, water, shelter, and veterinary care and are limited to the same few square feet of space day in and day out amid their own waste. Chained dogs have frozen to death during cold snaps or died from heatstroke on sweltering summer days.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.