PETA
and other Virginia animal shelters have just submitted to the state the numbers
of animals they received, found wonderful homes for, reunited with guardians,
had to euthanize,
or were able to release back into nature in 2011. Because numbers can’t begin
to tell each animal’s story, let me describe one of those animals: Pepper.

PETA’s
emergency fieldworkers are on call 24/7 and leap into action even when that
means getting up in the middle of the night to drive long distances in response
to calls about suffering, abandoned, neglected, and abused animals. Since we
refer healthy, highly adoptable animals to traditional, well-trafficked animal shelters,
the animals we focus on with our hands-on work are the most abused, neglected,
and underserved, usually the “unadoptables.”

Like
Pepper.

For
months, PETA tried to engage local law-enforcement officials to take action on a
monstrous woman who kept a terribly neglected and miserable dog named Pepper,
who needed urgent veterinary treatment, penned in her backyard. When PETA found
her, Pepper had been languishing in the filthy backyard cage for years and had slowly deteriorated,
yet the woman—a nursing assistant—couldn’t be bothered to provide her dog with basic
vet care and dignity.




Finally,
PETA obtained custody of Pepper and whisked her to a veterinarian, who
determined that Pepper was suffering from dehydration, “severe emaciation”
(the veterinarian’s exact words), a severe eye infection that caused both of
Pepper’s eyes to ooze discharge, a chronic hematoma (blood pocket) on her left
ear, chronic dermatitis, a raging flea infestation (more than 500 live fleas
were picked off her body), extremely worn-down teeth from biting at her own
infected skin, toenails on all four feet so curled inward that they were embedded
into the skin (causing an infection), a large mammary tumor, and cancer. For
Pepper, euthanasia was a sweet release from the painful existence that she’d endured
for so long. PETA’s fieldworker stayed with Pepper as she peacefully slipped
away from this world.

PETA
filed cruelty charges against Angela Williams, Pepper’s owner. This month,
there was a small measure of justice meted out for Pepper when a judge found Williams
guilty of cruelty to animals. The
judge said that the woman’s treatment of Pepper was as inexcusable as it would be
to know that one of her patients had had bed sores for months and do nothing
about it.

How
we wish that Pepper’s heart-wrenching case was unusual! PETA’s caseworkers take
in scores of animals who are in equally miserable, and even worse, condition almost every
single day. For many of these suffering souls, the only kind thing to do is to
hold them, make a fuss about them, tell them that they are loved, and let them
slip away.

How You Can Help
Dogs Like Pepper

If
a dog is kept penned or chained in your neighborhood, please take action. Urge the homeowner to allow
the dog indoors and make him or her a part of the family. Offer to take the
lonely dog for walks. Report abuse and neglect. Get the dog fixed, vaccinated,
and dewormed. Look for other medical needs. Together, let’s help wipe out the
cruel practice of tossing dogs in the backyard and forgetting about them.
Please push for anti-chaining
legislation
in your city or state.

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Article source: PETA Files

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