Julie started off the new year the way every dog should—in a warm home surrounded by a loving family. But the cutie-pie collie wasn't always so lucky. She spent the early part of her life trapped at the end of a chain, desperate for a kind word, a loving scratch behind the ears, and much-needed medical attention.
When Julie's guardians contacted PETA and asked us to help get her treatment for what turned out to be a horribly painful prolapsed vagina, we agreed on the condition that they allow Julie to live indoors. The guardians accepted our deal, but when we went back to check on Julie, there she was, chained again. We convinced the family to grant us custody of Julie and found her a home with a retired couple who fell head over heels for the sweet, affectionate dog. They live right across the street from a park where Julie loves to run and play. She is a joyful girl who sticks to her new parents like glue.
Unfortunately, millions of dogs like Julie are still languishing in backyards at the end of a chain. Many are denied proper food, water, veterinary care, and shelter and have nothing but an overturned trash bin or plastic barrel—or nothing at all—to shield them during freezing winter nights. Countless chained dogs have frozen to death during cold snaps or died of heatstroke on sweltering summer days.
In order to raise awareness of these "forgotten" dogs, PETA has declared January "Unchain a Dog" Month. You can help chained dogs by asking your city officials to propose an anti-chaining ordinance and by taking action to help a lonely, neglected dog in your neighborhood.
Written by Michelle Sherrow