Duke spent most of his life—at least four years—chained outside in the summer heat and winter cold 24/7, starving for food and love alongside five other dogs he couldn’t reach to play with or even sniff. But this Christmas, Santa’s helpers at PETA brought him everything on his wish list: a warm house he lives in with his guardians, a loving family who cares for him and treats him with respect, and a canine sister to romp and play with. See him now:

Duke’s Years as a ‘Backyard Dog’ Were Filled With Heartache

PETA fieldworkers visited these 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 authorities to seize the remaining canines. The owner was ultimately charged with multiple counts of cruelty to animals, and PETA sued for and gained custody of all the surviving dogs.

Duke—a fieldworker favorite for years—was soon adopted by one of his rescuers. Now, instead of struggling to survive, he’s experiencing plenty of firsts: his first Christmas with a family who loves him, his first toys under the tree, and his first walk by his guardian’s side through a holiday light show.

How You Can Help Dogs Like Duke

Although Duke is now well cared for, countless other dogs are still out there, chained or penned in all weather extremes. “Outdoor dogs” are often deprived of adequate food, water, shelter, and veterinary care. One way you can help them is to work with your elected officials to pass ordinances that ban or restrict chaining. To get started, see what current legislation on tethering dogs exists in your community.

Dogs should never be left outdoors unattended, but when they’re outside and deprived of access to water, food, or shelter, the situation becomes an emergency and local authorities should be contacted immediately. If those authorities are unresponsive, contact PETA for help. Dogs’ well-being—if not their lives—could depend on you. 

The post PETA Was ‘Santa Paws’ for Duke: See This Formerly Chained Dog’s First Christmas appeared first on PETA.

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