Breaking the Chain, a new documentary from executive producer Anjelica Huston, tells the heartbreaking stories of neglected and abused ‘backyard’ dogs.

Sadly, Zena, an emaciated German Shepherd, spent much of her life chained up in a backyard without shelter from flies, fleas, and mosquitoes. Edith, a neglected chow mix, lived outdoors for almost a decade. This reality is far too common for thousands of dogs across the United States.

“It’s one thing to hear about the animal neglect and overpopulation crisis and another to see for yourself how dogs are left to shiver, pant, limp, and suffer in backyards,” Huston said in a press released, “where they’re confined to wire cages or chained to pieces of junk.”

Featuring interviews and behind-the-scenes footage, the documentary shows how fieldworkers from PETA’s Community Animal Project attempt to educate pet guardians about the love and attention all dogs desperately crave.

Some fortunate dogs featured in the documentary overcome their suffering after spending years tethered outdoors without adequate food and water, combating extreme hot and cold weather, fleas, ticks, and other ailments. These success stories show how compassion and care can change animals’ lives.

“It shows how each one of us can change the world for animals in our own communities,” PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch said, “so that one day, no one is condemned to a life sentence of isolation and deprivation without love, respect, or even basic care.”

Breaking the Chain is available to stream on various platforms, including Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu, and Vimeo on Demand.

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