Native Duluth featured in PETA documentary

In "Breaking the Chain," PETA field worker and Duluth native Emily Allen pets Edith. The documentary explores dogs chained outside throughout the year in the south, and the experiences of field workers aiming to educate pet owners, as well as advocate and care for animals. (Submitted photo)
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When asked what it was like to see yourself in a movie, Allen replied, “The same reaction everyone has: ‘Do I really sound like that?’ ‘

Allen didn’t grow up with animals or knew a lot about animal rights. It wasn’t common then, she says.

Emily allen

In high school, his family adopted a German Shepherd mix named Sam from Animal Allies. Soon she and her twin sister, Elisa Allen, who also works at PETA today, began volunteering at the shelter to walk dogs.

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After graduating from Duluth East High School, Emily Allen learned more about animal rights, food production and factory farming. “I was horrified and wanted to do something about it. PETA seemed like the most logical place to end up, ”she said.

After graduating from St. Olaf College in 2004, Allen saw an internship open at PETA’s headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia. She moved into the animal cruelty investigation department and worked her way up the ranks.

“My 15 year old myself would think my job is pretty cool. It’s something that makes me proud, ”she said.

Allen suffered culture shock while moving south, noting a different pattern of pet ownership than Northland.

“Growing up in Minnesota, in Duluth in particular, I didn’t see many garden or neglected or chained dogs.… Most of the dogs I used to see were family members. This is not the case with the dogs that I all see. Most of them spend their whole lives in chains. “

In many of the areas they serve, there are often no veterinary clinics, shelters or experts responding to animal crises.

In ‘Breaking the Chain’, PETA field workers teach pet owners how to cut their dog’s nails, explain the importance of shelter and socialization, and offer free spaying and neutering services. .

“Sometimes these animals don’t have happy ending stories, and that’s the hardest part of the job,” Allen said over the phone.

Parts of the documentary are graphic. Pictures and photos show worn and exposed flesh around a dog’s neck, ears chewed by fleas and dead dogs.

Allen recounted a recent case where a 13-year-old posted a video on Snapchat of himself beating a cat. The animal, Oreo, survived and was adopted by one of Allen’s staff.

“It’s hard to see people being so indifferent, but also mean, to animals. … Then you try to focus on the victories: bringing Oreo to a new house, where he will never be abused again.

“Breaking the Chain” is available on Apple TV, Prime Video and on breakthechainfilm.com.

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