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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Blog the Change - Help Get Dogs Off Chains

Blog the Change

Today I write to support a cause. January 15 is one of the quarterly dates that I have agreed to write a post in support of an animal cause - to blog the change as part of "Be the Change for Animals."

My friends and readers know that I support animal adoptions. I have participated in a number of events spreading the word on the importance of adoption. But the cause I write about today is even more important. As much as I want all animals to have a forever home, I want even more that all animals have a GOOD forever home.

So the cause I support today is one that a number of organizations like Chain Free Nation, Dogs Deserve Better and the Coalition to Unchain Dogs work to support - getting dogs off chains. The Humane Society of America estimates that 200,000 dogs in the United States spend most of their lives chained and alone. This is so cruel on a number of levels. First, we dogs are pack animals so being chained alone is very hard on us. 

Second, while this is not all the case, chained dogs are most likely not treated well. They are not given enough food or water. In the winter their water freezes and they get cold.

It doesn't take long before any grass that grew in the chained area becomes dirt. It becomes mud when it rains or when snow melts. This is no life for a dog. Dogs in this environment become depressed and stressed and often develop aggressive behaviors.

Sometimes the people have no other way to take care of their dogs but leaving them chained often leads to a broader neglect. Watch this video to see what I mean.

So what can we do? First we can work to get anti-tethering laws passed in our communities. These laws prohibit or restrict the amount of time a dog can be tethered. Help educate people who chain their dogs. If they have no other way to care for their dog, offer to spend time with their dog. Or, you can volunteer for one of the organizations or start your own to help raise money to build fences so people can get their dogs off the chain.

The sites I mentioned above are all good resources for information on how to make a difference in this cause. And now a video to show what happens when you make a difference. Watch how Messiah changes from the beginning to the end!


Whether you want to support this cause or another, just realize that You can Be the Change!

Check out these other posts about great causes that support animals!


Liz and Kitties said...

Heart-wrenching, so sad. If people "have no other way to care for their dog," then they should not have one!
That is a horrible way for a dog to have to live.
You have hightlighted a great need, and cause.
Thank you.

Frankie Furter and Ernie said...

I would rather see a Small pen than a Chained Dawg!!!

Hey Yoda... are you gonna get in MangoMinster 2011??? You should. It is a BLAST!!!

Trixie, Lily, and Sammy-Joe said...

Why would anyone want to get a dog in the first place, if they're just going to chain him up??? That's silly! Dogs have so much love to give, and they can't give it from the end of a chain!!!

Backcountry Brodie said...

We nefur could unnerstand why peeples even has a dog if'n they just chain them outside. Wot is they trying to pawtect? The yard?

houndstooth said...

Yoda, you did a great job talking about the issue! I hope lots of people take it to heart!


HIlary said...

I love the idea of Chain Free Nation. Very important. A sick practice, indeed. Thanks for writing about it and educating all of us on the horrors of chaining pets to a life of misery.

Mariodacat said...

Excellent post friend. A few years ago (actually a lot of years ago)M reported a neighbor to the Humane Society for chaining their doggie up in the back yard. The poor doggie was wallowing in mud, had no house to go into, no tree to lay under for shade and it was a hot summer. Poor thing barked most of the day. I would have barked too, and I'm a cat. Why have a dog if you are going to chain it up. It's very cruel. He he - M was happy she turned them in because the Humane Society followed thru, called on the humans, and within a week they had a doggie house, and a chained fence yard so the doggie could at least roam his back yard. It was a start anyway. The dog was much happier and didn't bark all day long.

The Thundering Herd said...

I always worry greatly about this subject because we jump from chaining to anti-tethering laws that are often overly restrictive and totally missing the point. The issue is not, in and of itself, what type of containment is used, but whether the dog is loved, cared for, and interacting with humans. A dog can be behind the most beautiful fence, but still neglected, underfed and watered, and unloved.

We go camping often with the dogs. To secure the dogs while in the campsite, we use a picket line. While using that line, I am ALWAYS within visual connection of the dogs. But some anti-tethering laws make that illegal.

To me, this is not unlike Breed Specific Legislation. Taking the bad example set by some people, and then deciding to ban all of that breed because of those examples. In this case, we use pictures of neglected dogs dragging around heavy chains, and jump to anti-tethering laws.

I would never, ever, support the neglect and abuse of a dog. In fact, the members of The Herd are with us because their previous families were neglectful. I just urge people to be very careful in the way this type of legislation is written. Bad laws do not solve the real problems.

Unknown said...

The videos made me cry. Thanks for bringing it up and letting more people know about those little helpless furkids. They deserve love and care from humans that they trust not negligence and cruelty!

KimT said...

Great information, worthy cause. Thanks for spreading awareness of this! Unchain the dogs!

Unknown said...

I think you did a great job with this post. You talked about the need to give tethered dogs a better life without villifying their people. Some folks just don't know any better or don't have better resources.

I think Thundering Herd makes a good point, though, that the end result we want is to make sure dogs have good lives, not just that they're off tethers. I know that's what you want too.

Unknown said...

I think you did a great job with this post. You talked about the need to give tethered dogs a better life without villifying their people. Some folks just don't know any better or don't have better resources.

I think Thundering Herd makes a good point, though, that the end result we want is to make sure dogs have good lives, not just that they're off tethers. I know that's what you want too.

Sue said...

Thanks Yoda, that's an important message to get out there. Dogs don't belong on chains and we need to help them get free.
Morgan, Tsar and the Porties

Yoda_the_Dog said...

Thanks for all of the comments. I agree the big issue is the fact that the chains often represent neglect. I also agree with the Thundering Herd that tethering per se is not the issue. I also agree that a dog left in a pen of fenced yard can also be just as neglected as one on a chain.Legislation should address the overall situation. Laws that deal with the length of time a dog is tethered is important.

We see all the time that without the law there is no way to address the more subtle neglect issues. So the real trick is in using the laws to confront the misbehavers.

My brofur dog Goliath hates being outside. He also does not like to use the bathroom when someone is watching. When mom and dad had no fenced yard they would take him out and hook him to a long cable for just enough time so he could do his business. It would be bad if that would be against the law or worse that someone would use the law to prohibit that type of activity.

For the animals that are not completely neglected, there is some hope of improvement through educating the owners. But it always comes down to people who have dogs that do not consider them part of the family. If that's the case, they will always be at risk. And the resounding comments as to why those folks have dogs in the first place is the big issue.

Pup Fan said...

This was a really touching post - it's a really important issue. I agree with the Thundering Herd - we need legislation that is tailored to prevent neglect and abuse, and not just a broad swipe that doesn't get at the heart of the problem. Thanks for featuring this cause for BtC!