Dogs On Chains: Make A Difference and Set Them Free By Building Fences

March 14, 2015  •  Leave a Comment
With the passing of the recent Outdoor Pet Tethering Ordinance in Nashville the real work now begins, helping the dogs of Nashville get off their chains and into a space where they can freely and safely run and play.  Two organizations I have been fortunate to come across are Habitat For Paws and Dogs Deserve Better.  Both organizations are doing this very important hard work and making a difference in every community they visit by helping dog owners by providing lightweight tethers, hay, cedar shavings, new Igloo dog houses, and building permanent fences to get the dogs off their chains permanently.
Rebecca showing the mangled mess Bear and Sugar were chained on with only 2 feet of room up to when we arrived for the build today
Today I had the privilege of helping Dogs Deserve Better's fence building team construct a new fence for the dogs Bear and Sugar.  When the fence building team arrived the dogs were on chains and they had become entangled and they each had less than 2 feet of room on their chains to move in any direction.  With the construction of their new fence Bear and Sugar will now be able to run and play in their very own yard, safely.
Chaining, or tethering refers to the practice of fastening a dog to a stationary object or stake, usually in the owner's backyard, as a means of keeping the animal under control. These terms do not refer to the periods when an animal is walked on a leash.
Dogs are naturally social beings who thrive on interaction with human beings and other animals.  A dog kept chained in one spot for hours, days, months or even years suffers immense psychological damage.  An otherwise friendly and docile dog, when kept continuously chained, becomes neurotic, unhappy, anxious and often aggressive.
In many cases, the necks of chained dogs become raw and covered with sores, the result of improperly fitted collars and the dogs' constant yanking and straining to escape confinement. Dogs have even been found with collars embedded in their necks, the result of years of neglect at the end of a chain.
Dogs have to eat, sleep, urinate and defecate in a single confined area.  Owners who chains their dogs are also less likely to clean the area.  Although there may have once been grass in an area of confinement, it is usually so beaten down by the dog's pacing that the ground consists of nothing but dirt or mud.
More than 100 communities in more than 30 states have passed laws that regulate the practice of tethering animals. Maumelle, Ark., and Tucson, Ariz., completely prohibit the unattended tethering of dogs. Many other communities only allow tethering for limited periods of time or during certain conditions. Orange County, Fla., for example, does not allow tethering between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. or during times of extreme weather.
Animal control and humane agencies receive countless calls every day from citizens concerned about animals in these cruel situations. Animal control officers, paid at taxpayer expense, spend many hours trying to educate pet owners about the dangers and cruelty involved in this practice.
A chained animal is caught in a vicious cycle; frustrated by long periods of boredom and social isolation, he becomes a neurotic shell of his former self—further deterring human interaction and kindness. In the end, the helpless dog can only suffer the frustration of watching the world go by in isolation—a cruel fate for what is by nature a highly social animal. Any city, county, or state that bans this practice is a safer, more humane community.
While there are many situations that families cannot keep a dog inside the home, there is a correct way to make sure the dogs have access to good food, clean water, and shelter all day, every day.  Habitat For Paws and Dogs Deserve Better take it one step further by helping the dogs in local communities have access to just that.  The impact is immediate, check out the video below.
Bear and Sugar being able to run free in their new yard safely and happily (video credit: Pamela Cisneros)
Animal rescue isn't just about social media sharing, you have to get out and get your hands dirty to help also.  Are you good with tools?  Working with your hands?  Want to volunteer to make a difference in a dogs life?  To find out how you can help the dogs of Nashville in your community please visit the Habitat For Paws or Dogs Deserve Better websites today.

 


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