Tortured, starved, teased, frozen, strangled, and alone. That's the life of a "tethered" or "chained" dog.
The act of "chaining" or "tethering" a dog is inhumane, as reported in a statement issued by the U.S. Department Of Agriculture (USDA) on July 2, 1996. The Federal Register against tethering dogs reads as follows:
"Our experience in enforcing the Animal Welfare Act has led us to conclude that continuous confinement of dogs by a tether is inhumane. A tether significantly restricts a dog's movement. A tether can also become tangled around or hooked on the dog's shelter structure or other objects, further restricting the dog's movement and potentially causing injury."
Our county appears to be either unaware or uninterested in the negative affects that this action has on our dog population. Chaining or "tethering" dogs causes major psychological damage to the dog, therefore, the dog owner unknowingly and more times than not, uncaringly, increases the possibility of their dog becoming a threat to society. Dogs are naturally social beings and they thrive on attention and interaction with humans and other animals. Chaining or "tethering" a dog for a long period of time prevents them from living a normal life, and causes them to experience "solitary confinement . A compassionate person would recognize this act as being abusive.
A chained dog is at a higher risk of being attacked by another dog, and the chain makes the dog defenseless. And then there is the possibility of the dog breaking free and roaming the streets. A dog running loose is a safety hazard, especially if that loose dog has lived a very stressful, unsocial, and cruel life on a chain. The chained dog typically develops hostility and resentment toward anybody with whom they come in contact with. In addition, a chained dog may suffer harassment and teasing from humans. They suffer from insect bites as a result of urine and feces lying in close proximity to them, and they are at high risk of contracting specific diseases. Very rarely do these dogs receive proper medical treatment. Chained dogs often become entangled in their chains, and can choke, strangle to death or drown as many did trapped at the end of their chains during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Once tangled, dogs are usually unable to reach food or water or even shelter. Sometimes a dog will sit tangled for days before anyone notices. Chained dogs also suffer from sporadic feedings, overturned water bowls and extreme temperatures.
Many people treat their dogs as objects that they OWN – like the rusted car on blocks next to the dog - rather than living creatures with a right to some freedom and a good life. If a person is not able to provide comfortable, proper shelter for their dog, then that person should not "own" a dog.
Sadly, animal abuse, in all shapes and forms, happens every day. Please sign my petition in the hopes that someday, this particular abuse of our dogs will be eliminated in Gloucester County, Virginia, and eventually, throughout the entire country with effective laws and ordinances that ban or limit tethering and chaining.
These dogs, simply put, live a life of torture. Please help us stop this abuse. One step at a time, we can eliminate this abuse that humans inflict on victims whose cries remain unheard and whose suffering remains unseen.