“Man’s best friend” is sometimes considered a cliché but it is a very true statement. Dogs are loyal, protective, trusting and forgiving. So why would you want to keep them on a chain? You can ride around city streets and even the countryside and see dogs tethered to a chain 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They get no socialization, no exercise, are vulnerable to weather conditions and in many cases, injuries can occur. But if they at least have a fence it gives them area to exercise and can decrease their chances of injury and change their attitude for the better. Here are some reasons why:
Dogs are very social animals and need contact with people for more than a few minutes when their food or water bowl is being filled. Imagine lugging a huge chain around your neck every day all day. Dogs are pack animals and want to be a part of your pack. When they are left alone all the time it can lead to personality problems like biting. A lot of times they are so starved for attention that they jump up and down on a person when they are near them. Many dogs tend to bark quite a bit because they want to be with their person, but in many cases, they are just yelled “shut up” to. How would you feel?
Their exercise is very limited to a circular area around where they are chained. Dogs need to run and jump and play. Being chained is a type of imprisonment for just being a dog. They knock their food and water bowls over with the chain which can be very dangerous given a very hot or cold day. Often times there is very little cover for the animal to get away from weather. What if you had to be outside in the blistering heat, freezing cold, rain, sleet, snow?
I am a veterinary technician and have seen what kind of injuries can happen to a chained dog. Being on a chain, another dog/dogs or wildlife can come into the chained dog’s yard and it has nowhere to escape. Other injuries I have seen include imbedded collars (the collar/chain has grown into the dog’s neck), chains causing wounds on their leg or body, and sometimes broken legs where the dog has tried to run with the chain wrapped around the leg and snapped it in two. They are also subject to fleas and ticks especially if they are near a wooded area.
I know a lot of people chain dogs because that's all they know - their family has always done it that way. I volunteer with an organization called The Coalition to Unchain Dogs and we are hoping to change this mindset. I have seen firsthand the change in a dog’s demeanor when it goes from being chained to running around in a fence. I have seen them go from barking and scared to receptive and happy once the chain is removed and they are released into their new fence.
The Coalition to Unchain Dogs’ mission is to educate people about the dangers of chaining a dog and to help improve a dog’s life. Dogs love us no matter what and they have no ulterior motives. I often feel they are more than what we deserve. Please help improve the life of a dog on a chain. If you would like to volunteer your time with The Coalition to Unchain Dogs or learn more about them, you can go to their web page for more information: www.unchaindogs.net.
We at TVRH are also raising money to build a fence for a dog in September. We have T-shirts available for $20.00 a piece or for a donation of any amount, we have a bracelet that you could wear as supplies last. Our goal is to raise at least $500.00. The dogs that receive a fence are also provided with vaccines and a mandatory spay or neuter which helps with population control. Anything you can give is appreciated. Please make checks out to Coalition to Unchain Dogs. Together with your help, we can change the life of a dog. So please help us to break the chain and unleash the love.
Michele Kendall, RVT