Why chained dogs need YOUR help
Can you imagine being chained up for several hours each day? How would you feel if you could only move around a couple of yards? You would have to eat, drink, sleep and attend to your bathroom needs all in this tiny space. It wouldn’t be very nice would it?
There has been a growing awareness over the past few years through national campaigning by dog lovers, leading to the introduction of laws regarding the chaining of dogs in many (but not all!) States. However, these laws are only enforceable if they are brought to the attention of the necessary authorities and that’s where the problem lies.
It is impossible to resource this centrally, meaning many poor dogs have not seen a jot of difference and continue to live a lonely and miserable existence in appalling conditions.
We want to help continue to highlight their plight and put theissue in perspective with this article, so that you understand the suffering that a dog experiences when chained up and what each and every one of us can doabout it.
Why do people chain up their pets?
Often people will chain up dogs with all of the best intentions. They know that their pooch enjoys being outdoors but they are busy and do not have the time to supervise their pet. They are also worried that if their canine does not have a chain or leash that they will run away.There is also a belief that a dog chained up outside will guard the home well but, in fact, they will do a better job if they are left inside the home.
If a dog is chained up what are the consequences?
Deprived of Social Interaction
Our canine friends like interaction with others and are social creatures. Chaining up a dog means you are depriving them of this interaction. In this situation it is possible that a pooch can change their behavior and even become hostile and aggressive, but this reaction is normally only through fear, as they can’t run away from strangers or other dogs that they perceive as a threat.
Become more Territorial
You probably already know that your dog is a territorial animal. By confining them to a very small space you will heighten this instinct. They can take it upon themselves to aggressivelydefend their small territorial area and this can be a problem for anyone that comes into contact with them.
If you keep your dog on a chain for long periods then you can cause deep psychological problems. Your dog can become unhappy, neurotic, aggressive and anxious. These problems are usually a result of the environment and when the poor pooch is actually unchained, they will normally resort back to being docile with no aggression – but ALWAYS approach a chained dog with caution.
Chains and other Restraints can cause Injuries or Death
A chain, leash or zip line can be dangerous on several fronts:
• Owners run the risk of their pooch experiencing back or neck injuries, and the chances of this happening increase significantly if the chain gets tangled up with something else.
• The potential of hanging through falling from a raised platform such as a deck or porch. This is too horrific to think about but sadly it happens far too often.
• They may accidentally knock over their food and water, resulting in hunger and dehydration.
• If the dog were to break free from a restraint then they may face injury or even death by wandering on to a busy road or highway.
Extreme Weather Exposure
Depending upon the location, chaining a dog can expose them to all kinds of problems such as extreme weather, bites from insects and even attacks from other animals. Often when a dog owner chains up there is an “out of sight out of mind” scenario. This is not intentional but the poor pooch suffers.
If there are severe weather extremes then a chain may restrict a dog’s ability to shelter in extremely hot or cold conditions. Also a dog may need more food or water. If the weather is really hot then water that is exposed will evaporate very quickly.
How YOU can help a chained dog
If you see a dog in your neighborhood that is constantly chained then please do everything that you can to stop this. People are busy but hopefully you can now understand how much these poor animals rely on caring animal lovers like you.
It is all too easy to for people to leave adog outside and then get involved in other things and forget about them. If a canine is chained up then this will make things a whole lot worse. Owners need to think about alternative ways to give their dog a good balance of indoor and outdoor life without the chain.
In manyStates chaining dogs up for too long is illegal, but it still happens. If you see a chained-updog here is what you can do:
• Have a conversation with the owner – talk to them politely and point out that their pet doesn’t look very happy/safe/comfortable on the chain and ask if there isanything you can do to help. The owner may be elderly and not as able to look after their dogs needs like they used to and unable to take them for walks.
• If you notice that the dog is low on food and water then do what you can to give them more.
• It you get a hostile reception from the owner, then walk away and file a complaint with the local authorities or ASPCA– take pictures of the dog, note down the details of the residence and tell them everything you have observed.
These poor animals are reliant on being discovered by someone like you, so become a chained dog detective. When you are out walking,please beon the lookout for dogs constantly tied outside with chains or lines and be their voice, to secure a better future for them – a one they truly deserve!
Wishing you and every dog a happy and healthy life!
Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team