The topic of chained dogs is one I’m particularly passionate about. It all goes back to our dog, Snake, for me. She had been living chained to a tree with a heavy logging chain in Northern California when Rich rescued her years ago with the help of a game warden. She was not socialized to people and we will never know how she was treated in her developmental months as a young dog. She had no fur on her neck due to the chain and she “pancaked” in the early days when Rich took her home. She was simply terrified. The veterinarian Rich took her to said her hair may never grow back. It did and she thrived in time with the help of the man who is my own personal dog whisperer and who, in all likelihood, is really part dog.
February is Unchain a Dog Month. The second week in February is Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week. In honor of this week and month, I am happy to report that a dog ordinance I have been advancing in the city where I live was approved by my city council last night. It is now illegal to keep a dog confined by direct-point chaining or tethering to a stationary object in our city. Dogs may be contained inside a residential structure, inside a fenced yard, in a pen or with a run or trolley line. In addition to containment methods, our ordinance has provisions for adequate shelter and nutrition and prohibits dogs being kept outside during dangerous conditions. This particular part of the ordinance is intentionally vague so it can relate to either extreme temperatures or weather events like tornado warnings. I would have liked to have the ordinance prohibit perpetual penning of dogs, but we could not find a way to include a provision like that and have it enforceable at this point.
If you keep your dog chained or tethered in your yard, please. Find another way to make that dog part of your family and keep him or her from becoming a public safety risk. If you are an animal advocate like me and you want to advance legislation in your own area to help keep your community safe and ensure dogs receive better care, have no fear. Take a chance and speak out for what you believe in. Dogs cannot speak for themselves and in the end, you are their voice.