February 8 – 14 is “Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week” and we wanted to share their emotional daily struggle to survive, especially now in winter, and what you can do to make a difference for these forgotten dogs starting today. Many owned dogs, and probably yours, live pampered, in warm homes on soft blankets and beds surrounded by toys, with daily treats and food, and humans that love them. Yet, for many more dogs, and even puppies, that aren’t even homeless, they fall into the category of “chained dogs”.
Unfortunately, many of these puppies and dogs across the globe live in chains their entire lives, in backyards, in cramped spaces, sometimes battling extreme cold or heat. Being tethered for long hours is detrimental to their physical and psychological health. They are living, breathing and feeling creatures who need thrive on the love and companionship of their humans. It is particularly heartbreaking to see dogs chained in a yard during the deepest freezes of winter where dogs suffer frostbite, exposure & dehydration when water sources freeze and the hottest days of summer.
Hard for many pet owners to believe believe, but chain dog owners don’t even acknowledge them as anything other than “animals” and rarely even spend more than a few minutes a day, if the dog(s) are so lucky. Many of these desperate animals are not even provided fresh water or daily food, and are often found with old injuries like bone breaks that healed into severe disabilities.
This is “A CHAINED DOG’S PLEA” – so emotionally written by www.budgetvetcare.com that we had to share. We hope it opens your heart, eyes and ears to what is happening in backyards all around the U.S. & beyond and inspires you to take action to help deserving, very desperate puppies & dogs.
Here’s what a chained dog’s life is all about…
It is early morning and I can say that because the members of my family are moving around in the house. I can hear them laughing and talking but no one is coming out to check on me. I wish I could be with them.
I am awake since long. I am hungry and thirsty. I got tangled in my chain last and night and I am still tangled in it.
My neck is hurting as the chain is too tight. I want to go out, play, exercise, be with my family but this chain is stopping me from even moving properly.
It’s time for all to leave. Some will rush for the office and the youngest person in the family will go to school. Yes, I notice them all. I even try to run towards them hoping that they will notice me but as usual no one even paid attention to me.
8:20 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
I am still sitting here, confused, hungry and waiting for my family members to come. I am not sure what am I supposed to do? I want to protect the house so that I can be useful to them but I am stuck with this chain and that’s what frustrates me so I keep barking.
Suddenly a man who looks like an officer arrives at our doorstep and posts a notice at the door of the house. Then he gives an odd look or a pitying look may be. Do I look bad? Yes, I may be but that look is confusing so I growl at him as I have no idea what else to react.
Yay! the youngest person in the house has arrived. I wish he would play with me for a while and we could have a great time together. But he does not. I have to pee and poop at the same place every day in a bathroom, a few feet from my shelter.
Okay now, all the members of my family are home. Thank god at least I won’t feel lonely at its peak. So you remember that man who gave me an odd look? He was the bylaw enforcement officer. I got to know this when one of the family members removed the notice and yelled at me to stop barking because they’re getting a legal notice.
I am sad again and still embarrassed for being a reason for their inconvenience but trust me all I want is their attention. I smell food in the house. I am hungry and thirsty since morning.
My one of the family members comes out to see me and I feel so good. He fills my food and water bowl. I become so happy that I can’t resist my excitement and I end up spilling a water bowl on his clothes. He becomes angry and again yells at me. He also says that it’s due to my such behavior he’s not willing to keep me in the house with him.
It’s another shameful thing that I did. But I don’t understand why can’t they unchain me? Am I that bad? Did I harm anyone? No…Did I misbehave? No..Yes. I bark but that’s because I have no clue about what else to do…All I can do is stay chained and dream to get a day to get unchained.
They had dinner and now I can hear them talking, listening to music and having great family time. Wish I could be a part of my own family who never considers me as their family member. As people say ‘Every dog has a day’ so I am waiting for my day to have my freedom. It’s another lonely night and I sleep while dreaming about being unchained.
There are many our of 50 states that have laws that actually allow this inhumane treatment to take place and protect owners. Challenging these laws at the state level even today, often meet with resistance. But that doesn’t stop animal rescues like the following from doing all they can to make a difference in the lives of these desperate dogs who are often some of the sweetest, those understandably human shy animals.
Here is a table of State Dog Tether Laws so you can educate yourself on what’s happening legally in your own backyard. If your state has laws that favor owners over their pets, we hope it inspires you to get involved and make a difference.
There are many rescues across the U.S. whose missions are to improve the lives of dogs when there is absolutely no other hope for these animals. Some of these animal’s deplorable conditions are due to demographics, lack of owner resources or education. In many backroads, rural areas, it’s an outdated mentality that an animal is simply “just an animal”. But the sad part, is it’s not just rural areas as many think. Even in thriving metropolitan areas, there’s daily chained dog abuse. News reports during severe weather like tornadoes, hurricanes and blizzard snow, over the recent years, have often featured stories of dogs chained to fences on properties after owner’s left to seek shelter.
It’s disturbing and emotional for the majority of animal rescue volunteers to get reports of these abused chained animals, especially when the animals are in desperate need of medical care but are left to die tethered because of abusive, uncaring owner. Because they are owned, there’s often not much that can be done to convince an owner to change their method of care. There are even areas of the U.S. where animal control officers are so overwhelmed, or outdated laws regard animals as “property” that these poor dogs fall through the cracks of society. Groups and volunteers will often try every means to get an owner to relinquish the dog(s) to a rescue. Some are successful, others aren’t.
HOWS (House of Wood & Straw) Dog Shelter Projects- www.housesofwoodandstraw.org
HOWS (House of Wood & Straw) Dog Shelter Install project - www.housesofwoodandstraw.org
There are rescue/volunteer groups that exist to build shelters and fencing for these chained dogs to give them a step-up to a better day-to-day existence. This too, is often met with resistance from the dog’s owners.
According to the Coalitions to Unchain Dogs in North Carolina, Beyond Fences (https://beyondfences.org/fence-program), “By building free fences our fence program frees dogs living on chains and gives families and pets a safe place to strengthen their bond. Prior to building a fence, we provide free spay or neuter for each dog. We also supply each dog with a dog house, provide wheat straw during the cold winter months and tarps for shade in the summer heat. We’ve unchained over 2,200 dogs to date.”
As rescues, we can simply strive to continue to education the communities on animal compassion and care. We also use every means on social media to educate people on the plight of these desperate chained dogs. For many pet owners, they just can’t imagine that someone could treat an animal with such disrespect and lack of care.
Here are some other things you can do to help chained dogs:
- Adopt a dog.
- Be the change.
- Rescue a dogthat is forced to spend its days chained, confined or is unwanted.
- Offer a doggyday in or out.
- Offer to watch a friend’s dog.
- Get him home on a cold day, or weather permitting, take him.
- Contact your local rescue/shelter or animal control department if a dog/puppy is in danger and desperate need.
HOWS (House of Wood & Straw) Shelter/Fence project - www.housesofwoodandstraw.org
The following are a partial list of rescues/organizations that dedicate their time to helping free chained dogs.
Unchain America – Helping To Free Chained and Penned Dogs Across The Country www.unchainamerica.net