Undo Those Chains

The days of dogs being chained up in our backyards are over… FOREVER!

What is considered “animal abuse” when chaining a dog?

Owners that chain their dog on a very heavy and short chain to an object with no shelter, no fresh water and in all types of weather aliments for any amount of time are committing animal abuse.  It breaks my heart when I see pictures of dogs confined and forced to be in such a horrible predicament.  When an owner confines their dog to the back yard and even though they are provided with a dog house, which is where they live out their lives is unquestionably animal abuse.  Why even bother having a dog if that is how you want to interact (lack of) with your dog?

When is tethering a dog allowed?

  • A pet on a restraint to get fresh air or a potty break is acceptable, if done for a very short period such as less than 2 hours and supervised.
  • Proper fitted collars attached are important to use when tethering your dog… ABSOLUTELY no choke, prong or martingale collars should be used. It enhances the dog’s chances of choking.
  • Making sure your dog has a long chain and a safe/clean area to move around in is a must. Ensuring the happiness of you pet is your responsibility as the owner.
  • Provide adequate shelter even when it is for short periods that your dog is outside for, especially in extreme heat or cold. Dogs need shade and a lot of water in the summer- they get dehydrated very easily! And in the winter, dogs need shelter from the cold wind and the snow. It is best to be considerate of the weather outside. Don’t put your pet out in severe weather such as; snow storms, thunderstorms, tornado’s or hurricanes. It should be common sense, but far too often are dogs injured/killed because of bad weather.

*Walking your dog daily is still a must, even if they spend time outside! It is important to the dog’s psychological well-being to see new areas and smell new things.*

What is being done to prevent this problem?

Many communities have banned any type of unattended tethering! It is important to know the laws of your town and to ALWAYS speak up when you see these crimes being committed. In some states, there are laws that just “regulate” tethering. Putting a time limit and other restraints on the situations.

To find the laws about tethering in your community, please click on this link!

http://www.unchainyourdog.org/Laws.htm

Some astonishing facts about a chained dog:

  • A dog kept chained in one spot for hours, days, months or even years suffers immense psychological damage. They are often very aggressive and thus more likely to be put to sleep. Since dogs are pack animals, they are the happiest when they are with a group (or your family.) By keeping them alone outside, you are robbing them of their most basic needs to survive and be happy. Dogs are also den animals. So they crave a safe, quiet place to sleep– just another reason why dogs should be inside!
  • Necks of chained dogs become raw and often infected, the result of improperly fitted collars and constant yanking and straining to escape confinement. A lot of dogs have been found with collars embedded in their necks, the result of years of neglect at the end of a chain.
  • Children are the most common victims of chained animal aggression. The owner is denying the dog of their “fight-or-flight” response, so it always has to fight. Anything that in “new” and in their territory, the dogs automatically sees as a threat.
  • Chained dogs have accidentally hung or choked themselves to death on their chain. Not to mention, they get tangled and can’t reach their food/water.

Problems Dogs may experience when forced to be chained for long periods

  • Overturned water dish
  • Limited or zero supply of shelter
  • Flea and insect infestation
  • Forced to step or sleep in their own feces/urine.
  • Little or no grass due to the grass being beaten down by the dog’s pacing
  • Behavioral issues such as; depression, aggression, separation anxiety, neurotic behavior such as turning in circles and extreme pacing.

My Final Thoughts

Chaining dogs for a long period of time is abuse. If you are going to have a dog, then have a dog. Let it be inside and be a part of your family like it is supposed to. Not every “chained dog” will become aggressive, but the problems will go deeper than anyone will ever see. PLEASE speak up for these neglected animals. If you see something like this going on, contact your local animal rescue, humane society, animal control, or police. And be persistent!

“Our lives end the day we become silent about the things that matter.”

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–Mindi

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”  –Nelson Mandela

These statistics were found on the HSUS website

How much is that doggie in the window?

How many of you have walked by the pet store and saw the adorable puppy with big eyes and a wagging tail? The puppy that is just pawing at the glass for your attention. All of us animal lovers have such a hard time just walking away because we want to save them all.. Out comes the money, and there you have it- another pet store puppy is sold to the first person with $600.

While it is partly true that we saved this dog from a life unknown, at the same time,  we have  just supported a puppy mill. Almost every time someone buys a dog from a pet store or online, the dog has come from a home in which the parents are merely thought of as property.

The  fact is that in the US there are almost 10,000 puppy mills operating today. This means that there are hundreds of thousands of dogs bred in conditions that are completely appalling. These unfortunate dogs receive no human contact, no exercise or veterinary care and are often kept in tiny wire cages trapped in their own filth. Many of them, once rescued, are unable to walk properly when removed from their cage and placed on solid ground. The only concern of the puppy mill breeders is the bottom line profit they can make at the expense of the health, safety and disposition of their “product”. These mills do not have heat or air conditioning, so in the winters many of the dogs freeze to death, and in the summers, the dogs die from heat stroke.

Even more alarming is the fact that the ASPCA (who did a survey of 800 U.S. adults from across the US), the “vast majority of people surveyed -78% of them- told interviewers that they believe that puppies sold in pet stores come from such places as shelters, or private owners whose pet had litters, or they really had no idea where these animals came from.” That is just appalling to me! I can’t imagine that 78% of Americans have NO IDEA what a puppy mill is. This has got to change!

My goal with this post is not to use scare tactics to educate people. I just want to lay out the facts so I can raise awareness for the Pet Store/ Puppy mill connection. Education is the key. When people stop buying puppies in pet stores or through online internet ads, the puppy mill industry will no longer be in demand and the misery will end. Please join me in this fight.

How can you help right now?

NEVER EVER buy a dog. Whether it is directly from a breeder or online. You are putting money into the pockets of people who are helping the high numbers of euthanized pets each year in shelters.  Do you want a purebred dog? Well statistics show that 33% of dogs in shelters are actually purebred. AND most backyard breeders aren’t selling purebred puppies! You are dishing out $600 for an adorable APRI registered dog, and that means nothing! APRI is a national registry that only has the breeder send in a photo of the dog and they take a look at the face and body. Then they decide whether or not it is purebred. There are no blood tests done. APRI also doesn’t ask that you screen the dogs for genetic defects. ANY DECENT BREEDER always wants to know exactly where the dog is going. They will want references and proof that you can have the dog where you live.

ALWAYS ADOPT from an animal shelter or rescue. These pets are not “broken” or damaged. They are simply hearts that need to be loved. I have heard so many people say that they are worried about the behavioral problems and training of a shelter dog. This frustrates me. Who is going to need more training than an 8 week old puppy?

NEVER GIVE YOUR MONEY TO A PET STORE THAT SELLS PUPPIES OR KITTENS.  Not for an animal, not even for food, treats or toys. By giving this store your business and time, it is letting the owner believe that he is successful. It is important to let the owner know that you are offended that he/ she sells these animals and that your  money will never go to his business. I suggest that you write a letter (make sure it is decently respectful) that explains your reasoning for not going to their store anymore. If they feel as though their business is being threatened, they might just back down!

ALWAYS try to educate. If someone you know wants to buy a dog, please tell them what their money is really going to. Even if you “do the research” and you have “seen the parents”, you likely haven’t. So many mills today have adult dogs set aside that look pretty and healthy, so buyers are relieved to see where their puppies come from. What you aren’t seeing are the dogs stashed away in that barn 100 ft. to your left. IF you are hell-bent on getting a purebred dog, go to petfinder.com. You can search for any kind of dog and it won’t cost you nearly as much to adopt him/her as it would to buy.

**I want it to be said, again, that I do not hate all breeders. If you have a small operation and you take great care of your dogs, then I am happy to see you around. It isn’t my intention to make enemies with this. I am just trying to get the world to see that by purchasing a dog from a pet store, then you are aiding in the suffering of its parents. NOT ALL BREEDERS ARE THIS WAY. But the great breeders do not sell to pet stores. I strongly suggest you look at the USDA reports for the Hunte Corporation in Missouri and the Kruse family in West Point, Iowa. These are the breeders that need to be stopped. These are the ones that clearly put profit over the welfare of the animal. **

Again, thank you friends for always reading what I have to say. I always love to read your feedback (whether it is negative or positive). And please PLEASE share with your friends! It is so important to get this information out there! Email it to family, coworkers, facebook it, tweet it… I don’t care! I just want to someday live in a world where we “Adopt, Don’t Shop!” and where people never ask, “What is a puppy mill?”

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For more information:

Designer Dogs  http://wp.me/p1xvZr-4h

Dyvig’s Pet Shoppe Ames, Iowa http://wp.me/p1xvZr-2w

–Mindi

“The purity of a person’s heart can be quickly measured by how they regard animals”