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!


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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“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

Dog Auctions

Dog auctions are a painful and despicable fact of life here in the Midwest, maybe not Iowa as much– but definitely our neighbors to the south. As I am sure you have all realized by now, the importance of educating as many people as I can about animal-related issues is my passion.  Dog auctions are certainly no different. They go on almost every weekend… Thousands of dogs are switching from owner to owner, never knowing the love that they deserve.  I recently went to an Iowa dog auction, please read my story here …. 



How many of you haven’t ever heard of dog auctions? Let me give you this scoop!  

Picture this…

Large rooms filled ceiling high with wire cages, stuffed full of dogs whose sole purpose in life  to make puppies.  I say “was” because by the time the dogs are brought to these auctions, they are unwanted by the owner for various reasons. The term for this is “cull”. These “culls”, more often than not, can’t even breed well anymore. Each dog is identified with a number tattooed on the inside of the ear, or the inner thigh. They are almost all purebreds of  every breed and the ever so popular “designer dog”. I should tell you that it is usually impossible to tell which breed it is because of the terrible health conditions. The fur is always grown out and matted, filled with ticks and clumps of blood. Not to mention the fact that the nails are so long the dogs can barely walk. The saddest part about all of this is, the rooms are usually so quiet because the dogs are too terrified to move, let alone bark. This is the first time a lot of them have ever been out of their usual cages. It all sounds like fiction, doesn’t it?

But what can we do to change this? The people who visit these types of auctions aren’t your run of the mill (no pun intended) dog customer. These are the other puppy mill owners that are either looking to get some new blood lines into their stock or the local rescues that go in to try and save as many as dogs as possible.

 Here are a few of my suggestions:

1. Boycott puppy mills.  This means never ever  ever buying a puppy from a pet store or from a website. If you want a dog, please please please go to your local shelter or rescue. They have so many dogs that need loving FURever homes! And so much of the public doesn’t even realize that over 35% of dogs in the shelters are purebred. Don’t believe me?! Try it… Go to petfinder.com and search for a breed, I am certain you will find just what you are looking for.

2. Talk to your veterinarian and let he/she know how you feel about dog auctions and puppy mills. Try to encourage him or her to take a public stance against them.  In my experience, the vets that are near these mills know exactly what is going on, and they almost always turn a blind eye to it. Each USDA breeder must have a veterinarian that looks over their dogs once a year… That means that with the 300+ puppy mills in this state, there are that many veterinarians on their payroll… Sad, isn’t it?

3. Share this blog with your friends… Share it on facebook, twitter, email it to your coworkers, link it to your blog– I don’t care! It is just so important that we reach as many people as possible with this message. I can talk and talk all day long, but I am almost always preaching to the choir. Until we can get our neighbors, coworkers, and friends to realize that buying a dog is bad for everyone then we all fail.

As always, comments are welcomed and appreciated. Please, if you have ever been to a dog auction, share your story. You can remain nameless, but it is just one more way for people to see that these things DO happen.

Horrible video that shows exactly what I am talking about… If we don’t stop these atrocities, who will?!


Teach your children how to behave with animals. Adopt a pet.
Don’t go buy one. Please. That’s a sin. Let’s get these puppy mills out of