A recent article [“Off Da Chain,” May 28] revealed that earlier this spring an animal-welfare group found 100 chained dogs in North Carolina in just one day. It’s time for our community and our state to put an end to this cruel practice. Dogs are pack animals, very social, and thrive on interaction with other animals and humans. To subject them to a solitary life tied up and all alone is the worst sort of punishment and causes them severe psychological harm. In addition, the necks of some chained dogs are seriously injured as a result of their trying to escape the confinement. In other situations, dogs are hurt when the tether becomes tangled around nearby objects. Oftentimes, tethered dogs are left without adequate food or water and are subjected to brutal winter and harsh summer weather.
Regarding local laws: Two N.C. communities have banned dog tethering and several other municipalities have enacted restrictions on tethering (including time limitations). Feedback from officials indicates that the ordinances are not burdensome and there has not been a drastic increase in surrendered dogs. Other N.C. communities are considering such ordinances. Unfortunately, neither the city of Asheville nor Buncombe County ban tethering (although both do provide some regulations regarding this practice).
Regarding N.C. state laws: There are none that address this issue. And currently, there are no pending bills in the General Assembly regarding tethering. A recent bill that would have restricted tethering was killed when committee members voted against it.
To rectify this disturbing situation, contact all Asheville City Council members and Buncombe County commissioners and your individual state representative and senator. Insist that they support efforts to abolish the inhumane practice of keeping man’s best friend at the end of a chain.
— Alan Berger