Jerk those legislative chains

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

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4 thoughts on “Jerk those legislative chains

  1. lisette

    Thanks for the letter Alan and your support of humane treatment for dogs.

    “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.”

    Very true, also 3 out of 4 dog attacks (fatal and otherwise) involve unsocialized chained/penned dogs. Often it is a small child who wanders into a dogs “space” and is consequently attacked because a dog is defending his tiny “territory” and also cannot run away (due to the fact he/she is chained). There is also the problem of “imbedded collars” which means the skin of the neck has simply grown around the collar, rope or chain and must be surgically removed. Chained dogs can also (and do) hang themselves accidentally on fences and strangle.

    The 6 hour chain limit was defeated in 2007 largely by what seems to have been a vocal minority of breeders and puppymills, not the general population of responsible dogs owners (who by and large support tethering legislation.) We are hoping for a 0 to 3 hour limit for 2009 (the earliest they can reintroduce tethering legislation).

    Lisa G. Leming

  2. AshaKasha

    When I got my own sweet, wonderful best friend out of the shelter, they explained she was found running the streets (kept them running after her for a couple weeks)with a leather collar that was embedded in her neck, attached to a broken piece of chain. This was in a very cold climate- god only knows how long she was chained, and under what circumstances, but she also had head damage and was absolutely terrified of people for a long time.

    Sheesh- so sad that we have to try and force people to not be cruel :o(

  3. Jennifer Paquin

    I pray everyday that people will understand that living your life at the end of a chain is torturous abuse. Nothing should have to got hruogh that. Dogs have so much love to give. My dogs are my best buddies and are treated with love and respect. Thats the problem… alot of people dont have respect for human life let alone poor animals.Im working to help educate those who truly have no idea that what they are doing is wrong. I pass out flyers on anti chaining and how it affects these poor dogs. Also trying to educate more children because if its happening at there home they think its okay… WE HAVE TO BREAK THIS VICIOUS CYCLE!!!!!!!!

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