Tethering is no solution

The tragic attack on a 7-year-old boy in Jackson County brings a chance to underscore other factors that may create danger to children. Tethering dogs is not only an infliction of pain and suffering to the animal, but it also endangers other animals and humans as well.

Chained dogs are more likely than their free-roaming friends to be the victims of disease and injury. They are frequently given inadequate housing, food and water to withstand the changes in weather. They are unable to escape attacks by other dogs or wild animals. They are bitten by rodents and insects, and they can become—understandably—aggressive.

Dogs are social animals, and when they are deprived of the right to interact with their humans and other people and animals, they become frustrated. This leads to unmanageable and unexpected aggression in many of these animals, and dogs who are otherwise happy and calm family members can be instantly provoked to attack. The U.S. Humane Society, the Centers for Disease Control, and the American Veterinary Medical Society all warn that tying a dog can lead to aggressive and often tragic results.

The idea that dogs are property to be handled any way an owner chooses is barbaric and outdated. These are the animals we count on to be our best friends, our companions in disability and our unconditional protectors. The time has come for us to outlaw chaining. We cannot afford to harm our pets or endanger our children any longer.

To help in this cause, please join Chain Free Asheville, an organization devoted to freeing our dogs from tethering, and building appropriate housing and fencing (www.chainfreeasheville.org). The moral stance of our community can, indeed, as Gandhi said, be measured by how we treat our animals.

— Marlisa Mills
Black Mountain

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2 thoughts on “Tethering is no solution

  1. dasbh

    Most dog attacks are by dogs who live chained in backyards, break loose or because it is especially easy for a child to wander too close. Please visit http://www.mothersagainstdogchaining.org for more information on these attacks on children. (soon to be renamed Parents Against Dog Chaining) There you can find articles, information, stories from family members. There is also a support group, which is open only to parents of these attacks. -Mothers Against Dog Chaining (mothersagainstdogchaining.org) See ‘Attacks On Children’

    Note: Chaining, penning and other forms of isolation can cause aggression in dogs. Chained dogs are 2.8 more times likely to bite. They kill more children than firearms, falls from trees, and firework accidents combined. The safest way to keep a dog is in your home, housetrained, understand the dog’s limitations, take it for leash walks where it can be trained to greet and socialize with people and dogs, where good behavior can be rewarded and unwelcome behavior can be averted.

    Housetraining, a leash, collar and walk cost less than a chain and a fence and make for a much safer neighborhood. When you read the article and especially the “Mothers’ Stories” when available at http://www.mothersagainstdogchaining.org you will agree, it’s not worth the risk to allow chaining in your community.

  2. There ought to be a way to fashion an ordinance that prohibits 24/7 chaining while still permitting owners to tie their dogs part of the time. Of course, exceptions will make for difficult enforcement. For example: it’s probably a good idea for people dining at an outdoor café to tie their dogs’ leashes to a chair leg rather than have the pup wander off. Is that chaining? Or, perhaps a regular dog walker breaks a leg and has to tie Spot outside during recovery … what then?

    Asheville probably needs to examine anti-chaining ordinances from other municipalities to figure out how to create an enforceable, effective ban.

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