Action Petitioned For: We, the undersigned, are petitioning for a new law to be passed in Memphis, TN. This law will make it illegal for any animal to be chained.
The practice of chaining an animal is both inhumane and a threat to the safety of the confined animal as well as other animals, and humans.
A dog kept chained alone in one spot for hours, days, months, or even years suffers immense psychological damage. An otherwise friendly and docile dog, when kept continuously chained, becomes neurotic, unhappy, anxious, and often aggressive. In many cases, the necks of chained dogs become raw and covered with sores, the result of improperly fitted collars and the dogs' constant yanking and straining to escape confinement. Some chained dogs have collars embedded in their necks, the result of years of neglect at the end of a chain. Chained dogs frequently become entangled in their chains, too, and unable to access food, water, and shelter.
Dogs tethered for long periods can become highly aggressive. Dogs feel naturally protective of their territory; when confronted with a perceived threat, they respond according to their fight-or-flight instinct. A chained dog, unable to take flight, often feels forced to fight, attacking any unfamiliar animal or person who unwittingly wanders into his or her territory.
In addition to the psychological damage wrought by continuous chaining, dogs forced to live on a chain make easy targets for other animals, humans, and biting insects. A chained animal may suffer harassment from passers-by, stinging bites from insects, and attacks by other animals.
Chained dogs are also easy targets for thieves looking to steal animals for sale to research institutions or to be used as training fodder for organized animal fights. Finally, dogs' tethers can become entangled with other objects, which can choke or strangle the dogs to death.
Numerous attacks on people by tethered dogs have been documented. The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association reported that 17% of dogs involved in fatal attacks on humans between 1979 and 1998 were restrained on their owners' property at the time of the attack, and the book Fatal Dog Attacks states that 25% of fatal attacks were inflicted by chained dogs of many different breeds.
Tragically, the victims of such attacks are often children who are unaware of the chained dog's presence until it is too late. Furthermore, a tethered dog who finally does get loose from his chains may remain aggressive, and is likely to chase and attack unsuspecting passersby and pets.
More and more communities are passing laws that regulate the practice of tethering animals. New Orleans LA, Tucson AZ, Okaloosa FL, Carthage MO, Lawton, OK and other cities ban all chaining. The state of Connecticut, along with New York City, Wichita KS, Denver CO, Austin TX, Norfolk VA, West Palm Beach FL, and others allow dogs to be chained only for a limited number of hours a day. Little Rock AR, along with other cities, ban fixed-point chaining but do allow pulley runs. See a complete list of anti-chaining laws.
Animal control and humane agencies receive calls every day from citizens concerned about animals in these cruel situations. Animal control officers, paid at taxpayer expense, spend many hours trying to educate pet owners about the dangers and cruelty involved in this practice. Regulations against chaining also give officers a tool to crack down on illegal dog fighting, since many fighting dogs are kept on chains.
Any city, county, or state that bans this practice is a safer, more humane community.
I want to thank everyone for signing and sharing and God bless.