Pass anti-chaining laws in Alabama
  • Petitioning Todd Strange

This petition will be delivered to:

Mayor, Montgomery, AL
Todd Strange
Representative, State of Alabama
Steve McMillan
Representative, State of Alabama
Joseph Hubbard (Representative, State of Alabama)
Sen. Jeff Sessions
Gov. Robert Bentley
State Sen. Dick Brewbaker

Pass anti-chaining laws in Alabama

    1. Maryla Webb
    2. Petition by

      Maryla Webb

      Montgomery, AL

Dogs are pack animals. In the wild, canines live, eat, and sleep with their family. In the absence of other dogs, humans become their "pack." A chained dog feels rejected and doesn't understand why.

Imagine being chained to a tree year after year. You watch the door hoping someone will come play. No one ever does. You long to run, but you can only pace. You shiver in winter and pant in summer. Eventually, you stop barking. You have given up hope.

We have many forms of entertainment: movies, music, friends. Your dog only has YOU. If you can't give a dog a good life, should you have one?

It is up to caring people like you to improve the lives of chained dogs. Some think, "It's none of my business." But it is the business of compassionate people to speak up when living creatures are treated like objects. You will feel good about yourself for helping a chained dog! 



As bone-chilling frigid weather has hit the country, it has come to my attention that many people may not have been “cultured” to truly care about their animals as they would family, or they do not realize the suffering they are causing their animals when they leave them in the cold or keep them chained 24/7. In other words, I have noticed many, many dogs left out when temperatures dip below freezing, EVEN when they dipped into the teens with wind chills in the single digits. In particular, I was taken aback recently when I noticed that a couple with whom I am acquainted -- an otherwise educated Church-going, Christian couple -- appear to leave their dog out chained in the back yard 24/7 (used to be dogs, don’t know what happened to the other one). And it appears that they did so even when the polar vortex caused historically low temperatures here for several days! It is a behavior that is as unfathomable to me as leaving my child out in the cold, even if there is a dog house (to their credit, but it is the law).

Almost all articles concerning how to care for your dog or cat in cold weather recommend bringing them inside. “If it is too cold for people, it’s too cold for most dogs.” “Dogs are pack animals. In the wild, they shelter in dens packed together, providing warmth for survival. ……Shutting a dog out of your home is, to them, like being excluded from the pack, which, in their natural world means death!” The Humane Society also recommends that you “Don’t leave dogs or cats outdoors when the temperature drops…..A dog or cat is happiest and healthiest when kept indoors.” (Of course, this is notwithstanding breeds “designed” for the cold like Siberian Huskies, Samoyeds and Saint Bernards, etc.)

More good tips can be found at

Even if it wasn’t cold, the Humane Society of the US describes tethering (chaining out) as a permanent method of confinement as inhumane. It is banned on any lands under the jurisdiction of the US Department of Agriculture who also calls the practice inhumane. Many, many states and cities prohibit chaining (except for limited periods of time). The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has also come out publicly against dog tethering.

This is because dogs live in groups in the wild, and are very, very social. When living with a family, the family becomes their “pack”. (Most folks with dogs know that dogs are highly intelligent and if treated well, become bundles of joy, entertainment, and unconditional love.) A chained dog, however, who spends most of their lives isolated from contact suffer “immense psychological damage. A continuously chained dog usually becomes neurotic, anxious, and aggressive.” Not to mention, their lives contain nothing but boredom, loneliness and misery.

The Centers for Disease Control found that chained dogs are 2.8 times more likely to bite. Even so, some folks would say that this makes them better guard dogs, but the opposite is true. Chained dogs are unable to stop intruders since all they can do is bark, AND since most are unsocialized, they can’t distinguish a real threat from a family friend. In fact of the 109 people killed by chained dogs during a certain period, 99 were children that happen to wander into their reach. The best guard dogs are those who live inside the home and are treated as part of the family, which is how K9 police dogs are raised.

Sadly, in many locations across the country, it is perfectly legal right now to leave an animal in the cold, and chained, as long as they have “shelter”, which has largely come to mean a dog house, water, food, and the tether is at least 10 feet long. Until we can get state laws and/or local ordinances addressing these issues directly, those officials whose responsibility is to investigate inhumane treatment of animals have their hands tied. The most we can do now is lobby our elected officials and educate others. And always, report ANY abuse or neglect (even those described) to your local Humane Society or non-profit rescue organizations.

A petition showing the overwhleming support of caring people can make a huge difference to decision makers when deciding about approving and enforcing laws. Even if I can get our state legislature or city council to pass legislation or ordinances restricting dog tethering and giving humane officers more power to determine when animals are not being provided sufficient shelter in extreme weather, folks, such as the couple mentioned above, may move to another state, where they may continue their dog treatment practices and habits. In other words, their dog or any new one they get will probably be treated in the same inhumane manner. That is why it is important for EVERY state and locality to have the same or similar regulations concerning this important matter.

Every minute that we don't have such legal back-up is another minute that a dog or other animal is suffering needlessly. Every town in the country should have the legal standing and the backbone to stand for animals who don't have a voice and who can't vote. A laudable example is the recent proclamation of the Mayor of St. Louis, MO (Mayor Francis Slay) who took a zero-tolerance policy against leaving pets outdoors in the freezing cold during this recent frigid weather. Teams were sent to canvass neighbors; any pets left outside were confiscated; and the owners were cited. (Amy Worden, St. Louis Inquirer, January 4, 2014)

Please sign my petition, and share as many ways and to as many people as you can, and learn how to work for change where you live at



Recent signatures


    1. Dog found frozen to the ground in sub-zero temperatures

      Maryla Webb
      Petition Organizer

      "A lot of people are really angry about a dog being left to freeze to the ground and I don't blame them," Wilson shared. "We're following the law, I don't necessarily agree with it, I'm a dog lover myself, but if people want to change the law, they need to contact their state legislators."

      A lot of people feel like us, but if we want to change the law in Alabama or ANYWHERE, we need MANY, MANY more signatures. There is only strength in numbers, otherwise the legislators are going to ignore us, or listen to the most politically powerful which may not agree with our stance (and generally do not), no matter how they feel about animals or animal suffering. Sad but true. Thanks for your support, and I LOVE it when folks write in.

      I have been speaking with the head of our local animal shelter. He agrees with the sentiments, but what he is afraid of, is that a law such as this will utimately lead to more animal euthanazia (putting the animals down) -- people will just give them up rather than do the right thing. Spread the word regarding spaying and neutering your animals!! adopt from animal shelters! and contribute generously so that they can handle more cases and animals. Educate, educate, educate, and spread this petition. Thanks.

    2. Wish the attitude were the same for the chaining of dogs and other animals!

      Maryla Webb
      Petition Organizer

      We arrest people for abuse who chain their children; and that is inside a house with heat or AC. What about a dog who suffers in all types of weather! I think of the black dog who started all this for me; how unbearably hot it has been, even at night and in the shade! (I was working last night in the garage and I couldn't stand it more than 15 minutes before I was drenched in sweat and had to go inside to cool off!) I can't imagine what that dog is suffering through with all that black hair. I hope he has plenty of fresh water anyway.

      Police: Man chained son to bed on 10 straight days

      LOGAN, Utah (AP) - Utah authorities say a 6-year-old boy found chained to a bed while his father was at work probably was shackled like that each of the past 10 days since school ended.

    3. Reached 3,000 signatures
    4. Good News in Pennsylvania's capital city!! now for AL and everywhere else!

      Maryla Webb
      Petition Organizer
      Harrisburg poised to become first PA city with anti-tethering law

      Harrisburg poised to become first PA city with anti-tethering law Pennsylvania's Capital city is poised to become the largest municipality in the state to ban 24/7 dog chaining. Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013, 5:19 PM Pennsylvania's Capital city is poised to become the largest municipality in the state to ban 24/7 dog chaining.

    5. Cute song by Loretta Lynn to support anti-chaining

      Maryla Webb
      Petition Organizer
      Loretta Lynn: Anti-Chaining

      The country music legend lends her classic song "I Wanna Be Free" to help dogs chained outside during the winter.

    6. Reached 2,500 signatures
    7. This story is the saddest I ever read! makes me sick to my stomach.

      Maryla Webb
      Petition Organizer


    8. Reached 2,000 signatures
    9. Another one about this petition!! sooo helpful to be covered in the news!

      Maryla Webb
      Petition Organizer
      Alabama woman starts online petition asking state lawmakers to make chaining dogs illegal

      MONTGOMERY, Alabama -- Montgomery resident Maryla Webb has always been an animal lover, but it wasn't until this winter's cold snap that she decided to take action. After she learned it was legal for dog owners to keep their pets chained up, Webb launched a petition asking the state of Alabama to pass anti-chaining laws.

    10. A little bit of a dated article, but reminds us why we are fighting!

      Maryla Webb
      Petition Organizer
      Tethered dog perishes in the heat

      Freeland, PA - The summer heat has not yet waned, nor has the suffering for dogs who are tethered outdoors in the scorching temperatures. One Black Lab was unable to withstand the extreme temperatures late last week; dying on the end of a tether in the backyard of Sally Regan's home at 345 Adams Street in 100 degree temperatures.

    11. Challenges we may face in trying to get an outright ban....Still Ocala

      Maryla Webb
      Petition Organizer
      Compromise on dog tethering; 30-minute limit approved

      Packing the roughly 250-seat commission chamber to overflowing, they quoted the Bible, the ancient Hammurabi Code and animal welfare experts to make the case for banning the practice. They related tales of the ill effects of tethering, including the dogs' stunted social development and increased aggressiveness, health problems and self-inflicted death.

    12. Why caveats to a ban on chaining don't work....4/1/14 Ocala, FL -Marion Co.

      Maryla Webb
      Petition Organizer
      Humane Society: Proposed anti-tethering ordinance 'worthless' as written

      The County Commission's proposal to ban dog tethering except under limited circumstances has lost the support of a key group of animal welfare activists even before it can be formally heard.

    13. Marion County (Florida) approves an anti-tethering ordinance! 4/2/14

      Maryla Webb
      Petition Organizer
      Marion Co. Approves Dog Tethering Ordinance

      The Marion County Commission reaches a decision about dog tethering. In our big story this half hour, GTN's Mayci McLeod has the latest on the initiative the Humane Society has been pushing for years. The Marion County Commission reached a decision about dog tethering regulations during last night's meeting with a vote of 3-2.

    14. Nova Scotia is drafing regulations, but still needs work

      Maryla Webb
      Petition Organizer
      Group: 12 hours 'too long' to tether dogs in cold

      An animal rights group in Nova Scotia says there are some serious gaps in a proposed draft regulation that would protect companion animals. In January, provincial Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell said the changes would limit the time a dog could be tied outside to 12 continuous hours.

    15. Reached 1,500 signatures
    16. Interesting article regarding ineffectiveness of laws just limiting time

      Maryla Webb
      Petition Organizer
      Sake of appearances

      Editor: Nothing has changed in Surrey to end the physical and emotional cruelty inflicted on permanently chained dogs in Surrey, despite the new bylaw limiting dog chaining to four hours a day (Surrey to ban tethering of dogs , ​April 26, 2012; Tether bylaw doubted , Nov. 14, 2013).

    17. Reached 1,000 signatures
    18. Apparently, plastic igloo dog houses are NOT adequate shelter

      Maryla Webb
      Petition Organizer
      DDB: Dogs are Freezing: No Chained Dogs!

      Dogs deserve better than to live as chained dogs or penned dogs. Dog chaining or dog penning is not acceptable, and we must work together to unaccept it. A chained dog lives as a prisoner, yet longs to be a pet. Help us help them today.


    Reasons for signing

    • barbara potts DELAWARE, OH
      • 1 day ago

      Dogs are domesticated social animals & should be treated with love & care. This is no way for a do to live. Why do people get dogs if this is going to be the dogs existence. Stop this torture & I think the owners should be fined and/or prosecuted.

    • Valerie Thomassie MARRERO, LA
      • 2 days ago

      get with the program Alabama, chained dogs are unhealthy and unhappy.

    • Tammy Tierce NORTHPORT, AL
      • 3 days ago

      It is beyond shameful that this petition is even necessary! How can we consider ourselves a civilized society when we allow and therefore, condone such horrific treatment of another living being? It's called elective ignorance and obviously Alabama has an abundance of it. Do the right thing and put an end to this torture of innocent animals.

    • Pamela Buttke OXFORD, AL
      • 3 days ago

      No animal deserves to spend their life on a chain! Those people who think chaining an animal is fine ...put them on a chain IN THE RAIN, HEAT, COLD, SNOW, HAIL...then lets see if being on a chain is "just fine"!!!!

    • Michelle Decker APOPKA, FL
      • 3 days ago

      I think using chains for any animal is wrong.


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