Chained dogs must eat, sleep, urinate and defecate in a single confined area. They swelter and suffer from heat stroke in the summer, freeze and die from hypothermia in the winter. The necks of chained dogs can become raw and infected from constant rubbing. They invariably have over turned water bowls, inadequate vet care and are rarely kept clean and groomed. Fleas, parasites and ear infections are common afflictions. Tethers can become entangled around other objects further restricting their movement. In 2008, a Saint Bernard who became hopelessly entangled in the cord she was tethered with tried to chew off her own leg in an attempt to free herself. Many chained dogs have hung themselves when they have attempted to gain freedom by jumping over their fences.
But all the ways that chained dogs physically suffer pale in comparison to the emotional torment they endure by being isolated and consistently alone. Humans have specifically bred dogs for thousands of generations to want to be our constant companions more than they want anything else. Isolating a dog from their family is one of the cruelest things we can do to them. Isolated outdoor dogs suffer from intense boredom, loneliness, frustration, anxiety, depression and insanity. And yet, this cruelty is entirely supported by our current federal, provincial and municipal laws.
Numerous U.S. states have banned or time limited the tethering of dogs. California, whose population is equal that of all of Canada, banned the tethering of dogs in 2007. Yet Canada's animal rights legislation has not appreciatively changed since the 1890's. Legislation on a provincial level is necessary to protect tethered dogs from a lifetime of suffering. The recommended legislation is clear, concise and highly enforceable.
“No tethering of unattended dogs” (A responsible adult must be outside with a tethered dog and have them in visual range at all times.)
This petition, including the recommended legislation, will be sent to every provincial minister in Canada responsible for animal welfare legislation. The suffering of tens of thousands of dogs across Canada will be ended by the enactment of this vital legislation.