Dogs aren't property. End dog tethering in Mecklenburg County.
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Currently the City of Charlotte ordinances states,
"An adequate shelter is defined as an enclosed area accessible by an animal, of sufficient size and nature so as to provide the animal with reasonable protection from adverse weather conditions. It is not required that the adequate shelter provided be kept warm/cool or insulated during the cold/hot seasons".
Most generic dog houses are plastic material, keeping them cold in the winter and hot in the summer!! MECKLENBURG COUNTY SAYS IT IS NOT REQUIRED THAT THE "ADEQUATE SHELTER PROVIDED BE KEPT WARM/COOL OR INSULATED".
"Animals that are outside for an extended period of time, or live outside, must have a shaded location when sunlight is likely to cause overheating and discomfort. An adequate shelter should be placed in a shaded location for this reason".
"Should" be placed in a shaded location" is merely a suggestion. I have seen time after time dogs living outside tethered up with nothing in the yard other than a dog house. No trees or anything for the dog to seek for shade or protection from rain. The dog houses don't have to be insulated or kept cool/warm, so all we are left with are these poor innocent dogs suffering in extreme weather conditions.
The city of Charlotte states the shelter must provide the animal "reasonable protection" but "not required that the shelter provided be kept warm/cool or insulated during the cold/hot seasons". But they do state, "sunlight is likely to cause overheating and discomfort".
Allowing dogs to be kept outside, tethered for long periods, and in some cases for the duration of the dogs life is psychologically damaging to the animal. These dogs don't have a voice to ask for help and can't be heard when they cry for help. If people are going to have a dog, they need to be able to properly take care of it.
According to For All Animals, a dedicated group for the positive change on behalf of animals (www.forallanimals.org :
Aren’t anti-tethering laws unfair to people without fences or enclosed yards?
"While an anti-tethering law may inconvenience a few people, the benefits outweigh the costs. The local government must weigh public safety against a small group of individuals who prefer to keep their dogs chained. There is no public benefit to tethering. Public safety should always win out. Dog owners may either build a fence, enclose the yard, or keep their dogs inside. For people of limited means, efforts should be made to connect them to a local nonprofit that builds fences for previously tethered dogs."
- Chained dogs are far more dangerous than free-running packs of dogs.
- The victims of chained dog attacks are usually children who stumble accidentally into a chained dog’s territory.
- Dogs naturally feel protective of their territory. When confronted with a perceived threat, they respond according to their flight-or-fight instinct. Chained dogs that are unable to take flight often feel forced to fight.
- Chained animals are at more risk of being stolen and/or seriously injured or killed by another animal or person.
- Chained animals rarely receive sufficient care and attention and suffer from sporadic feedings, overturned water bowls, inadequate veterinary care, exposure to the elements and little to no exercise. --Chained animals spend their entire lives eating, sleeping, urinating and defecating in a single confined area. They are exposed to extreme weather such as snow, hot summer sun and rainstorms. They also suffer from flea and tick infestation, heartworm disease, bugs, and other parasites. Dogs by nature pack animals, social beings that thrive on interaction with people and other animals. A chained dog kept in one location for months or even years suffers immense psychological damage. A continuously chained dog usually becomes neurotic, anxious and aggressive.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has come out publicly against dog tethering. In a press release for Dog Bite Prevention Week the AVMA stated, “Never tether or chain your dog because this can contribute to aggressive behavior.”
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has stated, “Our experience in enforcing the Animal Welfare Act has led us to conclude that continuous confinement of dogs by a tether is inhumane. A tether significantly restricts a dog’s movement. A tether can also become tangled around or hooked on the dog’s shelter structure or other objects, further restricting the dog’s movement and potentially causing injury.”
The most recent county in North Carolina getting rid of tethering laws:
RANDOLPH COUNTY: "The County cites a change in the Animal Control Ordinance as the reason for the change. Those who still chain their dog after Jan. 1, 2017 will receive a citation. A second offense will result in a $50 fine."
Mecklenburg County needs to put an end to tethering dogs outside and be an example for others to follow. It's the right thing to do and we need to be the voice for these innocent animals.
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