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Donna Hughes started this petition to U.S. House of Representatives and

Help end one of the worst forms of animal cruelty in our nation!  Countless people leave dogs chained 24/7, some without food & water, some get tangled & die, many perish in the ice & snow, and blistering heat of summer.  Until the laws are changed, we are forced to look away, as it is legal in most areas!  The worst form of LEGAL DOG ABUSE currently known!  A lot of this could be solved with spaying / neutering /education / organizations to build fences.  We need your help, your voice, your caring heart & helping hands!  Together we can make a difference!

Some people say not being able to chain their dog is an inconvenience.  Having a dog is an elective CHOICE.


Please spare a moment to sign, to end a LIFETIME of suffering for chained dogs!  We must face this reality & identify this as unacceptable for our culture, in order to improve the standard of living for dogs AND people for generations to come.  We must stand up & be a voice for the voiceless!

Like my Facebook Page, "Unchain Dogs Today," to read the latest news stories involving chaining issues, some with happy endings, & some tragic endings, involving our canine friends, those that need help, those that rescue, and those that abuse.  Stay educated on the latest developments & breaking news about this subject.  Some content may be disturbing, but reality is disturbing, and we need to start exposing the horrors of tethering, in order to get this on the radar of lawmakers at all levels of society, & really throughout the world.


"Unchain Dogs Today" - Facebook

Every signature will count!  Each of you will be a voice for the voiceless!  Your support will speak volumes to Law Makers!  

"Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have." ~Margaret Mead

What can you do RIGHT NOW other than signing/sharing this petition?

1.  Form a Committee in your area with the sole purpose of seeking a ban on chains in your County or City.

2.  Don't publicize your efforts, in order to avoid opposition from forming & fighting you, keep it on the "down low."

3.  Meet with your City Council/County Commissioners individually in private.  They have to meet with you, it is their Civic Duty.  Find out where they stand.  Do not be afraid.  Use the points below to sway them to your side.  Avoid being confrontational, or accusatory.  

4.  Once you have them on your side, attend a meeting, GET IT PASSED!  *Guilford County Commissioners were asked to pass around a big heavy chain in their meeting, and hold it in their hands.  A powerful message.  

*Having victims of dog bite attacks present at the meeting, is also a good idea.  The victims could speak briefly on what it was like to be attacked, but keep it short & sweet.  

Studies show that dogs are made aggressive & territorial by chaining them, making them far more likely to attack if they break loose.  According to the American Humane Association chained dogs are 2.8 times more likely to bite and approximately 25% of fatal dog attacks were from chained dogs.

*Your Community Leaders have sworn to protect Citizens, (especially helpless toddlers & the elderly,) by confronting & resolving this issue of dog containment in a humane and acceptable way, that also protects the animals.

Here is a report by PETA you can provide:

A report by the Humane Society:

More information to back up this claim:

*At your meeting have lots of support show up, but spread the word discreetly, so an army of opposition does not show up.  

*Don't show too many graphic images of neglected dogs, to avoid being seen as a crazy animal activist, (while that is really what I am I must admit), because it will likely turn them off.  They mostly want to hear how it affects the community as a whole negatively.  

5.  If successful, try the State Level, and reach out to other communities to help them get it passed!  YOU CAN DO IT!

Table of Laws Concerning Tethering:

There is pending legislation in Nashville, TN, and many other places passing an Tethering Ordinance as you read this.  Get it passed in your area!

*IT WILL TAKE THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY TO HELP ENFORCE A BAN.  Be prepared to stay involved to see your ordinance through!

Points to make to your local lawmakers:

(It has been proven that approaching lawmakers from a PUBLIC SAFETY stance 1st, 2nd a PROPERTY VALUE ISSUE, and THIRDLY an ANIMAL ABUSE issue, highlighting the effects on the community & standard of living, as opposed to simply an Animal Abuse Issue is the most successful way to win them over to your side.)

*The law requires a fence for a pool but not a dog.

People are more likely to get attacked by a dog that breaks his chain, made more aggressive by the chain, than to fall in someone's pool & drown.  Why can a fence not be required for dogs?  (SMALL PENS ARE NOT THE ANSWER).

*People have argued that not all dogs chained are abused, some are only temporarily chained for bathroom breaks.  However, THE ONES WHO ABUSE CANNOT BE STOPPED WITHOUT LAWS.  Guilford County, NC recently passed a law that dogs cannot be tethered without the owner present.  Brilliant!  They made it look easy! 

Just as the terrorists in the world cannot be stopped without laws. Laws are for the PROTECTION OF CITIZENS, and in this case, pets as well!

*Are we to look the other way?  Are we to teach our children to look away from the abusers? Are we to teach them to look the other way when we see a dog suffering on a chain, because it is legal, & there's nothing that can be done?

I think our children deserve to learn MORE respect for animals than that, and the animals deserve more.

*Calling the police over and over and over on the same chained dog exploits the resources of a police department/animal control.

*In places where a ban on chaining is currently in effect, the law enforcement officers (who are actually working to enforce), are making 2 trips, instead of 30, and ultimately seizing the dog if the violation isn't brought to compliance.

The EXTRA RESOURCES-time, gas, effort, NOT spent going to the SAME HOUSE 30 times to say the pitiful chained dog is within the limits of the law, is being spent adopting the dogs out.

Officers will have more time to rescue, and place, rather than chasing their "tails."

I know this for a fact, because I have called 30 times on the same dog, as well as 30 of my neighbors, who have also made 30 calls on the same dog, all to reach the conclusion, that while the chained dog is rather pitiful, he is within the "limits of the law."

*If the abusers chain their dogs & neglect them 24/7, there is nothing law enforcement can do without laws.

*Real estate values go down where there are chained dogs. Would you buy a house next door to a Chained Pit Bull?

I know people who were attacked by Pit Bulls who got off their chains. Some were nearly killed. Pit Bulls are cuddly teddy bears, unless chained, and neglected, then they become ferocious. Would you buy a house next door to a fenced pool or a chained Pit Bull? Which would frighten you more for your Grandma, or your kids? (Don't forget to use the research listed above about chained dogs & attacks as listed under #4).

*In Drug Infested neighborhoods, dog fighting is prevalent. If we stop the chaining, we at least take that element away from those neighborhoods. The quality of life improves for everyone, not just the dog.

*A Federal Ban on Chains would cut down on, if not eliminate all the illegal dog fighting in this country.

*Not everyone keeps their dog in the house. My personal opinion on that is, if people took the time to properly train a dog to know what is his, and what is not, the dogs do great in the home.

Dogs will stink up a house, IF the owner never gives the dog a bath, and never cleans.

If someone thinks a dog is SO nasty it can never be inside, even when it is zero degrees, WHY do they WANT a dog?

*If someone cannot afford an enclosure for the dog to go out in for fresh air, WHY do they need a dog?

*One vet bill can exceed the cost of an enclosure, as all dog owners know.

Does one really need a dog if they cannot afford fences & vet bills?

*If someone is gone all the time, and does not have time to give a dog love and attention, WHY do they want a dog?

I would love to have an elephant, or a giraffe. I love seals, walruses & penguins, but unfortunately,as much as I would like to have one, I do not have the resources, the time or the knowledge to have any of these creatures.

*Dogs find missing persons, lead the blind, find bombs, solve crimes, perform life saving tasks, hello! they are too smart to be chained & disregarded!

*People say dogs have lived outside for hundreds of years, but they were not CHAINED hundreds of yrs. ago & could get out of the rain!  Tiny plastic houses would not have been the hiding place of choice of a dog 100 years ago.  Many dogs are chained out with NO HOUSE & NO SHELTER!

*People go to jail for abusing animals, but isn't chaining a dog 24/7 abuse? So why is it legal in many areas? Why?

*Show them how many places already have an ordinance banning chaining/tethering.

*Lastly, it would be beneficial for you to provide documentation of PROGRESS REPORTS in localities where this ban has ALREADY been passed, to show them it CAN BE DONE, and how it will benefit everyone.  Do not show up without facts.

Here is a page dedicated to the Tethering Issue in Orange County, NC - where they have a 3 hour tethering limit. (I think Guilford's ban on chaining unless owner is present is more effective, but regardless, here is the progress reported by Orange County:)

There is no progress report available as of yet for Guilford because their ban on chains just went into effect recently.

In NC, a law was passed,"Susie's Law" that would hand down a 5 year mandatory jail sentence for abusing an animal.  Yet chaining a dog 24/7 out in an ice storm or a lightning storm is *ABUSE.* Why are we not putting these people who chain their dog 24/7 in these conditions in  jail? There is no logic here in NC regarding this issue, but a few of us are working to change that, even Susie, whose own Momma (Donna Lawrence) was attacked by a chained dog!

(Please see the uplifting movie "Susie's Hope," a story about a puppy that was beaten & set on fire, survived and was rescued by a woman who had been attacked by a dog on a chain, that she was trying to feed because the owners neglected it.)  An amazing story that will offer you inspiration & courage!

My Opinion Piece leaves critics of this petition, absolutely nowhere to go.  Pass it on:

So many dogs are suffering night & day in cold & hot temperatures while chained up.  THIS IS NO LIFE FOR A DOG, or any animal, to be tied up 24/7.  I urge State & Federal Law Makers to strongly consider the CRUELTY and NEGLECT of an animal, that is living his ENTIRE life out in the elements, while attached to a stationary object.  The dog is an intelligent creature.  When chained 24/7, they must wonder what they are being punished for.

See the story of the German Shepherd in New York, chained up in subzero temperatures:

See the story of Zeus, a beautiful Great Pyrenees Dog, chained 10 years in all sorts of bad weather:

See the story of the dog chained, while his owners ignored him, flood waters rose & he was stuck in the high water:

There was the German Shepherd who chewed off his own foot to escape his tether:

For my last example, see the story of Joseph, the dog chained for 10 years:

If these stories don't tear your heart out, I don't know what will.

Does it seem right & is it fair to permanently tie an animal to an object, an animal known to be unconditionally loving?  If you think not, please sign & share!

Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.~Albert Schweitzer

There are no easy solutions, but I have organized a group to build fences for pet owners.  Critics of this petition, argue it will promote pet homelessness.  However, there has got to be a better solution, than leaving these dogs on chains to suffer.  SMALL PENS ARE NOT THE ANSWER.  They don't want to be cooped up, sitting in their waste either.

 I understand that all God's creatures can no longer be free to roam the Earth.  Horses, cows, livestock must be fenced in.  Birds are caged.  Animals are kept in captivity in zoos.  There is unfortunately a feral cat population in every town.  Dogs are difficult to keep in certain areas where it is not safe for them to roam freely.  Many folks do not like their dogs in their homes.  

These are all problems difficult to solve.  

Developing  power and an infrastructure a hundred years ago in our country, was also a difficult problem to solve, but worth it.  Finding the Titanic, was a difficult problem to solve, but worth it.  Cleaning up the Twin Towers when they fell, and learning how to live in a world of terrorism has been, & continues to be a difficult problem to solve, but worth trying!

Dogs are a lot of work.  They are like a 2 year old, that never grows up.  But they are so loving, and kind.  For me, they are worth everything I have to do, clean up, and buy.  I love hearing them snore.  It's a precious Heavenly sound.  Many people's lives revolve around their dogs.  So why are others so heartless?  LET'S MAKE THIS PROBLEM, WORTH SOLVING!

You mean to tell me humans have entered into an age of technology, never foreseen by our Country's forefathers, with the ability to see who you are talking to half a planet away, where everything can be accessed with the push of a button instantly, we can look up almost anything on our phones, in a place where 100 years ago you waited for communication by letter for weeks & even months.  We put a monkey in space, brought him back, and men have walked on the moon, submarines dive deep into the ocean, jets transport us across the country in no time flat, but we can't figure out how to solve a problem such as this?  No way!  It is unacceptable!

When I go to elementary schools to sing, the children always cry, sometimes uncontrollably, when I sing my song "Dog On A 10 Foot Chain."  Do we want to teach children, who obviously all have a heart for animals, that this is ok?

I can't stand to see one more dog freezing out in the weather, or sitting in the pouring rain!

It's not fair!  Dogs are so much smarter than that!  They are MAN'S BEST FRIEND.  They deserve more than that.  We owe it to them, to take care of them, if we take them in as pets!

Recently, in my local newspaper, (The Greensboro News & Record) here in NC, posted a photo taken of a dog sitting in his house, while SURROUNDED by vultures!

They were probably not even going to wait for him to die to try to eat him!  The photo is posted on my Facebook page (Dogs Without Chains).  The great thing is, the dog was taken by authorities, and Guilford County has a NO KILL shelter!  So great news for that guy, but what about all the rest?  

Would you want to be chained to something 24/7?  

As people, when we are cold, we move around.  Dogs tied up, cannot even move around enough to stay warm!  It's a hard life. 

I wrote two songs, to touch hearts, and provoke change/thought/actions/ on this issue:

("DOG ON A 10 FOOT CHAIN," on You Tube)

I wrote both of these songs, after tossing & turning many nights, worrying about the dogs out there suffering.

None of God's creatures want to be tied up out in the elements.

Additional Perspective:

According to the HSUS, 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 and teasing from insensitive humans, 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.

According to the HSUS, “Rarely does a chained or tethered dog receive sufficient care. Tethered dogs suffer from sporadic feedings, overturned water bowls, inadequate veterinary care, and extreme temperatures. During snow storms, these dogs often have no access to shelter. During periods of extreme heat, they may not receive adequate water or protection from the sun. What’s more, because their often neurotic behavior makes them difficult to approach, chained dogs are rarely given even minimal affection. Tethered dogs may become ‘part of the scenery’ and can be easily ignored by their owners.”

Please spread the word, and encourage everyone to sign this petition, to end this cruel existence.

Thank you for your support on this matter, and please help end the pain and suffering immediately!  

Like my Facebook page, "Dogs Without Chains."

Visit for more information.

Contact me at

There are way too many dogs in shelters, and approximately 7 million dogs each year will be put to death due to overcrowding.  

This is another aspect of our society I would like to change.  I have been told a huge help to that problem would be Puppy Mill laws in every State, making breeders accountable, reducing overcrowding.  Eliminated tethering would also help, because while some have suspected unchaining dogs would make shelter numbers increase, it actually helps reduce, as it cuts down on unwanted litters of puppies for 2 reasons: 1. Chained dogs cannot escape an ambush romance, thus getting pregnant, 2. If the owner cannot afford anything better than a chain as containment, they likely have not taken the proper time & care to spay & neuter.  


Thank you everyone!

"He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery." ~Harold Wilson

"When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves." ~Victor Frankl

"The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind." ~William Blake

Articles written on my Efforts to END dog chaining, one written by a Pulitzer Prize Winner:

Read the response of these 4th grade students, when asked what they thought of dog chaining, after their teacher posted an article about me that was in The Courier Tribune.  Some truly heart wrenching answers!

"Dogs on chains get cold," "Their owners forget about them," "How would you like to be on a chain?" "What if you couldn't reach your food or water?" "Dogs are people too," "Dogs should be treated with love & kindness," "No dog wants to be on a chain," "Chaining a dog is just wrong."
Sometimes grownups can learn a lot from a kid!

A final thought.

For those who have dogs, but do not want them inside their homes, it is cruel to leave a dog tied up, where predators could get them, the elements cause them to suffer, and where they are not shown love & attention.  If you are someone that just chains them up, and spends 5 minutes a day with them, please find them a better home.  Surrender them to someone who will love them.  There are enough dog lovers in this world, just ask around, SOMEONE will take the dog for you.

I recently accepted a dog that was surrendered willingly by his elderly owner, previously chained, and he is such a smart dog.  So much happier now.  Living in the house, and already house broken, after a couple of weeks.  He is such a joy.  He's finally learning words, which he didn't know before, because nobody ever spent any time with him.

In my area, there were dogs on *chains* ALL AROUND ME, everwhere!  It was legal.  Through the hard work of Animal Advocates, we visited the City Council and County Commissioners, and they passed an Ordinance, making it illegal!

Let's truly make America, the land of the "free," and the home of the "brave!"  It takes brave people to make changes!

With gratitude, Donna Hughes

If you will RE-share on each of the following DOG HOLIDAYS, Use these Dog Holidays to promote causes for Dogs!

Use these hashtags when sharing!

#UnchainDogs #EndAnimalCruelty #EndAnimalAbuse #EndDogChaining #NoChainsForDogs #ChainFreeDogs

"To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often." ~Winston Churchill

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." ~Mahatma Gandhi

"Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future." ~John F. Kennedy

"The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance." ~Nathaniel Branden

"Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them."~Dalai Lama

Congrats to the Winners of the Dogs Deserve Better Songwriting Contest about Chained Dogs!

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