As the days become years, many chained dogs sit, lay, eat, and defecate within the same 10-foot radius. Chained by the neck, they exist without respect, love, exercise, social interaction, and sometimes even basic nourishment. They live as prisoners, yet long to be pets.
Chaining is not only inhumane for dogs, but has taken a severe toll on this nation’s children as well. In the period from October 2003 through today, there were at least 325 children killed or seriously injured by chained dogs across the country. Chained dogs, unsocialized with humans, can become very territorial of their tiny space, and any child who wanders into this space can be attacked and killed before adults can intervene.
Would you for one second choose to live the life of these dogs? No matter what reason is given, the bottom line is that it is NOT ok to chain a dog for life. Dogs should not have to live chained or penned as prisoners, yearning for a place in a family, craving acknowledgement, respect, and love. They DESERVE BETTER, and we as caretakers have the obligation to provide it for them.
Please consider today how you can help the dogs in your neighborhood. If you see a chained dog or a penned dog daily, it is time to take action. Take a stand when you see dogs living chained or penned. Speak gently to the caretakers, sharing your convictions and information about ways they can improve life for their companion. Start changing the way you and your community think about the chaining of dogs today. Take a stand and make life right for all dogs everywhere!
STATE OF TEXAS Sec.A821.077.UNLAWFUL RESTRAINT OF DOG.
(a) An owner may not leave a dog outside and unattended by use of a restraint that unreasonably limits the dog’s movement: between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.; within 500 feet of the premises of a school; or in the case of extreme weather conditions, including conditions in which: the actual or effective outdoor temperature is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit; a heat advisory has been issued by a local or state authority or jurisdiction; or a hurricane, tropical storm, or tornado warning has been issued for the jurisdiction by the National Weather Service.
Read the entire bill here:
Passed by the Austin City Council: June 7, 2007 - Ordinance Effective Date: October 1, 2007 - § 3-4-2 RESTRAINT REQUIREMENTS FOR DOGS ON PRIVATE PROPERTY.
(A) Except as provided in Subsection (B), a person may not restrain a dog with a chain or tether unless the person is holding the chain or tether.
(B) The prohibition of Subsection (A) does not apply to a temporary restraint:
(1) during a lawful animal event, veterinary treatment, grooming, training, or law enforcement activity; or
(2) that is required to protect the safety or welfare of a person or the dog, if the dog's owner or handler remains with the dog throughout the period of restraint.
(C) A person restraining a dog with a chain or tether shall attach the chain or tether to a properly fitting collar or harness worn by the dog. A person may not wrap a chain or tether directly around a dog’s neck. A person may not restrain a dog with a chain or tether that weighs more than 1/18 of the dog’s body weight. A chain or tether used to restrain a dog must, by design and placement, be unlikely to become entangled.
(D) A person may not restrain a dog in a manner that does not allow the dog to have access to necessary shelter and water.
(E) A person may not restrain a dog in a manner that allows the dog to move outside the person’s property.
(F) A person may not keep six or more dogs, other than puppies less than six months old, unless the dogs are kept in an enclosure that meets the requirements prescribed by Section 3-2-13 (Enclosure for Dogs).
San Marcos, Hays County, Texas
Sec. 6.011- Tethering dogs and other animals.
It shall be unlawful for any person to tie or tether a dog or other animal to a stationary object for a period of time or in a location so as to create an unhealthy situation for the animal or a potentially dangerous situation for a pedestrian as determined by the animal control officer. The terms "unhealthy situation" and "potentially dangerous situation" shall include, but not be limited to the following:
(1) To tether any animal in such a manner as to permit the animal access upon any public right-of-way;
(2) To tether any animal in such a manner as to cause the animal injury or pain or not to permit the animal to reach shelter, food or water or otherwise create an unsafe or unhealthy situation;
(3) To tether any animal in such as manner as to permit the animal to leave the owner's property;
(4) To tether any animal in an area that is not properly fenced so as to prevent any person or child from entering; the area occupied by said animal;
(5) To tether any animal in a manner whereby the animal is subject to harassment, stings or bites from outdoor insects, or attacks by other animals;
(6) To tether any animal with a tether that is shorter than the greater of ten feet or five times the length of the dog, as measured from the tip of the dog's nose to the base of the dog's tail;
(7) To tether any animal with a tether that is not equipped with swivel ends;
(8) To tether any animal in such a manner that does not prevent the animal from becoming entangled with any obstruction, from partially or totally jumping any fence, or from leaving part of its owner's property;
(9) To fail to remove waste from the tethered area on a daily basis;
(10) To tether any animal without using a properly fitted collar or harness;
(11) To use choke-type collars to tether any animal;
(12) To use a tether that weighs more than one-fifth of the animal's body weight; or
(13) To allow an animal to remain tethered during a severe weather event. A severe weather event includes conditions in which: (a) the actual or effective outdoor temperature is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit; (b) a heat advisory has been issued by local or state authority or jurisdiction; or (c) a hurricane, tropical storm or tornado warning has been issued for the jurisdiction by the National Weather Service.
The Center for Disease Control has said chained dogs are 2.8 times more likely to bite adults. Chained dogs are nearly 5 times more likely to bite children. The National Canine Research Council reports that almost 30% of all fatal dog attacks involve chained or penned dogs. The ASPCA reports 81% of fatal dog attacks involve dogs that are isolated.
American Veterinary Medical Association, May 15, 2003:
"Confine your dog in a fenced yard or dog run when it is not in the house. Never tether or chain your dog because this can contribute to aggressive behavior."
Chained dogs can become aggressive due to intense confinement and lack of socialization. They also feel trapped, unable to escape from noises or people or animals that frighten them.
Chained dogs typically lack adequate veterinary care, food, water, or shelter. They are rarely exercised or interact with their families. These dogs suffer from neglect. Even if they are not left without adequate care, they lead an unhappy, frustrating existence for such social animals. Dogs on chains suffer intense boredom, anxiety, even neuroses; their lives are very sad and lonely.
Dogs can choke to death when their chains became entangled with other objects, or develop infections and severe wounds when collars become embedded in their necks.
Getting your dog off the chain
Many dog owners have learned to solve the problems that caused them to tie their dogs outside in the first place. If you would like to provide your dog with an alternative to a rope or chain, consider these suggestions:
Install a fence if your property does not already have one. Or consider installing a large chain-link dog run. If you install a dog run, make sure it meets these minimum space requirements. Be sure to allow extra space for a doghouse.
If you have a fence and your dog can jump over it, install a 45-degree inward extension to the top of your existing fence. Many home improvement stores sell these extensions.
If your dog digs under the fence to escape your yard, bury chicken wire to a depth of one foot below where the fence meets the ground (be sure to bend in the sharp edges). Or place large rocks at the base of the fence.
If the two previous options don't work for your "escape artist," consider using a cable runner or electronic fencing. These options are not perfect, but they will give your dog more freedom. Be sure to use these options only if you also have a fence that protects your dog from people and other animals.
If your dog digs where you don't want him to (such as in a garden or flower bed), consider putting plastic garden fencing or a similar barrier around the area. Or provide your dog with his own sandbox. Bury toys in the sandbox and use positive reinforcement to teach your dog that it is okay to dig there.
Enroll your dog in an obedience class—especially if his behavior is the main reason you keep your dog outside. Spay or neuter your dog if you haven't already done so. A neutered dog is less likely to roam and more content to stay at home. These are safe procedures that have many health and behavioral benefits. Ask your veterinarian for more information.
Remember that behavior problems such as barking, chewing, and digging are often the result of a lack of stimulation. By providing your dog with proper toys, exercise, "people time," and positive reinforcement, you may alter undesirable behaviors and teach acceptable house manners. In addition, a dog that is inside the house is much more likely to deter an intruder than a dog chained in the yard.
Giving your dog proper shelter
In addition to safe confinement, dogs need adequate shelter from the elements. Dogs kept outside may be unintentionally exposed to bitter cold temperatures in the winter and scorching heat in the summer.
To protect your dog from harsh weather, provide a well-constructed doghouse. However, keep in mind that some breeds with very long or short coats cannot tolerate extreme outside temperatures even when provided with proper shelter.
Also remember that if you have more than one dog, you need to provide a doghouse for each one.
Make it comfy
To provide your dog with a comfortable doghouse, consider these suggestions:
The house should be large enough to allow the dog to stand up and turn around comfortably, but small enough to enable the dog to retain body heat.
The house should have a slanted, waterproof roof to allow rainwater to run off.
If the doghouse is made of wood, it should be raised off the ground at least two inches to prevent the floor from rotting.
The door should be just large enough for your dog to enter easily.
During the winter months, to protect your dog from cold wind, the door should be covered by a flexible plastic flap—such as a floor runner that doesn't have spikes on one side. A piece of carpet can work in a pinch, but it can get wet and freeze.
Clean, dry bedding such as hay, straw, or cedar shavings should be provided. The bedding should be changed weekly to prevent mold and to keep the doghouse sanitary.
In warmer months, the dog should also be provided with shade such as a tree or tarp. A doghouse in direct sun becomes an oven and will not keep a dog cool.
Finally, anytime your dog is kept outside, be sure to provide fresh water in a tip-proof bowl or large bucket. Make sure the water doesn't freeze during colder months.