Neglected, Chained Dogs Need Help From Animal Cruelty

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Free a neglected chained dog in your neighborhood and take a stand against animal cruelty.

Chaining or tethering an outside dog for extended periods of time is one of the most common forms of animal cruelty, but when you help a neglected, chained dog (http://www.charityguide.org/volunteer/fifteen/animal-cruelty.htm), you take a stand against animal cruelty. You also speak up for the rights of an animal who can't speak for himself.

Many chained dogs are doomed to live their entire lives alone in the same, small area around their chains. Weeks, months and years go by -- usually without adequate food, water, shelter or care.

Dogs are pack animals and thus highly sociable creatures, so it would be difficult to invent a crueler form of canine punishment. They crave nothing more than the attention and love of their family, so when they are denied this again and again, they become not only lonely, but often aggressive. Sadly, the victims of attacks by chained dogs (http://www.charityguide.org/volunteer/fifteen/animal-cruelty.htm) are often neighborhood children or other animals including cats and wildlife.

Chaining and tethering dogs can be physically dangerous for the dogs themselves. An ill-fitting collar can injure the dog's neck and throat; there have even been cases of dogs whose collars became embedded in their necks after years of being chained. Dogs chained near a fence can hang themselves if they try to jump over the fence in desperation. Health problems are frequent in chained dogs as a result of extreme weather, insects, and attacks from other animals.

Chained dogs are often the victims of harassment and sometimes even theft or abuse by strangers without a means to defend themselves against attack.

Chaining a dog outside for extended periods of time has been declared inhumane by many humane organizations, and also by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Many communities have passed anti-cruelty laws that restrict or eliminate the practice, but countless neglected, chained dogs still have no voice.

If there is a dog in your neighborhood who is frequently chained and seems neglected, find a safe way to help. Just one dog freed from this life of despair is a victory in the battle against animal cruelty everywhere.

  • If you have a dog, don't chain him up! Learn other ways to keep your dog company while outside.
  • Contact your local animal care and control organization if you see a dog in your neighborhood who is frequently chained outside or who looks to be deprived of adequate food, water, shelter or veterinary care. Animal care officials will know the animal cruelty laws in your area, but even if no laws are being broken, they can often intervene and help dogs in other ways. Once you've reported the situation, don't be afraid to follow up; you may well be the dog's last hope.
  • If you're still concerned about an outside or neglected dog, talk to the dog’s owner. If you cannot remove the dog from the situation completely, you may be able to help him in other ways, such as by helping his owner install a fence, eliminating the need for a chain, or by obtaining permission to take him for a walk once a day.
  • Volunteer to educate people about dog chaining or become a leader in the effort to get dogs off chains in your area.
  • If you've been thinking of adopting a dog, consider adopting a rescued chained dog. It will require some extra work and patience,. but the reward — turning a life of misery into a life of joy and love — will probably be one of the most gratifying experiences of your life.

To do even more, visit CharityGuide.org for more volunteer opportunities (http://www.charityguide.org/volunteer/fifteenminutes.htm) related to animal protection (http://www.charityguide.org/volunteer/animal-protection.htm).

Charity Guide (http://www.charityguide.org/) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting flexible volunteerism, by inspiring and facilitating acts of kindness. For more information about Charity Guide and opportunities to make a difference, please visit our Web site at http://www.charityguide.org or contact us at Questions @ CharityGuide.org.

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Susan White
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