Letter: Don’t chain dogs outside
New England winters are tough on all living things, especially domestic animals. Chaining a dog for her entire life is one of the cruelest ways to treat an animal.
Dogs are social “pack” animals and need to be with humans and other canines. Exposed to all weather conditions, starved for attention, often receiving minimal food and water, the chained dog starts barking in frustration and finally gives up when she is ignored.
Chained dogs frequently become aggressive; they are easy prey to children taunting them and throwing objects at them.
There is no excuse for chaining. Most shelters today are able to find homes even for “problem” dogs. There are plenty of specialists to help with dog behavioral issues.
Contact your local animal control officer, police department or humane society, if you find a domestic animal lacking shelter, who is emaciated, or in poor condition. There is also much you can do yourself to help a suffering or neglected animal. Offer to take or buy her – sometimes money is an incentive. If that doesn’t work, ask if you can help take care of the animal, by feeding, grooming, walking, etc. Never pass by an animal in need; your help may be the difference between life and death.
Every locality should pass an ordinance banning the cruel practice of chaining dogs. Model legislation is available for the asking. For information on this and how you can help chained dogs, even a blueprint for a spacious insulated doghouse, phone 224-1351 or log on to give-us-shelter.com.