In an effort to spotlight the cruel practice of continually chaining or penning a dog, 74 people in 29 states and Canada will chain themselves to doghouses for 24 hours. The event, “Chain Off 2007”, is held annually by the nonprofit Dogs Deserve Better, and will kick off June 30, 2007, in Atlanta, Georgia and Redmond, Washington, and run through July 8.
For the last five years, Dogs Deserve Better has held its yearly “Chain Off” in order to raise awareness about a practice that is still widely accepted, but increasingly recognized as one of the worst forms of abuse to which a dog can be subjected: keeping him chained or penned for his entire life. Participants will chain themselves to doghouses – some in their own yards – to stand against the practice of continual chaining.
“Living chained to a doghouse for 24 hours will be grueling and unimaginable for those of us who are so used to coming and going as we please,” says Susan Hartland, organizer of the Atlanta and Seattle events and a Dogs Deserve Better area representative. “But the discomfort we will endure is nothing compared to the daily suffering of many of our nation’s dogs who spend their entire lives at the end of a chain, living in a small patch of mud, their chains wrapped around a tree, baking in the summer sun or freezing in the winter cold.”
In 2006, California became the first state in the country to pass a statewide law specifically limiting the amount of time a dog may be tethered to a stationary object. Over 100 local governments across the United States have passed legislation in recent years that either bans or limits how long a dog may be chained, recognizing that existing animal welfare laws are outdated and that dogs are intelligent, social, active animals that suffer greatly if kept chained or penned for their lives.
To learn more about Dogs Deserve Better and “Chain Off 2007”, visit www.dogsdeservebetter.org.