Everyone has seen an outside dog constantly chained or tethered, left alone with no companionship, entertainment, and often without adequate shelter and food/water. Think about the life such a dog leads – endless loneliness, never-ending boredom, frustration from being isolated and seeing the world pass by, extreme cold and heat from the changing seasons, the exposure to unsanitary conditions near where food/water and shelter, if any, are provided. The anxiety and frustration from being constantly chained/tethered also produces destructive and aggressive behavior in dogs. According to animal advocacy nonprofits, confining a dog by a chain or other physical restraint can “be a high risk factor behind serious bites and attacks.”

Some cities have introduced laws that place limits on the time a dog can be chained/tethered and some cities have even banned the inhumane practice altogether. Huntsville, AL recently passed laws banning tethering altogether, along with stricter animal cruelty laws. Right now, we need to start locally in Fort Payne. Laws should be ultimately federally-to protect dogs from suffering because of this type of treatment. Readers can write to local, state and federal officials voicing their support for legislation banning chaining/tethering.

I’m not advocating outlawing tethering 100 percent. Indeed, many people use creative tethering to inject a little outdoor time in their animals’ lives. But I want humane and enforceable laws in place to assist animal control officers to tackle abuse and neglect.

While tears, anger and social media updates are perhaps natural reactions to what seems to be a growing trend of neglect, Real action is needed. If, like me, you want to see change, write to city council and demand that they introduce a local ordinance that protects the animals.

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