If your local government officials were inspired by National Dog Bite Prevention Week to pass an ordinance that would help prevent dog bites, would you support it? As it turns out, they can do just that by banning chaining.
Dogs have a strong fight-or-flight response, and chaining takes away the less dangerous option. In addition to being denied adequate food, water, shelter, and veterinary care, dogs who spend their lives at the end of a chain often are not socialized, and even a small child who runs toward them can seem threatening, leading them to bite in self-defense. Chained dogs are three times more likely to attack than are dogs with the freedom to escape perceived threats, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And the American Veterinary Medical Association advises guardians, "Never tether or chain your dog because this can contribute to aggressive behavior."
Communities across America are acknowledging the danger (and cruelty) of chaining and are implementing chaining restrictions. For easy ways to encourage your local legislators to consider a lifesaving chaining ordinance, see PETA's "Breaking the Chain" webpage.
Written by Michelle Sherrow