Why Perpetual Dog Chaining (Tethering) is Harmful to Dogs & Illegal in Texas
Here are some facts:
Texas Law States: BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: SECTION A1.AAChapter 821, Health and Safety Code. Sec.A821.076.Sec.A821.077. UNLAWFUL Restraint of a Dog. (3) A dog restrained for a reasonable period, not to exceed 3 hours in a 24-hour period, and no longer than is necessary for the owner to complete a temporary task that requires the dog to be restrained. (a) An owner may not leave a dog outside and unattended by use of a restraint that unreasonably limits the dog’s movement: between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.; within 500 feet of the premises of a school; or in the case of extreme weather conditions, including conditions in which: the actual or effective outdoor temperature is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit; a heat advisory has been issued by a local or state authority or jurisdiction; or a hurricane, tropical storm, or tornado warning has been issued for the jurisdiction by the National-Weather-Service.
The American Veterinary Medical Association warns that chaining a dog can contribute to aggressive behavior.
The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture prohibits chaining as the primary means of confinement under the Animal Welfare Act. They state, “Our experience in enforcing the Animal Welfare Act has led us to conclude that continuous confinement of dogs by a tether is inhumane. A tether significantly restricts a dog’s movement. A tether can also become tangled around or hooked on the dog’s shelter structure or other objects, further restricting the dog’s movement and potentially causing injury.” In these cases dogs sometimes hang themselves on their chains when they try to jump from a porch or wrap themselves around a tree...even jumping a fence!
The Center for Disease Control states that chained dogs are 2.8 times more likely to bite than unchained dogs.
Nearly 100 “state and local” jurisdictions “ban or severely” restrict dog chaining.
The city of Austin passed a No Dog Chaining Ordinance in 2007 and Arlington was the most recent to pass this law in Texas.
Dogs are pack animals that are genetically determined (by humans) to live in a group and who want and need socialization and companionship. Dogs kept on chains for hours, days, months, or even years suffer immense psychological damage. An otherwise friendly & docile dog, when kept continuously chained, becomes neurotic, unhappy, anxious, and often aggressive. Their necks often become raw & covered in sores due to constant yanking in an attempt to free themselves. Collars often become embedded in their necks if left unattended for years. In their struggle dogs will knock over what food and water has been given to them resulting in being left with nothing while unattended. In our Texas heat we already know this to be a death sentence.
As a reminder in 2011 when this ordinance did not pass a dog died of heat stroke on the end of a chain just a few days later.
Dogs on chains are commonly referred to as “coyote bait” and are subject to many dangers. They are easy targets for harassing humans, and stinging and biting insects. Unspayed female dogs are the worst targets from wondering male dogs. This only perpetuates over population and unwanted offspring. They “can not” escape and always resort to the fight-or-fight mode. “Flight” is not an option while chained so aggression is the only option. They are also subject to theft for profit or theft to become a bait dog.
Dogs on chains do not make good guard dogs. Chains create aggression not protectiveness! A protective dog is used to being around people and can sense when his family is being threatened. A dog learns to be protective by spending lots of time with people and by learning to know and love their human family. Leaving a dog on a chain and ignoring them is how to raise an aggressive dog. Aggressive dogs can’t distinguish between a threat and a family friend, because they are not used to people. Aggressive dogs will attack anyone, especially an unknowing child. Statistics show that one of the best deterrents to intruders is an inside dog.
It is a death sentence for the soul of a pack animal to be isolated alone and tied down to live out their life in fear, frustration, depression & ill health. It is also a fact that most chained dogs are not spayed or neutered, do not have their proper shots and suffer numerous skin and internal parasites & diseases.
Chained dogs are a hazard to the community and add great risk for generating more aggressive dogs with the potential to bite.
Chain Free Hays County, Community Organization. Locate us on Face Book! “LIKE” us on Face Book for UpDates and Educational Tips regarding your Dogs Safety!