Thursday, December 8, 2016

Help Chained Dogs in the Winter (or Any Time) ....

     A note from S.J. Francis: At this time of year, any time of the year, but especially in the frigid, cold winter, or hot humid summer, one of the worst things to ever find is an animal, usually a dog chained outside. It's not healthy for the dog to be deprived of time with his/her owner and clean water and access to food. Even with a dog house, it isn't good for the dog to be outside. Anyone can come along and harm your dog, poison it, shoot it, strangle it, let it loose or worse. Is that what you want? I don't. Dogs, all pets, all they really want is to be with you, loved by you, protecting you and sitting or lying down alongside you. If your idea of getting a dog or any pet is to chain it outside, then it's better off that you don't own a pet. Chained dogs have been killed by trespassers, feral dogs and wildlife while tied outside. So, please, please do not chain your dog outside in winter, summer of any time of year. Your dog cannot protect you while chained outside. If you think so, you're so wrong. In the meantime, what should you, a passerby do should you stumble upon a chained dog outside. Should you help? Yes, but how? Here are a few tips I found from a PETA blog to help you out.. Meanwhile, when it doubt, check it out....

5 Steps to Help Chained Dogs in the Winter (or Any Time)                                         

                        What to do if you see a Chained Dog Any time of Year: Watch the Video:

Dogs left outside without proper care or shelter can suffer from dehydration and hypothermia—and in winter, they can get frostbite or even freeze to death. Dogs should never be left outside, but when they’re outside and deprived of access to water or shelter, the situation is an emergency. Their well-being, if not their life, could depend on you to take action. Check out current legislation on tethering dogs in your area and these tips to help chained dogs:
Important: Remember that you should not go onto private property without the owner’s permission.

1. Gather Information

Even if you can’t go on the property, you can still look from the street, the sidewalk, the driveway, and even the front door—these places are considered “publicly accessible.” Take photos and videos if possible, as this evidence will help if you file a complaint. Carefully note what you see, including the key details below.
Location: Record the address or accurately describe the exact location and description of the home if there is no visible house number.
Sad Chained Dog in Weldon, NC
Description: If you can tell the dog’s breed, approximate age, size, and sex, record that information, too.
Dog’s health: The situation may be dire if the dog appears hunched over or if you can see protruding ribs, spine, and/or hipbones.
Dog chained in NC
Shelter conditions: Note whether the dog is tethered, chained, penned, or running loose as well as whether there’s proper shelter within reach. An adequate shelter should have four walls, a raised floor, a solid roof, and an opening covered by a flap in the winter, and it must be waterproof. It should be small enough that the dog’s own body heat can help provide some warmth but large enough to allow for standing up and turning around. If the only accessible shelter is an airline carrier, a wire crate, a barrel, or something else that collects water, ices up, or lets the cold and wind in—or if the dog has no shelter at all—that is extremely serious.

2. Look for Food and Water

help chained dog emaciated dog
Try to see if there are any buckets or bowls of food and water. If the water is frozen or there’s  none at all, take action, as described in the next steps. If the dog seems thin, look for any evidence of food.

3. Talk to the Owner

Knock on the door, and be very polite. Mention how cold it is out and say that you were wondering if the owner could let the dog, who appears to be shivering, in the house. If the owner is worried that the dog will make a mess or gives another excuse, suggest the laundry room, a bathroom, or even a heated garage overnight—anywhere warm.
PETA Volunteer Delivering Doghouse to Chained Dog
If the owner refuses to allow the dog inside, politely ask for permission to help. Ask if you can provide the dog with fresh water, food, and/or straw bedding. Emphasize that this will all be free of charge—you just love dogs and would like to help.

4. Call the Authorities

If the owner won’t let the dog inside or allow you to help, be polite, leave the property, and call local animal control. If the agency is unresponsive or closed, call the local police or sheriff. State clearly that the dog has no access to water or shelter and needs to be taken indoors as required by law.
Cold chained dog in the snow during straw delivery in January 2013.
Be calm, firm, polite, and precise, and mention the temperature. Carefully note the time that you called and the person you spoke with. If the dog has no shelter or is sick or injured, stay there until an officer arrives. Remember that your involvement could mean the difference between life and death.

5. Work to Get a Tethering Ban Passed

The best way to prevent dogs from suffering and dying on chains is to get a tethering ban passed. If chaining is legal in your area, please contact your local and state representatives and encourage them to get this cruel practice banned, as so many other jurisdictions have.
chained dog
And if you’d like to do even more for cold dogs, consider sponsoring a doghouse so that one more neglected pup will at least have a safe place away from bad weather.                                  
Copyright 2016 PETA.


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Until next time….hug your animals. Tell them you love them. If you don’t have a pet, adopt one. Make adoption your first option when seeking a pet. Adopt. Don’t shop. Can’t adopt. Please consider fostering one. The animal will have the taste of home and the shelter will cover the expenses. Can’t foster? Make a donation or volunteer at your local shelter. Please, don’t hunt. Unless you’re starving down in a ditch somewhere, there is no logical reason to do so. Whatever you do, however you do it, please be a voice for the animals large and small. All it takes is one to make a difference, good or bad.
Together, you and I can make a difference in an animal's life.  I’m one for the animals. Are you? Thanks for visiting. Stay safe. Be strong. Be happy. Smile. Show compassion. Be nice to one another. Pass it onward. If you like what you see here, please consider signing up to become a follower. Please feel free to share this post with others.
    S.J. Francis
    In Shattered Lies: "Good and bad, it's All About Family."  Available now from Black Opal Books and for sale at on-line retailers and independent booksellers.
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And now for some legal stuff: Copyright 2016 by S.J. Francis. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, S. J. Francis and are meant to entertain, inform and enlighten, and intend to offend no one.