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Dietrich and Eva von Haugwitz inspire anti-chaining fund

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Chapel Hill News - Chapel Hill, NC

HILLSBOROUGH -- An international animal protection organization has established a memorial fund to honor a Chapel Hill couple who dedicated their lives to helping animals.

The Dietrich and Eva von Haugwitz Unchain Dogs Fund, created by the California-based In Defense of Animals (IDA), will support efforts to end the practice of chaining dogs.

IDA program director Suzanne Roy said IDA will use its contacts to help raise an estimated $30,000 to $50,000. That would be enough to hire a full-time person to work on anti-chaining efforts locally and perhaps later across the country, she said.

Chaining deprives dogs of exercise and socialization and breeds aggression, said Roy, who lives in Hillsborough. She normally works to improve conditions for captive elephants but also works with the Durham and Orange County-based Coalition to Unchain Dogs.

The coalition, founded by Durham resident Amanda Arrington, is trying to get local laws restricting the chaining of dogs. In Orange County, a committee has recommended dogs be chained for no more than three hours per day, with an exception for sporting events that involve hunting dogs, Roy said. The recommendation goes to the county's Animal Services Advisory Board this month and then to the Orange County Board of Commissioners.

The coalition also has a fencing project, which builds fences for people who cannot afford them.


Dietrich von Haugwitz died June 25, almost four years after his wife Eva died.

In the last year of his life, he became very involved in local anti-chaining efforts, even adopting a dog named Bessie who had probably spent eight years or longer chained in an elderly woman's backyard in Hillsborough.

Dietrich and Eva von Haugwitz loved all animals, especially dogs. Dietrich's journey from unwilling conscript in Hitler's army at the age of 15 to dedicated U.S. animal rights advocate is chronicled in the book "Eternal Treblinka." The couple spent the last 25 years of their lives helping non-human animals. They established a lobbying arm of North Carolina Network for Animals, hosted meetings of the Triangle Vegetarian Society, and took in needy animals -- from rabbits rescued from labs to neglected dogs and cats.

In Defense of Animals has 100,000 members and is based in San Rafael, Calif. IDA advocates for animals internationally and operates two sanctuaries - one for orphaned chimpanzees in Cameroon, Africa and another for abused and neglected domestic animals in Mississippi. For more information on IDA, see

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