Life for a Chained Dog

Dogs can live on just food and water. But to be happy, dogs need exercise and daily love and attention from their guardian.

You couldn’t invent a worse punishment for a dog than keeping him permanently chained. Dogs are highly social, pack animals. To isolate a dog, providing no outlet for interaction or exercise, is extremely cruel. Chained dogs tend to become anxious, aggressive, neurotic, territorial, and dangerous.

Imagine being chained to a tree year after year. You watch the back door hoping someone will come out to play with you. No one ever does. You long to run and stretch your legs, but all you can do is pace back and forth over your small patch of packed dirt. Sometimes you get tangled up in your chain. You shiver in the winter cold and pant in the hot summer sun. Fleas biting your skin are a constant torture. Eventually, you stop barking for attention. You have given up hope.

Humans have lots of ways to entertain ourselves: movies, video games, shopping, television...Your dog only has YOU. Your dog is depending on you to make his life a good one or a terrible one. His fate is in your hands. If you can't give your dog a happy life, should you even have a dog?

The Good News

Dogs can't speak for themselves, but the good news is that you can help stop this common form of animal cruelty!

It is up to caring people like you to improve the lives of chained dogs. Some people think, "It's none of my business." But it is the business of compassionate people to speak up when living creatures are treated like objects--tossed in the backyard and forgotten. You will feel so good about yourself if you help a chained and suffering dog!

Guard Dog, from Patrick McDonnell's wonderful comic strip Mutts.

Read an Editorial and a Chained Dog's Story.