Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week is observed from February 7 – 14, which means this Valentine’s Day, you will be receiving the purest form of love you have ever felt. The terms ‘chaining’ or ‘tethering’ are defined as the practice of tying up a dog to a stationary object, as a means of keeping the animal under control. This practice is considered cruel, as it poses a great risk to the physical and psychological well-being of dogs.
History of Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week
Dogs are man’s best friend but sadly, humans aren’t always that friendly to dogs. Even though dogs have proved their loyalty to us time and time again, some fail to provide dogs with the love they deserve. So let’s show our dogs how much we appreciate their friendship and shower them with love.
Tammy Grimes founded the Virginia non-profit group, Dogs Deserve Better, in 2002. She started the group after she was arrested for rescuing a dying dog that was chained. Dogs Deserve Better started the promotion of Have a Heart for Chained Dogs to raise awareness of the plight of neglected dogs.
Chained dogs are easily forgotten and face neglect that can have detrimental effects on their well-being. Dogs being chained outdoors live in miserable conditions, with inadequate food or shelter, and sometimes, they don’t even have access to clean water.
By chaining dogs for long periods, we are also denying them the companionship of humans or other dogs. Dogs are incredibly social creatures who are harmed by being tethered. It can lead to many behavioral issues, loneliness, and overprotectiveness of their territories. Tethered dogs are also at a greater risk of sustaining injuries or even death as a result of being unable to escape when attacked by other animals.
Every year around Valentine’s Day, Dogs Deserve Better inform people about the abuse dogs face when they are chained up all the time. Their goal is not to accuse but rather to educate people so they will consider bringing their dog into the house or finding a better home for it.
Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week timeline
On July 2, the U.S.D.A. statement concludes that the continuous confinement of dogs by a tether is inhumane.
The U.S.D.A. issues a final rule that entities regulated under the Animal Welfare Act could no longer keep dogs continuously chained.
Dogs Deserve Better wins the A.S.P.C.A./Chase Pet Protector Award.
As of 2021, 23 states and the District of Columbia have laws on dog tethering/chaining.
Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week FAQs
Does a choke chain hurt a dog?
Choke collars are designed to punish dogs for pulling by inflicting pain and discomfort. They should not be used as they can cause serious physical and emotional damage.
How do you help a chained dog?
If you are worried about a chained dog in your area and the owner won’t let the dog inside or allow you to help, be polite, leave the property, and contact your local humane society or animal control.
Why do people chain their dogs?
Many people chain their dogs because the dog’s behavior frustrates the owner. They respond by chaining the dog, not knowing what else to do.
How to Observe Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week
Bring your dog inside
Dogs are very social and just like us, they tend to get bored and lonely when they are chained outdoors all by themselves. Bring them inside and allow them to socialize and be a part of the family.
Take care of your dog
Dogs require a good amount of physical activity to calm them down. Take them on regular walks, give them chew toys and put up a fence in your yard to allow your dog some freedom. If necessary, provide obedience training to help your dog learn how to be a good indoor dog. Taking care of these few basic things can help control your dog’s behavior to a great extent.
Volunteer for your neighborhood dogs
Volunteer to help dogs around your neighborhood. Get to know the dog’s guardians and offer to walk chained dogs. If you are concerned about someone else’s chained dog, call your local animal control office, humane society, or police department.
5 Sad Facts About Chained Dogs
Children attacked by chained dogs
According to Dogs Deserve Better, 112 children were killed or seriously injured by chained dogs between October 2003 and January 2007.
Percentage of chained dog attacks
According to the book “Fatal Dog Attacks,” 25% of fatal attacks were inflicted by chained dogs.
Living life in chains
Sadly, 200,000 dogs live a life of being constantly chained/tethered outdoors.
Being chained makes them vulnerable
Chained dogs are more vulnerable to attacks by other animals.
They are more dangerous
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that chained dogs are 2.8 times more likely to bite.
Why Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week is Important
It fights for the rights of dogs
Dogs Deserve Better started this day to spread awareness of the plight of neglected dogs that are chained/tethered outdoors for long periods. It is an effort to help chained dogs that are vulnerable to various physical as well as psychological damages, and for them to be allowed and accepted into their homes.
It’s an effort to educate
This day educates people about the dangers dogs face when being chained outdoors. It’s an effort to help people realize how traumatic it is for these dogs, without blaming anyone.
We love dogs
Dogs deserve all our love and care. They are the most loving and gentle animals who fill our lives with immeasurable amounts of love and affection. Chaining them outside is not how we should repay them for their love and loyalty.
Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week dates