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Animal Rights Florida Meetup Message Board › Chain Off 2009

Chain Off 2009

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Ima A.
user 4950345
Group Organizer
Orlando, FL
Post #: 31
Orlando Sentinel
by Kate Santich on Jul 2, 2009 8:38:20 PM

While the rest of us are holding cook-outs or going to the beach or just having a day off to appreciate freedom, a Winter Springs man will spend most of his Fourth of July “holiday” on a chain, tethered to a dog house.

Bryan Wilson, 40, is one of hundreds of animal advocates throughout the nation expected to participate in the annual “Chain Off” – a weeklong event created by the nonprofit organization Dogs Deserve Better to raise awareness of the inhumanity of keeping dogs chained up.

Dogs, after all, are social animals. Isolation makes them fearful, neurotic, territorial – and sometimes aggressive. A few years ago, while writing about an animal cruelty investigator, I saw a dog that had nearly been decapitated from being left on a chain for so long. Presumably, he was first chained as a puppy, but inevitably he grew. His neck grew. The collar did not grow. It began to strangle him.

Fortunately, that dog was saved and adopted by a wonderful family. (That's "Mac" in the photo below, with rescuer Ernie White.) But across the country an estimated 6 million dogs still live most or all of their lives in chains, many of them becoming impregnated and giving birth while chained, giving rise to yet more unwanted animals.

Many of them die – of strangulation, of heat exposure, from lack of food or water, or even from euthanasia, usually after they have attacked some innocent child who wanders into the only “territory” the dog has ever known.

“Most of us can barely begin to imagine the agony and loneliness of such a life for a social, intelligent animal like a dog,” says Wilson, who will spend from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday chained up at the entrance to the Paw Park in Sanford. He’ll be there rain or shine. “My 8 hours of discomfort is nothing compared to the daily suffering of so many dogs who spend their entire lives at the end of a chain, living in a small patch of mud, their chains wrapped around a tree, baking in the summer sun or freezing in the cold, desperate for affection or even just a walk.”

Chain Off is now in its seventh year. Unfortunately, it’s still necessary. Despite the increasing number of reasonable people who understand that dogs are intelligent animals requiring exercise, grooming, vet care, stimulation, and compassion – all of which most perpetually chained dogs never receive – 24/7 chaining is still prevalent and accepted in many places in the United States, including in Seminole County, where existing animal welfare laws place no limits on chaining dogs.

Happily, a number of states, cities and counties have started passing laws addressing how long people can chain their dogs. California and Texas recently passed statewide laws that put specific time limits on chaining, and a number of other states, including Pennsylvania and South Carolina, are considering similar legislation. Several hundred cities and counties nationwide also have so-called anti-tethering laws, some banning the practice entirely.

“Dogs should be part of the family,” Wilson says, “not lawn ornaments.”

For more information: go to or
*Becasue of Bryan and his wife's efforts Seminole County is now proposing a anti chaining ordinance. Stay tuned for more details.

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