Special Articles

It's A Chained Dog's Life, and It's Not a Good One

By Emily Pennel — Most of us have seen them: dogs who live at the end of a chain, day after day, month after month, year after year. In the summer they lie panting in the hot sun, scratching at the many fleas running over their skin. In the winter they huddle in the corner of dilapidated doghouses, with no blankets or hay to keep them warm. The life of a chained dog is a life of deprivation and loneliness....

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The True Story of a Backyard Dog

By Lori Oswald — Donovan was not a unique dog. He did not pull a child from in front of an oncoming car. He did not bark during a house fire and save an entire family from death. He did not win a ribbon in an American Kennel Club dogs show, or even in a community fun match. Indeed, Donovan was considered quite an "ordinary" dog....

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Blame the Owner, Not the Dog

By John Johnston — "After reviewing over 431 cases of fatal dog attacks it is apparent there is no single factor that translates in a lethal encounter between a person and a dog(s),” study author Delise says. “A fatal dog attack is always the culmination of past and present events that include: inherited and learned behaviors, genetics, breeding, socialization, function of the dog, physical condition and size of the dog, reproductive status of dog, popularity of breed, individual temperament, environmental stresses, owner responsibility, victim behavior, victim size and physical condition, timing and misfortune.”

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Dogs Need Time Off Chain To Learn Good Behavior

By Dr. Marty Becker — Experts agree that chaining increases aggression in some dogs. "Rather than protecting the owner or property, a chained dog is often fearful for itself, particularly poorly socialized dogs or those with a previous negative experience," says Rolan Tripp, affiliate professor of animal behavior at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Colorado State University. "When tethered and exposed to a potentially threatening stimulus, one thing the dog definitely knows is, `I can't get away.' In that circumstance, a reasonable response might be, `Therefore I'm going to try and scare you away by growling or, worse yet, biting.' "

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Man's Best Friend a Victim

By Tom Hennessy — As for providing protection, Yarden dismisses the notion. "Dogs do not protect back yards. They may bark at people, cats, other dogs, birds, butterflies or falling leaves, but this is not protective behavior. This is boredom, and an intruder can easily override it with an offering of food or friendship. However, if the dog has free access to the inside via a dog door, he will protect the house because it is his den as well. Such dogs are the best and most reliable protectors. At the same time, they are also protected from the elements, abusive strangers, dog-nappers and poison."

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Life at the End of a Chain

By Judith Fish, M.S.W. — Thousands of dogs in South Florida and throughout the country are sentenced to life imprisonment with no possibility for parole. These dogs have done nothing wrong and have never committed a crime. Yet they're subjected to a punishment worse than death - life at the end of a chain. Many of these dogs are chained up 24/7 and some remain incarcerated like this for their entire lives. Most of these dogs have never been for a walk nor played a game of fetch. They have never enjoyed a ride in a car, and have never known a moment of love.

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Dogs Often Care for Humans Better than Humans Care for Dogs

By Joel Freedman — During bitter cold weather, the humane society in my community received complaints about an old, gentle dog, chained outdoors day and night, who was trying desperately and unsuccessfully to burrow into the frozen ground to escape the brutal wind chill.... Even if the shelter is adequate, the life of a chained or otherwise isolated dog is lonely, unhappy and spirit-breaking.

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A Daily Reality

By Cherine Bissinger — As I wake up cozy and warm on this bitterly cold December morning, I find myself anguishing over the same thoughts once again. Since the weather turned to subzero temperatures, I cannot eliminate the overwhelming feelings of empathy and desperation for the countless animals forced to endure a torturous existence by the hands of cruel, sadistic "owners" who willfully neglect their basic physiological and psychological needs.

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Say Good-bye to the Backyard Dog

With so many dogs being introduced into new homes these days, let's clear up some common misconceptions. Perhaps the most widely held misconception is the belief that dogs will be healthy and happy living in the backyard. Nothing could be further from the truth. Current studies prove that dogs isolated in backyards are prone to develop behavioral problems.

Dogs are pack animals, they love companionship. Dogs are social creatures, in fact, more social than humans. They need to be part of human families. Denied access to human living space can result in behavioral and medical problems.

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Outside Dogs

August 1995 Issue of Whiskers & Wags — I'm familiar with hundreds of dog breeds, but what's an outside dog? Unless you're medically intolerant of the dog (and therefore can't take care of him in a medical emergency, so you shouldn't have the dog anyway), making a dog stay outside is a costly waste. If he's for protection, what do you think I want to steal - your lawn?

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Learn to Step Up

By Maleah Stringer — When it comes to getting involved in problematic or potentially conflicting social issues, many members of our society suddenly become deaf, dumb and blind. Most people simply don’t want to get involved because of the repercussions it might have on their own lives. They cite many different reasons for this but oftentimes they simply don’t realize that they can do anything to make a difference.

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It's About Treating Animals With Compassion, Not "Rights"

By Maleah Stringer — One of the questions that comes up frequently for groups that do animal rescue and deal with the issues of animal cruelty is that of the forgotten animal. You’ve all seen them — the ones chained or in tiny kennels in the back yard 24/7. It seems the only time they get any interaction with another living being is when they’re fed and if they’re lucky when their area is cleaned of feces. This isolation is particularly sad for dogs since they are social (pack) animals. Having very little interaction with either their human family or other animals can cause a number of behavioral problems.

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The Active Activist: Castles for Canines

By Michelle Rivera — "Dog people" fall into a number of different categories. There are those who become dependent upon their dogs for love, companionship and affection... those who admire dogs for their great beauty, their intelligence, their "conformation" to the ideals of specific breeds... and those who take in stray dogs and care little for their aesthetics, colors, coat or pedigree.... But there is another category, a very disturbing one, that those who all of the people in the above categories combined will never, ever understand....

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