There are many things that you can do to help make life better for a dog that is tethered in a back yard without much human interaction. The first thing to do is to get acquainted with the dog’s caregivers.

Be sure your approach is positive, so you don’t come off sounding critical. Lecturing them about the evils of leaving their dog outdoors will not solve anything. Explain that you are a dog lover, and would enjoy the chance to play with their dog, or take him for walks a few times a week. Be sure to stress that anything you offer is free…everyone loves free stuff.

If the dog has no adequate shelter, you might offer to bring them a dog house. If you are willing to spend some time with the dog, you will probably form a friendly relationship with the dog’s caregiver, and perhaps rekindle a bond between him and his dog.

There are many success stories from this approach, but even if this doesn’t happen, remember that helping the dog a little is better than doing nothing at all. You may not be able to convince the caregiver to take the animal inside, or even convince him to put up a fence.

If the dog was never really wanted in the first place, perhaps an offer to find him another home will be successful, but even if all you can do is get a decent doghouse, some toys, and regular walks, that is a success because the dog’s life has been improved.

Animal control and human agencies receive regular calls from citizens concerned about animals, but until the public understand the problems, and laws are changed, nothing significant will be accomplished. Documentation shows that chaining dogs is not only inhumane treatment of companion animals, but is also dangerous, because chained dogs often develop behavior problems. They become bored, boredom leads to frustration, and frustration leads of excessive barking and aggression. The number of animal bites and attacks by chained dogs will only continue to grow if we do not educate the community and break the never ending cycle of generations accepting this practice.

Most of our communities do not have any anti-tethering ordinances, and realistically they are not likely to pass them soon, but many communities are considering limited tethering laws. To make a positive impact on your community you must convince people that extended tethering is not acceptable, and although it is difficult to change attitudes, it is possible. To learn how you can more effectively help chained dogs in your neighborhood, go to sites such as , and .

Get involved; it is not impossible to make life better for our dogs, and safer for our community.

God put dogs on earth for a reason, and I’m sure it wasn’t His plan for them to be treated so cruelly, and abused so often by man. Why would someone have a dog only to keep him tied to a tree? And why won’t they listen to reason about how cruel that is—why can’t they see? If people would realize this treatment brings their dog pain, they would surely stop this horrible practice, and take them off of their chain. ~Robyn Kirby