It’s hard to believe, but 2022 is in the rear view mirror! As we toss our old calendars and hang new ones, many people are thinking about goals for the new year, and perhaps thinking about ways to make the world a better place. January may be the perfect time for that: it’s Unchain a Dog Month. This is definitely an important cause, and something to be aware of. A local Seminole, FL vet offers some information on this topic below.
Chaining—or tethering, as it is called in some areas—refers to keeping a dog tied to a stationary object, such as a tree or fence. This is incredibly sad: Fido is active, social, and emotional, and he should live indoors with the rest of the family. As far as causes go, they can range from ignorance to cruelty. In some cases, owners don’t realize how detrimental chaining is. Others may not know how to handle or house their dogs properly. That’s why raising awareness on this issue is so important.
What should you do if you see a chained dog? If the dog is in Hillsborough County, contact Animal Control at 813-744-5660 or fill out the online animal request form here. You can also file an anonymous report through Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS. Offering food, water, toys, and treats can make a world of difference, but you’ll need to keep your own safety in mind. If the dog is owned by someone you know, you can try to educate them and/or convince them to rehome the pooch.
There is some light at the end of the tunnel. In recent years, many states have passed laws banning chaining or at least limiting the amount of time Fido can be tied. Here in Florida, we do not currently have a statewide law, though there have been attempts. (One recent example of this was bill SB 650, which unfortunately did not pass.) However, many Florida counties have enacted their own legislation. Here in Hillsborough County, dogs can only be tethered if the owner is present and with the dog, and if a nylon or leather collar or harness is used. Heavy chains are also illegal. The fines for failure-to-comply citations can be as much as $1000!
Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your Seminole, FL animal clinic!