From June 27- July 7, animal advocates from around the country will be chaining themselves up to a multitude of fixed objects. The event is designed to raise awareness about the millions of dogs who spend their lives in chains. The annual Chain Off week is sponsored by nonprofit Dog’s Deserve Better.
In response to why she will be chaining herself up for 24 hours, participant Marleen Oetzel of New Castle, Delaware told the Sussex Countian, “living chained for 24 hours will be grueling, but my 24 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. Most of us can barely begin to imagine the agony and loneliness of such a life for a social, intelligent animal like a dog.’”
According to some legislators, chained-up dogs often become neurotic and obsessive, which can lead them to be aggressive; hence a common association with attacks on children. Therefore, many states have adopted new “chaining” laws because of the rise in public safety costs.
For example, California and Texas recently passed laws enforcing a time limit for dogs to be chained up. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania and South Carolina are following suit with similar legislation.
Despite a rise in anti-animal cruelty awareness, several states have either neglected to adopt, or remained stagnant in legislation protecting dogs from the chain. Delaware, for example, has neglected to change an existing animal welfare law allowing dogs to be chained up their entire lives.
For more information about Chain Off 2008, visit DogsDeserveBetter.com.