Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Home is Where the Heart is

If you have dogs, you probably step outside without a coat and sensible shoes like I often do. It might be to fill a water bucket or scoop the yard or let a dog out to potty at 3 a.m. Whatever the reason, you know that chill that hits you at certain times of the year - the one that makes you curse into the night air and start jumping around while willing the dog with your mind to hurry up.

For me, this chill has taken on new meaning due to people moving into a nearby trailer and tying two dogs up to trees in the front yard. The dogs are tethered 24/7 on very short ropes and have no shelter (the trees are very small and provide no cover). They get rained on, sometimes all day, and then the chill comes at night and they stay tied to their trees, wet and cold. Although the dogs are usually quiet, sometimes they cry - pitiful yelps that go on for a good while. The sound is almost unbearable to me, I can't imagine what it's like living in that trailer but the people never come out to shush them. In fact, I've never seen the family interact with the dogs at all but presumably they are giving them food since they are still alive.

I have no problem with responsible tethering (or crating or kenneling for that matter). But a dog tied, without shelter, day and night - that's not responsible tethering. That's cruelty.

Now when I step out in the cold and the wet, I think of those two dogs suffering next door and the owners, just a few yards away, safe and warm inside the trailer. It breaks my heart. And I wonder how it could be that it doesn't break theirs.


R said...

Do you have local animal control. They might get away with the trees being "shelter", but there must also be visible signs of water and food. Some jurisdictions have rules on tether length as well.

Even if you don't call, they'll probably blame you when somebody does anyway. (Personal experience from dealing with similar problem.)

Ang said...

I'm not sure what the laws are like where you are, but you may be able to help these dogs by calling AC or the ASPCA.

I've also had friends simply go up to a house where the dogs are chained 24/7 and ask if they can have the dogs, sometimes the owners are more than happy to get rid of their "burden".

You may want to check out the following link: http://www.unchainyourdog.org/Talking.htm

YesBiscuit! said...

I know these suggestions are well intentioned and I appreciate it.

Suffice to say regarding laws and such, I don't believe there is anything to be done to help the dogs. We are a rural area and our "animal control" is 911. I have contacted them in past for stray emergencies but they have never helped a dog I've called about.

The people just moved in a short time ago and had only one dog at first. Then they added a puppy. So the logical assumption would be that indeed they do "want" the dogs.

EmilyS said...

anyway you can talk to them and suggest that they at least provide some shelter for the dogs?

YesBiscuit! said...

If things change, I'd like to offer them a couple dogloos which I was going to donate to the shelter because my dogs never used them. As of right now though, they don't wave back when I wave at them. (For you urban critters, waving is the official country method of communication.)

Jenny W said...

Such a sad life for those pups ... and even worse is that it is too well known by many other dogs as well. I hope the neighbors allow for the igloos you mentioned at least. I wish people knew better.