January is Unchain a Dog Month – a time of awareness for pets often forgotten. At the Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County, we work with organizations and members of our communities to support animals across the Mid-South. Part of that work is emphasizing the dangers of dog chaining.
Dog chaining or tethering is when a pet owner ties their dog to a stationary object outside to prevent it from running away or as a way to make sure their pet stays in the yard. Owners typically use rope, chains and/or pulleys as a form of animal restraint.
Dogs thrive in social environments and love human interaction. When we chain our dog outside, we put their physical and psychological well-being at risk. A dog that’s been chained and is confined to one space can become territorial, anxious, unhappy and develop severe aggression. When this happens, the dog might lunge or bite anyone that comes near it, especially young children who don’t understand the signs of an aggressive animal. The Humane Society of the United States outlines many other negative effects of chaining your pet outdoors, including:
Not only is chaining bad for dogs and humans, many states and cities have laws in place to protect animals from the negative effects of outdoor chaining – including the state of Tennessee.
Your pup is a member of your family – give them the care and love that they need. Bringing your dog indoors keeps them safe from the elements and promotes healthy animal-human relationships. If you see a pet that is frequently outdoors and chained, try talking with the dog’s owner. Many don’t consider the bad weather or threat of insects when they put their pet outside for an extended amount of time. Providing owners with support and education spreads the Humane Society mission.
If you know of a pet that is in need of help, please contact the Memphis Police Department at 901-545-COPS.