Friday, January 8, 2010

Dogs Freeze in Pennsylvania While Waiting for a Law

Many places in the U.S. are experiencing bitter cold now, and yet, dogs remain chained or tethered outside.

Pennsylvania bill, H.B.1254 remains stuck in the state legislature while just yesterday in Altoona "a 25-lb. black and white foo foo dog of indiscriminate breed, stands in the snow outside his doghouse. The temperature overnight is 7 degrees, with a wind chill of -11, yet his caretakers fail to bring him inside."

There is another report of a "black dog," an "underweight lab mix, shivers involuntarily while he eats food brought by Dogs Deserve Better volunteers. He has ice on his head and buttocks from attempting to stay warm in a doghouse with no floor and holes in the sides. How he's survived the night is unknown."

Dogs Deserve Better says, "This scenario repeats itself in towns all across Pennsylvania, as dogs await passage of HB1254, a bill which would limit the chaining of dogs. As winter storms ravage the state, bringing below-zero wind chills and arctic temperatures, dogs hold on as best they can. Those that freeze to death are rarely reported, quickly disposed of by owners looking to avoid legal consequences."

Dogs Deserve Better reports it "has received hundreds of calls this winter of dogs freezing and even dying outdoors as bitter cold sweeps the nation."

Why Should Chaining/Tethering of Dogs Should be Banned or Restricted?

Chained dogs tend to be neglected and can be dangerous, straining animal control resources and endangering the community.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and United States Dept of Agriculture (USDA) also oppose chaining dogs.

The Center for Disease Control has said chained dogs are 2.8 times more likely to bite adults. Chained dogs are nearly 5 times more likely to bite children. The National Canine Research Council reports that almost 30% of all fatal dog attacks involve chained or penned dogs. The ASPCA reports 81% of fatal dog attacks involve dogs that are isolated.

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Nicholas Dodman, DVM, Professor, Tufts University, says, "Chaining dogs makes them more aggressive. They are natural social animals and [chaining] induces 'isolation-induced aggression' and creates a 'junkyard' dog effect. They basically go mad."