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The Tomahawk Leader is a state and national prize-winning weekly newspaper serving the scenic Northwoods area in and around Tomahawk, WI.

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 Post subject: Prisoner not pet
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:28 pm 
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This Letter to the Editor appeared in the April 24 Tomahawk Leader:

Dear Editor,

It shouldn't happen to man's best friend ... Take a drive down country roads and city streets and you'll see them – dogs trapped in one spot at the end of a chain day after day, year after year. After chained dogs killed three children in Spartanburg County, S.C., one county official said he considered a chained dog to be a "loaded gun" and that attacks are inevitable. Chaining dogs violates their nature. … Chained dogs, unsocialized with humans, become very territorial and any 2-year-old who wanders into this space can be severely mauled and even killed before adults can intervene. The Centers for Disease Control concluded in a study that dogs most likely to attack are chained. Here is a chilling statistic: Chained dogs kill as many children as do firearms, falls from trees, playground equipment and fireworks accidents put together. … It's time to stop the dangerous, cruel practice of chaining dogs …

Given that April is Prevention of Animal Cruelty Month, I ask that readers imagine living on a chain, confined for your entire life. You hope someone will come and give you attention, but no one does. You long to run, but you can only pace. You shiver in winter and pant in summer. Your water is frozen or your water bowl is overturned, and you're thirsty. Maybe you'll get something to eat today; maybe you won't get any food for a week or longer. You've got no shelter, no den to crawl into. You bark and bark to bring attention to your plight. Is anyone listening? Does anyone care? …

Dogs are genetically hard-wired to live in a group; dogs are more social than humans and need to be part of human families. … Forcing a dog to live outside with little or no human companionship is one of the most psychological damaging things a pet owner can do.

Chained dogs suffer immense psychological damage. An otherwise friendly and docile dog, when kept continuously chained as a prisoner instead of a pet, becomes neurotic, unhappy, anxious and extremely aggressive. …
Living chained by the neck is not an option any human would choose; why do we do it to our "best friends"? …

I implore dog owners to … give them a better life. If you don't want to bring him into your home, there are rescue groups who take unwanted pets, or place an ad to find a home where he will be free of chains and loved by humans. Never tie or chain your dog up outside. … If you must keep your dog outside for part of the day, provide a secure, high fence or an enclosed chain link dog run … Provide a top with shade, a dog house for rainy weather, items to chew on and plenty of fresh water. …

… We must urge our officials to ban or at least to severely restrict this form of torture. We must work with our neighbors and law enforcement officers to parole chained and innocent dogs from life sentences in shackles. …

Marsha Jordan
Harshaw


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 Post subject: Re: Prisoner not pet
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2007 8:03 pm 
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Quote:
After chained dogs killed three children in Spartanburg County, S.C., one county official said he considered a chained dog to be a "loaded gun" and that attacks are inevitable. Chaining dogs violates their nature. … Chained dogs, unsocialized with humans, become very territorial and any 2-year-old who wanders into this space can be severely mauled and even killed before adults can intervene.
I feel that it is more unfortunate that the children themselves were not under more proper supervision.

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