Animal advocates: Have a heart and break the chains of misery for many Mississippi dogs

Published 3:24 pm Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Now is the time to break the chains of misery and suffering for many Mississippi dogs that suffer abuse by being chained as a primary means of confinement, say a group of Mississippi animal advocates.

As part of its Break the Chains Campaign, In Defense of Animals is championing Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week this February 7-14.

In Defense of Animals works in Mississippi to rescue animals from chaining and hold abusers accountable and today released a video highlighting just some of the unchained dogs.

Doll Stanley, In Defense of Animals’ Justice for Animals Campaign Director has begun holding regional news conferences throughout Mississippi to bring attention to this campaign to end the chaining of animals as a primary means of confinement, and will be available for interviews during the week.

“The chaining of dogs and other animals is common practice in regions impacted by economics, tradition, and unawareness. Confinement of animals by tethering or chaining causes suffering and death for far too many animals,” said Stanley. “We hope to change more hearts and minds about this practice through education and awareness. Dogs, and other animals, deserve better than to be left on the end of a tether.”

Chaining, or tethering, dogs is a practice that is considered cruel by many and is not only extremely detrimental to their physical and psychological well being; it also poses a serious public safety risk.

Dogs are incredibly social beings who are immeasurably harmed by being tethered, which can lead to behavioral issues, aggression, injuries and death. Sadly, many are left at the end of a tether without proper shelter, or access to food and water and they may be kept that way for extended periods, and in many cases, for their entire lives.

They are at a serious risk of becoming entangled, strangled or fatally hanged. Few tethered animals are placed on runners between posts or trees that give them some movement, but even those types of tethers are unacceptable. Animals can still suffer choking, and loss of circulation to feet or legs when they become entangled. Tethers placed too close to structures that a dog can jump over cause hangings. Dogs are also frequently strangled or suffer from embedded collars, or neck injuries that are a result of the use of heavy log or tow chains.

Water containers are often placed in the sun, or where they will be knocked over, while food that is thrown into the dirt or placed without supervision may not always be reachable, and quickly becomes infested with insects and draws other animals.

Tethered dogs may also sustain injuries or even die as a result of being unable to escape when attacked by other animals.

These are just some of the physical perils of tethering and chaining. All animals who are isolated and cannot move freely suffer emotional stress that can lead to illness, behavioral disorders, and misery.

“The injuries and suffering that I have witnessed would sicken any caring person. Out-of-sight, out-of-mind couldn’t be truer than when a dog dies or languishes in agony from injuries sustained, bound by its tether, a chain, a rope, an electric cord, or other implement of confinement. Even horses, goats, and cows are tethered. I have seen broken legs and many cases of malnourishment,” added Stanley.

In Defense of Animals believes dogs should be treated as members of a family, and that animal guardians have an obligation to meet both their physical and emotional needs. In Defense of Animals and our network of friends are seeking restrictions on the tethering of animals and are fully engaged in sharing the message that a tethered animal is not a happy or safe animal.

In Defense of Animals has served in Mississippi and surrounding states for 28 years on February 12, 2021. Our Justice for Animals Campaign has championed for tougher sentencing and animal protection laws across the nation. IDA-JAC has served to educate and assist law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges in areas of animal law and cruelty investigation, in addition to connecting them with the resources to aid with or prevent cruelty cases. www.idausa.org/justice4animals