New laws needed on tethering animals
I was horrified to read a story about the dog that was found dead at the end of his owner’s chain in an isolated logging area in Barrachois.
This dog likely spent its life chained, with limited physical interaction, exercise, stimulation or love. This dog lived and died alone. Under the current laws in Nova Scotia, chaining or confining a dog for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year is acceptable.
While the SPCA was involved in this animal’s case, the owner was said to have met the minimum standard of care under the law.
How can it be that Nova Scotia’s animal protection laws have set a minimum standard of care that ensures a pitiful life for these animals? When there is no exercise or stimulation, minimal protection from the elements and no way for the animal to escape predators, tormentors or abusive owners, how can this be the minimum standard of care for a sentient being?
Much of civilized society understands that the chaining of dogs for prolonged periods can cause aggressiveness and can be a form of abuse. Growing puppies that spend their lives on a tether are often neglected and can suffer from collars becoming imbedded in their necks.
Numerous government agen- cies that enforce animal protection laws have concluded that continuous confinement of dogs by a tether is inhumane and that animals tethered for prolonged periods of time are more likely to bite people and become aggressive.
To deal with these issues, many municipalities in North America have implemented anti-chaining laws that prohibit tethering in bad weather, limit the number of hours a dog can spend on a tether in a 24 hour period, and regulate the type of collar and the type and length of chain.
I encourage all who believe that tethering an animal for prolonged periods of time is unacceptable to contact their municipal council and provincial representatives to urge them to pass legislation making it illegal for an animal to be tethered in an isolated area and without supervision, to tether an animal for 24 hours a day, or to tether an animal in inclement weather and extreme temperatures.
For a social and loving being, this should be just one of the tenets of the minimum standard of care.