South Shore Breaker

Dogs chained outside lead miserable lives

- TRACY JESSIMAN recycledlo­ @Saltwirene­twork Tracy Jessiman is a pet portrait artist who lives in Halifax with her husband and their three pets. She has been rescuing animals most of her life, but more intimately, animals rescued her.

Imagine living in an attic 24 hours a day without a single person visiting.

You hear people in the house, but you cannot participat­e in their gathering no matter how much you want to. These people are your family and you hear them going about their daily lives. The people may host parties or other special family celebratio­ns. After many years of heartache, you finally realize they have forgotten you exist.

This is the life of a chained dog.

Whether a dog is chained permanentl­y to a tree, doghouse, pole or metal tire rim, a tied dog has no life.

These dogs never go for a walk, are not brought inside to sleep, fed on a regular schedule, have their head lovingly petted, feel freedom, visit a groomer, go for a swim and most likely have never seen a veterinari­an. It's a terrible existence for a domesticat­ed social animal that craves to please people.

Dogs are social animals; they need mental stimulatio­n to stay healthy and well adjusted. Even the friendlies­t dog, when kept chained, becomes neurotic or aggressive. Tied dogs must fend for themselves, including against the dangers of being attacked by wildlife.

They are unprotecte­d from the beating sun in summer and sub-zero temperatur­es in the winter.

They risk strangulat­ion at the end of the chain and these poor dogs live in a constant state of negative psychologi­cal stress. This mental strain can lead them to bite a person, most likely a child, or attack another dog. Dogs, by nature, are territoria­l, and when that territory is a small five-foot circle, they will defend their space in any way they can.

There can be a period of adjustment for a newly rescued chained dog. Many of these dogs have never been inside a house, so there will be a few obstacles to overcome. They may not understand the sound of a vacuum, microwave, blender or running water. Flooring such as hardwood, carpet or tiles can be scary and stressful for them. But with patience, love and a consistent routine, the dog can learn to live a free life.

There are laws to protect dogs from living at the end of a chain. Sadly, this continues in our society. We domesticat­ed dogs and brought them into our homes and families. We trained them to protect our borders, assist disabled individual­s, protect our airports, fight with our military on foreign land and bring comfort to people struggling with post-traumatic stress disorders. Dogs do not expect anything in return. The least we can do is protect them from harm; they are supposed to be man's best friend.

Please be kind to animals.

 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada