What Does Tethering Of Dogs Mean?

Jan 14, 2020 | Pet Health, Pets

What does “Chaining” or “Tethering” of dogs mean?

The term refers to the practice of fastening a dog to a stationary object or stake, usually in the owners backyard, as a means of keeping the animal under control.  These terms do not refer to the periods when an animal is walked on a leash.
When you google “tethering a dog” the definition is a nice one…Tethering is where an animal is fastened by a chain to a central anchor point, causing it to be confined to a specific area. It is sometimes used as a method of confining dogs in conditions which may otherwise endanger them in some way or permit them to stray.  Really…endanger them?  No… what they mean is “taking their freedom away from them”.  If you are a dog owner and there is a chance your dog might get hurt where you have it, make the necessary changes to provide a safe, clean environment for them and teaching them boundaries of where the property line is, put up a fence, or make sure you are always in the yard with them.  A dog or any animal for that matter is not meant to be tied to a stationary object for their entire lives.
HB 1238 Act 10 of 2017 Limited The Continuous Tethering of Dogs in Pennsylvania 
Why is Tethering Inhumane?
Dogs are naturally social animals who thrive on interaction with people and other animals.  A dog kept continuously chained suffers immense psychological damage.  An otherwise friendly and docile dog, if rarely take off a chain, becomes neurotic, anxious and often aggressive.
In many cases, the necks of chained dogs become raw and covered with sores from improperly fitted collars, pulling, yanking, and straining to escape confinement.  Some dogs have even been found with embedded collars in their necks.
Who says tethering is inhumane?
The Humane Society of the United States, the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association and an increasing number of state and federal agencies have positions against chronic chaining.
The legislation places reasonable limitations on tethering/chaining by:
Banning tethering a dog outside without providing for its basic needs as defined under Section 5532.
Create a rebuttable presumption the dog has not been neglected as defined in section 5532 if:
The dog is not a victim of cruelty under another section of the animal cruelty code.
The dog is tethered for no more than 9 cumulative hours within a 24 hours period.
The tether is secure to a well-fitting collar with a swivel and by a tether of no less than 10 feet or three times the length of the dog.
The dog has access to water and an area of shade.
The dog is not tethered for longer than 30 minutes when the temperature is over 90 degrees or under 32 degrees.
All of the factors above must be met in order for the presumption that a dog has not been neglected to apply.  The dog is not tethered in a manner that satisfied these requirements, a law enforcement office may file neglect charges.
The law create a rebuttable presumption that the dog has been neglected if any of the following are present:
Excessive waste in the tethered area.
Open sores or wounds on the dog’s body.
The use of a tow, choke, or log chain, pinch, prong, or chain collar.
This legislation is a step in the right direction for dogs kept outside.  Animals must have access to sanitary shelter which preserves body heat and keeps it dry.  Levels of offense are based o the extend of bodily injury to the animal.
For more information on reporting animal cruelty, call:
The Humane Society of the United States
Kristen Tullo
Pennsylvania State Director
PVMA (Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association
Jaime Markle
Director of Marketing and Communications
If you see something, say something!
Report animal cruelty to your local humane office, who can be found here:  http://bit.ly/2jJ7URN
If you do not h

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  1. Sharon

    Agree with your blog!

    • Bobbi

      Thank you. It is heartbreaking to see an animal tied up their whole lives.


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