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February 25, 2008

Petition on Tethering

This is circulating in Miami-Dade County:

On Jan. 22, Miami-Dade County Commissioners refused to vote on an anti-tethering ordinance that was proposed by Miami-Dade Animal Services. The ordinance would have established humane conditions for tethering and would have reduced the incidence of dog bites and mauling. Animal lovers are now circulating a petition throughout Miami-Dade asking commissioners to pass an anti-tethering ordinance.
Children have been injured or killed by going into a chained dog's area, or by a dog who has broken free from a chain. A dog loose in our neighborhoods could be one who was made aggressive by chaining. The bill, sponsored by Miami-Dade Animal Services, would have required owners to be outside with their dog whenever the dog is tethered. People who are outside know if their dog is about to break free and can stop that from happening. They can also prevent children from coming close to their chained dog.

On the day that Miami-Dade commissioners refused to vote, Fort Worth, TX passed a law requiring people to be outside with their chained dogs. On Feb. 20, Macon, GA banned outdoor tethering of unattended dogs: macon.com . Other communities have a similar law.

A 1994 study by the Center for Disease Control found that chained dogs are 2.8 times more likely to bite. The American Veterinary Medical Association said in 2003, "Never tether or chain your dog because this can contribute to aggressive behavior." When confronted with a threat, dogs instinctively run or bite. A chained dog, unable to run, may attack any unfamiliar person who comes into his territory.

When aggressive tethered dogs get loose, they can travel many miles, posing a threat to children in every community. They can go into school yards, playgrounds and fields where children play sports.

Continuous tethering is inhumane:

In 1996, The United States Department of Agriculture said, "Our experience in enforcing the Animal Welfare Act has led us to conclude that continuous confinement of dogs by a tether is inhumane."

Tethered dogs are easy targets for attacks by other animals. They are killed or injured by extremes in weather, poisoned by humans, and made sick from animal feces or bird droppings. In many cases, the necks of chained dogs become raw and covered with sores from the dogs' constant yanking and straining to escape confinement. Dogs have been found with collars embedded in their necks.

Dogs are social animals. Tethering inflicts cruelty on dogs by forcing them to live in solitary confinement, unable to interact normally. Lonely and isolated, chained dogs are know to bark excessively at all hours of the day and night. This barking violates the County's noise ordinance.

Many other places protect children and dogs by having tethering ordinances, including Fort Worth, St. Louis, Washington DC, Fort Lauderdale, Dania Beach, Hollywood, FL and the entire States of California, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Connecticut.

For more information, click here.

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In this article you mention animals can be made sick from bird droppings. So can humans! Over 60 potentially fatal diseases, including avian flu, can be transmitted to humans and other animals through bird droppings. There are however, environmentally friendly and animal safe ways to deter birds. A good investment for the health and safety of all.

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