To the editor:
The colder it gets outside, the more I think about this. Every day I pass the same houses on my way home, several of which have dogs chained or penned in their backyards. To a dog, this type of life is miserable.
Dogs are pack animals. Since they have been domesticated, humans have become their pack. When they are isolated from us, they suffer both mentally and physically. Keeping a dog on a chain for life is both cruel and inhumane.
A chained dog suffers physically most often due to collars that are too tight. They are more prone to all sorts of parasites, and they are left out to endure extreme weather conditions. Mentally, chained dogs suffer because they want desperately to be with their pack.
Another thing that should be taken seriously is that chained dogs are 2.5 times more likely to bite than dogs that live inside with the family. This is because on a chain, the dogs become very territorial and unsocialized.
Anyone who keeps their pet chained or penned should reconsider. If not, maybe they should find a home for the animal where it will have a fenced yard or will be taken out on a leash, and most of all, be a part of the family.
Both the Humane Society of the United States and the U.S.. Department of Agriculture believe that the chaining or penning of dogs is inhumane. Many communities across the United States have already banned the use of chaining or tethering or at least regulate it.
Dogs are meant to be companions, not lawn ornaments.