Many dogs in the townships die due to cold, rain or storms which causes hypothermia during the winter months or dehydration in the summer months as they are chained up outside their homes.
One of the main reasons dogs are chained outside is due to township homes not having their own enclosed gardens. Local organisation Giving is Living is taking a stand for animals who can’t take a stand for themselves and working towards unchaining these dogs so they can live a longer and better life.
Earlier this year the organisation started a kennel drive to reach a goal of providing 100 dogs with their own kennels. During this venture they noticed how many dogs were chained up with less than one metre of chain, forcing them to urinate, defacate, eat and sleep all in the same area.
When owners were consulted about the chaining of their dogs they expressed that they need to be chained to ensure they didn’t run into the road, get stolen, lost or bite passersby.
“It is devastating seeing the dogs living in these conditions however it is not illegal to chain dogs in South Africa and therefore we do not have the rights to remove the dogs from the environment unless they are severely neglected, malnourished or abused,” says Sioni Puri from Giving is Living.
Since discovering the need for an alternative option to chaining dogs, they have started a new project to put up fences or provide runners for dogs so they can move more freely and still be safe and secure within the yard.
“We strongly believe this will improve the dogs’ quality of life as they are hardly ever taken off their chain or for a walk. Imagine being confined to a one metre surrounding for your entire life,” Puri adds.
The particular case of Kleintjie and Tosca has touched the hearts of many, inspiring the organisation to fight harder for unchaining township dogs.
Kleintjie heroically stood up for her family while they were being attacked by gangsters, even being stabbed once and nearly losing her life. Because she is unafraid to attack gangsters as they pass by, she has been restrained with a chain. She lives in a compound of about 20 people and five other dogs. Recently she lost one of her lifelong companions, Tosca, who was poisoned by gangsters. Through their inititative, Movement for Mutts, Giving is Living hopes to put a fence around the compound to protect the remaining dogs as best they can.
“In order to undertake this initiative we need funds. For a runner or fencing project we would need items such as poles, cement, wire, hooks, durable collars, chains, anchors, fishing swivels, quick links, bamboo fencing or chicken wire. Each house will vary depending on the structures they already have in place, size of area and number of dogs in that yard. We also try to get the locals involved to help us with the project to help give them a job and a portion of the funds will go towards paying the locals a day wage to help us with the Project, ” says Puri.
If you would like to help unchain township dogs and give them a better quality of life, you can donate to the cause here.
Find out more information on their website.