The Animal Welfare Society of South Africa opposes the indiscriminate chaining or tethering of dogs, without due regard for their physical or psychological well-being.
“We insist that, if dogs are tethered, the methods and equipment used must be humane and must not be likely to cause the animals any physical or mental harm.”
Keeping a dog chained or tethered indefinitely and without due consideration to their well-being constitutes a form of cruelty that is a criminal offence in terms of the Animals Protection Act and may result in a 12-month prison sentence or a fine of up to R40 000.
According to One Green Planet, without the freedom to roam freely, play or engage in their natural behaviours, dogs may become bored, lonely, depressed and in most cases, aggressive.
Here are four things that tethering and chaining can do to dogs:
Dogs become territorial and very aggressive.
Naturally, dogs are territorial animals and being in a confined space, enhances this natural instinct. According to the Humane Society of the United States, “Dogs are naturally social beings who thrive on interaction with human beings and other animals. A dog kept chained in one spot for hours, days, months or even years suffers immense psychological damage. An otherwise friendly and docile dog, when kept continuously chained, becomes neurotic, unhappy, anxious and often aggressive.”
Chains may get tangled or caught on other objects
Chains and tethers can cause neck and back injuries, and sadly some dogs can even hang themselves if the chain gets caught on something up high.
Chained dogs face the dangers of other animals, poisonous insects and extreme weather conditions
Chained and tethered dogs are vulnerable to attacks from other aggressive animals, venomous insects or reptiles, extreme heat, cold, rain, lightning, or even hurricanes and tornadoes.
Once they escape, they will never return
If you were all alone outside tied up would you return? Dogs face the same mental and emotional pain as humans. Chained dogs who run away do not know their names and won’t know how to come back when being called.
The dog does not receive the care they need
Tethered dogs suffer from sporadic feedings, overturned water bowls, inadequate veterinary care, and extreme temperatures. These dogs often have no access to shelter and might not receive adequate water or protection from the sun.
Picture: Animal Welfare Society of SA