People tether dogs for a variety of reasons; solutions are available
Passive cruelty. Neglect. Ignorance. These are all terms that can be used to describe the act of leaving a dog on a rope or chain, or even in a yard alone and isolated, for long periods.
Dogs, like humans, are social creatures and require the companionship of their parent(s). Without the benefit of companionship and socialization, dogs can become neurotic, depressed or aggressive.
Left alone for hours, days and months on a chain can cause immense psychological damage to the dog. Left alone and exposed, dogs will become fearful, aggressive, anxious and desperate, putting anyone who comes close at risk. A tethered dog can also become tangled and choke to death or be attacked by wildlife or other roaming dogs.
Take action to help outdoor dogs
The BC SPCA is active in responding to cruelty complaints and working with municipal governments to adopt stronger animal care bylaws that prevent tethering as a primary means of confinement for dogs. We know from the calls we receive and also from the responses to our public survey that many people across B.C. are concerned about outdoor dogs and want to see more awareness of the issues and stronger regulations to protect animals. Here are a few ways you can get involved and help improve the lives of outdoor dogs.
Lobby for stronger bylaws to protect outdoor dogs. Many municipalities have bylaws about animal care. Check to see if your municipality’s animal control bylaw includes outdoor dogs or tethering restrictions (see page five of our review of B.C. municipal bylaws). If so, you can request that a bylaw officer visit the property to ensure that minimum animal care standards are being met. If your municipality does not have existing bylaws, join the BC SPCA in asking municipalities to support stronger animal care bylaws by writing to your local elected officials.
Call our cruelty hotline if you suspect an animal is in distress: 1-855-622-7722. A BC SPCA special provincial constable will follow up on the complaint. BC SPCA constables have educational materials on outdoor dogs to help owners transition their dog inside. If the animal is found to be in distress, the constable will issue orders to the owner to relieve the animal's suffering.
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Dog tethering information and resources
The BC SPCA has developed a resource kit to help you bring the dog back into the family and important resources to help you learn more about this problem and how you can avoid this behaviour.
Break the Chains of Suffering Campaign video