“Dogs are naturally social creatures and require interaction with humans or other animals for their physical and psychological well-being. Prolonged confinement or immobilization can have severe negative effects. Even a friendly and gentle dog can become neurotic, unhappy, anxious, and aggressive when continuously chained or restrained in any way,” states The Humane Society of the United States website.
Chaining or tethering used to be a common practice among dog owners. Chaining refers to using heavy chains to keep a dog anchored to a stationary object and leaving it alone. Tethering, on the other hand, involves tying a dog to a rope or lightweight chain for the same purpose.
Despite the numerous studies highlighting the harmful consequences of chaining and tethering, an increasing number of people are abandoning this practice and endeavoring to become responsible pet owners.
Yet, there remain some communities where people still chain or tether their dogs due to the following justifications:
The dog frequently escapes, and owners may resort to using heavy chains since a rope or light chain is not effective. It is a means of safeguarding the dog from dangerous elements outside of its fenced area, such as other dogs or people. The owner’s property may have a damaged or nonexistent fence.
The dog may find it uncomfortable to stay inside the house, and the landowner may have prohibited the construction of a fence. The owner may have grown up in a household where it’s customary to chain or tether a dog, and may not be knowledgeable about the consequences of this practice on their pet.
Tethering a dog for a short period in moderate weather conditions to ensure their safety and enable them to spend some time outdoors in an unfenced yard may not pose a problem. However, it’s when a dog is continuously chained or tethered and seldom interacts with other creatures that this practice becomes a real issue.
After being informed by a concerned neighbor about a dog that had been chained and abandoned for at least five years, this couple knew how its inhumane condition must have affected the animal.
Dogs that are consistently chained or tethered are likely to suffer from various physical ailments and mental health problems. They are susceptible to insect bites, parasites, attacks from other animals, and even abuse from cruel individuals. They may also isolate themselves from other creatures, including humans, demonstrate extreme fear, or display aggressive behavior. It’s a heartbreaking life for a chained or tethered dog, a life they don’t choose but often have to endure.
It took the couple a significant amount of time to gain the trust of the dog, enough for them to figure out a way to release him from his stubborn, rusty chain. They could see the profound sadness and anxiousness in his eyes. He seemed to be pondering what was going on and what the couple was trying to achieve. He had grown accustomed to being tethered to the fence, with the changing seasons. What else could be out there for him, even if he were to be set free? Where would he go?
Finally, the couple managed to detach the chain! They then encouraged the dog to get into their vehicle for a journey to freedom! The dog’s tense body gradually relaxed as he sat in the car with his rescuers. Despite having no notion of what was to come, he could feel that the people who were now with him were distinct from those who had abandoned him for life.
At home, the dog, who the couple named Hooch, grew more at ease. Although he remained frightened of everything, he no longer reacted with aggression. Instead, he would retreat under the table or hide in a secure location.
Ecision is not an easy feat, but it has brought so much meaning and satisfaction into their lives. Seeing how Hooch has changed and grown over time, from being a scared and broken dog to a happy and loving one, has been nothing short of amazing.
The couple believes that rescuing and adopting animals is a noble cause, one that everyone can do in their own little ways. There are so many animals out there who are just waiting for someone to give them a second chance, and it’s up to us to make a difference in their lives.
As for Hooch, he may have started off his life in a very sad and lonely way, but now he knows nothing but love and warmth from his new family. The couple is grateful for every day they get to spend with him and looks forward to creating many more happy memories together.