Why Chain Off Matters

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Why Chain Off Matters

By Tamira Thayne, Dogs Deserve Better (DDB)

Take Action - Dogs Deserve Better - Chain Off 2010

"Dogs deserve better than life on a chain or in a pen. Bring 'em into the home and family."

I remember the moment eight years ago when I first thought of chaining myself to a doghouse. I was filled with a sense of rightness and excitement at the notion, yet fear and trepidation dogged my every mental step.

I tucked the idea away and ruminated.

The image wouldn't budge, however, no matter how often I told myself it was impossible, it would be too embarrassing, people would laugh, etc., etc., etc.

What would they think of me?

But in the end the fear and uncertainty didn’t sway me from my vision. On July 3-4, 2004, I chained myself to a doghouse for the first time, facing my own inner demons about social acceptance and the prejudice of others—others who either chain their own dogs, love their own dogs but don't extend that compassion to others, or know in their guts that chaining is wrong but aren't willing to stand against it.

I chained myself to make a statement about chaining a dog for life.

I.e., it's morally wrong.

And, ethically indefensible.

It should be the same no-brainer for the "Absolutely Immoral List" as kicking a puppy or molesting a child.

Sticking a dog on a CHAIN despite the fact that he's the absolute most-social of animals, affixing him to a doghouse or tree, ignoring his pleas for help, and watching him die ten years later--a mere shell of the glorious creature he was intended to be--IS a criminal act.

Yet, inexplicably, it doesn't make the list for a large percentage of Americans.

I was raised on a 100-acre farm, and I grew up with a beagle chained to her doghouse behind the honeysuckle bush at the top of the lane. Granted, perhaps on the surface Maggie's lifelong chaining didn't top the list of abuses in my household, but looking back I can see that what we did to Maggie was absolutely WRONG.

I just didn't have the power to stop it.

But don't you see?

NOW WE DO! Now We DO!

When enough of us burst forth from the fear bubble we've put ourselves in, we CAN make things right for America's chained dogs.

This IS a no-brainer, but we have to be willing to stop tolerating the abuse.

Are we ready yet? Will you work with me to put an end to the abuse?

When I take my place in front of my doghouse on the hot and humid grass of an Alachua, Florida shopping center this July 3rd, it will be my seventh year living chained for 24 hours or longer--suffering one day in comparison to their 365.

I’ve yet to die of embarrassment for doing it. When I spend those 24 miserable hours chained on behalf of chained dogs, what I'm doing matters to me, and it matters to the world we live in--a world which needs to see people strong enough in their belief of the wrongness of an action that they are willing to look stupid on behalf of a creature who has no voice. I'm depriving myself of comfort, adequate food, enough water, a nice soft bed, and protection from the elements because I know that they DO DESERVE BETTER.

Please join me in chaining yourself for them, or in supporting our Chain Off fundraising efforts so we may continue to be their voice.

When you see your dog on the couch tonight, give him or her a hug. And realize, no matter purebred or mutt, there are thousands more dogs who look just like yours living chained at this very moment, needing someone to be a voice for them.

Will you be that voice?