Chaining dogs a major cause of dog bites


The week of May 20 through May 26 is National Dog Bite Prevention Week. It’s a good occasion to reflect on the many dogs in our community who are forced to live out their entire lives at the end of a short chain.

Drive down any country road or town street in Sussex County and you’ll see them - sad, lonely dogs trapped on the end of a chain, living in one desolate spot day after day, year after year.

These dogs suffer immense psychological damage, since dogs are genetically hard-wired to be part of a group and yearn to live with their family. An otherwise friendly and docile dog, when kept continuously chained, becomes neurotic, unhappy, anxious and potentially extremely aggressive.

In fact, the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta reports that a chained dog is 2.3 times more likely to bite. Chained dogs, unsocialized with humans, become very territorial and any 2-year-old who wanders into this space can be severely mauled and even killed before adults can intervene.

After chained dogs killed three children in Spartanburg County, S.C., one county official said he considered a chained dog to be a “loaded gun” and that attacks are inevitable.

It’s time to end the outmoded practice of chaining man’s best friend.

Chained dogs shiver in the winter and suffer tremendously in the summer. Last year in Wilmington, a young dog chained outside in the searing sun suffered horrifically before dying in the blazing heat.

Imagine if you were forced to live your whole life at the end of a chain around your neck? That is something no living being should be forced to endure.

Across America, caring citizens in many towns and communities have decided to ban or severely limit the chaining of our canine friends. It’s time for that to happen here.

For more information, visit Dogs Deserve Better

Patricia Haddock