The Issue: Harmful Effects of Tethering Dogs
The Humane Society of the United States and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have declared that tethering dogs is inhumane, significantly restricts their movement, and can potentially cause injury. Being naturally social animals, dogs experience psychological damage when confined to one spot for extended periods of time, causing anxiety, neurosis, and often aggression. Physically, chains and poorly fitting collars can lead to sores from the dogs' constant attempts to yank themselves free.
The Campaign: Building Fences to Unchain Dogs
If this Grassroots campaign raises $600, then Coalition to Unchain Dogs can build a fenced-in enclosure and fund a spay or neuter treatment for one local dog. Each additional $600 raised will fund a fenced-in enclosure and a spay or neuter treatment for another dog.
Volunteers search local neighborhood for dogs stuck on chains and speak to families about Coalition to Unchain Dog’s mission. If owners agree to have a fence built, volunteers will transport dogs to receive vaccinations and spay or neuter treatments. A build date is then planned, in which approximately 10–30 volunteers gather to build the fence at an agreed-on area of the yard. Volunteers put in T-posts, measure and cut wire, and apply ground wire to prevent dogs from digging out. The fences usually stand 5-feet tall and can include tarps or straw to keep dogs cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Volunteers also supply doghouses when needed.
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Coalition to Unchain Dogs
In August 2006, a small group met at a coffee shop in Durham, North Carolina, to discuss a goal: to pass anti-tethering legislation in North Carolina's Triangle area. To help the legislation pass, as well as aid community members in adjusting more easily to not chaining their dogs, the Coalition to Unchain Dogs—led by Amanda Arrington, now the executive director—organized volunteers to regularly build fences at no cost to the dog owners.
Today that small group has grown to more than 100 volunteers, with four chapters in North Carolina and one in Atlanta, Georgia. The coalition couples its fence-building services with vaccinations and spaying or neutering services for each local dog. In the past five years, Unchain Dogs has spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and built fences for more than 1,200 area dogs.