What is a tethered dog? The definition is:
A dog that is tethered with chain, rope or cable to a stationary object, usually in a back yard.
Imagine spending your life tied to a stationary object. Whether it's rain or shine, hot or cold. You stare at the same thing day in and day out and watch life happen and you can only watch. It doesn't sound like much of a life, in fact it is a frustrating and lonely life. Dogs are social beings who crave and thrive on companionship and interaction with other people and animals. When a dog is left for hours, days, months and even years on a chain, they suffer immense psychological damage. They can become aggressive, anxious and neurotic through lack of socialization.
They can also be in harms way, such as becoming tangled around something so they can not reach their shelter, food or water. The collar or chain around their neck can become too tight and become embedded in their skin causing infection and pain. It also puts them at risk if they are attacked by another dog or animal as they can not escape.
Dogs that are tethered are three times more likely to bite according to the Centers for Disease Control and The Humane Society of the Unites States. As they are generally under socialized and feel naturally defensive because they are confined.
While tethering a dog may not be illegal in some areas Georgia is starting to recognize its cruelty and has begun passing ordinances that allow tethering only when the keeper remains in the physical presence of the animal. Restricting tethering of dogs and upgrading care standards will give animal control and law enforcement officers an important opportunity to educate dog owners on proper care and provide them with more certain, consistent, and enforceable minimum care standards.
To become well-adjusted companion animals, dogs should interact with people daily and receive regular exercise. Placing an animal on a restraint for short periods for exercise or fresh air is acceptable. Animals kept temporarily tethered should be safely secured so the tether can’t become entangled with other objects. The care taker should be able to physically see the dog the entire time the dog is tethered. Collars should be properly fitted. Using a pulley or trolley run is preferable to stationary chaining. However, dogs still get choked and tangled on trolleys. The best way to confine dogs is to bring them inside or provide them with a fenced area.
The following counties have passed anti-tethering ordinances in Georgia:
Tethering Banned (allowed only while person is with pet)
College Park 14,621
City of Madison 3,636
Total Population 3,805,891
Restricted Tethering Ordinances are in the following counties:
DeKalb 722,161 Douglas 138,776
Statham 2,408 Richmond 201,368
LaGrange 30,542 Albany 75,769
Monroe 13,664 Barrow 73,240
Total Population 1,321,916
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