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Concerns raised about chained dogs in rural Texas

Discussion in 'Dog Ordinances & Laws' started by Vicki, Jun 20, 2010.

  1. Vicki

    Vicki Administrator Staff Member

    Concerns raised about chained dogs in rural Texas
    By PATRICK GEORGE Austin American-Statesman © 2010 The Associated Press
    June 20, 2010, 12:38PM

    MARTINDALE, Texas — When Titan and Ladybug came to Austin, the pair of 3-year-old pit bulls were in bad shape. Being chained to a stake in the ground all day since puppyhood had taken a toll on the dogs' health.

    Ladybug's harness had started growing into her skin. She walks with a permanent hunch and can't bark because of a damaged throat. Titan's ribs were sticking out from malnourishment, and he had had his ears cut off with scissors. Both had heartworms, fleas and ticks.

    In 2007, Austin passed an ordinance that punishes owners who chain their dogs with fines of up to $500. Dogs kept mostly outside must have an enclosure — such as a fence — with a minimum of 10 by 15 feet for each adult dog. In 2008, the City of Georgetown passed a ban on dog chaining as well.

    But in some rural areas, no laws keep dogs off chains, and animal advocacy groups say it is a problem for dogs and humans alike.

    Titan and Ladybug are receiving care and are waiting for a home at the Canine Hilton shelter in east Austin after members of the Austin nonprofit Love-A-Bull persuaded their Martindale owners to let them have the dogs for $200.

    Although both dogs had suffered from the chaining, there was no indication they were being used for fighting, and both have playful, friendly temperaments. Martindale Police Chief Jeff Caldwell said no citations were issued against their owners.

    "While not the ideal situation for those dogs, it's not necessarily illegal," he said.

    Love-A-Bull has helped five dogs from Martindale this year, all of whom were victims of chaining. The group mostly does education and advocacy work, member Lydia Zaidman said, but it acted to rescue the dogs in this case because of the extreme situation.

    Animal control resources — including money for enforcement officers and shelters — are scarce in rural Central Texas, and education about the dangers of chaining dogs is hard to come by, animal advocates said.

    Caldwell County's strays usually end up at the Lockhart Animal Shelter, a facility on Old McMahan Road. The shelter houses about 56 dogs and 24 cats daily, with an average of 180 animals a month. Its $267,000 annual budget comes from the City of Lockhart, Caldwell County and donations.

    By comparison, Austin's Town Lake Animal Center has an annual budget of $5.5 million and cares for about 23,000 animals a year. The city has plans to build a new $12 million facility in east Austin.

    Melanie Tucker, Lockhart's director of animal services, said the city bans leaving restrained dogs outside and unattended for long periods. Chaining is more of a problem in rural areas, where enforcement is left to two Caldwell County sheriff animal control officers and where chaining often is unreported, she said.

    Animal advocates say chaining dogs is inhumane, encourages aggressive behavior and makes dogs more territorial.

    "There is a total lack of understanding about why chaining is so bad for dogs," Zaidman said.

    Zaidman said her own pit bull, rescued after up to three years of being chained up alone, has no teeth from trying to gnaw the chain off.

    Lyndon Poole, a member of Chain Free Austin, among the groups that pushed for Austin's chaining ban, said that children who wander near chained dogs are in danger because of the dogs' increased aggressive behavior. Many people think that chaining a dog in their yard will offer protection, but Poole said chaining prevents the dog from properly bonding with humans.

    "A dog is better able to protect you if it's inside your home and not restrained by a chain," he said.

    Since the Austin law passed, Poole said he sees fewer dogs on chains these days. "Unfortunately, those laws stop outside the city limits," he said.

    Patt Nordyke, executive director of the Texas Federation of Animal Care Societies, said the federation and other groups are pushing for a statewide ban on dog chaining but that they aren't optimistic because of the current budget crunch.

    A bill signed into law after the 2007 legislative session put some restrictions on tethering dogs, including making it a Class C misdemeanor to leave a dog within 500 feet of a school or in extreme weather, such as freezing temperatures or during a heat advisory.

    Nordyke, Zaidman and others want to see a state law that mandates an enclosure for dogs kept outside, similar to Austin's ordinance.

    "The state needs to do something because these towns won't do it," Zaidman said.

    Concerns raised about chained dogs in rural Texas | AP Texas News | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle
  2. outrightmike

    outrightmike CH Dog

    bla bla bla.they passed that in pcola cause dogs werent beening feed or water you can abuse a dog on or off a chain.
  3. baconffa

    baconffa Pup

    i swear tree huggin hippies has moved to texas time for me to leave texas
  4. budboy88

    budboy88 CH Dog

    its illegal to chain dogs in pcola??
  5. HighCoastHiker

    HighCoastHiker Top Dog

    Dog chaining, tree-hugging hippie here...failure to look at our own and police our own shit is the reason those folks get the chance to screw us all. Were it not for the dumbasses keeping chain-dogs in shit conditions, those trying to move all dogs off chains and onto the living-room couch wouldn't have a leg to stand on.

    ATEXAN Big Dog

    No, they are moving here mostly from California and in droves. It is a fact. I have been in the real estate business for over 7 years. The organization referenced in the above article is located in Austin and run by petbull type people who spread misinformation (I read their website) they do support the anti-bsl movement. This needs to be addressed immediately, they need to be educated; or we must fight against them.

    ATEXAN Big Dog

    I agree that dumbasses can keep dogs in shit conditions on or off a chain. I also understand that keeping dogs on chains in "shit conditions" is subjective.
    For example I could feed and water my dogs at 7:00 am. By 7:30am someone could come by and there would be no food in the bowls and some of their water would be dirty, because some dogs like to dig and attack their water. IMO
  8. HighCoastHiker

    HighCoastHiker Top Dog

    I think you know what I'm talking about. If we keep expecting others to just accept our points of view and blowing off what they think, we will lose. I chain my dogs. But, truth be told the only time I have ever had any problems was because of dipshit neighbors who refused to give a damn and take care of their chain dogs. When AC came around to check them out, they went looking over fences and everybody, regardless of how clean and fed their dogs were, got put on notice. I should have reported them myself and been out front when the van arrived. Instead, I tried talking nice to the assholes, donated some equipment to them, and adopted a "mind-your-own business" attitude that ended up causing me and the rest of my law -abiding neighbors a whole lot of time, money and grief. I'm not for ratting on folks, or bringing shit on people who may be trying hard but having a hard time; but when it comes to those scumbags that constantly bring shame to everybody's game and give the whackos pics and ammo to use against me...screw 'em. If they aren't helping the cause, get them the hell out the way
  9. Dream Pits

    Dream Pits CH Dog

    hurts to agree with these but its the simply truth. all you can do is ur part but that isnt gonna be enough...
  10. outrightmike

    outrightmike CH Dog

    yes sir.passed about a month ago.1st time 400 each dog 2nd 800 3rd felony.

    MISSAPBT Top Dog

    That is INSANE!!! You cant chain a dog? crazy
  12. Laced Wit Game

    Laced Wit Game Yard Boy

    you cant chain em here for more than 3 hours a day. AC catches you your payin a fine.
  13. budboy88

    budboy88 CH Dog

    oh damn ive got some friends i need to tell about this, Im not sure if they live in the city limits or not.
  14. outrightmike

    outrightmike CH Dog

    its county of escambia.you can only tether if you are in the sight of the dog with a 6 ft and swilvel on both ends and i think its a 16tenth of the dogs wieght for the chain.thats why im building some pins just incase they do it here in the next county.im not completing them but getting them where i can slap them up fast cause a hate them in pins,but over there they had a list and started going to write tickets the next day.
  15. miakoda

    miakoda GRCH Dog


    The biggest downfall to pit bull owners are other pit bull owners.

    I used to get blasted for saying that I will NOT side with all pit bull owners all because "we need to stand and fight together" because it's the idiot, stupid, and downright moronic asshat pit bull owners that I'm fighting against.

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