Tri-Cities humane society trying to get law passed to prohibit prolonged dog chaining

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HAWKINS COUNTY, TN (WJHL)- Rogersville could become the first city in east Tennessee to prohibit dogs from being chained or tethered for extended periods of time. The Hawkins County Humane Society is working to get a law passed in Rogersville that would prevent dog owners from chaining up their dogs for more than three or 12 hours in a 24-hour period.

“It might ruffle a little bit of feathers but it’s the right thing to do,” said Julie Baker, assistant manager at the Hawkins County Humane Society. “We’re not trying to take away anybody’s rights or control what people do on their own property on their own land,” Baker said. “I think we’ve just become accustomed to dogs being on chains and we’ve become immune to it because we see it all the time.”

Baker said the proposed law is about improving a dog’s quality of life and ensuring the public’s safety. A study partly authored by two Centers for Disease Control and Prevention physicians found that chained dogs were 2.8 times more likely to attack than dogs that were not chained. “It causes aggression, neurotic behavior, sadness, loneliness and frustration of the dog,” Baker said.

There are several reasons why people tether dogs, including to prevent them from running away, to keep them out of harm’s way or because it is not an option to bring them inside the home. Baker said there are several major organizations like the Humane Society of the United States and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals that have deemed extended chaining inhumane.

Several states across the country, including California and Maine have passed similar laws banning prolonged chaining. Baker recommends bringing the animal inside the home or providing a secure fence for the dog as an alternative to extended chaining. The Rogersville Board of Mayor and Aldermen plan to discuss the proposed rule at its December 13th meeting.

Copyright 2016 WJHL. All Rights Reserved.

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