It's also about anti-tethering

Cheap security is expensive for the tethered dog

The proposed Animal Ordinances also include banning tethering. Hallelujah! Right now, Texas law HB1411 says it is unlawful to tether an animal in “certain circumstances”. That means in general it is illegal to leave a dog chained to a stationary object between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., when the temperature is below 32 degrees, or during a heat advisory or tornado.

Just try calling 311 or 911 and getting someone to resolve the problem at 10:30PM when it’s 32 degrees and you’ve seen two chihuahuas who are tied up outside without shelter. Nobody is going to be there for those animals, not that night, that’s for sure.

But the new ordinances say you can’t tether at all unless the dog is under supervision. Now, that makes sense. And, it’s more likely that DAS can send someone out to investigate in a timely fashion.

If you still don’t understand why it’s so bad to tether an animal 24×7, read Malcom Gladwell’s article in the New Yorker. Now, this story isn’t really about tieing dogs up, it’s about profiling and the lessons you can learn from pit bulls and making generalizations about them. Click on this link for the full story: http://www.gladwell.com/2006/2006_02_06_a_pitbull.html

What Mr. Gladwell tells us though is this:

“A 1991 study in Denver, for example, compared a hundred and seventy-eight dogs with a history of biting people with a random sample of a hundred and seventy-eight dogs with no history of biting. The breeds were scattered: German shepherds, Akitas, and Chow Chows were among those most heavily represented. (There were no pit bulls among the biting dogs in the study, because Denver banned pit bulls in 1989.)

But a number of other, more stable factors stand out.

(a) The biters were 6.2 times as likely to be male than female,

(b) and 2.6 times as likely to be intact than neutered.

(c) The Denver study also found that biters were 2.8 times as likely to be chained as unchained.

About twenty per cent of the dogs involved in fatalities were chained at the time, and had a history of long-term chaining,” Lockwood said. “Now, are they chained because they are aggressive or aggressive because they are chained? It’s a bit of both. These are animals that have not had an opportunity to become socialized to people. They don’t necessarily even know that children are small human beings. They tend to see them as prey.””

Studies tell us that chained dogs are more likely to bite than unchained dogs.

The tethering changes to the Animal Ordinances will make Dallas a safer city. And, for those who can’t seem to keep their pets humanely confined, well, if those dogs bite, then the strengthened Dangerous Dog changes will kick into play too. You can help – sign our petition to support these changes – let the City Council know you’re not OK with current tethering practices.

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