Written by Jeff Mackey
As harsh winter weather rages across the country, some of those facing the greatest risk are the dogs forced to live outdoors at the end of a chain, where they must endure some of the worst conditions that nature has to offer. Now, comedian and actor Patton Oswalt is stepping up to help them with a letter urging Newport News, Virginia, officials to follow the examples of dozens of other communities that have limited or banned the cruel and dangerous practice of chaining, thanks to a sustained campaign by PETA.
Patton is a native of Portsmouth, Virginia, which recently joined its neighboring communities of Smithfield, Virginia Beach, Hampton, and PETA's hometown of Norfolk in curtailing or outlawing tethering, leaving Newport News as one of the few holdouts in failing to protect "backyard dogs." And although he's revered as a comedian's comedian—watch his classic (but NSFW) takedown of the hideous KFC "sadness bowl" if you need proof—Patton knows that chaining is no laughing matter, explaining in his letter:
There is no worse punishment for a dog than a life sentence at the end of a chain. Forcing "man's best friend" to exist in the same barren patch 24/7 deprives these highly social pack animals of proper socialization and the opportunity to move around and explore. Often, they are deprived of necessities as basic as being able to reach food, water, or shelter—if they are even given any of those things. Every year, dogs injure or hang themselves on the chains that shackle them, while others grow aggressively protective of their tiny spaces. Chained dogs are nearly three times more likely to attack than dogs who are not chained.
What You Can Do
Please join PETA and Patton Oswalt in taking action for chained dogs. Work to pass a tethering ban in your community—and if you ever see a cold, lonely animal left outside, please speak up!
Written by Michelle Kretzer
Every Fourth of July, I end up with an
80-pound lap dog. From the moment the first firecracker pops, my German
shepherd mix, Hannah, tries to convince me that she's not that heavy and that
the best way for us to mark the holiday is with her squashed up against my
legs. Fortunately, there are some ways for both of us to survive Independence Day fireworks without my losing my independence to a
canine-inflicted leg injury:
Dennis from Atlanta|cc by 2.0
Also, although Hannah isn't the type to
bolt if she gets startled, many dogs do dig under fences, tear through screen
doors and windows, and even chew
their way out of crates (another reason why crates are a bad idea) when they’re afraid, so I've got her
microchipped and I keep her collar and tags on her during the fireworks, just in case. If
you know anyone who makes their dog stay outside, please urge them to keep the
dog indoors at least on the Fourth of
July in order to prevent him or her from escaping or getting injured.
Here's to a safe and stress-free Independence
Day for you and your pooch!
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.