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Wanda Sykes: Chaining Dogs Is No Joke

Written by PETA | February 13, 2013

Wanda Sykes—one of the funniest people on the planet, in my opinion—has taken on a very unfunny issue: dogs left chained up outside. Like fellow Southeastern Virginia native and comedian Patton Oswalt, Wanda has sent letters on PETA’s behalf to Newport News and Suffolk city officials, urging them to pass legislation against continuous tethering similar to ordinances enacted in neighboring towns, including Hampton, Virginia Beach, Smithfield, Sykes’ hometown of Portsmouth, and PETA’s hometown of Norfolk


In her letters, Wanda explains that chained dogs—like the three pit bulls discovered by PETA cruelty caseworkers in Newport News in December—are often denied adequate shelter and suffer from loneliness, frustration, and neglect. One of those dogs had already died of starvation, and the two survivors were malnourished and had no access to food or water (PETA has filed cruelty charges against the dogs’ owners).

As a mother, Wanda also expresses concern that chained dogs are more likely to become aggressive than dogs who live indoors with their human families, as evidenced by the tragic case of a toddler in Suffolk who was mauled to death by his family’s chained dogs. Chaining also sends the dangerous message to children that dogs are disposable objects to be tossed out in the backyard and forgotten when they become inconvenient.

What You Can Do

If chaining is still permitted in your community, please follow Wanda’s example and encourage your local officials to enact a tethering ban. You can also help by sponsoring a custom doghouse to be built and delivered to provide a dog with relief from extreme weather.

Commenting is closed.
  • deb says:

    hooray for wanda! I think the people who leave there dogs chained should be chained up and see how they like it im sure they wouldnt how someone can do that to there pet is unthinkable. in 12 years of my dogs life he has never been chained or left outside he has his own side of my bed which he sleeps on every nite i wouldnt have it any other way he is a loving non aggressive pitbull because of the love and care he so deserves and receives all chaining should be banned!!!

  • The world CAN be a better place says:

    THANK YOU WANDA!!!! I’m so happy to see a celebrity stand up against this cruelty. It’s so sad for a sweet loving puppy to be chained and neglected. It’s the cruelest torture. All they want is a little love, and they will love back unconditionally. A law needs to be passed and enforced in every state prohibiting chaining and neglecting helpless animals. They depend on us, they trust us, and this is what we do to them. Please never stop fighting for them. We need a campaign to rescue them all!

  • soraia belintani says:

    Temos que lutar e muito contra os maus tratos….esses animaizinhos não merecem isso….mas alguns seres humanos sim!!!!!!!!!!

  • Erin Johnson says:

    I love that people are speaking out against horrible inhumanities like this. I think if we could get more big named celebrities to do this we could really make a huge difference!

  • Michael says:

    Wow, you give your dogs a whole 4 feet. What a guy! You should be the one on a chain. What do you even want dogs for if you just leave them to be alone, outside and unsocial? When I took on the responsibility of having a dog, it is a complete commitment. She loves to travel and of course goes along to the lake or vacation. I would never imagine tying her outside.

  • cRyo says:

    I chain by dogs in their dog house but they are free to move as their chains are 4 feet long and they have a wide clean dog house. My house is quite small for 2 hyperactive big dogs. Most of all, I don’t starve them to death. For me, chaining dogs is fine as long it won’t hurt them and you give them the care they need.

  • Valerie Naquin says:

    There is a dog in my neighboorhood that is being torutured by being on a short chain 24/7 with only a little igloo house that is next to a huge drainge ditch. I see this dog every day struggling to get off of that chain. What can I do?

  • Good Ness Gracious says:

    WAY TO GO, WANDA ! ! ! BRAVO ! ! ! THANK YOU SO MUCH For Standing Up and Speaking Up for Chained/Penned/Tethered Dogs and ALL Dogs who are left outside by the cruel and disgusting inhumane people who the poor animals are victimized by. PLEASE KEEP UP STANDING UP and SPEAKING UP For Them and ALL Animals who are victimized by Cruel Inhumane people. By the way, I recall seeing a very good scene of yours years ago on “Old Christine” re: The Social Contract! Yes, there is a SOCIAL CONTRACT of DECENCY that EVERY Human Being should uphold including in how they treat Animals.

  • Diana L. Pizarro says:

    People need to be educated about Pitbulls. Unfortunately people think that Pitbull’s are dangerous due to the fact that human savages train them to fight, to be aggressive. I ask PETA to make a campaign informing the public of the pitbull. I would be the first to join PETA to get the word out on Pitbulls and the inhumane of their treatment This is deplorable. VERY upsetting

  • lisa says:

    Why do americans insist on chaining their dogs outside??? really dont get it, a dog is supposed to be a part of your family just like any other pet i have rescused cats one of whom is 19 years old now i wrap him up in a blanket when its cold my friends think im a bit mad lol but i treat them like i do my children, how can anyone sitting in their nice warm home knowing their dog is shivering freezing and lonely outside they must be very heartless.

  • Cheryl Hudgins says:

    I always loved Wanda and even more so now!