This chained dog was aptly named “Torture”; his poor excuse for a doghouse is full of water. A dog like this would be an excellent candidate for your ongoing attention.
The following post was originally published by Karen on KP’s Dog Blog, December 31, 2007.
In case there is a spot remaining on your list of New Year’s
resolutions, I have a good one for you. This one will warm your heart
and the heart of a grateful dog. Here it is:
First, scour your neighborhood on foot or by bike to locate at least
one neglected dog. Chained and penned dogs are obviously neglected, but
dogs that have the run of the entire yard can be neglected too. Any dog
who is left outside 24/7 is neglected.
Next, evaluate the dog’s living conditions. What kind of shelter
does the dog have? How clean or filthy is the area in which the dog is
living? Does the dog have water? Is it frozen or covered with algae?
Zero in on Fido’s health. Does he have runny eyes? Diarrhea? Scaly or
red patches of skin with no fur? A cough?
Once you’ve taken stock of the situation, take a deep breath and go
see if you can make friends with the owners. Depending on your
temperament, you may need to give an Oscar-worthy performance, but keep
in mind whose life is at stake. If the owners have some pretty flowers
in the yard, rave about them. If they have a car, mention how cool you
think that model is. Anything to curry favor with the owners and win
Gradually, incrementally over time, work Fido into the conversation.
Mention that you’ve been meaning to start getting more exercise and
would they let you walk their dog for them? Bring along a chew toy and
tell them that your own dog doesn’t want it and would their dog like to
have it? Stop by with a bale of straw and say that you got it for free
from a friend of yours—would Fido like to have it in his doghouse or
scattered on top of the mud? Offer to put it there yourself (because
they probably won’t bother). Mention that you noticed that Fido has
diarrhea and you have to take your own dog to the vet anyway, so would
they like you to take Fido along, too, just to check for worms? Perhaps
Fido could even come to your house to play with your dogs?
Ideally, you would eventually become a trusted friend, permitted to
come and take Fido to your house to play with your dogs at any time.
Once you’re in that position, you can be sure that he gets everything
he needs and more. And you will definitely be the person the owners
turn to if they ever decide to give Fido up. But it takes patience to
If you meet with nothing but negativity or even outright hostility,
don’t give up. Search for ways to ingratiate yourself with the owners.
If all else fails, at the very least you can stop by once a day and
give Fido a treat or a dog biscuit, scratch him under the chin, and
check on his water. He will deeply appreciate anything you can do to
alleviate his woes. And if things are just abominable to the point of
being illegal and you can’t get anywhere with the owners, call the
authorities. Notify the local animal control department, the nearest
SPCA, the newspapers, or even PETA. Just do something. You are that dog’s only hope.
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.