Chains Are for Bikes, Not Dogs—or Boys

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3 min read

He was chained up for weeks, forced to sleep on the floor, and denied food. Those were the reported living conditions of a 10-year-old boy whose alleged abuse came to light after he managed to escape, run down the street, and attract the attention of a neighbor.

“To treat a child this way is inhuman,” said Camden, N.J., Police Sgt. Janell Simpson. “He could have been seriously injured or died had this continued ….”

PETA agrees. We also believe it is inhuman to treat any living being this way, which is why we are hoping to place this billboard in Camden to encourage residents to be on the lookout for abuse:

Dogs—like children—are highly social beings who need love, attention, exercise, and social interaction in order to mature normally. Dogs who are relegated to a chain in the backyard are not only harmed psychologically but also often deprived of even the most basic care. Growing puppies are often found with too-small collars embedded in their necks because their owners never loosened or changed the collar as the dog grew. Some dogs aren’t fed properly and subsist on rotten meat, bones, and other scraps, ultimately resulting in nutritional deficiencies.

PETA fieldworkers often find dogs suffering from untreated illnesses and injuries and even deliberate starvation. They’ve found sick and starving dogs covered with maggots, unable to move but still alive, and others who were suffering from heartworms, parvo, mange, prolapsed uteruses, anemia (caused by severe flea infestations), and infected wounds. Dogs have also been found strangled to death after becoming entangled in their tethers.

Dogs who are left outside unattended are also easy prey for cruel neighbors or passersby. PETA has received hundreds of reports about dogs left outside who were poisoned, shot, stabbed, or set on fire or had their mouths duct-taped shut by people annoyed by their barking.

As for the people who chain up animals in the yard and forget about them, they are often the same kind of people who would do that to a child. The following are just a few examples of people who were accused of abusing both animals and children:

  • A New Carrollton, Maryland, woman pleaded guilty to child endangerment and cruelty to animals after authorities discovered a dog chained in her basement with no food or water and lying in urine and feces—along with five unattended, malnourished children.
  • A Bristol, Virginia, woman was charged with child abuse, cruelty to a child, and cruelty to animals after two children in her care (one of whom was unconscious and had suffered a brain injury) were found covered with bruises and a chained dog was found starved and frozen to death in her backyard.
  • A Lemmon Valley, Nevada, couple was arrested for allegedly starving their dogs and horses and allowing their children to live amid garbage and animal feces.
  • A woman in Hull, England, was arrested for allegedly allowing her animals to starve to death and forcing her children to live in squalid conditions.

Studies back up these cases. For example, in 88 percent of 57 New Jersey families with histories of child abuse, animals in the home had also been abused.

What You Can Do

If chaining is not already prohibited in your town, organize a campaign to get it limited or banned. We can help!

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