Originally Published: March 3, 2017 6 a.m.
Last week, I learned about the death of a dog in our community. He died from being left outside on a chain. The chain became tangled. I don’t know how long that poor animal was left outside in that state. When I asked the person why the dog was on a chain and not brought into the house because of the extremely low temperatures we are experiencing, she looked at me like I was nuts and said, “he was a pit bull.” I was mortified. Is that a reason to be
neglected to the point of death?
Besides the obvious cruelty to the dog, there are many reasons why dogs should never be left on a chain for extended periods of time. Dogs are intelligent, social creatures who were designed to be in a pack. When deprived of social interaction, dogs can become depressed. They can become emotionally unstable. They can even become vicious. A dog on a chain is also unable to defend itself against the elements, predators, or any dogs at large.
Dogs are sensitive, feeling animals who live for the loving attention of their owners. I don’t understand why people would even get a dog if all they were going to do was just feed him. Yes, dogs are “work.” They need training just as a child does. If a person doesn’t want to put in the time to train the dog to live with the family in the family home, that person should not own a dog. If a person doesn’t have the patience to deal with chewing, soiling, barking, and other typical dog behaviors, that person should not have a dog. If a person doesn’t want the dog to be part of the family, that person should not have a dog.
There is a law in Arizona against the inhumane treatment of animals: ARS-13-2910. It mandates a fine of up to $2500. We need this law to be enforced. Regardless, I am pleading with dog owners to please treat your dogs as family. They live for your love, and you are the only family they have.