What does it take of us to help an animal in need? A bit of time, perhaps, and some inconvenience. We’ve helped one animal to suffer less. This small victory does not have a widespread impact, but it certainly changes the world for that one animal.
It’s easy to bypass an animal in distress, a lost dog, a stray cat, injured creature, a starving animal. It’s easy to turn away and to assume that others will do something. Most of us don’t do anything. It requires giving of ourselves or our time in some small capacity, and we’re busy, busy, busy. I believe that each time we turn away, some small portion of our humanity is eroded.
Years ago I made an agreement with myself: when I see an animal in need, I will do whatever I can to remedy the situation. I’ve found that “whatever I can do” is generally more than I had originally thought. This has led me to capture stray dogs and humanely trap stray cats and deliver them to the SPCA, to gently instruct children and others in kindness to animals, to intervene when I see human cruelty to animals, to become a vegetarian, to inconveniently arrive late at meetings when I’m rescuing an animal. I sleep better at night for all this.
My dream is to have a widespread impact on humane treatment of animals. If each of us engaged in some small gesture of kindness, of help toward animals, so much suffering could be reduced. Will you join me?
A quick email, a phone call from you can facilitate passage of SB 373 in the PA House and end 24/7 inclement weather tethering for dogs.
article from http://www.humane-pa.org
Senator Richard Alloway + 18 co-sponsors introduced SB 373, which overwhelmingly passed the Senate 45-4! Now it needs to pass the House. Please call, write, e-mail, or use social media to contact your State Representative to request their support of SB 373. Your message can be short, stating simply “I am a constituent – please support SB 373, the inclement weather/anti-tethering bill.”
Please follow up by making a call to Representative Ron Marsico, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, to ask him to move SB 373 from his committee: Rep. Marsico: (717) 783-2014 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SB 373 will:
- Ensure that a dog is removed from the tether in periods of inclement weather.
- Provide minimum standards for length and type of tether.
- Ban the use of poke, pinch, or pronged collars which pose a danger to the dog while tethered.
- Ensure that the dog may only be tethered long enough for the owner to complete a temporary task and that the owner may not leave the dog unattended and tethered.
Facts about tethering:
What does “chaining” or “tethering” of dogs mean?
These terms refer to the practice of fastening a dog to a stationary object or stake, usually in the owner’s backyard, as a means of keeping the animal under control. These terms do not refer to the periods when an animal is walked on a leash.
Why is tethering dogs inhumane?
Dogs are naturally social animals who thrive on interaction with people and other animals. A dog kept chained in one spot for hours, days, months or even years suffers immense psychological damage. An otherwise friendly and docile dog, when kept continuously chained, becomes neurotic, unhappy, anxious and often aggressive.
In many cases, the necks of chained dogs become raw and covered with sores, the result of improperly fitted collars and the dogs’ constant yanking and straining to escape confinement. Dogs have even been found with collars embedded in their necks, the result of years of neglect at the end of a chain.
In addition to The ASPCA, The Humane Society of the United States and numerous animal experts, even the U. S. Department of Agriculture issued a statement in the July 2, 1996, Federal Register against tethering: “Our experience in enforcing the Animal Welfare Act has led us to conclude that continuous confinement of dogs by a tether is inhumane. A tether significantly restricts a dog’s movement. A tether can also become tangled around or hooked on the dog’s shelter structure or other objects, further restricting the dog’s movement and potentially causing injury.”
What effects does tethering have on the community?
Banning permanent tethering makes for safer neighborhoods and happier dogs all without adding burden to our animal control agency. – The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports chained dogs are three times more likely to bite resulting in greater incidences of dog attacks and bites to humans and animals. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also concluded in a study that the dogs most likely to attack are male, un-neutered, and chained.
More articles/information on tethering:
Township Tethering Ordinance (sample language)
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Why do I inconvenience myself to help an animal in need? I’ve been known to be late for meetings, wading into the field alongside the road to call a skinny, scared dog to me and deliver him to the SPCA so that he can be helped, reunited with his owners or placed in a caring home. I’ve been known to humanely trap a feral cat, have her spade, release her, and provide ongoing food, water, and shelter to her. I’ve been known to adopt a rescue cat, a rescue dog. I’ve been known to telephone for help and wait by the side of an struggling, car-struck deer until animal control arrives to put it out of its misery. I’ve been known to contribute to neutering costs for people in financial hardship. Why, I’ve been asked, why?
The reason: because I feel deeply, can empathize with the feelings of others, and I care about the suffering and experience of individual animals. Of course animals can feel pain and fear. Of course they can suffer. I have a commitment to myself to do what I can to help, and it turns that with minimal effort, I can do a lot more than I originally thought I could. Doing so allows me to live in peaceful alignment with my values. Yes, it can be a nuisance at times, but it’s worth it. In the bigger picture, it doesn’t require that much of me, really, to help a creature to experience less pain, less hunger, less thirst, less bitter cold.
What if each of us committed to helping an animal in need? It’s so much easier to turn away, but that small sense of satisfaction that comes from bringing relief to another sentient being is a reward in and of itself. I am immensely grateful for the ability not to turn away.