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Letters – Reader sticks up for chained dogs

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To the Editor:
I am writing about an issue that has gone unaddressed for too long – that of the perpetually chained or penned, so-called “outside” or “backyard” dog.
There is no sadder sight than these outcast, forlorn, forgotten animals, relegated to the status of lawn ornaments and virtually ignored by the family.
Many chained or penned dogs are s

eriously neglected. They lack fresh water, adequate housing, hygiene and the most basic veterinary care, including vaccinations required by law.
In nature dogs are social animals and run in a pack. They thrive on interaction with human beings and other animals. Chaining or tethering causes severe psychological damage and makes a dog become lonely, frustrated, neurotic and aggressive.
Chained dogs lack sufficient exercise, proper nutrition, protection from insects and medical care. The United States Department of Agriculture has determined that dog chaining is inhumane.
Chaining is not only inhumane for dogs, but has taken a severe toll on this nation’s children. In the period from October 2003 until May 2007, there were at least 150 children killed or seriously injured by chained dogs across the country.
Chained dogs, unsocialized with humans, can become very territorial of their tiny space and any 2-year-old child who wanders into this space can be attacked and killed before adults can intervene.
Furthermore, researchers are confirming the link between animal abuse, spouse abuse, and the abuse and neglect of children.
Austin passed a no chaining ordinance effective October 2007. Lockhart is a progressive and enlightened city and should follow suit.
Our dogs deserve better.
Laura Goddard
Lockhart

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