The Montreal SPCA is urging all residents of Quebec, Canada to sign a petition that will end permanent chaining in the province. The petition is written to Minister Christian Paradis on the belief that permanent chaining is detrimental to a canine’s psychological and physical well-being. The petition has been posted on cutthechain.ca and insists that the inhumane practice should be banned.
Currently, about one-third of all of the animal cruelty complaints in Quebec are related to the chaining of dogs that have been left neglected for long periods of time and are outside suffering the elements, including the harsh Canadian winters. This petition comes on the heels of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick recently introducing bans on permanent tethering as well.
The SPCA thinks that it is time for Quebec to join the ranks of provinces that have already taken action against this heinous act. Canada isn’t the only country cracking down on permanent chaining. In the U.S. more than 20 states have already passed similar legislation, including Texas, Oregon, California, and Nevada. Switzerland, Germany, and Austria have also enacted similar measures.
The Quebec initiative was launched as a result of the large improvements to provincial animal welfare legislation that have been promised as part of Bill 54. The Montreal SPCA believes that a ban on permanently chaining dogs outdoors needs to be part of the upcoming amendment.
The petition demands the following:
- Prohibition on keeping a dog tethered outdoors during extreme weather conditions
- Prohibition on keeping a dog tied to a stationary object for more than a certain number of consecutive hours or during a certain period of time
- Prohibition on leaving any dog who has not yet reached maturity, or who is ill, injured or unsterilized, tied up unattended
A statement made by the SPCA says:
“Chained dogs are at increased risk of injuring themselves and are frequently neglected. They are exposed to extreme cold in the winter, and suffocating heat in the summer. Isolated, unable to socialize, play, exercise, or express natural behavior, chained dogs develop severe boredom and frustration, eventually leading to psychological distress.”
Permanently chaining a dog also causes a public safety concern. If the dog feels trapped and cannot flee from any type of perceived threat, he may act out aggressively. Tethered dogs have been shown to be three times more likely to bite than dogs that are not tied up. They are also five times more likely to bite children. That’s a scary statistic!
Like most of you, I am completely against tethering a dog permanently, and I really don’t even like the idea of tethering them at all. However, I understand that some dogs need to be tied and for some families that is the only option they have for containment. As long as it is done responsibly, temporary tethering shouldn’t cause any problems for the dog.
If you do have to tether your pet at any time, make sure that he has fresh water available and he has some form of shelter to escape from the hot sun and the elements. If you ever see an animal tethered without shelter or water, call your local animal control agency immediately. Also, if you ever see a dog tethered during inclement weather such as severe heat, severe cold, or during a severe storm you must also call animal control immediately.