Research: Physical (2001)

"IT'S TIME!" The AAS Yard Dog Report

Research into the physical effects of tethering and isolation

Independent research on the physical effects of isolation, chaining, and substandard living conditions

We [U.S. Department of Agriculture] are amending the regulations for the humane treatment of dogs under the Animal Welfare Act by removing the provisions for tethering dogs as a means of primary enclosure.Effective September 12, 1997. Permanently tethering a dog as a means of primary enclosure is not a humane practice that is in the animal's best interests.A dog attached to a tether is significantly restricted in its movement. A tether can also become tangled around or hooked on the dog's shelter structure of other objects, further restricting the dog's movement and potentially causing injury. We do not believe that a flexible tether, a tether with a swivel on the end, or other such devices would significantly improve the safety of the tether.

US Federal Register. Vol. 62 No.156. Rules and regulations

Animal control and veterinarians report numerous cases of animals whose collars have become imbedded in their necks as they grow. Hyperactivity, timidity, aggression and fear are common traits that chained dogs exhibit.

Jean Johnson, Executive Director, Washington Humane Society, Cruel Confinement. Dog Fancy Magazine, January 1994.

Alone day after day, the [chained] dog becomes bored and frustrated. He barks, and the neighbours complain. Passing children tease and annoy him. Because he has nothing to do, he becomes listless.and then aggressive. Finally, he has to be destroyed.This kind of pet ownership is cruel and irresponsible.

Washington Humane Society. WHS/SPCA news. 1991 Issue 2

Physical activity, or the lack of it, causes alterations in a number of physiological parameters. Exercise has a constructive effect in that it expedites the return of homeostasis following extreme energy-consuming efforts and stimulates protein metabolism. In addition, it increases calcium retention. On the other hand, forced immobilization causes marked atrophic changes of the musculo-skeletal system which are accompanied by a negative calcium balance.

W.M. Newton. An evaluation of the effects of various degrees of long-term confinement on adult beagle dogs. Laboratory Animal Science, Vol. 22, No. 6. Pp.860-864.

The animal can get tangled up in the chain to the point that it is either in pain or unable to reach shelter, food or water; in addition, if the dog breaks the chain and escapes, the chain could get snagged on something, leading to a slow, painful death for the dog.

Jean Johnson. Executive Director, Washington Humane Society, Cruel Confinement. Dog Fancy Magazine, January 1994.

Tethering of animals may expose them to increased stress and danger. In particular, tethered animals are unable to evade predators, cannot obtain shelter from climatic extremes and do not obtain sufficient exercise.

Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Australia Code of Practice, 2/19/01

[Dogs] have psyches that are every bit as complex as our own - and every bit as in need of understanding. Compulsive licking, which leads to 'lick granuloma' is even more unpleasant. Dogs that do this pick a spot.and systematically lick and gnaw it until the fur in that area is lost and the skin underneath becomes infected.

Dr. Nick Dodman, Jeffrey Kluger, Dr. Sigmund Doolittle. Discover the world of science, Vol. 17, No. 2., 84-87.

The odour of waste draws flies, which bit the dog's ears, often causing serious bloody wounds. Dogs that have been chained for several years often lose portions of their ears, as more tissue is lost each summer from fly bites. Control of internal parasites is more difficult because the chained dog is always close to his own fecal matter and can re-infest himself. Also, the dog is forced to have almost continual contact with the ground in the chaining area, which may have a high concentration of parasite larvae.

Jean V. Johnson, Executive Director, Washington Humane Society. Chaining: cruel, unnecessary, and too often overlooked WHS/SPCA news. 1991, Issue 2

Chaining dogs around the clock is a lot more common than people think.Most of the time, when people tie up dogs regularly, it's for 24 hours a day, for weeks at a time. Some (dogs) strangle or even end up with broken limbs.This (heavy chains) would eventually damage the dogs' necks and spines and, like all chains, cause chafing.It's common for kids to tease chained dogs. Sometimes even adults abuse chained dogs.may even poison the dog to death if (its) barking bothers them too much.I'm sure that's done commonly (stealing dogs) in areas where thieves can sell the dogs to research laboratories.Occasionally these dogs have died of heat prostration.

John Mays, Director of the National Animal Control Association, USA, in Ambuja Rosen, Dogs at the End of Their Ropes, Dog World Magazine, October 2000

People chain these youngsters, and as the dogs grow, the chains have been known to cut right into their necks, causing infections and damaged muscles.taken them to veterinarians to have the chains surgically removed.Humane workers have witnessed dogs that forgot they were chained, then jumped a fence and hanged themselves.Research indicates that chained dogs bite more often and more viciously. Often chains break.aggressive and unsocialized dogs running loose. When dogs (especially puppies) spend most of their lives chained, they don't get a chance to learn how to behave appropriately with people. Besides biting, chained dogs also can inflame neighbours with a anxious barking."

Ambuja Rosen. Dogs at the End of Their Ropes. Dog World Magazine, October 2000

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