Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
ARTICLE FROM THE NEWS AND OBSERVER
DURHAM - After two years of discussion and debate, county commissioners passed a ban on dog chaining Monday.
The new ordinance goes into effect for both city and county residents in 2010.
Durham now becomes the second Triangle jurisdiction in which dogs cannot be tied up or chained outdoors. They instead must be brought indoors or placed inside an enclosure, such as a fence or large pen.
Dog owners who continue to chain their animals after Jan. 1, 2010, will be given warnings. After July 1, 2010, they will face fines ranging from $50 to $150 if they fail to comply. If they are faced with criminal charges, the penalties could be more.
The public debate on whether to create such a law in Durham began in 2006 at the urging of the InterNeighborhood Council, which represents more than a dozen communities.
Proponents of the ban say chained dogs can become more aggressive and dangerous, their constant unhappy barking can be a public nuisance, and forcing an animal to spend its life on the end of a chain is just plain cruel.
Cindy Bailey, Durham's animal control director, said Monday that in nearly 20 years in the field, most of the cases she sees of animal cruelty result from a dog being chained and not being able to reach its food, water or shelter. Often, a dog can be injured by its chain, she said.
Other dog owners were skeptical.
"Making people take their dogs off chains isn't going to make them treat their dogs any better," said Michelle Lennon, a Durham resident who said she has five dogs, which she trains for agility competitions and other events. Many of those against the ban said it is possible to chain or tether a dog in a responsible, humane way.
Effect on the poor
The most influential opponent was Commissioner Lewis Cheek, who cast the board's only vote against the ordinance.
He said low-income residents who could not afford to build fences could be adversely affected, including the elderly on fixed incomes.
"Sometimes their pets are the closest thing they have to a loved one," Cheek said.
But Cheek was outvoted 4 to 1 in favor of the new law.
Amanda Arrington, head of the county-appointed committee that wrote the new ordinance, smiled and hugged supporters after the vote.
"This is not a cure-all, but it's a step in the right direction," she said. Arrington is also the founder of the Coalition to Unchain Dogs, a nonprofit group that has built fences for 115 chained dogs in the past year and a half.
The group has agreed to continue its work in Durham County in support of the ordinance, as much as its funding will allow. Last week, the group raised about $6,000 in a fundraising concert and has raised about $50,000 since its inception almost two years ago, Arrington said.
The group spends about $250 on average to build a fence for one dog, Arrington said.
Though some critics of the ban were dubious of the group's ability to serve all of Durham's chained dogs, Ellen Reckhow, chairwoman of the Board of Commissioners, was optimistic.
"They have agreed to rise to the challenge," Reckhow said. "I think we have a lot of time to get the word and help families that need assistance."
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Friday, September 5, 2008
PLEASE READ BELOW: This is an incredibly important opportunity for Durham community memebers to show their support AGAINST dog tethering. The meeting will take place this Monday, at 200 East Mainstreet in downtown Durham @ 7 pm. Hope to see you there!
Thank you to everyone who attended the recent public hearing and contacted the Durham County commissioners! As you know, vital legislation that would restrict the cruel and dangerous practice of tethering is currently before the Durham County Board of Commissioners. The commissioners will now hold a meeting this Monday, September 8, to continue discussing this legislation. More help is needed to support this ordinance. Please attend the meeting to urge the commissioners to do the right thing by supporting the proposed anti-tethering ordinance.
The extremely cruel—and common—practice of keeping dogs chained, or "tethered," deprives these highly social pack animals of proper socialization and exercise and often leaves them unable to reach whatever shelter, food, and water has been provided for them. Many dogs grow aggressively protective of their tiny spaces and attack animals and people—including children—who come near them. Other dogs get tangled in their own chains and injure or strangle themselves.
Dozens of Americans have been attacked by chained dogs in the past year. In response to such attacks and cruelty-to-animals cases that involved severely neglected chained dogs, at least 115 U.S. jurisdictions have passed laws addressing this issue.
If it becomes law, the proposed ordinance would ban tethering, except when an animal is attended. The legislation also includes exemptions for dogs engaged in activities such as herding, hunting, and law enforcement.
Today, please take the following actions:
- Call, write, and e-mail the County Board of Commissioners, and politely urge them to support the proposed ordinance.
- Plan on attending the meeting on Monday, September 8, at 7 p.m. to show support for the ordinance. Opponents will attend in an attempt to defeat this legislation. You do not need to speak; just be there to show your support! The hearing will be held on the second floor of the Old County Courthouse at 200 E. Main St. in Durham.
Please remind your public officials that chained dogs are nearly three times as likely to attack as dogs who are not chained are. In addition, point out that children are the most common victims of attacks by chained dogs.
Also, please forward this message to others in the area who might be willing to lend their support to this important issue. Durham County's forgotten and neglected dogs are counting on you.
Thank you for your willingness to act and for your compassion for animals.
Legislative and Outreach Specialist
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animal
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Hi Auntie C,
I just finished celebrating my birthday month of August and thought I would send you a little note.
I hope you are doing well and school is going along steadily and easily!
I have been up to no good, haha. I have had an incredible summer, I spend all day out in the sun room watching birds, lizards, frogs, I even saw a baby bunny this weekend. I love it out there! It smells wonderful and there is so much to watch.
I still like to dig in the plants, I can't help it. Otherwise, mom and Michael say I am a great kitty. I am so sweet that even if someone just talks to me (they don't have to even be close to me), I start PURRING. I sound like a harley davidson! I love hanging out in the bath tub, they let the water drip and I get soaking wet from attacking the water. I went to the vet for my checkup and she said I looked great (maybe a little chubby, but Mom disagrees). My eyes are bright, my fur is soft, and I smell good. I take good care of myself, I clean and primp and always look awesome.
I think about you and am so very grateful that you helped me find my mom and michael. They really love me so much. I am truly a very spoiled kitty and love it here.
I have included some new pictures!
Indy (Barbara and Michael)