Legislative Priorities

Our Legislative Priorities

Click here for our fact sheet on dog tethering

Life on the Chain Gang. 

Dog chaining is inhumane and dangerous.

A dog forced to live on a chain or tether is a sad, lonely and frustrated dog, denied any pleasure or benefit of being a loyal companion animal who craves social interaction.

But emotional deprivation is only part of the problem. Dogs can so easily become entangled in their chains, leaving them cut off from any available food, water or shelter.

"Our cruelty investigators regularly encounter dogs that have died from starvation and dehydration - especially in the summer months -- after having twisted their chains or ropes to the point where they could no longer reach their food or water bowls," said Sherry Ferguson, executive director of the Houston Humane Society.

"And, a chained dog can strangle to death much more quickly than one might think. We do not condone leaving a dog unattended on a chain or tether," Ms. Ferguson added.

Trolley systems, or "pulley runs," are also dangerous and similar to fixed point chaining in the following ways:

  • The dog is isolated and deprived of social contact.
  • The dog may become entangled, limiting exercise and access to water.
  • The dog may accidentally hang himself/herself on such a system.
  • The trolley system does not prevent a child or other person from wandering within the dog's area.
  • The dog under such restraint is subject to attack from another animal and is vulnerable to abuse from any person with cruel or criminal intentions.


With no escape from danger, chained dogs feel vulnerable and often become aggressive as a means of defense. In fact, a chained dog is three times more likely to bite than a dog who enjoys humane living conditions, good care and adequate socialization.

Chained dogs often lack proper nutrition and medical attention. Animal control officers report that many of the dogs they take into custody due to neglect and abuse are chained dogs who have been left for days on end without food and water, and often are in need of medical attention.

Chained dogs are especially vulnerable to heartworms, parasites and insect bites.

Neck abrasions and infections from chains, ropes or ill-fitting collars are also the plight of many chained dogs, some even found with collars or neck-holds grown into their skin.

To ensure safety and a good quality of life for your dog, Texas Humane Legislation Network encourages you to keep your dog with you inside your home whenever possible and to provide daily exercise and fresh air in a securely-fenced yard or by walking your dog on a hand-held leash.

When outdoor confinement is necessary, Texas Humane Legislation Network recommends that you provide a secure, fenced enclosure that is soundly constructed with a locked gate. Adequate space for exercise with shade, shelter, food and clean water are essential to your dog's well being. Please make sure you check on your dog often and provide companionship as much as possible.

Remember, dogs live for love and affection just as much as people do. Don't let a backyard dog be "out of site, out of mind." Solitary confinement, whether it is on a chain or living alone in a backyard, is no life for your best friend.