Hurricane Harvey is heavy on our minds, with thoughts and prayers going out to everyone caught in its path. But a group often overlooked during these storms is animals—specifically, dogs that are chained, and then left to suffer and drown in the floods. Heartbreakingly, the most prevalent use of chains and tethers on dogs in our state is in southeast Texas, where hurricanes typically make landfall.
While tethers and chains can always impede a dog’s ability to sit, stand, lie down, find shelter, or eat—and often painfully embed into the dog’s skin—they are a sure death sentence for dogs abandoned in extreme weather conditions and rising flood waters with no way to escape.
In 2007, the Texas legislature passed a bill addressing tethering standards, but it provides little or no protection to a tethered dog and, as written, is unenforceable because no citations can be issued, only warnings. Events like Harvey continue to kill countless dogs abandoned on tethers and chains, thanks to these weak standards that render law enforcement officers helpless and offer no motivation for people to stop tethering their dogs, even in deadly weather conditions.
Let Hurricane Harvey be a reminder of the importance of passing a Humane Tethering law which would create statewide minimum standards for the tethering of a dog and provide animal control and law enforcement officers and prosecutors an efficient way to enforce the law.
How you can help:
-Our Humane Tethering Bill is needed for so many reasons, and severe Texas weather is one of them!
-PLEASE CONTACT YOUR STATE SENATOR AND REPRESENTATIVE and tell them this is exactly why we MUST fix Texas' statewide dog tethering statute! You can find your Texas representatives here.
-Texas law enforcement and animal control officers receive daily calls from citizens concerned about a dog being tethered by cruel and inhumane means.Thousands of dogs across the state only know life like this.
-Many dogs die due to improper tethering. Strangulation, heatstroke, freezing to death, and inability to access food, water, or shelter are the most common causes.
-Many are tied up with thick, heavy chains, and are injured by the weight.Dogs sometimes get tangled up in their chains and are choked to death. Without adequate shelter, any kind of tethering can be deadly on hot Texas days or in torrential weather.
Like so many dogs throughout the state, this tethered dog in Houston was tethered and left to die during a flood when a crew from NBC affiliate KPRC spotted it from an airboat and then rescued him.
Learn more at www.thln.org