monicas | Indy Week

Member since Aug 14, 2008

Belmont, CA



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Re: “Durham Commissioners pass tethering ordinance

Someone against the tethering law was quoted in the article as saying: "It's a pitiful world when other people determine your lifestyle..."

Huh? That quote is illustrative of the mindset of people who think it is appropriate to keep a dog in chains for months or years on end. First, keeping chained dogs is not a "lifestyle," just as neglecting a child or fighting pit bulls shouuld not be considered a lifestyle choice.

And, sorry, but get over it: we already have countless laws that determine our "lifestyles." Laws tell us we should not engage in a pot-smoking lifestyle. Existing laws tell us we cannot dump trash in our yards, or fail to educate our kids, or starve our animals to death. Why is it such a stretch for our society of finally recognize that keeping a dog chained by the neck in some forgotten corner of the backyard is not a "lifestyle choice," it is an antiquated and barbaric form of canine confinement that most responsible pet owners find abhorrent.

True, some people do not chain their dogs in hideously abusive ways. But sometimes people have to give up a little something because there are so many OTHER people out there who do NOT chain in responsible ways. Allowing people to take the easiest, most negligent way out when it comes to confining their pet sets the ground work for abuse or neglect. Don't want to housetrain Fluffy? Well, just chain her to a tree and let her live our her natural life there. Too many people think this is ok. Sorry, but it is simply time for there to be laws against this practice.

Similar laws are working well in many places in the country.

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Posted by monicas on 09/09/2008 at 1:14 PM

Re: “Durham commissioners to weigh tethering ordinance

Kudos to the commissioners for taking on this issue. Anti-chaining laws are not perfect, but they are working well in hundreds of communities and even several states (Texas, California). To allow people to chain a dog to a tree or a plywood dog box for years on end is tantamount to allowing the most horrific form of abuse for a social, intelligent pack animal like a dog. These dogs are kept as prisoners, often living in virtual solitary confinement. They are tormented by parasites, never get exercise or vet care and often don't even get adequate food and water. These dogs survive. But they are living in hell. If you chained a human to a wall for 10 or 15 years, and fed and watered him, he may well survive. But could we even begin to imagine the agony? Because dog chaining is a "process" (which often goes on for years on end) rather than an "event" (such as beating a dog or starving it to death), it goes largely unnoticed and is greatly misunderstood. Breeders and hunters have been working hard in many places to defeat these laws, even though there are many other options for confining a dog, other than keeping it chained. The reality is that these groups oppose any law, no matter how reasonable or humane, that might lessen the notion that a dog is mere "personal property," for people to do with as they see fit. Yes, dogs may be property in the eyes of the law, but the 'property rights' argument really holds no water. Dogs cannot be property in the same way that a car or a couch is property. They are sentient beings. Most reasonable people understand them to warrant protections under the law. That's why we have animal welfare laws. That's why we have outlawed dogfighting. It should not be such a stretch to now outlaw a cruel, negligent method of confinement. Yes, some people can chain dogs in ways that are not as inhumane as others. But the reality is that chaining is the method of confinement that is the most easily abused. Even by requiring people to keep dogs in a cage ("kennel") (which also turns my stomach) requires people to give some thought, time, money and attention to how the confine their dog. In so doing, we discourage negligent, passive pet ownership. Learn more at

Posted by monicas on 08/14/2008 at 3:15 PM

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