Charleston, SC (April 3, 2012) – Toby,a black Labrador retriever mix, and hiscanine companion Tiny, a beagle mix,currently live their lives outside and at the end of chains on their owner’sproperty in James Island. Thanks to UnchainCharleston, a newly formed volunteer group atPet Helpers, and Lowe’s these two dogs willreceive a new leash on life on Saturday, April 7, 2012.
Unchain Charleston was established to help Lowcountry pet owners improve the quality of life for their chained dogs. It is an accepted fact in the animal welfare community that prolonged chaining,or tethering, can lead to aggressive behavior in dogs. Though legal in South Carolina,chaining is considered inhumane and an improper form of animal restraint in the eyes of Pet Helpers. However, Pet Helpers understands that many owners of chained dogs are either unaware of itsconsequences or lack the resources to provide an alternative. Kristin Kifer, Director of Operationsat Pet Helpers, explains, “Pet Helpers is getting involved because we want dogs to live happier lives, and to change the public perception that tethered dogs are bad dogs, when often times they aren’t. Over the past several years, we’ve seen cases where dogs living at the end of achain increasingly became more aggressive. In the worst cases, the dogs have to be euthanized, through no fault of their own, and it’s heartbreaking. Unchain Charleston provides an opportunity to help build a richer environment for these dogs and a chance for a better relationship between the dogsand their owners.”
Through the activities of Unchain Charleston, Pet Helpers is expanding upon its commitment to serve the animals of the Lowcountry. Unchain Charleston volunteers will build fences for dogs inan effort to provide safer, healthier environments for them, their families, and the community. The group intends to build fences on a monthly basis, and Pet Helpers has made a commitment tofinance each build.
Lowe’s of James Island has generously donated all tools for the builds and will provide all materials needed to complete the first build on April 7th. In addition, for the first build Lowe’s will provide a team of employees who will instruct Unchain Charleston volunteers so that they may be successful in future fence builds. James Island Lowe’s Store Manager, Clint Wimer, says,“Here at Lowe‘s we take great pride in being a part of the community.This is part of what wecall our Heroes Project that we do every year.To quote coach John Wooden, ‘You can‘t have a perfect day unless you help someone that has no way of returning the favor.’And that is part of what makes it a heroes project. My team is excited to help and is looking forward to more projects in the future with our friend sat Pet Helpers.”
FENCE BUILDING TIME:
WHEN: Saturday,April 7th@9:00 am – Fence Installation, introduction of Toby and Tiny to new,enclosed yard.
WHERE: 1264 Fort Johnson Rd, Charleston, SC29412
About Unchain Charleston:
Unchain Charleston is a volunteer-based group organized under Pet Helpers, Inc., dedicated to improving the quality of life of dogs living outdoors. Through volunteer efforts, we strive to creates safer, happier, and healthier dogs by removing tethers and providing a fenced-in yard; offering humaneeducation to their guardians;and helping to build more humane communities through awarenessand compassion.
FACTS ABOUT“CHAINING” OR “TETHERING”
Whatis “chaining” or“tethering”? Long-term attachment to a fixed object that limits the movement and living space of a dog as away to keep the animal under control or confined to afixed area.
Why is tethering dogs inhumane? By nature, dogs are social beings that require social interactions with humans or other animals. Extended time on chains leads to psychological trauma; dogs become lonely, isolated, and aggressive. Too often, tethered dogs are subjected to ill-fitting collars which may lead to infections and sores, worsened by the dog’s constant yanking toescape confinement. In the worst cases, dogs have been found with collars embedded in their necks, attributed to years of neglect.
How does tethering orchaining dogs posea danger to humans? Dogs tethered for extended periods of time who are deprived of basic need scan become territorial and respond withaggression. Since the dog’s movement is restricted, he is unable to respond to a natural fight-or-flight instinct, and feels compelled to fight ,attacking unfamiliar people or animals that unwittingly violate the dog’s territory. The Center for Disease Control states that chained dogs are 2.8 times more likely to bite than unchained dogs.
Who says tethering is inhumane? In addition to The Humane Society of the United States, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and numerous other animal welfare organizations and experts, the United States Department of Agriculture has concluded through its enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act that chaining dogs is inhumane.
For more information please visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/UnchainCharlestonTweet