Ticking time bombs

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 13, 2005

Thank you for your editorial condemning the chaining of dogs (&uot;Chaining dogs,&uot; Oct. 11). Dogs are social animals who crave companionship – sentencing them to &uot;solitary&uot; can turn them into ticking time bombs, and all too often, defenseless children are the victims. During the past year, at least 51 people have been attacked by chained dogs, and more than half of them were children aged 10 or younger.

According to the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, intensive confinement and lack of socialization can cause dogs to become frustrated and overly protective, turning them into biters. In 1994, the Centers for Disease Control found that chained dogs are nearly three times as likely to attack as those not tethered. According to another study, more than a fourth of fatal dog attacks are by dogs on chains.

In the interest of protecting children and dogs, chaining needs to be regulated. Nearly 80 jurisdictions across the country – including Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Smithfield, and Northampton County here in the Commonwealth – have passed laws banning or limiting chaining, and several other cities are currently considering laws.

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For more information on the dangers of chaining dogs, please visit HelpingAnimals.com.

Alisa Mullins

Senior Staff Writer

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals