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ETX joins chained dogs controversy

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(KYTX) - Local animal activists are joining a national movement to make chaining dogs, illegal.

CBS 19's Courtney Friedman joins us from a dog owners house in Smith County.

It is legal to chain your dog here in the county, and also in the City of Tyler.  

I'm here at a Smith County home, where this owners' dogs are clearly not chained, because she doesn't believe in it. She's on the same wave length as the SPCA and hopes it will be illegal soon.

"He wants to be out and say his hellos. I really think he appreciates not being on a chain."

Erin bailey's husky Zeke used to live on a chain.

"Someone else owned him and that's all he did was sit on a chain and I can definitely tell a personality change."

Something East Texas SPCA President Deborah Dobbs says is common in chained animals.

"It is not a natural way for any living thing to spend its life, to be confined to a certain number of feet, and not be able to protect yourself or flee. and so dogs that are chained or tethered are automatically going to be on the defensive."
 
She says chained dogs acting in defense can lash out at people.

"Many times children wander into that situation unknowingly and have been bitten or really seriously injured. So tethering creates a dangerous dynamic."

"The second thing it causes, is animals that are in heat, can be repeatedly bred, and you have ongoing litters of puppies."  

She fears it's a contributing factor to the county's stray dog problem.

No one who chains their dogs would talk to us on camera but one man said he does it for property protection.

"If you want an animal to protect your property, that's understandable! But protect your animal from causing harm to others, or making unwanted litters of animals by fencing! Or you can by a 6 by 10 chain link run at Lowes or Wal mart for a couple hundred bucks."

If you chain your dog, and leave it without water or shelter, that's considered cruel and you can be ticketed. Dobbs hopes to eliminate chaining altogether.

"What we would like to do is begin working with the city and county government to draft ordinances."

Cities like Austin and Dallas have made chaining or tethering dogs illegal, and dog activists here hope it will be the same here soon.

City council members and county commissioners we spoke with did not want to comment on the dog chaining debate. 

 

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