Better, 2003 First Place Winner of the ASPCA/Chase Pet Protector Award, is a voice for chained and penned dogs, whose sadness
speaks only through the eyes. As the days become years, many of these dogs sit, lay, eat, and defecate within the same 10-foot
radius. Chained by the neck, they exist without respect, love, exercise, social interaction, and sometimes even basic nourishment.
They live as prisoners, yet long to be pets.
Chaining is not only inhumane for dogs,
but has taken a severe toll on this nation’s children as well. In the period from October 2003 through August 2008,
there were at least 251 children killed or seriously injured by chained dogs across the country. Chained dogs, unsocialized with humans, can become very territorial of their tiny space, and any
two year old who wanders into this space can be attacked and killed before adults can intervene. A recent attack in Texas
in March, 2007 left 2 year old Carolina Sotello dead from head and neck wounds. She was attacked and killed by an unneutered male dog chained in the
backyard, next to an unspayed female with puppies.
Would you for one second choose to live the
life of these dogs? No matter what reason is given, the bottom line is that it is NOT ok to chain a dog for life. Dogs
should not have to live chained or penned as prisoners, yearning for a place in a family, craving acknowledgement, respect,
and love. They DESERVE BETTER, and we as caretakers have the obligation to provide it for them.
Please consider today how you can help
the dogs in your neighborhood. If you see a chained dog or a penned dog daily, it is time to take action. Please join Dogs
Deserve Better today in taking a stand against this mistreatment of dogs.
Volunteer your time or be a rep for Dogs Deserve Better in your area. Become a member and help us prove there is strength in numbers. Help with community awareness by hanging posters, showing the chained dog video, wearing one of our colorful t-shirts, or applying a sticker or magnet to your window/car to educate and provoke thought in those around you. Place brochures and doorhangers throughout the community. Donate to our cause through the donations link or via snail mail.
Take a stand when you see dogs living
chained or penned. Speak gently to the caretakers, sharing your convictions and information about Dogs Deserve Better and
ways they can improve life for their companion. Print out this chained dog flyer or .pdf letter in which we request that they rethink their decision. (please, do NOT put letters directly in mailboxes, it is a violation
of US Postal Code. Instead, check out our door hangers which can be hung over mailbox flags...) (Now available for penned dogs, and in Spanish as a Spanish flyer and Spanish letter...thanks to Jill Natowitz!).
If you are not comfortable approaching
caretakers of chained dogs or penned dogs, use the doorhangers or submit this form with the names and addresses of the caretakers and we will send information in the mail. You will remain anonymous.
If you are here because you currently
keep your dog chained or penned, we applaud your efforts to give him/her a better life. Browse the articles section for tips on housetraining and fencing. If you need help, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will help you.
Start changing the way you and your
community think about the chaining and penning of dogs today. Join Dogs Deserve Better to take a stand and make life right
for all dogs everywhere! NO CHAINS!
DDB Mission Statement
The primary mission of DDB is EDUCATION. You may wonder why it isn’t rescue. The plain truth
is that we could never rescue and rehome all the chained/penned dogs that exist in this country! It is much better to educate
one to take better care of their dog than to take on every person's dog and try to rehome it. So, as our primary goal is education,
we must constantly be coming up with innovative ways to educate. The Valentine's campaign is our most important educational
outreach to date, because it reaches not only those who are sent Valentines, but also those who MAKE Valentines for us, most
of whom are schoolchildren. This is invaluable because it will hopefully put a great dent in this chain of abuse, and cut
it off at the pass when children are still more easily influenced. Our ongoing letter and brochure mailings are another way
we educate, in addition to billboard, website, e-mail campaigns, posters, and door hangers. Face to face encounters CAN be
most productive, but the truth is that many neighbors across America are not willing to do this kind of intervention, and
it is not even required of our reps. So we fill this "fear gap" by taking the initiative and mailing information to the caretakers,
thereby taking responsibility for the anger that so often comes as a result of speaking out.
Our fencing and housetraining
programs are another outreach of the education mission, because in doing so we show a willingness to help them to become better
doggie parents, and a willingness to not only stand against the problem, but be part of the solution.
I know that education
works because we've had proof on many occasions. After the initial anger and defensiveness wear off, many people DO come to
be educated. Bear was such a case...they received a letter and brochure six month prior to giving him up to rescue. The wife
told me that her husband was very angry at first, and absolutely refused to listen to her when she said they should find him
another home. However, six months later they called me, nice as could be, and asked for my help in rehoming him. I did try
to get them to bring him into their
home by offering fencing and housetraining, but she was not open to that possibility,
so I took him into the rescue program.
2. Our secondary mission is RESCUE and REHABILITATION. This shows our willingness
to step in and give the dogs a better life. You all know the challenges of this, as we've been discussing....inability to
take in every dog that needs our help, lack of foster homes, and sometimes lack of vet funds. But overall, when this program
works, it's an amazing aspect of our outreach; it can and does change lives, not only for the dog, but also for each and every
one of us who opened our hearts and homes to teach these dogs how to live a better life.
3. Our tertiary mission is
LEGISLATIVE efforts. This is in truth third only because as a nonprofit, we are not allowed to give it more than 8-20% of
our monetary and time efforts...and not because it's not terribly important. Updating laws is a sweeping way to affect change,
and gives both Animal Control officers and local DDB reps many more tools to help dogs local to them. Even in this area, we
serve mostly as educators and encouragers...we try to educate others HOW to get laws changed, and provide information and
tools to help them do so. Check the Get Laws section of the site to learn more about how to make a local change in laws.
there have been many times someone's anger has caused me to have fear and/or question what I am doing, especially in the beginning.
At these times, I've always thought of Martin Luther King. I cannot imagine the forces he had to go up against to enact change
for blacks in America! I cannot imagine
how many times he was threatened, and all that he cared for was threatened. But he continued to stand, and great change came
about because of it. I think of him, and I realize that I too can continue to stand when threatened. If you have someone in
history or your own life that inspires you, think of that person, and it will help you be stronger too.
Also, if you
feel unsure, go sit down near a chained dog and just look at him for awhile. This too is a great resolve strengthener, as
you will really think, this is just NOT ok!
Tammy Grimes, Founder DDB
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