This week I went to a meeting put on by a couple of dog rescue groups — Dogs Deserve Better and Nebraska Voters for Companion Animals.
The meeting was held in a rather large church social hall and not a lot of people attended, leaving many empty tables and chairs. It was too bad the room wasn’t packed.
The goal of these groups is to essentially make lives better for neglected animals. Dogs Deserve Better fights the 24/7 chaining of dogs. Nebraska Voters for Companion Animals fights for better laws for animals.
I went because I think all pets need to be treated as part of the family. Sadly, as Dogs Deserve Better representative Gayla Hausman spoke about, many dogs live their entire lives at the end of a chain. They get little interaction with the family.
Gayla goes door to door in small towns south of Lincoln offering her help to people who chain their dogs. She doesn’t speak harshly to them but rather helpfully. She offers food, bedding or even assistance in house training a dog. Her goal is to educate people that leaving their dog outside on a chain non-stop is not only cruel but dangerous.
Statistics show that most dogs that bite are those that have been chained. These dogs have a high risk of becoming neurotic and bored. Boredom leads to aggression.
Gayla told the story of a rottweiler that had been seized from a home and put in a shelter because he was aggressive. This dog would not let anyone near him, growling and barking viciously at everyone. Gayla says she worked with the dog a little at a time, gaining its trust. In time the dog had settled down and became gentle. Unfortunately the Beatrice shelter euthanized the dog anyway because its time at the shelter was up. Gayla learned that this dog had been chained and abused.
The only way people will treat animals better is if they are made to do it by law. Let’s push for stiffer animal protection laws in our state.