Dogs Deserve Better
all of you reading this today to make it happen! Get laws in your
city, county, state or country against the chaining and penning of
dogs for life.
The longer we work the issue of chaining and
penning dogs the more we realize we need laws to protect them. Many
letters fall on deaf ears, and even person to person contact often
results in dead ends. Working via education alone is not the fastest
route. Education combined with legislation is the
Lewin, President of Animal Advocacy Connecticut and founder of
National Institute for Animal Advocacy, serves as advisor to Dogs
"As a lobbyist for more than a decade, I've learned important
lessons. First, most legislators' votes about animals
are unknown by the vast majority of their constituents who
care, leaving opponents of humane laws in control.
Second, state policies allow institutional and legal forms of
animal abuse, because our legislators and policymakers have
not been held accountable for their actions by an informed
constituency. Third, inhumane laws and policies do not
reflect the views of the majority, but rather those of
anti-animal minorities with a strong local or national presence.
Fourth, this will not change until animal advocates voice
their feelings to the legislators and let them know they will be
held accountable in the voting booth."
Julie recently lobbied for and got the first state law
prohibiting continuous chaining of dogs in Connecticut. Julie will
come to your organization or community for a training seminar,
e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at
Citizens in communities throughout the U.S. have stood and
changed laws already. We welcome articles from anyone instrumental
in changing chained dog laws. Please e-mail your article to email@example.com.
We all need to pitch in to help get laws passed!
Please send this letter to your local and state representatives
and senators. There is also a letter to the editor in .doc
Legislation in .pdf format
Legislation in .doc format
Letter to the
Editor in .doc format
Below are a couple of sites where you can find out the
name and address of your state and local reps. Also,
Congress.org allows you to send e-mails to them
House of Representatives
Heather Carpenter, Orlando Florida Dogs Deserve Better
rep, has compiled a basic 'to-do' list from a seminar in
changing laws at the AR2003 Conference in DC:
1) SELECT AN ISSUE. Like chaining of
2) EDUCATE YOURSELF ON THE ISSUE. You should be well
informed on the issues surrounding your cause, and not just from a
cruelty aspect. Government officials are concerned about public
safety, public health, and of course animal welfare.
3) RESEARCH YOUR COUNTY'S CURRENT LAWS. They may have
some aspect of a tethering ordinance in place. If not, they may have
an ordinance regarding the confinement of animals. Tethering could
be added onto this already existing ordinance. Remember that http://www.municode.com is a good
resource to look up your county's ordinances, if they're on-line.
Its really easy to use. If your county does not have on-line codes,
go to your local library or clerk of court for a copy of the local
4) FIND A MODEL ORDINANCE. See our Model Laws page for the best laws to
model yours on. The Helping Animals
website, as well as Unchainyourdog.org, have the ordinances
from other counties listed. Your commissioners want to see what's
going on in other communities and probably write their ordinances
based on one already existing. The original six communities all
enforce the law, as well.
5) FIND ALLIES. Your local
humane society or even your local animal control could be helpful.
Also any animal rights or welfare groups, wildlife or environmental
groups may be supportive. Dog obedience trainers or vets may be
6) KNOW YOUR OPPOSITION. Its important to think about
the type of people or groups that may oppose your ordinance. Know
their arguments and be ready to counter. These might be hunters or
low end breeders, or if you live in Alaska or the cold climates,
sled dog groups. These people have large packs of dogs and
frequently keep them chained. They are a working animal to them, not
7) INTRODUCE YOUR ORDINANCE. Find the local
commissioner who has either supported animal friendly laws or
introduced animal friendly laws previously. You can also go to YOUR
local commissioner. If your's is not interested, go to the next one.
Find someone to "sponsor" your ordinance.
LOBBYING. Once you have a sponsor and bill number, lobby the
other commissioners. Provide informational packets to all of them.
Mobilize your group of supporters to contact their commissioners
about the ordinance. You can also get national organizations to
write letters for you.
9) PUBLIC HEARING. Once the ordinance is introduced, a
public hearing is frequently held. Arrange for speakers on your
behalf from different areas, such as animal control, cruelty
investigators, dog bite victims, or a dog trainer or animal
behaviorist. If there is not a public hearing, just a vote, get as
many people as possible to speak.
10) THE VOTE. When you know the commissioners are
going to be voting, get as many phone calls, faxes, letters, emails
to go to them as possible. Make sure they know the majority of the
public wants this. Enacting legislation takes a long time, maybe
even years, but its worth it. Even if you lose, the public will be
better educated and you can try again.
Heather Carpenter, Orlando, FL Dogs Deserve
More Advice on How to Get
Rutter in Maryland, working with DDB rep Lynne Gillis, has
formed the first statewide anti-chaining coalition, called Maryland
Alliance of Dogs Deserve Better expressly to lobby for better
Tips on How to Go About Changing
Laws for Chained Dogs
We all want
better laws to prevent the 24/7 chaining of dogs. Dianne
Lawrence has been working on laws in her area and gives us the
benefit of what she's learned.
Tips from Gloria Zaiger, St. Paul,
We all want
better laws to prevent the 24/7 chaining of dogs. Gloria
Zaiger succeeded in her area and gives us the benefit of what
Suggested Items forYour Chained
Dog Legislaton Packet
The facts about Chained Dogs from
Brochures from Dogs Deserve
Photos and/or video of local chained
Signed petitions from local
(sample petition in .pdf format)
Testimonials from those who have
(Compiled by Heather Carpenter, Orlando, FL DDB
"Joe's Law" in New
Laws Against Animal Cruelty in
Communities who have
Letters from allies, i.e. Humane Officers,
Your proposal, modelled after a
successful law in existence elsewhere
Possible Articles to
Good Article about Children and
Virginia Man Gets
There Ought to Be a
"Chaining: Cruel, Unnecessary, and Too Often
"Mental Health is as Important
as Physical Health"
Dog's Need Time Off the Chain to
Learn Good Behavior
Center for Disease Control
UnchainyourDog.org has some recent News
Dogs Deserve Better is a 501c3 nonprofit