Thou shalt not...um, let's see...today's Tuesday, so...thou shalt not ... tether thy dog.
The petatics are once again attacking dog owners and dog sporters (I know, I know, they do it every day) this time in Charleston West Virginia. According to a news report, a city councilwoman attempted to "show solidarity with dogs" by leashing herself to something stable for a lengthy period of time.
After which she and fellow activists shared a water dish and pooped on the lawn. One of the petatics was even said to have peed on the back of the councilwoman. Okay, so maybe that happened later in the evening...
Back to the present, this councilwoman claims that tethering is a form of abuse. Maybe she saw the photos of prisoner treatment in Abu Ghraib and did some quick inductive reasoning?
That's how we all reason about pets, isn't it?
We see pictures of a horrible *real puppymill* breeding facility, that happens to have over 20 dogs, and we assume all breeding facilities with over 20 dogs are bad.
We hear a few stories about pit bulls with bad owners that attack kids, and we try to ban all pitbulls.
One kid crawls out a doggy door and drowns in a swimming pool, and suddenly doggie doors are a silent, deadly menace.
The truth about tethering is like the truth about anything else. It can be done well, or it can be done badly.
A lot of people successfully use underground fences.
A lot of people use dog crates.
A lot of people go to dog parks.
A lot of people feed their dogs cheap kibble.
A lot of people train their dogs in schutzhund.
A lot of people breed dogs.
A lot of people with kids own dogs.
All "thou shalt nots" to somebody.
Working Pit Bull site has an excellent write up on tethering.
Diane Jessup writes:
"Sadly, anti-dog forces, such as PETA, support anti-tethering laws as another step (along with breed specific legislation) in severing the ages old man/dog bond. They know that most serious working breeds such as racing huskies, hunting dogs and bulldogs are often tethered."
She is spot on the money.
I don't want to spend this post walking through the pros and cons of tethering, Ms. Jessup has already done a great job, including describing an ideal tethering setup.
I will point out that there are only two ways we can have things.
1) Don't restrain the freedom of individuals. Keep the cruelty laws, every state has had cruelty laws in place for a long time.
Or, 2) Prohibit everything that someone thinks is wrong. Tom Naughton presented a good plan for this category. If you choose this option, I'm with Tom.