When ignorance is not bliss …..

There is nothing … absolutely nothing … that warms the heart better on a damp day than seeing articles in the mainstream media about “renewed calls” from an “increasing number of people” about Anti Tethering.    (Scroll down to the bottom of this post for a sample)

The immediacy of the internet is a double-edged sword.   On one hand, being able to tap into news stories at the click of a mouse lends a whole new dimension to the phrase “breaking news”.   Yet… in a world where readers also have the immediate ability to comment. …. sometimes, the comment section is at least as telling as the story itself!

It is my great hope that someday soon, we will actually see an article about anti tethering that does not include comments from Mr or Mrs Hell No My Little Yard Leash Will Not Go!   Sadly there is still a great deal of confusion as to exactly WHAT impact Anti Tethering legislation would have on Mr or Mrs Everyday Dog Owner!

Typically, someone will write a lovely little tale about how much he or she loves his or her dog and what an essential part of his or her everyday routine that little yard leash clipped by the back door!    Of course, if Mr or Mrs Responsible Dog Owner actually lived next door to a dog that WAS tethered out 24/7, they might have a better understanding of the difference!

The short version of course is that Anti Tethering legislation has NOTHING to do with the little yard leashes that keep family pets safe when they are out in their yards!    The animal advocates who promote Anti Tethering are ALWAYS in favour of folks who take such good care of their pets, eh?

In my perfect fantasy world, that would be the rule rather than the exception!     All dogs would be “well-loved and able to go about their business when they want”

Why do we need an Anti Tethering Law?   The answer is simple of course!    Laws are designed to protect the innocent when common sense and compassion are not enough to compel everyone to “do the right thing”.

It only takes living in the same neighbourhood with one dog tethered out 24/7 to understand the difference.    Those well-meaning kind hearts who worry that Anti Tethering would constitute an inconvenience to themselves have clearly been lucky enough to be blissfully ignorant of how a chained dog actually suffers.

They have never known the frustration of seeing society inspectors have to leave a dog in abject misery simply because there is food, water and some cobbled up sort of shelter on the day the inspector shows up.

They have never had to worry about what might happen if such an untrained, unsocialized and unhappy dog should manage to get loose in their community … among their own children and pets.

Call it what ever you want … I am telling you right now that this sort of ignorance is NOT bliss.   It is, instead, the single greatest obstacle to wide-spread public support for Anti Tethering Legislation!

Lets face it … at its core, Anti Tethering legislation is all about public safety.

What time is it?     The next time Mr or Mrs But I Do the Right Thing pipes up about Anti Tethering, congratulate them for being responsible dog owners!    Thank them for helping to make their community a safer place!    And then remind them that their little yard leash has NOTHING to do with Anti Tethering!

from the CBC news website

Group pushes for ban on chaining dogs in Nova Scotia

There are renewed calls for a ban that would prohibit owners from tethering their dogs to poles for long periods of time in Nova Scotia.

An increasing number of people and organizations say they are concerned about dogs being chained outside all day and all night with little care or human contact.

Henry, A Wheaton Terrier Mix, spent much of his life chained outside

Henry, a Wheaton Terrier cross, spent much of his life chained up outside before he was turned over to the Animal Rescue Coalition and adopted by Anita and Paul Keeping.

“We knew he had been chained up for three years. That he would get a bowl of water put out [and] not a whole lot of food,” said Anita Keeping

The president of the group that rescued Henry said his case may be extreme, but it’s also typical.

In 2011, the Nova Scotia SPCA said it investigated 271 complaints about chained dogs.

Annette Armitage said legislation limits what can be done for dogs like Henry. By law, Nova Scotia only requires dogs have shelter, water and food.

“They’re tied out with no companionship. You look in their eyes and it is just devastating. They’re heart-broken, they’re depressed and they looked defeated. So his case, as in tying and being ignored by his owners and society in general except a few, he is an average case,” she said.

“We need a) tougher laws and b) to enforce them and we the government and powers that be to really assess this,” she said.

The Keepings agree, saying legislation is needed to prevent the kind of abuse Henry suffered.

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