A grassroots group of concerned citizens called People for Dogs say they want the Nova Scotia government to outright ban the permanent and continuous 24/7 tethering / penning of dogs.
The group has launched a public education campaign, an online database of permanently tethered dogs across the province, and a petition that has already obtained over 1,000 Nova Scotian signatures that will be presented in the legislature during the fall sitting.
Liberal MLA and agriculture critic, Leo Glavine says he is very much concerned about the welfare of animals within the province and feels that there is already legislation in place to prevent such inhumane situations as permanently tethered dogs.
Glavine says that “the continuous tethering of dogs is included under the Animal Protection Act or Bill No. 186."
The problem is the act doesn’t clearly define what distress is, so the group has now asked the Minister of Agriculture (John MacDonell) for clarity on the Animal Protection Act, clearly outlining their concerns.
A number of Nova Scotians have since come forward expressing their concerns on how complaints and investigations of permanently tethered dogs are handled. Some say it is increasingly becoming more common for cases of dogs which are permanently tethered to be put on the back burner, and a couple of reported cases have resulted in death.
The group says statistics show that continuously chained dogs are 2.8 times more likely to bite and the victims of chained dog attacks are usually children. They also cite a number of other concerns such as severe anxiety caused by and the inability to act/explore (be a dog), negative wildlife encounters, summer months tolerating extreme heat, fleas and insect bites and in winter, harsh wind chill that can cause them to lose excess body heat that can result in hyperthermia and death. Members of the group say this clearly defines the term distress.
Veterinarians and dog behavior experts have backed the group’s findings, stating that permanently tethered dogs are in fact in distress.
“Dogs are not made to live alone, they need social companionship, and in my opinion, dogs should be inside the house,” said local dog behavior expert Silvia Jay. “The social attachment to the people that care for them is paramount for their welfare.” Jay who wrote a book called Dump Dog about her feral dog she rescued from a dump, supports the cause and believes the issue of permanently tethered/penned dogs needs to be addressed.
Legislation already exists in some U.S. states, and in two British Columbia municipalities which prohibits the 24/7 tethering / penning of dogs. “Nova Scotia wouldn’t be the first and hopes it won’t be the last to introduce such legislation and enforcement,” the group says.
Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/PFDNS
Report a 24/7 chained dog: https://www.breakthechain.ca