We the people, who are currently registered voters in Indiana have willfully signed this petition out of concern for the safety of our community members and the humane treatment of animals in our community. We the taxpayers respectfully request the following:
Addendum to current animal laws to prohibit the chaining or tethering of dogs, except when all of the following conditions are met:
(1) The canine is in visual range of the responsible party, and the responsible party is located outside with the canine.
(2) The tether is connected to the canine by a properly fitting collar or a body harness made of nylon or leather, not less than one inch in width.
(3) The tether has the following properties: it is at least five times the length of the canine%u2019s body, as measured from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail.
(4) The canine is tethered in such a manner as to prevent injury, strangulation, or entanglement.
(5) No canine shall be outside during a period of extreme weather, including without limitation extreme heat or near-freezing temperatures, thunderstorms, tornadoes, tropical storms, or hurricanes.
(6) All canines have access to water, shelter, and dry ground.
(7) The canine is at least six months of age. Puppies shall not be tethered.
(8) The canine is not sick or injured.
(9) If there are multiple canines, each canine is tethered separately.
Please consider the following:
Permanent tethering of a dog is not only cruel and inhumane, but it creates aggression in dogs and therefore promotes dangerous environments for our community members. The ASPCA reports 81% of fatal dog attacks involve dogs that are isolated. Tethered dogs suffer with hunger from sporadic feedings, overturned water bowls, little to no exercise or regular socialization. Chained dogs spend their entire lives eating, sleeping, urinating and defecating in a single confined area. They are exposed to extreme temperatures such as cold, heat and rain; heartworm disease; snakes, bugs, rodents, flea and tick infestationsand a magnitude of other parasites. Typical of a chained dog is laceration to the neck where the collar has become imbedded or is too tight fitting and the area becomes raw.
Many states and local governments across the U.S have already banned permanent tethering. Jurisdictions that have prohibited permanent tethering have experienced safer communities for people and pets, as well as significant reductions in animal cruelty cases, nuisance complaints, animal bites and attacks.
What's Wrong With Tethering?
Aside from being deprived of a life of socialization, tethered dogs are often the victims of abuse and neglect, suffering from sporadic feedings, empty water bowls, inadequate veterinary care and exposure to weather extremes. They are forced to eat, sleep, urinate and defecate in the same confined area, which goes against their natural instincts. Tethered dogs also suffer neck injuries from collars that have grown embedded into their skin%u2014some even strangle to death when chains become entangled with other objects. Chained in place, they are also helpless to defend themselves against stray dogs and wild animals who may invade their space, or taunting by humans. In addition, unaltered chained dogs are likely to attract strays, leading to unwanted litters.
Tethering for short time periods in an animal-friendly environment (access to water, shelter, toys for example) is generally harmless. However, keeping a dog on a tether for the majority of the day often leads to negative behavior changes. Tethered dogs run a high risk of becoming %u201Cstir crazy%u201D due to the inability to release their energy and socialize with others. With dogs, boredom often leads to frustration, which, in turn, often leads to aggression.
Please let their voice be heard in Indiana, Mans' best friend deserves better than life on a chain.