Cheryl Wicks: No dog is ‘fit to be tied’ | TheUnion.com

Cheryl Wicks: No dog is ‘fit to be tied’

Cheryl Wicks
Columnist

Don't tie your dog up? "Why not?" you might ask.

There are so many ways that dogs get tied up that I will address them one at a time. I often see dogs in back of pick ups and trucks. Some tied up, some not.

Sammie's Friends receives several calls a year that go something like this, "My dog fell out of the back of the truck and got drug, run over, hung itself."

If it hung itself, well, there is nothing that can be done, sad as that is. If it has been drug or run over it usually means a substantial veterinary bill.

When Sammie's Friends gets called it's because the owner doesn't have the funds to pay the bill. We always help.

It's not the poor animal's fault. The bills are usually over $1,000 to repair broken bones, torn foot pads, ripped toenails, deep abrasions, etc.

Recommended Stories For You

By letting your dog ride in the cab all the suffering the dog goes through, the emotional turmoil the owner goes through, the scramble for money Sammie's Friends goes through and the emergency surgery the vet tries to cram into an already booked day can be avoided.

Some dogs are tied up to trees and posts to keep them on the property. It is illegal to tie your dog for more than three hours.

There is no better way to make your dog aggressive and mean than to tie it up for extended periods of time. While your dog can't escape the property, it also can't escape any other animal (domestic or wild) that might come on the property and attack your animal.

Dogs are intelligent beings and being confined at the end of a six foot or slightly longer rope with nothing to do but look at the same thing hour after hour, day after day would make anyone angry and aggressive. They can't entertain themselves because they can't go far enough to run off some energy. They get lonely because everyone is gone, either at work, school or in the house.

Dogs are social animals and need your company. Dogs also need plenty of exercise.

I see small dogs tied up outside restaurants and shops, while their owner is inside. I sometimes simultaneously see big dogs, (i.e. Rottweillers, Pitbulls, Akita's German Shepherd's) go by on the sidewalk. This presents a perfect opportunity for a disaster. It's not uncommon for big dogs to be a bit predatory around small dogs.

One nab by the neck to an unprotected dog and you may have a dead dog. I actually saw this once. What a tragedy. I also read frequently enough about dogs being stolen, especially small dogs. Better to dine where there is an outdoor patio and you can keep your dog with you.

Some dogs get put on runners where they have a little more maneuverability than tied up on a rope, and while that is not illegal, it is dangerous.

I know of several dogs who have gotten tangled up and hung themselves. What a tragic death. Their families don't feel very good about this knowing they were responsible, though not intentional. In the famous words of Maya Angelou, "When you know better you do better."

Now you know better.

Sometimes your only option is an invisible fence. While those keep most dogs in, not all.

Some dogs decide it's worth the momentary discomfort of an electrical shock to bust through the invisible fence because what's on the other side is very interesting. Once they bust out they can't come back in without being shocked. No dog will do that, because what's inside is known to them and not motivating enough to get shocked again.

The other problem with an invisible fence is while it keeps your animal in, it doesn't keep other animals out, which could allow for an animal to enter the fenced off area and hurt your animal.

It is very difficult to give your dog the proper care if you do not have a fenced yard to keep the animal in. There are, of course, exceptions.

If you have an active dog and you can get up early enough to give your doggie a good run or walk or ball chase in the park that may be enough until evening when you do that again. In that case your dog may be able to stay in the house.

Some people come home at lunch time and give their dog a quick pottie break or hire a neighborhood teenager to take the dog out for a bit so it can go to the bathroom.

Our dogs are precious creatures. Please take care of yours and don't let them get hurt, stolen or killed.

Cheryl Wicks is the co-founder and president of Sammie's Friends.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.