Today is the launch of “Unchain A Dog Day,” created by Lady Freethinker, a national non-profit media organization with a mission to end animal suffering and expose cruelty. This initiative is declaring August 8, 2022 “Unchain a Dog Day.”

The “Break the Chain” campaign is designed to raise public awareness for the dangers of keeping a dog chained or tethered, to urge policymakers to ban chaining and tethering and for the public to sign a pledge to never leave dogs chained and speak up if they see a dog suffering. The organization has also created a specific “4 Ways to Help Chained Dogs” guide for people so that they can help and take action. 

Keeping a dog chained or tethered for long periods of time is tremendously cruel. They’re denied basic needs like exploring their surroundings, exercising, and more. Often, they are left chained without proper food, water, or shelter, and aren’t given adequate veterinary care.  

Dog chaining poses serious threats to a dog’s physical and psychological well-being. Dogs have frozen to death in the winter or died of heatstroke in the summer. They can also suffer from strangulation, as a dog’s tether can become tangled easily and they’ve hung themselves accidentally after attempting to jump over a doghouse, tree, or fence.  Countless dogs have died at the end of a chain, including in Knoxville, Tennessee, where two dogs died after they were unable to reach food or water, and in Lee County, Florida, where one pit bull broke her teeth and was strangled after attempting to free herself from a painful chain. In another instance, a dog died in College Station, Texas after being chained up in the summer heat with no food, water, or shelter. All of these deaths could have been avoided if the dogs weren’t trapped on a chain. 

Dogs chained typically live in filth, as they are forced to urinate and defecate in the same space that they eat and sleep in. They’re also vulnerable to aggressive wild animals, free-roaming dogs who might attack them, and cruel people who could seriously harm or kill them. Given their circumstances, it’s no surprise that chained dogs tend to be more aggressive.  According to the American Humane Association, chained dogs are 2.8 times more likely to bite.  

If a dog is left outside with no food, water, or shelter or looks like they are suffering, try politely talking to the owner about bringing the animal indoors. If unsuccessful, note that animal’s location and call Animal Control. If Animal Control is unresponsive, call the local police department. Humans must step in when they see a chained or tethered dog who needs help—their life could depend on it.  

“Right now across the United States, millions of dogs live life chained or tethered 24/7 in all weather conditions,” said Nina Jackel, Founder and President of Lady Freethinker. “Dogs are social and sensitive animals who belong inside with their families—not chained up like inanimate objects in the backyard.  It is time to Break the Chain. Please sign today to pledge to NEVER leave a dog chained or tethered, and share this pledge with your family and friends to urge them to do the same.” 

Lady Freethinker has created a template letter here where you can take further action and urge your local policymakers to enforce chaining and tethering bans in your town. And link here to buy our new Break the Chain unisex jersey short sleeve tee to support the campaign and help raise awareness.