Dogs Deserve Better - Chain Off 2007 LogoChain Off 2007 • Unchain the 50!
Freedom for Chained Dogs All Across America

(and Canada too)

This Year’s 4th of July Event marks our 5th Annual Chain Off, and we’re going More Grassroots than EVER, with a Goal of at least ONE PERSON per state living chained to a Doghouse for 8-24 hours in our Fabulous “Unchain the 50” Campaign!

We’re excited to announce TWO Main Unchain the 50 Events, East Coast and West Coast. The East Coast Event will take place at Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia, details are below, and the West Coast Event will take place at Marymoor Park near Seattle, Washington. A very special thanks to Susan Hartland and Pam Cheatham for their hard work in setting up the locations.

Tammy Grimes will live chained in Atlanta for 29 hours June 30-July 1; anyone else who would like to represent their state by coming and living chained with Tammy is cordially invited.

This year Grimes, of Tipton, Pa., was scheduled to bring her protest and a group of chained humans to Piedmont Park on Saturday and today, along with information on why people shouldn’t tether their pets. It’s an idea that’s growing across the country.

“We’re very excited to have the Chain Off in such a big city,” said Grimes, who founded Dogs Deserve Better in 2002, a group that educates people on the cruelty and danger of chaining dogs.

Grimes and at least 12 other people had signed up to be chained up over this weekend. In all, 74 people in 29 states planned to chain themselves this weekend, Grimes said. Carrie Teska, a law librarian from Kennesaw who will be chained for 24 hours, said she hopes the event makes people reconsider chaining.

“I think it’s something most people just don’t really think about,” said Teska, who has three co-workers also taking part. “We’re just trying to make people aware of the problem.”

And there are plenty of problems with chaining, Grimes said. Dogs are very social animals, and chaining them is like banishing them. It also puts them at risk of attacks by other animals, subjects them to the weather and pests and makes them available to be stolen or injured.

And studies have shown that chained dogs are more likely to bite or attack because they are frustrated and poorly socialized, making them more dangerous to the community, especially children.

“It’s not just a problem in your neighborhood, it’s a national problem,” Grimes said.

It’s also a problem that’s getting attention. Last month, the city of Gainesville passed an ordinance making it illegal to chain a dog. Gwinnett County passed a similar law in January, and DeKalb County passed legislation in July 2005 making it illegal to tether a dog for more than 12 hours a day.

“That’s one of the reasons we came to Georgia, because people here seem to be taking the problem seriously,” Grimes said.

Her group provides information on how to get dogs off chains, as well as small grants to fence in yards. They also will take in chained dogs, rehabilitate them and find them new homes. Pam Cheatham, regional coordinator for DDB covering five Southern states, including Georgia, said they try to make it a positive experience when working with people.

“We ask them what we can do to help them get their dog into their home,” said Cheatham. “We can help with housebreaking, training, and we can put in a decent fence for about $150. People are usually very grateful. We don’t judge. We just want to help people and their dogs.”

Because of city rules, the chained people couldn’t spend the night in Piedmont Park, but they were scheduled to be in the park 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m. each day.

Nancy Green of Snellville, who said she planned to be chained for about seven hours each day, was dedicating it to the memory of one of her dogs, who was badly abused before she got her.

“I just can’t imagine how lonely it must be out there for these dogs, rarely seeing anybody, in all kinds of heat and cold,” Green said. “How incredibly sad they must be.”

Grimes said every year she’s done the event, there comes a time when she forgets and gets up to get something, only to have the collar and chain snap her back.

“It’s always such a shock, like, ‘Oh, yeah, I can’t do anything,’ ” Grimes said. “It’s a terrible feeling. A dog may survive on a chain for 15 years — we can survive in prison — but is that right if we haven’t committed a crime?”

For more information or to make a donation, go to www.dogsdeservebetter.org. (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

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