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« Who's the criminal here? | Main | Sadness »

December 17, 2007

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Monica Schreiber

I am less concerned about government intrusion than you are, but you hit the nail on the head repeatedly here. I happen to be a member of Dogs Deserve Better and a huge supporter of Tammy. I also am the queen of 'shades of gray.' My 7 or 8 years as a newspaper reporter and my subsequent career as a lawyer taught me that there are not just two sides to every story. There are often, three, four, ten or twenty sides. Sometimes, everyone is a little right and a little wrong.

Your final analysis is on the money: no matter what their faults, reasonable anti-tethering laws usually make sense, help end horrific suffering, and push our laws and society toward compassion and away from blind habit. At the end of the day, we can err on the side of protecting a means of confinement favored by breeders, dogfighters, hillbillies and people too lazy to properly care for a dog, or we can err on the side of encouraging compassionate animal ownership. I think most reasonable people would choose the latter.

What IS it with that Dog Politics woman, anyway? My goodness. I guess she thinks laws against dog fighting also are an intrusion on her personal property rights?

Caveat

Good post with lots of food for thought.

I understand why Grimes did this and as a person with a lifelong abhorrence of animal neglect, I'm glad that the case garnered attention. Since I always had a good relationship with AC and they knew I only called when it was important, they showed up for me when necessary, ie, when trying to educate the owner didn't work and a dog or other animal was suffering as a result.

Incidentally, I don't know any 'breeders' who chain their dogs and I am not acquainted with hillbillies, maybe because I live in Canada. Not that many people tie their dogs out up here like they do in warmer climes.

My objection to these kinds of laws is that, like the laws supported by H$U$, they tend to be overbroad and overreaching.

For example, one of my pet peeves about unsupervised dogs that are outdoors (and I have many) is that they are often accessible by the public. This includes loose dogs, kids who tease, unwitting youngsters and bullies of all stripes. If there were a way to legislate a provision that would address that, I'd support it.

I don't like the idea of dogs being tethered in front yards because dogs should not interact with the public when the owner is not present.

I would never, ever, leave my property and have my dogs outside of the house because I don't want them exposed to harm.

That said, I totally disagree with all these dog ownership regulations because people who have not researched or analyzed the subject, ie, officials, keep throwing good money after bad and chipping away, little by little, at constitutional rights.

Dogs, thanks to media sensationalization, make an excellent red herring which allow officials to remove civil rights. So today you give up property rights, tomorrow it's due process, then it's presumption of innocence...

In Ontario, using the pretext of protecting people from dangerous 'pit bulls' (ha ha) we now have an entire class of dog owner subject to:

1. Unreasonable search and seizure including warrantless entry into a residence.
2. Reverse onus - presumption of guilt in a hearing, where if the Crown (our DA) says a dog is a 'pit bull'in a civil hearing, the owner must prove it is not, ie, prove an impossible negative.
3. Restrictions on mobility - there are towns and cities that have ramped up the persecution (as allowed by law) so that if someone's vet is in that city and they live outside of it, they must pay every time they take their dog to the vet. If an Ontario resident leaves the province with their 'pit bull' and is away for more than 89 days, they cannot bring their dog back into the province with them. A dog owner whose dog fits the profile cannot drive from Manitoba to Quebec through Ontario without breaking the law and risking a fine, jail time and an automatic death sentence for their dog. (Our nation's capital, Ottawa, is in Ontario). And so on.

4. Stigmatization - owners must muzzle their unoffending dogs who appear to fit the vaguely defined shape of a 'pit bull', regardless of the dog's behaviour. In some cities, owners must put a big sticker on their house - either 'pit bull' or 'dangerous dog' is the message - again, regardless of their own or their dog's behaviour. Owners of perceived 'pit bulls' must, in many towns, allow their dogs to be photographed for licensing purposes. Owners of any other shape of dog are not subject to any of this unless an individual dog has been declared 'dangerous'.

There's more, but my point is that all this evil was wrought by people who purport to be concerned about public safety - even though all the breeds and mixes which they think are 'pit bulls' have never been a problem, outside of a few sensationalized incidents. Horrific, yes. Grounds for weeping public policy? No.

Tethering needs to be studied. Anecdotal evidence is not enough. And to me most important of all, penalizing the innocent in order to possibly capture a few of the guilty is unacceptable.

If somebody can come up with a humane, logical, fact-based fair policy, I would obviously support it.

Again, you make some excellent points.

MichelleD

I'm not sure I think she did anything illegal - at least not more so than the AC and the judge did. The real crime here are the "authorities" that did nothing - where are their charges? Why are they not held accoutable for NOT doing their job to uphold the law?

Joan Sinden

for some reason - Barb Haywood decided to not publish a comment I made to her post about Tammy Grimes being found guilty in the Doogie case. Like a couple of the other commenters to your blog entry, I am a long time member of DDB, and I agree with your blog posting - I'm going to post it here and see if you can understand why she didn't post it - I'd imagine you'll understand why - maybe it's because I said some true things - #1 PETA supports BSL AND they support chaining, and #2 Barb Haywood is nothing more than a t-shirt company herself -

"Dogs Deserve Better has NOTHING to do with PETA. Yes, they suport BSL, and they ALSO support CHAINING - Tammy has put out MULTIPLE press releases against PETA. Get your facts straight. And where do you get off denigrating a CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION for raising funds through selling t-shirts and paraphenalia? You are a corporation that EXISTS SOLELY TO SELL T-SHIRTS!!!! Any person in their right mind would've done the compassionate thing and did exactly what Tammy Grimes did on the day that Doogie's life was saved - and the would've suffered the same consequences under the law that Tammy is now facing - and she's doing it with her head held high. I don't know if YOU'D be that brave. I think you'd just hide under the auspices of NAIA or the Centre for Consumer Freedom and try to get off legally some other way. Because that's the groups YOU'RE affiliated with. You're a joke, as usual."

Thanks,

MDog

Great post, Brent. You're always so reasonable and logical. (The woman over at Dog Politics, on the other hand ... whew!) I agree very much with what you said about shades of gray.

I do believe that Tammy Grimes did the right thing, but I also believe that she stole a dog. As you said, sometimes activists have to do what they believe is right, even if that means being punished for it later.

I also agree with you on anti-tethering laws. I think it's unfortunate that we even have to think about having laws like that, but unfortunately, there are too many people who will do just enough that their situation cannot be addressed under these "laws we already have" that people like the Dog Politics woman love to point out, but that still result in their dog being kept in deplorable conditions unfit for any living being.

There's a dog a few blocks from my house that I pass every day on my daily walks with my dog. He is chained in the front yard of a house, with no barrier between him and the public. He has a ramshackle, plywood, sorriest-excuse-for-a-dog-house dog house I've ever seen. He is outside 24/7, including during the most freezing cold nights, such as during the recent ice storm, during which I drove by and saw him huddled in his "house." He has those dead-looking eyes I've seen on so many neglected/chained dogs. If I had the guts to steal him (and a place to keep him) I would. I could call animal control right now and they'd say, sorry, nothing we can do.

We need something to address these types of situations where caring people won't be forced to look the other way or perform criminal acts to help an obviously suffering being.

Brent

Monica -- There are a lot of shades of gray.It's exactly why we have our court system is to analyze these grey areas. I think ethics can be situational. I think stealing is wrong, but in Grimes' instance, I think it's much more understandable than someone just breaking into someone's home and taking their TV. Even though technically the same law is broken.

Caveat -- The vast majority of animal behavior experts and veterinarians agree that 24/7/365 tethering is not good for the temperament of dogs (now how much of that is based on real research vs anecdotal evidence is up for debate). I don't need a lot more evidence that consistent tethering is a bad idea. The problem is creating a law that solves the problem, but is not over-reaching. Certainly not all tethering is bad (ie the woman at the nursing home that ties her small poodle out to pee for 20 minutes 3x a day). I think getting the law written and enforced in a way that deals with problems and not non-problems is the key. It also takes some trust that animal control will actually enforce the law in a smart way -- and trust isn't something city's have a lot of right now (and rightfully so). The big fear is that Animal Control officers would use this as an excuse to just confiscate a tethered dog if someone wasn't home (ehem KCK) which gets into a whole other realm of unconstitutional searches and siezures. There are a few policies out there that are seeming to be working -- but I fear that they may have more to do with the people enforcing the law than the law itself.

Speaking of which, yes, Michelle, MDog -- the thing that is COMPLETELY lost in all of this is that Grimes was punished because animal control completely failed to do its job. This continues to be a sweeping problem across the US (not just us in KC) and there seems to be little outlash at AC for not doing its job in the first place (which would solve a whole host of problems).

Joan - -I have no idea why she wouldn't run your comment. Ha. I feel like a lot of the people like Barb -- while right in some ways -- end up causing more harm than good because they continue to waive the flag of property rights and refuse to acknowledge that there are any problems or solutions to those problems...which right or wrong, doesn't cut it in the city council chambers.

Caveat

I agree that the property rights argument is a weak one - eminent domain, anyone?

I also love dogs and hate to seem them neglected and mistreated.

I doubt that anyone supports lifetime tethering, that wasn't my point. I meant (and sorry I didn't proofread my comment 'sweeping public policy', although it does make me weep) basically what you meant - that policy must be fair, logical, enforceable and universal to be effective.

As for AC, they are falling down on the job almost everywhere. After reading Winograd's eye-opening book, I realize that a culture of complacency has developed in the 'humane' movement which trickles down to front-line workers.

The funny thing is, they don't have to be out enforcing all day, every day. A few charges with appropriate penalities have a way of smartening people up quickly and sending the message that violations will not be tolerated.

As for Dog Politics, well, I love that blog because it makes me think of where I stand on some issues. It also highlights a lot of the hypocrisy inherent in the animal rights movement and in political circles. Whether I always agree or not, DP is worth visiting to get information that is not readily available anywhere else.

It's a free continent, more or less, so if people want to state their opinion I have no problem with it as long as I'm free to state mine.

MichelleD

MDog, please keep calling on the dog and make them tell you they won't do anything. At least make them have to log another call they don't respond too. Also contact the Pet Assistance Program at www.snkc.net. They can at least get the dog a good dog house...

EmilyS

"The correlation of dogs being left on chains as their primary form of containment and people being bitten by dogs is undeniable."

Have you ever heard the phrase "correlation is not causation"?
In fact. the only study of tethered dogs does NOT support the common belief that tethering causes aggression.

Just because people believe something, doesn't make it true. (Many people believe pit bulls are dangerous..)

Dogs on chains may be aggressive because... aggressive dogs are put on chains. Or dogs on chains may be aggressive because they are isolated from their people, frustrated and neglected. They would be the same if they were NOT chained.

Tammy Grimes stole this dog and refused to return it. There were many ways she could have highlighted the (alleged) poor conditions under which this dog existed that didn't involve stealing it. She chose an illegal one. I'm sure she's now disappointed that she's NOT going to jail, which would make her martyrdom complete.

I don't care if she's a PETA/HSUS/BestFriends cult member or not. She's got her OWN cult now.. the cult of "we know best how YOU should treat your dog and we will steal it if we don't like your methods".

Prepare for more thefts, and some really bad consequences, for dogs and for people. I predict someone is going to get hurt.

Will you still be applauding then?

Brent

Emily, maybe you missed it, but I agree that she should have been punished for theft. I also agree that stealing is wrong. In fact, when I heard about this this weekend, I decided NOT to cover it on the blog, because it was exactly what I expected to happen. She was guilty. Even video taped her guilt -- and got punished.

I'm pretty sure that Tammy has no desire to go to jail,and in reality, believes she is should have been innocent because it was justifyable. Just because Barb says it, doesn't make it true either.

And yes, I'll note that I used the word "correlation" very intentionally. I'll also note that the one study you refer to, in its conclusions, admits that it was unable to control all the variables and that more study would be needed to draw better conclusioins.

I will note that nearly every expert in the country in animal behavior believes that prolonged tethering in many situations can lead to aggression. These are the same experts that are against BSL. I tend to side with experts.

And yes, many people need to be told how they should treat their dog. This is why we have cruelty laws, and dog fighting laws. In an ideal world, it would go without saying that a dog should not be fought, and should be fed, have shelter, water, not be beaten, etc. But apparently, that's not the case. In fact, most places have (rightfully) made this a felony. So unless you think we should get rid of cruelty laws, and dog fighting laws, then we've already agreed that not everyone knows how they should treat their dogs. If you think we should get rid of cruelty/fighting laws, I've got no help for you.

So if you're so against anti-tethering laws, let me ask you this. As the number of dog bites continues to increase in many communities, what would you do to slow it down? Many places start down the road of BSL to slow this down. We both agree that this is poor policy (both over inclusive and under inclusive) and has been proven not to work.

So what would you recommend? And if the answer is "nothing", how can you justify having an increasing problem that you do nothing about (keep in mind here, I'm talking bites, not fatalities -- which really aren't a statistical problem)?

Marjorie

Chained dogs show a very predictable behaviour pattern; so much so that, I have often presumed a particular dog came from an environment where it was regularly chained, only to be proven correct, upon further investigation.

Here's the thing. There are two main aspects to chaining. One is the restriction from normal socialization experiences which leads to social ineptness (at best). Over time, lack of socialization leads to all sorts of anti-social behaviours in both dogs and people; one of the worst forms being aggression.

The second aspect is the "frustration" it induces. It was called "frustrative aggression" in one study of chained dogs. In humans, it is often called "frustration aggression". It can also be called "spatial restriction-induced aggression". Regardless, the cause is the physical restriction from normal socialization experiences which leads to increasing frustration, and readily transfers to the development of aggressive behaviours.

This form of aggression is also caused by tight leashing, caging, and fencing, as well.

Not all chained dogs necessarily develop aggression because of these two, main factors. Many just haven't developed aggressive behaviours...yet. But even without the blatant aggression, chaining is absolutely wrong for dogs because they are socially-dependent creatures. (In this sense, chaining, in and of itself, might not be wrong for, say, solitary creatures.)

Dogs are hard-wired to look to their pack leaders for everything: when it's time to eat, time to sleep, time to play, and when to feel threatened. It is unnatural for them to ever be alone. (It's scarcely a marked improvement to have them within sight of the owner, or other dogs, without direct physical contact. That also does not meet a dog's basic psychological needs for contact.)

We teach our dogs to accept being left alone for short periods, because it is a necessity in human homes, at times. But, even then, it can cause stress and anxiety for the dog. That's why responsible owners minimize the amount of time their dogs are alone.

Chaining, no matter how it's prettied up or defended, is for the convenience of ignorant, apathetic, or malevolent owners who refuse to take the time to supervise and/or train their dogs.

I don't chain. ...Never have. I've lived most of my life with unfenced properties. I've re-trained many difficult dogs, all without any "need" for chaining. As such, I will never "buy" the argument that anyone "needs" to chain any dog, except briefly, in an emergency-type situation. I am also against any form of leaving dogs unsupervised outside the home:

http://www.goodpooch.com/MyGoodPooch/unsupervised.htm#chaining

DDBrep6

Emily,
You can blow things out of proportion to meet your own ends all you like. The fact is that we (DDB) have rescued thousands of dogs by owner relinquish over the past 5 years. If one isolated incident left Tammy with no other choice than to remove the dog from the property, then let her pay the price and be done with it. No one in rescue is interested in stealing your dog, or mine. In reality, many of us are so overwhelmed by the dogs we are trying to rehome that the thought of taking in one more is not something we look forward to.
If you knew the facts of this case you would know that Tammy only refused to hand the dog over because they ( the police ) told her they were going to return him to his abusers. And she did HIGHLIGHT the neglect, the neighbor called pleading for help for THREE DAYS what part of that don't you get ?
Now, if AC had done their job, and actually responded, they would have taken him and vetted him and kept him safe in order to prove neglect. This is the proper chain of events in proving any case. They had no intention of building a case against the Arnolds, their only interest was returning to them their stolen property.

Since when was there only ONE study on tethered dogs ? What planet are to on anyway ?
Now this is going to get lengthy but pay attention because you will learn something from EXPERTS :
What the experts say about tethering :
Experts agree that chaining increases aggression in some dogs. "Rather than protecting the owner or property, a chained dog is often fearful for itself, particularly poorly socialized dogs or those with a previous negative experience," says Rolan Tripp, affiliate professor of animal behavior at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Colorado State University ( not an ARling ). "When tethered and exposed to a potentially threatening stimulus, one thing the dog definitely knows is, `I can't get away.' In that circumstance, a reasonable response might be, `Therefore I'm going to try and scare you away by growling or, worse yet, biting.' "

Myrna Milani, a veterinary ethologist and author of several books on animal behavior, agrees.( not an ARling ) "I specifically see increased aggression when a dog feels responsible for protecting the owner and that person's belongings," she says. "Under those circumstances, restraint of any kind makes it impossible for the dog to freely explore any perceived threat to determine whether it poses any danger or get away from it if it does."

Adding to this chorus is veterinarian Elizabeth Shull, president of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists.( Not an ARling ) "In addition to frustration, the constant physical restraint promotes excessive territoriality, which may be manifested as aggression. These attacks are completely unnecessary as they are easily preventable by using a secure fence for containment," Shull says. This leaves the dog with the option of making a lot of noise (barking its head off!) and looking as scary as possible (lips curled, teeth showing, coat fluffed) in hopes of frightening the perceived threat, or to bite when that threat gets too close. Thus, too often, biting becomes the chosen response when a bark would have done. Sadly, the person on the other end of the teeth is often a child, a delivery person or another dog that just wanted to play.

Dog bite statistics show that children are the most common victims. This then becomes a tragedy for all involved: the victim, the dog and the owner who is now liable for injuries that could have been avoided. "Another thing to consider is that dogs are social animals," says Janice Willard, veterinary ethologist from Moscow, Idaho.( Not an ARling ) "They need to have company to live normal, healthy lives. Most dogs live in a human family that fills their biological need for companionship. But a chained, solitary dog is in the worst of circumstances. Not only are they starved for social contact, but often they have poor social skills from lack of experience. And they often live in a state of sensory deprivation. Their environment is barren, and they have nothing to explore or play with. They have nothing to do but pace the tiny space allotted to them. Or they become frustrated by the tantalizing world just out of their reach, increasing their anxiety and agitation."

The worst punishment for people in prison is solitary confinement, while the military uses the silent treatment as a nonviolent but highly effective means of reprimand. But these are only temporary measures; a dog may be committed to the same treatment for most of its life. What crimes did these dogs commit to deserve such a fate? If you need to secure your dog, get a big fence. If you need a security system, install an electronic one. If you want a dog but aren't willing to love it and consider its needs, get a stuffed one. Chaining a dog all the time is no way to treat a thinking, breathing, trusting, loving creature

Caveat

I don't think the number of dog bites is increasing statistically. As there are more and more people and also more and more dogs, there will be more incidents numerically, that's a given.

Due to media hyperbole, etc, people will be more likely to overreact to a nip and report a nip because it has been made into a much bigger deal than it is so that will inflate the numbers.

There's really no reason to add any regulations to dog ownership - there are enough on the books, most of them useless, most of them unenforced and unenforceable.

I suggest that looking at existing laws and making sure they mean what people think they mean and possibly upping penalties would be far more effective than over-regulating dog owners, as we see in many places now.

Dog ownership is benign. Dogs are benign. A tiny minority of bad guys is not sufficient to justify the erosion and in many cases the removal of longstanding civil rights.

It's funny that prior to the advent of AR outfits which has happened in only the past 25 years or so, things were pretty peaceful overall. Stirring up trouble is right out of any activist's handbook - create a fuss, get media attention, put a face on it - but most of it's nonsense and the rest of it can be easily addressed in a fair and logical manner.

my final two cents on this.

Becky

Admit I'm in here way too late, but must comment for my own peace of mind.

I must support Tammy Grimes' decision and actions. She completed a proper 'rescue' and I do not believe that her intention was to be a martyr. I do not see 'shades of grey' here, nor do I believe that aquitting her would lead to a bunch of indefensible thefts.

As Brent pointed out, AC neglected to respond and perform their duty, which may have spared both Doogie and Tammy.

The conditions in which Doogie was found were unacceptable and deplorable and there is plenty of evidence of this. Just because this evidence was not permitted in a court of law does not mean that it did not exist and was not real.

Those who commit immoral acts and misery within the boundaries of the 'LAW' are still guilty of committing immoral acts and misery.

This is not just about tethering dogs. I do not believe that any person with good conscience and an iota of compassion could leave this dog laying any longer than Tammy did.

I also believe there is a lot more to this case than has been openly published. To those who believe Tammy was just putting on a show, I say, what about this owner who clearly did not care about this dog? WHY would he want him back if not for his own agenda and/or ego?

The fact is that Tammy was not permitted to enter evidence in her own defense which may have ruled in her favor, as well as find the owner guilty of neglect.

It is also a fact that animal cruelty and neglect are very serious problems. Those who choose to protect their own guilt by using laws that were never intended to protect them from these crimes are wrong.

Our right to own property is indeed extremely important. However, this law is not intended to protect us from criminal neglect and/or abuse of an animal in our care. If we use this law to protect us from such, we are still guilty.

Becky

Even tho probably no one is reading this anymore, I want to add another statement (for the record!)

In all this debate, I think it is sickening that Tammy was charged and convicted of theft. I believe this is a very sad comment on the selfishness and meaness of our society today. All of the documentation and evidence of the rescue of a suffering, dying dog was suppressed in the name of protecting an animal neglector's 'rights' to inflict suffering. There's a huge difference here and it should not be that difficult to establish this in a court of law, in the name of Truth and Justice.

Brent

Becky,

I appreciate your stance on this. While I don't begrudge Tammy for what she did, I think it would be a very dangerous precedent to have not prosecuted her. Animal Welfare people and organizations do not, and should not, have law enforcement powers. In order to make the whole process work, we should have to work through our local law enforcement people.

In this case, it sounds like Tammy tried that to no avail, but we certainly should strive to put the onus of enforcement on licensed law enforcement people -- for all of our protections.

Becky

I agree w/ what you say, Brent -- of course, it was necessary to arrest and prosecute her -- agreed, it is important to follow legal procedure. But in the name of the law, truth and justice, her self defense and documentation should have been permitted and she should have been found innocent of theft. I am convinced that she believed this is what would happen -- the very reason that she documented her actions and Doobie's conditions as she did. Perhaps she should have countered w/ accusations against the owner of abuse and neglect. If she tried and failed at this, then I would see this as a failure in our legal system.

I believe that this story sets a very dangerous precendent itself!

Joan Sinden

Hello - I wanted to make one last clarification to your post about this topic - Dogs Deserve Better is NOT an anti-tethering organzation - we do not exist just to change laws - we are mostly a rescue organization - so to suggest that we are just an anti-tethering organzation as you did in this post is wrong. We mostly rescue, and rehabilitate formerly chained dogs and find them new homes, and we also help dog owners who want to find solutions to so that they can bring their dogs to live with them indoors rather than continuing to keep them outdoors. We provide educational materials and traning options. Anti-tethering legislation is only a very small part of our mandate. As for some of the other very glaring inaccuracies in Barb Haywood's post that you were commenting on in your post here - I wrote a rebuttal at http://dogkisser.blogspot.com/2007/12/tammy-grimes-bsl-and-talking-out-side.html if you're interested. Thanks.

Brent

Joan,

Part of me feels like I should appologize for apparently annoying you with my calling Dogs Deserve Better an "Anti-tethering organization".

However, when you go to dogsdeservebetter.org -- the Home Page comes up with "Dogs Deserve Better Home: No Chained Dogs!" followed by a Mission Statement on the said home page that says "Dogs Deserve Better is a nonprofit organization dedicated to freeing the chained dog and bringing our "best friend" into the home and family".

While certainly legislation is only a small part of what the group does, education on anti-tethering is certainly a large part. As for the rescue part, no where on the site does it really mention you as being a rescue organization. Certainly, the DDB reps in my area do a fair amount of rescue. Pretty much anyone who takes any interest in dogs in any way ends up being a "rescue" of some type (including me).

I'd recommend not assuming that everyone is a hater and going out of your way to call people liars, etc - especially when those people agree with you.

TK

EmilyS referred to the "study" that somehow "proved" that tethering did not cause aggression?

Unfortunately, this is a complete misrepresentation of a study that breeders used for their own devices. What EmilyS wrote just isn't true.

Here is an account of someone who actually investigated this breeder claim- "I told Dr. Houpt that her study is being used to discourage you, Ashland's council, from passing a tethering limit.

How ironic--because Dr. Houpt personally likes the idea of Ashland having a tethering limit. When I told her that our proposed limit is three hours in 24, she said, "I certainly think that's reasonable."

Dr. Houpt personally believes, "It would be better if all dogs lived in homes." Does this animal behaviorist think that tethering causes animals to suffer? She took off her Cornell University hat and spoke candidly to me, as one person to another. She told me the US Centers for Disease Control study showed that tethered dogs are statistically more likely to kill people. Why would tethering make dogs more deadly? Dr. Houpt postulates that the tethering frustrates the dogs.

Frustration is a form of suffering. So obviously, Dr. Houpt believes tethering causes at least some dogs to suffer."

Joan Sinden

Brent, I think I'm the one who needs to apologize - because I think you're the one who was obviously annoyed if you think I called you a liar - I'm not sure where you got that from. I'm sure you understand the power of language - and calling DDB an "anti-tethering organization" when nopitbullbans.com is putting out posts comparing "anti-tethering" legislation to a man accused of child molsestation and murder, and "anti-tethering" legislation is indicative of how all we left wing-nut politico's are trying to take away from the proper dog owning public of their property and privacy rights, you can understand why I would rather the DDB be more properly be associated (correctly) with rescue and education - which is what the DDB does - in addition to legislation. It has nothing at all to do with you being a liar. The DDB certainly does not need any more enemies at this point if you know what I mean and I have seen your positive posts about the organization in the past. Sleeping with a former chained dog every night and living next door to a dog who is chained out 365 days a year has made me sometimes not be perhaps the best of editors when it comes to this subject.

Brent

DDBRep6,

Hey, I'm not sure you'll ever see this note, but I wanted to appologize for not getting your comment up sooner. Typepad has a spam filter that will automatically put things in a spam folder -- and I just noticed it today. Your excellent comment was in there and I appologize that more people didn't get a chance to read it.

Brent

DA

Sorry this is about a year late...but just ran across this and was impressed that someone actually spoke out. You are right that not everything can be black or white, but so many people categorize themselves this way. For instance, Dog Politics, Responsible Dog Owner or Blue Dog groups are against anything and everything that doesn't fit into their narrow ideology and on the opposite end of the spectrum are groups like PETA with people thinking the same. There will always be a certain number of people who are strict in their thinking in almost every organization and it's easy to become that. Sometimes though we have to stop and take a hard look at what is right and wrong, no matter what side we are on. It's so easy to put everyone under a big umbrella of "Animal Rights" and throw a lot of accusations at them linking them together, when in truth, sometimes people are just doing what they feel is good, right and necessary. If you've lived next door to a 24/7 chained dog and tried to get help for the dog and found it was next to impossible, you are more likely to understand. If these "Responsible Dog Owner" groups would put as much emphasis on the word "Responsible" as they do on the words "Dog Owner" I imagine we would all be working together instead of against each other.

Brent

Thanks DA.

And yes, there is a lot more gray area than many of the old-school groups want to admit. And the division between the "responsible owner" groups and the "animal rights" groups has ended causing little, if anything, positive to be done. And it is animals that are paying the price.

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