Many dogs still live their lives on the end of a chain or tether. Tied-up outside, dogs become lonely, bored and anxious, and they can develop aggressive behaviors. Bring a dog inside (or help a chained dog in your neighborhood) and you’ll keep everyone safer.
Of the 70 million dogs in American households, the vast majority are living happy, healthy lives. But some dogs are still chained or tethered in one place as a means of restraint.
In most cases, tethers are used for short stretches of time, but a small number of dog owners tether their dogs constantly or for many hours at a time. These are the cases where advocates should focus their attention to make the most difference for dogs.
In addition to animal welfare concerns, tethering has been proven to be a high risk factor in serious dog bites and attacks. Tethering is unsafe for dogs and for the public, and it is important for advocates and officials to understand this connection, so they can incorporate tethering regulations into effective community dog management strategies.
The HSUS recommends a combination of approaches to reduce tethering. Laws that regulate and restrict tethering can be helpful, but should not be the sole approach. Enforcement agencies are notoriously underfunded and limited in their bandwidth. Community-based initiatives to support dog owners and unchain dogs through positive intervention can be just as effective—sometimes more so. Our recommendations for both approaches are included in these materials.
What can I do to help?
Read and share our chaining and tethering FAQ »
Download our toolkit: Passing an Ordinance to Help Chained or Tethered Dogs » Read more: Your Tethering Law Passed. Now What? »
Watch and share the video below »
News & Events
April 17, 2015
Not the Paradise It Seems: The HSUS and Puerto Rico Launch Monumental Partnership to Overhaul Animal Welfare on the Island
Working with the government of Puerto Rico, The HSUS is launching a broad initiative to crack down on puppy mills, support enforcement of animal cruelty laws, promote a culture of loving pet ownership and bring humane education to schools.
February 9, 2015
You can help pass laws that protect animals in your state. Humane Lobby Day is easy, fun and guaranteed to make you feel like a powerful animal activist. We'll help you find the Humane Lobby Day in your state.
June 20, 2014
They serve on the front lines of animal protection, lobbying legislators, assisting rescues, helping shelters and so much more. They’re the HSUS state directors: the first point of contact and often the last hope for animals in need.
June 6, 2013
A coalition of animal welfare organizations, veterinarians and law enforcement agencies commended the Oregon legislature for restricting the chaining and tethering of dogs throughout the state.