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January 11, 2011

Have a Heart for Chained Dogs

dog doghouse chain

iStockphoto

Does the sight of a chained dog break your heart? You and your kids can help chained dogs this Valentine's Day thanks to Dogs Deserve Better, a national rescue and advocacy group dedicated to ending the practice of perpetually chaining dogs.

Each year, the group sends Valentine's Day cards and dog treat coupons to chained canines across the country during its Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week. The group includes a brochure for the dog's caretakers, explaining why the practice of continuously chaining dogs is a form of abuse. The materials encourage people to bring their dogs into the home or to find better homes for the animals. This year, the group hopes to reach 17,000 dogs.

Take action for chained dogs

Here are a few suggestions on how to make doggy valentines, mail coupons to dogs, submit addresses of chained dogs, and more. Also, visit the Dogs Deserve Better website to see what others have done to help.

1. Get crafty

Making valentines for chained dogs is a great project for kids! Visit DogsDeserveBetter.org to see what volunteers have created in the past. Hurry—the deadline for submitting valentines is Saturday, Feb. 5.

2. Address the problem

Know a penned or chained dog who could use a valentine? Find out their address and call 877-636-1408, e-mail addresses to info@dogsdeservebetter.org or fill out the form at Dogs Deserve Better's website by Feb. 5. Don't worry—your information will remain anonymous.

3. Send in your coupons

In addition to a valentine, each dog will receive a coupon for free or discounted dog treats or food. Make sure your coupons go to good use—mail them by Feb. 5 to Dogs Deserve Better, P.O. Box 23, Tipton, PA 16684.

4. Sponsor valentines

The cost of this campaign is quite high due to material and mailing fees, but it is well worth it! You may either sponsor valentines for addresses you provide, or sponsor valentines for others who provide addresses. Sponsor your valentines at Dogs Deserve Better's website »

5. Download your free kit

Download the free kit "The Guide to a Dog's Life: Chaining and Your Community," a comprehensive, step-by-step guide on how to pass an anti-chaining ordinance in your area—and start helping dogs now »

Why chaining hurts dogs

As social animals, dogs need to have regular interactions with their family. Dogs who are left chained up in the yard experience boredom, loneliness, and isolation, which eventually lead to territorial and aggressive behaviors. Read more »

Dogs Deserve Better can be reached at 877-636-1408 (toll-free); email info@dogsdeservebetter.org  or visit www.DogsDeserveBetter.org.

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