HHow would you feel if you had no voice and no choice for your living conditions?
I am referring to dogs who live their lives isolated and tied up 24/7 within our community. Would you feel unwanted, sad, unloved? I first realized that people tied their dogs 24/7 in 2014. How many people still don’t know this is happening all around us? Since the day I recognized it, I have tried to improve our laws and standards of care for dogs that live outdoors. I will never understand why existing and outdated laws have been difficult to change in Troup County, where I reside. The troubling truth is that dogs that live permanently tethered and unsupervised pose a bite risk to the community, create unwanted litters of puppies, and can transmit diseases and parasites to humans and other animals. These issues negatively impact the quality of life in our county and unfairly shift the financial burden of resolution onto taxpayers.
Dogs are very social pack animals and require two types of regular socialization to develop well-adjusted behavior: socialization with other dogs and socialization with humans. A permanently tethered dog usually receives neither and can become a significant bite risk, especially for children and the elderly. National agencies such as the CDC, the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, the Humane Society of the United States, and the ASPCA, as well as renowned animal behaviorists, recognize the indisputable link between continuous tether and canine aggression. State Farm has issued the following national position statement on dog supervision: “Dogs should be supervised by an adult at all times and children should never be left alone with a dog, including in the family home or in the garden. court.
Tied dogs often lack veterinary care, adequate shelter, clean food and water. Most are unchanged and are contributing to Georgia’s pet overpopulation crisis that is overwhelming our animal shelters. Not to mention the extreme temperatures and weather conditions these dogs have to endure in summer and winter. For these reasons and more, the USDA reported, “Our experience in animal welfare law enforcement has led us to conclude that the continued containment of dogs by tether is inhumane.
Isn’t it time for Troup County Commissioners to update and adopt responsible outdoor dog care standards that are comparable to ordinances in surrounding communities? Isn’t it time to shift the liability from taxpayers to careless dog owners?