Cyprus Mail

Break the chain of appalling cruelty towards our dogs

I am writing this past midnight since I am being kept awake by the incessant barking of the village dogs. They seem to be dotted about the place, most of them penned up in steel cages or chained to something or other. These dogs live on their chains all day, every day. Most of them are being kept at their owner’s summer home so they only get visited at weekends.

I guess their barking is a protest at the inhumanity of their owner’s actions. Some give a heart wrenching howl that cannot be ignored with the best will in the world. Some are so heartbroken that they don’t even bother to bark anymore. Some set all the others off in the vicinity in a ceaseless round of barking. Yes, they are fed, yes, they are watered but they are left out in the unforgiving Cyprus heat.

Chaining or tethering an outside dog for a long period of time is one of the most inhuman forms of animal cruelty! The area where a chained dog lives usually gets dirty pretty quickly, since the dog has to eat, sleep, urinate and defecate in the same area.

Many dogs are doomed to live their entire lives alone in the messy small area around their chains.

Chaining is inhumane to dogs and dangerous to people. A dog kept chained in one spot for hours, months or even years suffers immense psychological damage. Dogs tethered for long periods can also become aggressive. Chained dogs are almost three times more likely to bite? Dogs most likely to attack are male, untrained, tethered and chained.

Dogs are pack or den animals by nature and love to curl up in warm dry places. By nature, dogs need a dog house with warm bedding to sleep in if they can’t be brought inside with the family.

Sometimes, when I am warm and cosy in bed, I can’t help but think of these dogs that have no choice but to sleep outside in the heat, rain and cold. Try going for 4-5 days without food or water and you will get an idea of how many chained and neglected dogs feel. The practice is both inhumane, and a threat to the safety of the confused dog, other animals and humans.

If they could talk, I am sure every rescued dog could have a tale. So, go on, what are you waiting for? Break the chain

Marina Strengell

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