This winter, don’t forget about pets
The Old Farmer’s Almanac is predicting an unusually harsh and bitterly cold winter for much of the country, including below-normal temperatures for the Northeast and above-average snowfall in the South.
As much as we might complain about having to shovel or drive in the snow, no one has it worse than dogs that are forced to spend the winter outdoors, on the end of a chain or in a backyard pen. Constant exposure to cold temperatures puts dogs in danger of hypothermia, even if they have a doghouse. Every year, chained dogs and even newborn puppies are found frozen to death inside their doghouses after succumbing to the cold.
But even in the best weather, spending day after day confined, with no exercise, no companionship and nothing to do is no life at all for “man’s best friend.” Many chained dogs sink into severe depression or become aggressive and a danger to children who wander too close.
Let’s work to pass laws restricting or banning dog chaining – as more than 200 jurisdictions nationwide have already done, including Clayton and 19 other municipalities in North Carolina. And let’s be good neighbors by checking on chained dogs in our community, encouraging people to let their dogs live indoors and always reporting abuse and neglect immediately.