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New Yorkers Protest to Continue to Be Able to Tether Their Dogs

Is there more to this story than we're seeing in this article? I sure hope so because I must say I'm not too sympathetic to...

Joy  |  Apr 10th 2007


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Is there more to this story than we’re seeing in this article? I sure hope so because I must say I’m not too sympathetic to these people. If you know more, please bark in!

As I look at what these people are saying I can’t help but think how absolutely selfish they are! They want dogs but they don’t want to have them as true family members; they want them outside.

And please do not give me this “poor people can’t afford fences” stuff. If you want a dog, you make arrangements. You get a crate and crate the dog inside or you find some other way to bring the dog inside. Ask my neighbor who lives on disability. He’s a sweet, gentle man who adopted a small, stray dog. My neighbor “Bob” has very little money to make is fence “dog-proof” so he went out and blocked up every hole with signs. It doesn’t look great but it does the job and far be it from me to complain because his fence isn’t suburban pretty! And his little girl lives inside with him unless he is in the yard or on the front porch. This is a man with little monetarily but a true love for dogs, and his Baby in particular.

Tethering outside for a short while is not the issue, even though any tethering is immensely dangerous to the tethered dog. That is just a smoke screen.The real issue is people who get a dog then drop him in the front or backyard because they’re tired of him, he got too big to be inside, they want protection (though how anything could protect someone IN the house if they’re chained outside is beyond me), or someone inside just doesn’t like dogs.

Because let’s get real. When people say they want to chain a dog outside, what that means is someone inside doesn’t want the dog inside. Maybe they’re afraid of dogs, maybe they are a neat freak who can’t abide the thought of their white couch getting dog paws on it or maybe they just don’t want the bother of having a dog inside. Whatever the reason, that’s fine. But then you don’t GET a dog. Period. End of question. Get lawn ornaments made of concrete or plastic. Pretty, don’t feed them and they don’t suffer from your indifference and stupidity.

Look, a dog is not a lawn ornament. Dogs are pack animals and MUST have a pack to be healthy. Abandoning and chaining a dog in a backyard every day and night is like taking a young child and locking him in a dark closet for years at a time. Sure, you’re feeding him but what does that to his psyche?

For the child, it makes him psychotic. The same for the dog.

And please do not give me the excuse that poor people must chain their dogs because they have no other options! And don’t try to use this emotional blackmail that if you can’t chain your dog, you’ll just have to turn them in to the shelters. Do you mean to tell me that it is better for a dog to live a tortured life constantly exposed to the elements and abuse from passing adolescents, starving for affection and real interactions? I wouldn’t want to live that way and I’m fairly sure no dog wants that either.

I grew up in the country and I live in a city where I’m surrounded by lots of working class families. Most of those families have dogs and most of those dogs spend their nights inside with their humans. The few who don’t are owned by people who are in mixed marriages with non-animal people (that’s a mixed marriage to me). Their families don’t want the dogs and the owners (these are owners and not guardians or pet parents, mind you) selfishly keep a dog around for the few hours a month THEY want to play with a dog.

Thanks to the Queens Chronicle for this article.

Dog Owners Have Bone To Pick With Vallone
by Joel Weickgenant, Assistant Editor
04/05/2007

Hoping to put a tighter leash on dog-tethering legislation, a group of dog owners held a demonstration last Saturday outside the Astoria law office of Councilman Peter Vallone.

The Dog Federation of New York handed out pink stickers to supporters and asked passers-by to sign petitions to voice their opposition to Vallones proposal to ban the tethering of animals for more than three hours within any 12-hour period.

The demonstrators said the ban, as well as other measures proposed by Vallone, are discriminatory. Tethering is as good a way of confining your dog as any other,” said Mahlon Goer, a founding member of the fledgling foundation. These sorts of laws impact people of lower income.”

The demonstrators targeted the anti-tethering proposal and a separate resolution by Vallone that sought to reverse a state law that does not allow cities to ban the sale of pit bulls. The group said that if Vallone is discriminating against certain breeds of dog with the latter, he is discriminating against responsible dog owners of limited means.

New Yorkers know better than to put up with discrimination and profiling,” Goer said. She pointed to language in the resolution that describes pit bulls as the weapon of choice for drug dealers and criminals, and called the initiative racist.

We want to make sure Mr. Vallones constituents are aware of the language he is using,” Goer said. Any time discrimination is encouraged” against a specific breed, it becomes harder to buy insurance, to rent housing. These are issues for all New Yorkers.”

Goer, who owns a 10-year-old pit bull named Cuba, said that if anti-tethering measures become law, people who cant afford to buy a fence for their yard will have to get rid of their pets. She said her federation, which claims some 400 members throughout the state, supports laws that encourage responsible dog ownership, but not laws that target the dogs themselves.

Nancy Hassel, another member of the federation, came from Long Island to demonstrate. I just saw the cutest pit bull go by with its owner on a bicycle, and a Rottweiler on her leash, legally, as it should be,” Hassel said. Were in opposition of Vallone. We want to keep the law thats already in the state.”

Nancy Silva of Astoria was one of seven residents who signed the petition in the first hour of the two-hour demonstration. Silva used to have a pit bull, Pistol Pete.

I used to, when I went grocery shopping, leave him by my daughters carriage,” Silva said. I love pit bulls. Theyre one of the nicest dogs that Ive ever owned. It all depends on the owner.”

An animal of any breed will become aggressive if it is abused, she added, and pitbulls are no exception.

A spokesman from Vallones office said proposed restrictions on the tethering of dogs are geared toward curbing abusive owners. Dogs left tethered outdoors for hours on end are suffering from improper care, he said, characterizing the issue both as a public health problem and an animal rights issue.

“If you dont have the economic means to care for a dog, you shouldnt have a dog,” Andrew Moesel added. If you dont have the space to house a dog humanely, you shouldnt have it. The majority of the tethering we want to stop is just people who tie their dogs outside their house for hours.”

Moesel said the protesters are conflating two separate issues, and scoffed at charges that legislation discriminates against lower-income dog owners. A lot of these accusations are too ridiculous to justify with a response,” he added. Theyre calling this racist because it will affect people with a lower income. Theyre the ones making racist presumptions.”

At Saturdays protest, though, Goer said dog owners who cant afford to buy fences for their pets will have to sell them or give them away causing a rise in animal shelter populations. What it leads to is good owners having to give up their dogs,” she said. It causes people to relinquish their dogs when they cant comply.”