End Dog Tethering: Talking Points

Safer Communities, Healthier Dogs


Many people already understand that tethering or chaining isn’t great for dogs. But they may not understand why it’s important to make it illegal. They might also have questions about options for lower-income people who cannot afford fences. Here are some talking points to use when asking legislators to create an anti-tethering law or simply when you meet someone with questions about tethering.

  • All major animal protection groups are against tethering because it’s inhumane, abusive, and unsafe. Tethering hurts dogs physically and psychologically. Dogs are naturally social creatures and can’t live alone.
  • Tethered dogs are a public safety risk, especially for children who don’t know not to go near dogs they don’t know. Anti-tethering laws make the community safer for people and dogs.
  • Dogs naturally feel protective of their territory and a dog that is tethered all the time can become fearful and aggressive. Over 76% of dog-bite related deaths involved a dog whose owners kept him separate from people (like tethered dogs).[1]
  • A tethered dog has no protection against the freezing winters, scorching summers, rain, snow, insects, other animals, or people who might try to hurt him.
  • Anti-tethering laws are important because animal cruelty laws often aren’t enough. A clear law like “no tethering allowed” is much easier for an officer to enforce than a vague law about cruelty.
  • A new anti-tethering law might make things difficult for a few people at first. But the benefits outweigh the short-term inconvenience. And a local nonprofit (maybe yours!) could be matched up to brainstorm with the small number of people who can’t bring their pets inside or build a fence.


[1] Patronek, G.J., Sacks, J.J., Delise, K.M., Cleary, D.V., & Marder, A.R. (2013). Co-occurrence of potentially preventable factors in 256 dog bite-related fatalities in the United States (2000-2009). Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 243(12), 1726-1736.




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