Saturday, October 14, 2017

What is life like for a tethered dog in Nova Scotia in 2017

What is life like for a tethered dog in Nova Scotia in 2017?  You can judge it one way - this week I shut down my rescue - No Chains All Love - where I rescued dogs who were tethered out 24/7 - Nova Scotia doesn't need a dog rescue that solely focuses on those types of dogs anymore.

When I started the rescue back in 2013 people were hesitant rescue and foster chained dogs - they thought that the dogs would piss everywhere in their house and that they'd be impossible to rehabilitate and become normal house dogs - but I proved over and over and over that dogs who were tethered outside 24/7 were amazing dogs - they were really easy to house train - it was like they knew that outside was where they were supposed to go because that's where they had gone their whole lives.  Other dogs who come into rescue who have pissed inside their whole lives - THOSE dogs are hard to house train - but chained dogs are the opposite.

And the personalities of chained dogs are amazing - when you bring them inside they are so grateful - they have been waiting their whole lives for someone to love and to have someone love them - so really, the biggest problem with them is separation anxiety - they don't ever want to be anywhere but by your side.

At one point I rescuing almost a dog a week - and they were all fabulous dogs - happy, got along with other dogs and completely photogenic.

And then finally - in December 2014 the legislation that many of us had worked so long for - came through - it was illegal to chain a dog outside for any longer than 12 hours a day - and then you had to bring the dog inside for 12 hours.

It doesn't sound great - but it gave the NS SPCA a reason to visit the owner's home if they received a complaint that someone believed the dog was being tied out 24/7 - and then the SPCA could inspect where the dog was living and do a health check - because the new regulations that were passed in December 2014 also gave specific body conditions that weren't allowed anymore - like the dog's coat had to be in good condition and their nails were not allowed to be long.

So now the SPCA could seize dogs - or give the owner conditions that they had to improve the life of the dog - and they have totally stepped and if someone believes that a dog is being tied out longer than 12 hours at a time they will visit the home - and if the dog needs seizing - they will seize the dog.

Are dogs still being tied out 24/7 in Nova Scotia?  Absolutely - but all it takes to make it stop happening for each of those dogs is for someone to be that dog's saviour - and to have a call made to the NS SPCA at 1-888-703-7722 and visit that dog - and hopefully the right thing will happen for that dog.

So after four years and many many rescued dogs - I have shut down my rescue - "No Chains All Love" - it was fun to have and I met a lot of nice people - I couldn't have done it without the volunteers that I had who believed in the cause of freeing chained dogs, and to my vet Westwood Hills - and also to Camp Bow Wow who fostered several dogs for me when I could't find fosters and for whatever reason I couldn't foster the dog myself - they always stepped up for me - they are awesome.

I think that chained dogs are the best dogs - I found that they are blank slates - whatever age they were when they are put out - whether it's 10 weeks or 3 months - that's the mental age they are when you bring them back inside - so if your dog was put out at three momths - when they are rescued at 5 years or whatever - you have a mentally 3 month old dog in a 5 year old's body - they are fascinating to watch.

We are lucky here in Nova Scotia to have this legislation - some say that it should be a lot stricter but I think that it's good enough - it IS getting the dogs off of the chains and that's all you want and need - it is legislation that is enforcable and that is the best kind of legislation.

If we had legislation that banned tethering altogether we would turn everybody who chains their dogs out into law breakers and they would start keeping their dogs in their basements, or just kill their dogs, or build fences around their dogs so no one could see them - there's no end to what people would do - but they'd still tie their dog out - that is a for sure thing.

A last thing - along with the NS SPCA stepping up - other rescues have also stepped up - they now see that chained dogs are awesome dogs and that they aren't any different than the other dogs that they rescue - they aren't going to be difficult to adopt out - like every other dog - they are an individual and should be treated that way.

I hope in some small way I showed that chained dogs are great dogs - they aren't any different than any other dog - they aren't perfect - but our own dogs aren't perfect either - they are just dogs who want to live out their lives feeling like they have some control over their surroundings - and when they are chained out they have none of that.

I am so glad that through the advocacy of the rescue we got legislation passed so that dogs can't be chained out 24/7 anymore and I hope that Nova Scotians will call the NS SPCA when they believe a dog is being tied out longer than 12 hours at a time.

Hopefully people will remember that at one time there was a dog rescue in Nova Scotia that was run by someone who really cared a lot - but in the end she shut it down because things improved enough so that it wasn't needed it anymore - and that's really good - Nova Scotia is a pretty super place to be a dog because of people like her and people like you, and for a little while you should have a warm feeling in your heart thinking about that.

As for what I'm going to do to replace the rescue - I've had a couple posts on this blog about a new venture I've started talking about dog training and what are better ways to train your dog - that is at - I also have my website about dog friendly Halifax that I've had since 2002 called "Charlie loves Halifax"

I'm also starting a new little venture to make and sell dog pack packs - they are for humans and they are made out of dog themed material - I'm also going to make quilts for dogs.  I haven't completed anything yet but I do have the site up - with nothing on it

So that's what I'm planning on doing - as well as blogging here - which I've been doing quite a lot of lately - I seem to have gotten the bug back, which I'm sure is annoying some people, but what can you do.

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