POMEROY — The Meigs County Humane Society is launching a campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of chaining dogs — and at the same time are offering kennels to families unable to afford them.
The Kenneth A. Scott Charitable Trust A KeyBank Trust has awarded the local humane society’s “Comfort Zone” project a grant for $4,400 for promoting kinder treatment for animals and making the distribution of kennels possible.
The Scott Charitable Trust A KeyBank Trust, based in Cleveland, was established in 1995 to promote humane treatment of companion animals and to prevent cruelty to small animals, including wildlife. The Scott Trust awards Ohio non-profit organizations funds to advance the quality of life for animals, owned and homeless, and to address the root causes of animal cruelty and neglect. Preference is given to projects helping a broad array of companion animals, wildlife, or other types of animals.
The Meigs County Humane Society’s campaign is part of a larger movement begun by Dogs Deserve Better (DDB), a nonprofit organization based in Virginia, which stresses that chained dogs “live as prisoners, yet long to be pets.”
Dixie Circle Sayre, president of the the local Humane Society, explained that the Comfort Zone project began first with the question: “What is sadder than a dog at the end of a chain, separated from his family, approached only to be fed and watered?” She challenged the notion that tethering is the way to keep a dog and instead appealed to owners for compassion, much as Dogs Deserve Better does.
“Our call for kinder treatment of dogs will, we believe, be far more productively reinforced by the knowledge that concrete help is on the way,” Sayre added.
Thanks to Scott Charitable Trust funds, the local Humane Society is now in a position to provide a limited number of kennels and kennel roofs to keep off the snow, ice, and rain which will greatly improve the dogs’ lives.
Noting that dogs are companion animals who prefer the company of people, and sometimes become overly protective if chained, Sayre emphasized the dangers of injuring themselves while jumping around, as well as the very real possibility of choking and becoming helplessly wound up in chains or tethers. “I have seen two or three dogs staked out in a row unable to meet and greet each other or to reach their water bowls, powerless to move only five feet away from the leaky sheds that pass as their shelters. This is no life for a dog,” she said
Vicky Baer, secretary-treasurer of the Meigs Society said that the Comfort Zone project is an attempt to enable owners to keep their dogs at home, in a safe enclosure, rather than leaving them to roam or live miserable lives tied to dog boxes.
“We encounter owners who agree that living chained is no life for a dog, but they are prevented from changing this situation because of their economic situation, so we decided to address this problem directly,” Baer said. Kennels will be delivered and set up for owners who will also receive information on how to care for kennel dogs, including how many to include in the enclosure.
The plan is for the Meigs County Humane Officer to notify owners who are in need of a kennel of the Comfort Zone Program. Then if they qualify financially they are given priority for receiving one, said Baer. The animal owner must then show proof of low income, such as a food stamp or Medicaid card, Social Security Disability, W2s or unemployment verification, to be determined eligible for kennel and roof.
“Most people want to do what is best for the dogs, and we want to help them to do that,” she concluded.