A new anti dog chaining campaign has been launched by activist Jennifer Kanady in partnership with the Anti Dogfighting Campaign’s (ADFC) Anti-Chain Division. The initiative calls for a federal bill to ban endless dog tethering in the United States, ensuring dogs are not left tethered day and night with inadequate shelter, food or water.

Currently, only 21 states have laws regulating tethering at the state level, while some counties and cities have local regulations. ADFC says that much of the legislation is weak and unclear, with many loopholes making it hard to enforce these laws. Their first goal is to amend California’s state law, then make the push for a nation-wide federal law.

In preparation for this massive effort, ADFC need to collect as much data as possible to back up their case. They are calling for help in preparing the bill for presentation to lawmakers for sponsorship, asking animal professionals to take part in their Anti-Chain Campaign Survey.

Experts who often come into contact with tethered canines can complete the survey here. Ideal participants include veterinarians, animal control officers, law enforcement officers, rescue groups and volunteers, canine trainers and behaviorists, real estate agents, postal workers, and cable and power company workers.

Leaving dogs chained day and night is nothing short of animal abuse. Many people never release their dogs from the chain, leaving them outdoors with no shelter from intense heat or bitter cold, sometimes without food or water. Often, dogs get tangled in their chain and die.

Singer/songwriter and animal advocate Donna Hughes has launched a petition calling on the federal government to put an end to the cruel practice of 24/7 dog chaining.

According to the American Humane Association, chained dogs are 2.8 times more likely to bite than unchained dogs, and approximately 25% of fatal dog attacks are from chained dogs.

Although the danger to humans posed by tethered dogs may help politicians take notice of the issue, its the animals who suffer most. Dogs are naturally social, needing the stimulation and companionship of other dogs or humans. When chained up in solitary confinement, they become anxious, depressed and neurotic, suffering a range of physical ailments from exposure to the elements and injuries caused by collars and chains.

It’s time to acknowledge that tethering dogs is animal abuse, and for the United States Government to introduce regulations that give authorities the power to step in and stop this torture.