Lady Freethinker’s second annual Unchain a Dog Day is coming up on August 8, and in this story, we’re listing all the ways you can help dogs who are left chained or tethered outside 24/7.

Dogs are loyal companions who are members of the family, and LFT’s Unchain a Dog Day aims to raise awareness for all the dogs who are forced to spend their entire lives outdoors.

Here’s how you can help them on Unchain a Dog Day and every day.

1. Speak up in your community

If your town, city, or county permits dog chaining or tethering, urge local lawmakers to pass a “No tethering” ordinance by reaching out to them with our template letter, and follow up with a phone call. Policymakers want to hear from members of the community on what is important to them, and let them know that in this case their compassionate actions can help save dogs’ lives. You can also help dogs across the country by signing one of Lady Freethinker’s petitions to ban chaining, including in North Carolina and  Charleston, South Carolina.

2. Help spread the word

Let people know that leaving a dog chained or tethered outside is never okay. You can sport LFT’s “Break the Chain” tee to help start conversations about the cruelty of leaving dogs chained, and you can also urge your friends and family to sign Lady Freethinker’s pledge to never leave dogs chained up outdoors. Another way to raise awareness is by posting on social media about the cruelty of leaving dogs outdoors 24/7. LFT has a helpful graphic below that you can share, too.

3. If you see something, say something

If you ever see a dog chained or tethered outside — especially if they seem malnourished or have no food, water, or adequate shelter from the elements — it’s so important to speak up. Knock on the door and ask the owners to bring the animal inside, and if they refuse and the animal’s life is at risk, call your local law enforcement or animal control and request an immediate welfare check. If it’s possible to take photos or videos of the chained dog from a public space (such as the roadway or the sidewalk), please document the incident and submit that along with your report. You could save that animal’s life.