Quebec Needs To “Cut the Chain” To Ban Permanent Chaining Of Dogs

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Based on the belief that permanent chaining is detrimental to dogs’ physical and psychological well-being, the Montreal SPCA is asking the residents of Quebec to sign their name to a petition written to Minister Christian Paradis that is posted on the cutthechain.ca website and insists this inhumane practice be banned. At present, approximately one-third of all animal cruelty complaints are related to the chaining of dogs who are often left neglected for long periods of time to suffer the elements.

My take is that if anything is going to drive a better understanding, perhaps those pet owners responsible for this type of treatment could spend just one weekend (during a particularly frosty Montreal winter) camped out in their dog’s shelter.

Related: “Best Province To Be An Animal Abuser” Introduces New Animal Protection Law

But cooler heads prevail and following on the heels of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia who have recently introduced bans on permanent tethering, the SPCA feels it’s time Quebec joined the ranks of those that have already taken action. Beyond Canadian borders, more than 20 U.S. states including California, Nevada, Oregon, and Texas have enacted the measure, as has Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

The initiative in Quebec was launched as a result of the (promised) major improvements to provincial animal welfare legislation that form part of Bill 54.The SPCA believes that a ban on the permanent chaining of dogs must be part of any upcoming amendments.

Their petition to Paradis demands:

  • Prohibition on keeping a dog tied to a stationary object for more than a certain number of consecutive hours or during a certain period of time
  • Prohibition on leaving any dog who has not yet reached maturity, or who is ill, injured or unsterilized, tied up unattended
  • Prohibition on keeping a dog tethered outdoors during extreme weather conditions

Related: New Canadian Law Makes It A Criminal Offence To Harm Service Dogs

Montreal’s SPCA states that “Chained dogs are at increased risk of injuring themselves and are frequently neglected. They are exposed to extreme cold in the winter, and suffocating heat in the summer. Isolated, unable to socialize, play, exercise, or express natural behaviour, chained dogs develop severe boredom and frustration, eventually leading to psychological distress.”

Tethering also raises serious public safety concerns as due to their inability to flee a perceived threat, dogs that are tied up can act out aggressively and have been shown to be nearly three times more likely to bite than dogs no tethered, and more than five times more likely to bite children.  Visit cutthechain.ca to add your name to those supporting this initiative.


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