By, Jodi L. Hartleycutedog

As discussed in Part I of Breaking the Chain, chaining or tethering dogs is detrimental to the dog and to the community. If you want to help a dog who is chained, you have several options.

Educate the Owner

If you feel comfortable approaching the dog’s owner, ask him about the dog and try to determine the reason for the dog being tied out. Often it’s one of three reasons – that’s what they’ve always done, and they don’t know any different; the dog was misbehaving and/or pottying in the house; or the dog sheds, is dirty and smelly and/or aggravates allergies. Once you know the reason(s), you can help to educate the owner and possibly convince them to unchain the dog.

Offer to Help the Dog Yourself

If the owner is unwilling to bring the dog into the home, and you have the means, you can offer to provide more adequate shelter or fencing for the dog. You may also offer to take the dog yourself either to keep in your home or place in a rescue organization.

Contact Your Local Animal Control or Organization for Help

Many areas have paid animal control officers who you can contact to report the dog’s situation. Often, however, if the dog has access to food, water and some form of shelter, animal control can’t do much other than encourage the owner to bring the dog in or provide a better living situation for the dog. If your town does not have any laws pertaining to tethering dogs, you could begin work to enact protections in your community.

If you aren’t comfortable talking with the owner, two organizations, depending on your location, may be able to help. Dogs Deserve Better is a nationwide organization that focuses on freeing dogs from chaining and tethering. They have representatives throughout the United States who can be contacted to speak to the dog owners. Dogs Deserve Better also provides informational flyers, door hangers and letters that can be mailed/hung anonymously. Visit for more information.

In Caldwell and Catawba counties, the newly formed “Fido’s Fence” is up and running to help dogs who are chained or tethered. Fido’s Fence is a volunteer driven, non-profit organization that enhances the quality of life for chained dogs.

Fido’s Fence volunteers knock on doors of owners with chained dogs and offer to build a fence for their dog. If the owner agrees, the organization asks that the dog be spayed or neutered and vaccinated, at no cost to the owner. Then they build a fence for their dog and supply him with shelter, a dog house, a 5 gallon water bucket and shavings for warmth.  To volunteer, donate or suggest a dog who needs help, or email them at  

The National Humane Education Society: Unchain Me

Dogs Deserve Better

Fido’s Fence