Extreme Cold Highlights Extreme Douchery of Dog Chaining Americans

I’m staying at my mother’s this week in Pennsylvania for the funeral of a man who meant a lot to my son. This man loved his cattle dog so much that he kept his ashes after he died and asked that Johnnie be buried with him when he passed.

That wish will be honored this week as his family and loved ones gather to say their last goodbyes.


I was awoken this morning at 6:50 a.m. by two dogs howling in my mother’s neighborhood. I can tell the general vicinity of their cries, but I cannot see them over the fences or from her windows.

I don’t know if they are chained or penned, but I know that they live outside.

All the time. No matter what.

This morning it was 7 Degrees with a wind chill of -3 Degrees.

I ran out to start my car to drive to the florist and my fingers and toes were practically frozen in the one minute it took me to run back inside.

It made me think: What compels one man — an “average” American man (and by “average” I mean as opposed to a “rabid animal activist” such as myself and not any reflection on this wonderful man’s character) who loved his family, was responsible, and worked hard — to understand that his dog was part of his family and love him so much that he wanted his ashes buried with him at death.

While in the next town over another ostensibly “average” American man — who I know nothing about — has so little respect for Man’s Best Friend that he leaves his dogs outside in sub-freezing temperatures and expects they will survive it, never sparing a thought to their suffering or whether his behavior is morally correct or not.

It isn’t.


A PA dog who, despite my best efforts, we were never able to save. Eventually she disappeared. This is the problem with individual ‘morals’ dictating our dogs’ lives…the dogs and caring citizens forced to watch the suffering pay the price, while the abusers walk free and continue their neglect with the next dog. There are no consequences for their behavior.

What drives human misbehavior towards dogs, and why are many humans so morally bankrupt that they don’t see or care about the harm they inflict on dogs when they leave them chained or penned in sub-freezing temperatures?

Whatever the TomSchmuckery, it needs to end here and now.

[Little known fact: the definition of Schmuck says “an obnoxious or contemptible person.” Origin: “literally, penis.” Ha! Turns out it was the perfect word after all! And here I was trying to be politically correct….you can’t make this stuff up.]

For the umpteenth year since I lived in Pennsylvania and started advocating for chained dogs in 2002, there is a bill in committee at the state Capitol to ease the suffering of dogs sentenced to life at the end of a chain. This year it has actually passed out of the Senate Committee, which is a feat in and of itself. A big THANK YOU to all the representatives and advocates who got the bill this far. You’re doing better than I did and I appreciate it.

Live in Pennsylvania and are not a Dog-Chaining Schmuck? Visit this link to learn more and urge your state representatives to FINALLY take the action dogs deserve to protect them from this cruel treatment and bring them in out of the cold: http://humane-pa.org/current-legislation-2/fact-sheets-about-pending-bills-2015/hb-41sb-520-tethering-of-dogs/

SB 373 would:

  • Ensure that a dog is removed from the tether in periods of inclement weather.
  • Provide minimum standards for length and type of tether.
  • Ban the use of poke, pinch, or pronged collars which pose a danger to the dog while tethered.
  • Ensure that the dog may only be tethered long enough for the owner to complete a temporary task and that the owner may not leave the dog unattended and tethered.

Let’s put an end to this TomFoolery. TomSchmuckery. AssHattery in PA and every other state in this nation. For the dogs.

And those of us who suffer right along with them. Thank you.

P.S. Don’t live in PA, but want to educate your neighbor? Here’s a card you can purchase, or make something similar yourself: https://www.facebook.com/332352833496966/photos/a.447633135302268.102927.332352833496966/988546571210919/?type=3&theater