Does Your Animal Rescue Story Deserve To Be in a Book? Now’s Your Chance!

I know lots of my friends have rescue stories to tell…submit yours for our More Rescue Smiles book today!

Who Chains You

MoreRScover18loFolks have loved the first book in our animal rescue series—the award-winning Rescue Smiles—so don’t miss your chance to have YOUR story touch hearts and lives through our second book—More Rescue Smiles, edited once again by Heather Leughmyer and Tamira Thayne.

Got a particularly-winning photo of your baby, too? Maybe you can even claim the cover photo spot!

The heart of the animal rescue world lies in its stories—of freedom, of love, and of sacrifice by those who not only acknowledge but embrace the human-animal bond and its wondrous gifts.

In our first rescue story compilation, Who Chains You Books was pleased to offer a look into the emotional lives of rescuers and the living beings they hold dear. Readers joined us for the heartwarming anecdotes, as Cinnamon stole Spice’s puppies, Alice stole everyone’s shoes, and a host of other animals conspired to steal our hearts.

You got…

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“Happy Dog!” Coloring Book Highlights Dog Chaining and Happily-Ever-Afters: Plus, FREE Bonus Coloring Pages

I wanted to let all my friends and fellow chained-dog advocates know about a new coloring book about the chaining issue out this week from me, the illustrator April Pedersen, and Who Chains You Books. Check it out!

Who Chains You

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Happy Dog! Coloring Book

From Chained to Cherished

Written and Designed by Tamira Thayne
Illustrated by April Pedersen

25 pages of whimsical black and white drawings from illustrator April Pedersen grace this wonderfully thought out and caring coloring book about a dog named Ranger, chained in the backyard and—like all dogs—wishing to be free.

Ranger tells the kids about his hopes and dreams, and how he was ultimately saved from a life no dog should have to suffer. By the end of his tale, his fans will be smiling and proclaiming themselves to be Happy Dogs right along with him.

bonusThe coloring book also features six pages of Happy Activities for kids, including a maze, connect the leash, and draw a tail on the pup. Perfect for all ages 3 and up, this makes an incredible addition to any and all classroom humane education efforts.

The book can be purchased…

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As Dogs Die in the Cold, Humans Flaunt their Lack of Morality, Compassion

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A PA dog I never succeeded in freeing from his tether, watching him suffer for years.

“Don’t read the comments…don’t read the comments,” I muttered to myself, as I angrily and helplessly perused a particularly gruesome article about a dog frozen solid on a Toledo, Ohio porch, just days after Christmas.

http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2017/12/28/Dog-found-frozen-solid-on-central-Toledo-porch.html

After all, everyone knows most online commenters crawl from the boggy swamp each morning and slither back into its putrid depths as even daylight flees their remonstrances.

It’s madness to entertain the notion of reading this swill.

I read the comments.

“WHY do I read the comments?” I muttered to myself, as the next wave of anger crawled up my gullet and lodged in my thyroid, causing the death of millions of necessary cells and an immediate need to increase my dose of levoxyl.

One might reason that no one could logically argue that a dog left to freeze to death, curled up on the porch of an abandoned home, was within the bounds of humane treatment.

Yet online commenters—suffering from an obvious lack of morality and compassion—would once again cause me to lower the bar on what I perceive as the most subhuman level of societal dreghood.

Besides the whole gamut of “It’s just a dog” comments, one particularly egregious human posited that—because people are so much more important than dogs—if the guy had run into financial troubles, it followed that he would choose himself over the dog.

This was met with an odious amount of agreement from the peanut gallery of her fellow bog-dwellers, and I was forced by my remaining unexploded blood vessels to comment that a moral obligation to take care of humans in no way precludes the very same moral obligation to care for the animals we’ve taken responsibility for.

I also told them they were sick people. Sick, sick people.

Because they are.

In truth, though, I almost envy these heartless beings. Might it not be nice to be entirely unmoved by the plight of others?

To not hurt for the dogs left outside in the cold winter months? To not feel the excruciating and needless death of this poor creature as a black mark on the collective soul of our society?

Sometimes I wish I didn’t care. It turns out that caring is exceedingly painful.

Last night it dropped to 11 degrees in Culpeper County, Virginia, and below zero in many areas of the country. It’s set to dip even lower as the week goes on.

What do I do with this pain?

Even before I officially began advocating for backyard dogs in 2002, I remember the heightened anxiety I experienced on cold winter nights, and the very real fears for the survival of chained and other dogs left outside to fend for themselves in temperatures that would freeze a human within moments.

Now that I’m off the front lines of animal rescue, I find myself continuing to experience extreme anxiety in the severe cold, the knowledge of what these dogs must survive never relinquishing the space it has carved into my spirit.

As I walked to my chilly bedroom last night, changed into my flannel jammies, and threw on my space heater for a few minutes to warm up the room, I tried to push the pain aside so I could free myself (and maybe them?) in dreamland.

I shivered at what I perceived as the frigid touch of my blankets, feeling immediate shame that I could tolerate so little cold while the dogs didn’t even have the luxury of losing themselves in sleep, spending their 14 hours of darkness locked in a battle for basic survival.

I put myself in their fur for just a moment, feeling the wrap of the chain around my neck, the cold metal flash-freezing to my exposed skin, my hopeless and fruitless search for someplace, anyplace, within the reach of my tether to provide even a moment’s escape from the subzero windchill. I would huddle in the corner of my drafty house, wishing for bedding that didn’t exist, and a kindness and empathy from my guardians that would not be forthcoming.

I was depressed, despondent, terrified of death’s approach.

But I was just a dog, after all.

I pulled myself from the vision. The air around my bed was heavy with suffering, both mine and theirs, and I was wrapped in a cloak of misery.

What do I do with this pain?

That, I still have no answer for.

This Christmas, Finally, Pennsylvania Chained Dogs Will Find a Gift Under the Tree

(This Op-Ed appeared in an edited version in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer, and can be read and commented on at this link. I encourage you to post a comment, as it will encourage the paper to print more animal opinion pieces.)

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In the past, Pennsylvania winters have brought the gift of anxiety to both dog rescuers and caring citizens forced to witness the suffering of neighborhood dogs from the warmth of their kitchen windows.

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While some humans hung lights from their porches and stockings from their chimneys, their dogs hung from tethers in the backyard—cold, hungry, thirsty, miserable, and, most of all, isolated.

Anyone who stepped forward to ease the suffering of these forgotten dogs was told to “mind their business”, or, worse, arrested for the “crime” of providing food, water, or medical care to one of God’s creatures.

As founder of the first national nonprofit focusing solely on backyard dogs, I spent 13+ years leading efforts to free dogs from chains in Pennsylvania. In just one example, I recall watching two Cambria County dogs fight to stay alive in the subzero temperatures of a miserable January day. The skinny white husky huddled in her flimsy, strawless house, while a short-haired boxer in the same yard shivered and shook as she devoured every morsel of the food I offered, skin taut over protruding ribs.

It was obvious to all Pennsylvania citizens who possessed a beating heart that these dogs—and the thousands like them left chained to suffer the frigid elements—deserved better than the life to which they’d been sentenced.

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Yet Pennsylvania law lagged behind what most understood to be moral truth.

This holiday season, for the first time ever, Pennsylvania chained dogs will find the gift of a law under their trees, and animal advocates and caring citizens alike will be the bearers of a merrier, i.e. less anxiety-ridden, Christmas.

In June of this year, Pennsylvania passed a comprehensive animal care package, which benefits chained dogs by prohibiting tethering for more than nine hours a day, and—even better—30 minutes or less in temperatures below 32 degrees.

While some may argue that a nine-hour law will be difficult to enforce, I maintain that a difficult law is better than no law at all when it comes to protecting Man’s Best Friend.

During my tenure on the front lines of efforts for chained dogs, I was left with no legal recourse to help chained dogs. I’m thrilled to say that is no longer the case.

To ensure that the new laws are enforced and upheld by humane agents and police officers, I offer three tips for concerned citizens:

  1. Keep a copy of the law on-hand. Most humane officers are well-versed in the new laws, and will make a reasonable effort to ensure they are enforced. However, many police officers will be less familiar with new animal laws, and you will want to have a copy of the law in hand while discussing the case with officers. You can find and print a copy of the law at this link: https://www.animallaw.info/statute/pa-cruelty-%C2%A7-5536-tethering-unattended-dog
  2. Document the case. No one is more concerned about getting a neighborhood dog help than you are, because you’re witnessing the neglect daily. In order to relieve both your suffering and the dog’s, do the legwork required to prove the law isn’t being followed. Keep a journal of the times of day you see the dog left chained in the yard. Take photos, and consider setting up a live feed that records more than nine hours if necessary. An investment of a few days on your end can save a dog from a lifetime of misery on a chain.
  3. Accept the responsibility to testify when necessary. A humane officer may drop a case if he/she doesn’t have eyewitness testimony. While I know it can be scary, the dogs need us to be their voices. Remember that they cannot speak for themselves.

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When I chained myself to a doghouse on the Pennsylvania State Capitol steps for 54 days advocating for passage of our anti-tethering law in 2010, my steadfast dream was that this day would come for chained dogs. It didn’t happen then, but now, in 2017, animal advocates and concerned citizens who came together to make this dream a reality can lay this gift at the feet of the chained dogs, finally presenting them with the justice they deserve.

I, for one, couldn’t be happier about it.

Five Ways for a Citizen to Tell if a Dog is Living Chained 24/7:

  1. There’s no grass. When dogs live chained for life, they end up with patches of dirt or mud instead of a grassy area, especially in the circle at the outer edge of the chain’s reach. The dogs run the perimeter out of frustration or boredom, and the chain’s dragging pulls out the grass.
  2. The doghouse is broken down, chewed up, decrepit. If a dog is chained 24/7, there’s a good chance he/she has been there for years, and this may not be the first dog to be sentenced to this fate. In these cases, the doghouse is old, falling apart, and has holes or other structural damage that make it an unsuitable shelter for the dog.
  3. The dog looks unkempt, smells badly. Dogs who spend their lives outside rarely if ever receive baths, and so their fur is dirty, matted, scruffy.
  4. The dog has fleas, ticks, other parasitic issues. A dog who spends 24/7 outside with no preventative will suffer flea, tick, worm, and other parasitic infestations. These become obvious to the casual observer, and without medical intervention, can prove deadly.
  5. The dog becomes angry, territorial, depressed, or shows signs of mental deterioration. According to the CDC, chained dogs are up to 3x more likely to bite, due to lack of socialization with humans and the fight or flight syndrome. A chained dog is unable to flee, therefore he/she must be on the alert and prone to increased aggression.

About Tamira Thayne:

capitolbookcover16loTamira Thayne pioneered the anti-tethering movement in America, forming and leading the nonprofit Dogs Deserve Better for 13 years. During her time on the front lines of animal activism and rescue she took on plenty of bad guys (often failing miserably); her swan song culminated in the purchase and transformation of Michael Vick’s dogfighting compound to a chained-dog rescue and rehabilitation center.

Tamira’s spent 878 hours chained to a doghouse on behalf of the voiceless in front of state capitol buildings nationwide; her organization rescued and rehabilitated thousands of chained dogs, finding them new, inside homes and families.

In 2016 she founded Who Chains You, publishing books by and for animal activists and rescuers. Tamira is the author of The Wrath of Dog, The King’s Tether, Foster Doggie Insanity, and Capitol in Chains, and the co-editor of Unchain My Heart and Rescue Smiles.

Who Chains You Books Receives Two Nominations in the Dog Writers Association of America 2017 Writing Competition

Awesome news, this brightens my day! When I started Who Chains You Books, I was seeking a way I could still help not only chained dogs but ALL animals, while stepping back from the day-to-day front line activity. This work marries two of my favorite things—animals and book design and publication—and I’m so thrilled we’ve received our first recognition for our efforts.

Who Chains You

Color us excited to announce that our publishing company, Who Chains You Books, has two nominations for our titles in the Dog Writers Association of America 2017 Writing Competition.

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In the Rescue or Adoption Books Category, author Laura Koerber’sI Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found: Daisy and the Olympic Animal Sanctuary Rescue received our first nomination.

The book chronicles the story of not only one rescued dog, Daisy, but all one hundred and twenty-four dogs—and one snake—from the Olympic Animal Sanctuary, the only large-scale dog rescue in the U.S. to be carried out with no support from local government. The OAS rescue was an epic narrative that extended over several years and featured small town politics, protests, assault, lawsuits, arrests, and a midnight escape, all played out to a nationwide audience.

I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found is available in paperback, kindle, and audiobook. Learn…

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Who Chains You Publishing Supports Humane Education in its Quest to Promote Kindness to Animals for Today’s Youth

I love seeing the pics of the kids with their books! We can make a difference through reading.

Who Chains You

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Humane Education is one of the most important tools we have to engender a sense of kindness in future generations. By breaking the chain of cruelty to animals through direct communication with youth in schools, we create a more caring society, for humans as well as animals. Our wholesale program is perfect to assist Humane Educators in teaching our youth about animal issues in society.

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We offer wholesale pricing of only $6.50 per book (with FREE Shipping—U.S. ONLY, please contact us for shipping to other countries), mix and match, to humane educators—and every book is available for the program. There is a 10 book minimum order for this program, after that the sky’s the limit!

Even better, for humane educators who need books in higher quantities, orders of 50+ books are only $6.00 each, a savings of over 50% off retail.

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Are you a humane educator in need of books?…

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“I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found: Daisy and the Olympic Animal Sanctuary Rescue” Now Available in Audio, with its own Book Trailer, Too!

The audiobook for “I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found: Daisy and the Olympic Animal Sanctuary Rescue” came out great, and so did our new book trailer for it. Watch it on youtube and in this blog post.

Who Chains You

lostcover-audioloFor those who enjoy listening to books on audio while commuting to work or traveling, we’ve got a great new selection for you: I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found: Daisy and the Olympic Animal Sanctuary Rescue.

The book is written by author Laura Koerber, with audiobook narration by Kelly Libatique.

On the far side of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, halfway between the mountains and the ocean, stands the little town of Forks. In that town, in a quiet neighborhood of modest homes and shabby businesses, there remains a dilapidated pink warehouse.

Packed inside that warehouse, living in deplorable conditions, were once over 120 dogs. Some of the dogs were kept in crates piled high on shelves, arranged in rows along the walls, and shoved into corners behind heaps of garbage and urine-saturated straw. Some of the dogs were confined to wire-sided or glassed-in…

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