Habitat for Paws (HFP) is a nonprofit agency consisting of volunteers who desire to improve the living conditions of dogs living on chains or tethers (chained). Numerous risks to the community develop after a dog is chained or tethered more than 12 hours a day. Chained dogs often become aggressive toward people and other animals. Dogs living on the end of a chain or tethered are at risk for attacks by other animals.
There are various reasons for chaining a dog. The most prevalent reason is lack of funds available to purchase fencing. Without the proper daily exercise, a puppy growing into dog becomes energetic and difficult to control in the house. Often the answer families turn to is chaining the dog to keep it on their property, but out of the house.
HFP provides free services to families which may consist of transportation for medical care and spay/neuter surgeries, dog houses and fences.
The mission of Habitat for Paws is providing support to pet owners in breaking the cycle of suffering for chained dogs.
Establishing a long term relationship with the family owning a chained dog will provide the opportunity for HFP to educate and assist the pet owner in improving the quality of life for their dog. Pet owners who have chained dogs experience a cycle of guilt associated with not being able to take proper care of the dog. As a result of the dog being chained his/her behavior becomes worst. Their lack of socialization may cause them to become aggressive. Dogs on chains are 3 times more likely to bite. Education for the family is an important aspect of HFP’s program which is based on building a relationship with the family.
Lack of ability to properly care for a dog, may increase health issues for the dog’s family members. Experience has shown that when a fence is built and a dog released from a chain, the family is happy and excited to see that their dog has an improved habitat.
-Provide education to pet owners regarding the proper care required for the well-being of their dog.
-Gain the dog owner’s agreement to have the dog spayed or neutered in exchange for
erecting a fence.
-Obtain the owner’s agreement that they will not obtain any additional dogs. If an owner takes proper care of their dog – providing vaccinations & food, clean water & spending time with them, approval may be granted to obtain an additional dog.
-Establish clear expectations for becoming a responsible pet owner. Each owner will initial a checklist outlining the items required for being a responsible pet owner. Exhibit A – Responsible Owner Checklist.