What would you do if you saw a dog chained up outside with little or no food and water, day after day, in all types of weather?
Faced with that reality eight years ago, Tamira Ci Thayne decided she had to do something. She founded Dogs Deserve Better (DDB), an animal advocacy organization dedicated to helping dogs forced to live life at the end of a chain. She now has chapters in just about every state.
TAKE ACTION: Help pass anti-tethering law in Pennsylvania!
Aside from actually rescuing, fostering, and adopting out chained dogs, Thayne also found political action is necessary. And Operation Fido’s Freedom is the campaign she’s waging.
In Thayne’s ongoing efforts to get Pennsylvania Senate Bill 1435 passed, Thayne is making a statement. She chained herself to a dog house and placed it on the steps of the capitol building in Harrisburg. She’s committed to staying there until action happens on SB1435. When the bill is passed, she will gladly leave.
“In solidarity with chained dogs, I will fast while chained because so many chained dogs go without food or water,” Thayne told me via telephone. “It’s the lucky ones that get some food and water as often as once a day.”
Since August 2, on Monday’s through Friday’s, between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm, Thayne is chained to her dog house on the steps of the Harrisburg legislative building.
Extreme? Yes. But Thayne is so dedicated to this cause she is willing to go to immeasurable lengths to achieve her goal. The goal, of course — no more chained dogs anywhere!
Progress is Slow
Six states now have anti-tethering laws on the books: California, Connecticut, Nevada, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. And some communities throughout the U.S. have anti-tethering laws. But Thayne watched this particular anti-tethering bill languish in the Pennsylvania House and Senate committees for the last six years. And she’s had enough.
Enduring all types of weather — just as all chained dogs do — Thayne has sat on the steps at Harrisburg through sweltering 95 degree days, as well as drenching rain storms.
As Thayne begins week five of her demonstration in Harrisburg, she appears to be making some headway. She started receiving mail from supporters addressed to “The Lady Chained to the Dog House at the Steps of the Pennsylvania State Capitol.” She’s even added a mailbox to her dog house.
How You Can Help
What Thayne needs is for people to call, write and email their senators asking that SB1435 leave committee and go to the Senate for a full vote.
The chairman of the agricultural and rural affairs committee — where this bill sits — is Senator Michael Brubaker (R-36).
Sign the Care2 petition and tell Senator Brubaker you want to see this anti-tethering bill passed into law.
But don’t stop there. Pennsylvania residents, you can find your senators and representatives by visiting the Pennsylvania Senate website. A complete listing of their email addresses is located there.
And if you want to do more, Senator Brubaker’s Harrisburg office phone number is 717-787-4420. His fax number is 717-783-3156. And his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Numbers talk. The more requests for passage of this bill, the better. So even out-of-state residents can contact Senator Brubaker.
Photo of Tamira Ci Thayne at Harrisburg state capitol building is used with her permission.