Have a Heart for Chained Dogs This Valentine’s Day

Dogs are social pack animals that depend on humans for food, shelter, love and companionship.  So why does any person have a pet dog only to keep that animal chained outside 24/7?  Every neighborhood has them — cities, suburbs or rural areas.  Take a drive around your hometown and make note.

This year, the Valentine’s Day Outreach project of Dogs Deserve Better (DDB) has a goal of sending 17,000 Valentines to chained dogs – everywhere.  The organization is calling February 7 – 14 Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week.

For eight years, DDB has sent valentines to owners of chained dogs in an effort to educate them on why it is so detrimental to the dogs.  Included is a coupon for dog food or treats along with literature on anti-tethering.

DDB is a Pennsylvania-based 501(c) 3 non-profit animal advocacy organization with a singular goal.  Help get all chained dogs from abusive outside existences to a warm life inside a loving home.  It’s what dogs deserve.

The dedicated effort of founder Tamira Ci Thayne to raise awareness about the plight of chained dogs is amazing.  Last year she literally chained herself to a doghouse on the steps of the Pennsylvania state capitol in Harrisburg for 52 days to get the attention of lawmakers.  In spite of her monumental effort, the bill did not even make it to the floor for a vote.

Thayne states “Winter is the best time to reach out to those who chain and pen their dogs, and what better excuse than Valentine’s Day to send these forgotten animals a little love.  Every winter our rescuers see dogs that have frozen in the snow, suffered frostbite, or otherwise endured horrific living conditions because of the longstanding misperception that it is ok to chain a dog outside in any kind of weather.”

Watch the DDD video of one of the many rescues achieved by Thayne.  It shows just how long a dog that had been denied water will drink when given the opportunity.  

The touching part is in the beginning when the chained German shepherd prances back and forth with her empty bowl in her mouth, begging for some sustenance.  It really explains Thayne’s determination.  



And it’s so easy to help. Here’s how you can:

1. Make valentines cards:  This is a wonderful project for schools, scout troops and individuals.  Quality is more important than quantity.  Each valentine will resonate more deeply when it is a homemade work of art crafted by loving hands.  Each card should be no bigger than 4″ by 8.5″ to fit in a regular mailing envelope.  Mail them by February 5 to Dogs Deserve Better, PO Box 23, Tipton, PA 16684.

2. Mail coupons for treats and dog food:  Free or reduced price coupons are included with each valentine sent.  Mail all the coupons you can scrounge up to PO Box 23, Tipton, PA 16684.

3.  Send address of chained or penned dogs in your neighborhood:  There are four different ways to let the good folks at DDB know where to send valentines.  The preferred method is an online form which can be completed anonymously on the DDB website if you scroll down on that page.  Or, you can email the addresses to info@dogsdeservebetter.org, call the toll free number at 1-877-636-1408 or mail them to the post office box above.

4. Sponsor valentines:  Between the cost of postage and envelopes, the cost for 17,000 valentines will exceed $7,000. If you want to help, check out this DDB website page.

As with any cause, DDB can always benefit by getting more volunteers to spread the word by becoming an Area Rep.  Currently DDB has Area Reps in 38 of the 50 United States as well as Canada, United Kingdom and China.  What are you waiting for?

Related Stories:

Speak Up for Chained Dogs in New York

Woman Chains Herself to Dog House in Protest

Jails That Rehabilitate Abused Dogs

Photo from DDB website used with permission of Tamira Ci Thayne.

100 comments

Yvonne Long
Yvonne Long4 years ago

I think chaining an animal is disgusting. IF YOU are not going to treat an animal like one of the family then dont have them. They have feelings too and depend on us for everything.

K Rose
K Fielding4 years ago

It is not fair that they chain animals :-( what kind of life is that... If your going to have a pet you should care for it and give it attention. Not just leave it on it's own for hours on end.

Shelly Smith
Shelly Smith5 years ago

I agree 99% of the time w/not ever chaining a dog out for more than an hr (my dogs need to be chained when outside & they have been known to spend an hr or so playing but they are INSIDE dogs, who get chained to go out & I peek out about every 10-15min esp in the winter cuz 1 of my dogs is basically naked lol) so I understand that need. I also know a couple breeds that PREFER to be outside in the winter (huskies, etc), of course there's a fine line, I know ppl who chain their husky out all day while they're at work & the dog comes in when they get home, I also know someone who's huskies are chained out all the time but have warming bowls so their water doesn't freeze & they obviously have shelter, & eachother for company, but the woman uses them as sled dogs in the winter (for fun, not business) & they LOVE it! That's their "human time", they're great dogs, happy & healthy so I dont think it's ALL bad ALL the time...HOWEVER, short-haired dogs should never be chained out for long, nor should winter dogs be chained out long periods in the summer, there needs to ALWAYS be fresh food & water available, & always always always shelter & human contact, bonus if they have a buddy to spend time with when the ppl aren't around. Like I said, fine line & most of the time I do NOT agree w/chaining a dog, but I think there are some rare exceptions...

Dan B.
Dan Brook5 years ago

The best way to honor and protect animals EVERYDAY is to not eat them.

Fight cruelty with your fork; have compassion on your plate; increase social justice with every meal.

For more info about the *many* benefits of vegetarianism (and the many problems with the production and consumption of meat), please visit (and share)

Eco-Eating at www.brook.com/veg

Gwen J.
Gwen J.5 years ago

Anything that can be done to help is good.

Donna F.
Donna F.5 years ago

Thank you for sharing this very important subject! And thanks to Dogs Deserve Better. Everyone should support this animal rescue group in every way possible!

Jack T.
Jack T.5 years ago

'Make a Valentine card' - pathetic rubbish!
What you need is a strong law that will kick everyone's butt who chains up a dog! Start by making it socially unacceptable so the culprits will know they may get their houses torched if they treat man's best friend that way.

Karen F.
karen Friedman5 years ago

Chaining of any animal is cruel. Laws need to be changed to where a dog is not looked at as property, but as a companion animal. It is so sad to watch or see any kind animal abuse, and chaining is just that.

Barbara Erdman
Barbara Erdman5 years ago

thanx :0

mary l.
mary l.5 years ago

No animal should ever be chained. Why own an animal if you are not going to let it interact with the family. Do the animals a favor and give them to someone that will take care of them and love them.