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 firstname.lastname@example.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?
Photo from DDB website used with permission of Tamira Ci Thayne.