Neighbor Letter

Note:  Here are some suggestions for a letter you can give to someone you feel may be abusing their dog(s).  Again these are suggestions and you can customize this information so it fits the situation you are addressing.

We would like to thank you for taking the time to read this note. However there is a concern about your outside dogs one who are chained 24/7 and the other who is crated. There are things you may not know about how to raise hunting dogs and/or dogs who protect the family. We’d like to take a couple of minutes of your time so you understand just what that means.

There’s an old myth that says a hunting dog has to be an outdoor dog. The idea is that by living indoors a dog will somehow become mentally and physically weak, its sense of smell will be ruined and that an indoor dog “just won’t hunt” if exposed to the easy life and the family. That is absolutely not true. Even if you were raised to believe that is true and you were raised in an environment where friends and relatives kept their dogs chained and crated outside for these reasons, it doesn’t make that thought process correct.

Keeping your hunting dog indoors allows you to bond with him/her and it gives him/her the opportunity to learn what makes you happy, as well as unhappy. If your dog is happy and feels your love then your dog will respond to you and others in a positive way making them a better hunting dog. Your dogs can then learn its place in the pack and how it fits in with the family. By keeping your dogs indoors, you also increase your time to train things like obedience, patience, enforcing commands, etc. Having a hunting dog inside isn’t going to ruin its sense of smell either. That is another myth. If a dog can take a direct spray from a skunk up the nose and still sniff out turkeys, pheasants and other game a little dry air isn’t going to destroy its nasal membranes.

You may believe that feeding and providing water for your dogs every day fulfills their needs. That is also incorrect. Dogs are the neediest animal in existence and are most like humans in their need for companionship. Dogs are pack animals and must to be with their pack otherwise they suffer because they are social animals. Their human family is their pack and to isolate them is a cruel punishment. If your dogs had a choice, do you think they would ask to be chained or crated all the time?

Also please note your dog is only in the shade a short while depending on where the sun is during the day. Therefore most of the day your dog is also suffering in the hot sun. Additionally during storms they are outside stressed and filled with anxiety. Dogs have a negative reaction to rain because the sound hurts their sensitive ears.

If you are chaining and crating your dogs because you believe it will make them more protective, that is not true either. Chaining creates aggression, not protection. A protective dog is use to being around people and can tell when his family is being threatened. Dogs learn to be protective when they spend time with and are loved by their human family and are “part of the pack”. Chaining and crating can also make dogs so aggressive that they will attack keiki and others. There are many cases where dogs who suffer from continuous chaining and crating maul people. People have died or have become permanently scared when attacked by an aggressive dog. No dog born to this world is aggressive they become aggressive when they are abused. And in many of these cases that involves continuous chaining and crating.

No matter what your reason is, the bottom line is that it is NOT ok to chain or crate a dog except for very short periods of time only under certain conditions when you are outside with them. It has been known for years that chaining and crating dogs is animal abuse. Dogs should not have to live chained and crated as prisoners yearning for a place in a family, craving acknowledgement, respect and love. Living in feces and urine until you have time to hose down the area. The mental aspect is no different then a human being who is put in solitary confinement. That is the most severe thing that prison authorities do to an inmate and your dogs suffer that horrible abuse daily.

Dogs should be house trained so they can be with their “pack” at night after the family returns from school or work. If you don’t want your two outside dogs in the house, then this is a good time to ask yourself why you have them? They need to be with their family otherwise they will be stressed, miserable (they are already in case you haven’t noticed) and as they age they may even become aggressive if they aren’t already.

If you are unwilling to make a safe and healthy environment where your dogs can be a well adjusted, happy member of your family, then PLEASE PLEASE consider turning them into a no kill rescue organization. To find them just do an internet search. The rescue organizations will find your poor dogs a loving home where they will flourish.

If you are chaining and crating them outside because you believe they will protect your home that way, please read the following excerpt from an article written by a PhD who is an expert in this subject:


Outside Dogs

by Dennis Fetko, Ph.D.

Unless you’re medically intolerant of the dog (and therefore can’t take care of him in a medical emergency, so you shouldn’t have the dog anyway), making a dog stay outside is a waste.

If he’s for protection, what do you think I want to steal – your lawn?

When you leave, do you put your valuables and your kids out in your yard? Just what is the dog protecting out there? Most dogs kept outside cause far more nuisance complaints from barking and escaping than any deterrent to intrusion. Such complaints cause teasing, antagonism, release and poisoning. With your dog a helpless victim, it’s no laughing matter.

If I’m a crook and your dog is out, having him outside protects ME, not your possessions or your dog. If I just go around him, 9 out of 10 dogs will run off! I can safely shoot, stab, spear, poison, snare, strangle them, or dart through the fence or your yard and you just lost your dog AND everything I steal!

If he’s tied up and I keep out of reach, he’s useless. He’ll bark, but outside dogs bark so much, they’re usually ignored. But let a dog hit the other side of a door or window I’m breaking into, and I’m GONE! I can’t hurt the dog until he can hurt me, and nothing you own is worth my arm. Deterrence is effective protection.

It’s understandable for you to believe this treatment is OK if you were raised around dogs who were treated in this manner. However it was wrong then and it is wrong now. Is it possible for you find that place in your heart and bring them to a no kill rescue organization if you cannot make their living conditions humane? These organizations will only release them to a home with a healthy environment where they will flourish and be loved and treated as part of the family. Please consider this option as you continue reading. Also make a donation if you can to the rescue organization when you give them your dog.

It is also understandable that changing this type of dog abuse behavior may be hard because you could know other family members and friends who currently have dogs on chains or crates all the time. It is very hard to be the first among friends and family to step out and do something different. Often it is more difficult to do the right thing then to continue in a set behavior. But if someone isn’t the first one to say “No, this isn’t right. These dogs are miserable. We are ruining their lives and this has got to change because it is abuse and I don’t want to abuse dogs”. Can you be the first one of your family and friends to do this please? Can you show others you have the courage to take a stand against dog abuse? Can you take the comments from these people who may taunt you for giving these dogs a better life? Before Robert Kennedy was killed he said: Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, it sends out a tiny ripple of hope “. You are participating in an injustice to your outside dogs by continuing with their ongoing abuse.

There have been so many abusive things humans have done throughout our existence. Remember our participation in slavery, the attempt to exterminate Jews and American Indians. We have learned that these actions were not humane and have changed slowly over the years. Currently there is a huge worldwide movement to stop chaining and crating of dogs because it is also not humane. Can you be a part of the fantastic movement.

Again we are just hoping you do the right thing immediately as time is of the essence for your dogs. Everyday your dogs stay outside alone chained and crated is torture for those poor pups and will have a permanent negative impact on him/her. Please open your heart to your poor dogs and release them from prison. It is our Kuleana to make sure this abuse doesn’t continue. We are hoping it becomes your Kuleana too and that once you’ve done the HUMANE thing by releasing those dogs, make it your Kuleana to pass on this message. Mahalo …