Dog advocates work to educate owners on proper chaining - WSMV Channel 4

Dog advocates work to educate owners on proper chaining

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

When it comes to chaining pets in Tennessee, there can be a fine line between responsibility, neglect and abuse. But there's an organization working to protect these pets, especially during the cold weather.

Dogs are chained 24/7 with nowhere to go in many yards across Middle Tennessee, and it's not just in rural areas.

"Some cases, they are living in their own feces and in mud. They don't have food on a daily basis. Dog houses are minimal," said Cheri Plunkett, with the group Habitat for Paws.

Plunkett says the aggression and anxiety chaining causes not only drives neighbors and dogs stir crazy with constant barking, but it also causes the danger of tangled chains.

That's what happened to a dog named Charlie.

"The chain got underneath his arm, and it wrapped around - tightly - all the way around his chest, around his torso and back around his leg. And he was stuck, and it just started to embed into his skin," Plunkett said.

"Unfortunately, he was probably stuck on that chain for two or three days," said Dr. Karen Fox, veterinarian at Apache Trails Animal Hospital.

Charlie needed about 70 stitches and staples, and Habitat for Paws has been raising money for his surgery.

Habitat for Paws is looking to save other chained dogs, too. You can leave tips on the group's Facebook site, and they will go out and educate owners on better dog care. That includes leaving at least 15 feet of chain, using jackets and putting up fences with ground wire.

You can find the Habitat for Paws Facebook page by visiting: http://www.facebook.com/HabitatForPaws.

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