The Humane Rescue Alliance welcomed two dogs from Virginia who have spent their lives on the end of a chain today. Eddie is from Greene County and Hammer is from Augusta County. With the help of Dogs Deserve Better-Blue Ridge, a rescue group serving that area, Eddie and Hammer were surrendered and freed from their chains and have an opportunity for a new beginning at HRA in time for the new year.
HRA also received two puppies from Dogs Deserve Better-Blue Ridge, who were part of a surrender case earlier this week.
Hammer: Rescued from Augusta County Virginia
Eddie: Rescued from Greene County Virginia.
“Chaining a dog for extended periods not only poses grave dangers to the dogs, but to humans as well,” said Alexandra Dilley, HRA’s Director of Behavior and Training. “Dogs are naturally social animals who need interaction with humans and/or other animals. Long term chaining can severely damage their physical and psychological well-being.”
HRA is part of a coalition of organizations, including the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies and the Humane Society of the United States, calling upon the Virginia General Assembly to protect chained dogs during the 2019 legislative session.
The bill that will be introduced during this session will offer these common-sense protections for dogs in Virginia:
- Ensure that dogs are not left chained during extreme weather: heat advisories, winter storms, and extreme weather watches and warnings such as tornadoes, thunderstorms, and hurricanes.
- Protect animals from exposure to extreme temperatures, making necessary improvements in the quality of shelter structures.
- Provide basic standards for length, weight, and type of tether, ensuring that when tethered, dogs have freedom of movement and can interact safely with other animals and their environment.
- Prohibit heavy chains or chains with attached weights.
At least forty-three Virginia municipalities have passed ordinances that protect dogs who live outdoors (to include humane standards, time limits, and extreme weather or enhanced shelter requirements), and approximately twenty-four states have similar laws on the books restricting chaining, including the nearby states of West Virginia and Pennsylvania. In the District, the Standard of Care for Animals Act went into effect in 2017.
Partnering with Dogs Deserve Better-Blue Ridge and other organizations pushing for a legislative solution is part of a new initiative at HRA spearheaded by Director of Regional Outreach, Reasa Currier. Currier joined HRA’s staff last November in a newly created position responsible for developing and advancing HRA’s programs in the capital region and beyond. This new initiative seeks to raise the standard of care for all animals regionally, which includes providing support and resources to organizations, such as Dogs Deserve Better-Blue Ridge, and advancing priority animal welfare legislation.
“We will continue the important work of rehabilitating and rehoming dogs who have lived on chains,” said Currier. “Equally important, is advocating for legislative solutions that will prevent these dogs from having to live in misery in the first place.”
Eddie and Hammer arriving at HRA.
One-month old puppies arrive at HRA from Dogs Deserve Better-Blue Ridge.