Dependable Erection

Friday, October 12, 2007

Benefit concert tomorrow - Coaliton to Unchain Dogs

Sometimes after i get carried away with talking about how great a place Durham is to live, someone will ask, pointing to Durham's obvious flaws, what the hell i'm talking about.

The Coalition to Unchain Dogs is an example.

The problem: dogs that are chained all day tend to be more unsocialized, more likely to bite people, especially children, harder to control when they get loose, noisier (which diminishes their usefulness as watch dogs, since they're barking almost all the time and their owners are ignoring them anyway), and in general unhappy with their lot in life.

The solution: ban the practice of keeping dogs chained continuously.

That's why the Coalition was formed, to lobby County Commissioners in Durham and Orange to ban this practice. I'm not sure what's happening in Orange, but in Durham, commissioners have essentially responded to this effort by launching an extended study of the problem.*

So here's what makes the Coalition special. Rather than shrug shoulders and mumble about the difficulties of fighting City Hall, they adopted another tactic, and decided to directly get dogs, one by one, off of their chains and into fenced yards. By raising money, attracting volunteers, and approaching dog owners. They've built a couple of dozen fences over the past year, on an essentially shoe-string budget. It's an approach that is typically Durham.

Tomorrow they're holding their first major fundraiser, a benefit concert at Durham Central Park.

You should buy a ticket and go.


* To be fair to the Commission, there are a lot of obstacles to implementing a change in the laws this drastic, most significantly in figuring out how to enforce it. According to people who should know, at least one third, and possibly more, of Durham's dogs are unlicensed with the county. Many of these dogs are unvaccinated against rabies. Solving that problem needs to come first, given our limited funding for Animal Control. Loose dogs killing other pets ahs recently resurfaced as a problem, most notably in the Watts-Hillandale neighborhood, where the listserv has had about half a dozen accounts of cats being killed by packs of stray dogs within the past 10 days or so. Rounding up strays, and convincing dog owners that letting their dogs roam free is another priority that the AC department has to implement before taking on new tasks.

But in the long term, banning the practice of long term chaining of dogs is going to be the norm, and there's no reason for Durham not to be, if not at the vanguard, at least not trailing the pack.

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  • Maybe Seegar's fence company could be convinced to donate some materials in return for free advertising, like a banner on some blog or something. ;-)

    By Anonymous Mrs. Dependable, at 11:09 AM  

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