Doesn't Man's Best Friend Deserve More than Life on a Chain?

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Photos: Cruelty of Chaining

These photos are intended to educate people about the cruelty of keeping dogs continuously chained, and the importance of helping chained dogs. Photos below the "warning" label are explicit and disturbing.

Neglected dogs like these need you to make a difference in their lives!

How can anyone justify such treatment of living creatures?


This hungry boy, Charlie, was left to starve on a chain. He went for a week with no food and was finally rescued by Beebee, Arkansas Humane Society. Charlie was fostered by Smilin' Pit Bull Rescue, but he ended up having to be euthanized. I am so glad that Charlie did get a few months of wonderful care and love, though.



This picture says it all. This dog's owners considered him no better than trash. Humane society workers in Cumberland County, NJ rescued this dog. His trashcan was packed with enough trash that "Oscar" could barely see over the top. Sadly, Oscar had to be euthanized due to a severe case of ringworm.


Humans in this country used to be kept in chains while waiting to be sold at slave auctions. Slaves were treated as "objects" without feelings. Some slaves were tortured by cruel owners. Similarly, some people now keep dogs in chains and treat them as "objects" without feelings. Dog fighters torture dogs in terribly cruel ways to make them mean.

This dog was rescued by the amazing animal advocate Desiree Bender in Arkansas.

This dog was rescued from a   dogfighting ring. Dogs used in fighting are typically chained or kept in small crates for their entire lives.

"Any breed of dog can be conditioned to fight. Once that behavior is instilled in an animal, it faces a bleak future, even if it is rescued."


These dogs were part of a dog-fighting ring in  Florida. Visit our dogfighting page to learn more about the terrible cruelty involved in pit bull fighting.

These dogs were rescued by Dogs Deserve Better, a wonderful group advocating for chained dogs around the country

Rescue workers found many dead dogs at the end of chains and trapped inside pens after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. These dogs had no chance to save themselves.

This chained sled dog has no shelter and dug a hole in the packed dirt for a bed. Visit the Sled Dog Action Coalition to learn about the cruelty involved in dog sledding and racing. Most sled dogs are chained continually when not working.


Chained dogs don't make good guard dogs. Chaining teaches dogs to be aggressive rather than protective. All a chained dog can do is bark! A chained dog is likely to attack anyone--the mailman, neighborhood children, other pets.

One of the best deterrents to intruders is an inside dog. Intruders will think twice before entering a home with a dog on the other side. They won't care about a dog barking in the back yard!

Bailey was rescued from a backyard in Florida where he had been chained in intense heat. Bailey's owners admitted they had not fed him in 30 days! Save-A-Pet in New York rescued Bailey, shipped him to NY, and got him healthy.


I wonder how long this emaciated dog lived without food or water inside the broken-down crate. Days? Weeks? Try going for 4-5 days without food or water and you will get an idea of how many chained and neglected dogs feel.

Thanks to Desi with Where Angels Run for rescuing this pit bull, along with so many others.

Smokey was chained in the backyard of an elderly woman who didn't even want her. A rescuer talked her into giving up Smokey and her puppy. Sometimes, talking to the owners of chained and neglected dogs really helps. See a photo of Smokey after she was rescued!

Tiger lived on this chain for years, rarely with adequate food and water, with a matted coat. Animal advocate Brian Vincent offered to build a free fence for Tiger, but his owner refused. Animal control refused to help the dog, too, so Vincent took Tiger from this yard. Vincent was arrested and made to return Tiger. Vincent says, "I think this woman forfeited her right to own this dog … I think he deserves better."


Ouch. This knotted, tight chain looks painful. Instead of trying to control large, energetic dogs with heavy chains--why not spend time socializing your dog and teaching him how to behave? Dogs are so smart and love to learn. Dogs want to please their owners by doing they right thing. You just have to show them what that is. 


These two labs were left chained behind some junked cars. Thanks to the fearless Jaxie with Beebee AR Humane Society, the abusers were charged with animal cruelty. The dogs were lucky--they were taken in by a lab rescue group.


These pics are from a pit bull fighting ring that was busted in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. learn more about the terrible cruelty involved in pit bull fighting.

Listen to rap mogul Russell Simmons talk about why animal cruelty isn't cool.



Poor Snowball. Dogs Deserve Better offered to provide a better home for Snowball, but his owners refused. He lived on that chain for 12 years.

Many people treat their dogs as objects  they OWN--like the rusted car on blocks next to the dog--rather than living creatures with a right to some freedom and a good life. 


Not much of a choice--mud or a dirty barrel to sleep in. Sometimes when I am warm and cozy in bed, I say a prayer for all of the people and dogs who have no choice but to sleep outside in the rain and snow and cold.

This dog has no shelter. Dogs are den animals and love to curl up in warm, dry places. Dogs need a doghouse with warm bedding to sleep in--if they can't be brought inside with the family.

This chained dog got trapped in debris from a tornado. Chained dogs are unable to find shelter during storms or flee from violent people.

Dogs are naturally social beings who thrive on interaction with human beings and other animals. A dog kept chained in one spot for hours, days, months, or even years suffers psychological damage. 

Dogs tethered for long periods can become highly aggressive. Did you know that chained dogs are almost 3 times more likely to bite?


Pedro died of starvation soon after this photo was taken. Thanks, Jaxie with  Beebee, Arkansas Humane Society, for trying to save him.

See a photo of Thunder after he was rescued.

The USDA, CDC, and AVMA all agree that chaining is inhumane to dogs and dangerous to people.


Chained dogs often become entangled in their chains, and can choke or strangle to death. Once tangled, dogs are usually unable to reach food, water, or shelter. Sometimes a dog will sit tangled for days before anyone notices.

The result of a too-tight chain, left on for too long. Many times people get a puppy, chain it up, and forget about it. The puppy then grows into the collar.

Chained dogs also suffer from sporadic feedings, overturned water bowls, inadequate veterinary care, and extreme temperatures. 


Khaki was rescued by Desiree ender from life on a chain. She could barely stand or walk.

Dogs should be kept indoors at night, taken on regular walks, and otherwise provided with adequate attention, food, water, and veterinary care.

This dog was confiscated from an Ohio dog fighting ring

The area where chained dogs live usually gets dirty quickly, since the dog has to eat, sleep, urinate, and poop in the same area. The smell and mess makes owners less likely to want to go out and spend time with their dog. 

Small pens are as cruel as short chains.
Dogs used for fighting were kept in these pens.

These three dogs are tangled together and none of them can reach food, water or shelter.

This dog lived his life on a chain, and was extremely malnourished and neglected.


Rescuers provided the doghouse, food bowl and water bucket for this little girl. She lived on a chain for 13 years.

In addition to the psychological damage brought by continuous chaining, dogs forced to live on a chain make easy targets for other animals, cruel humans, and biting insects and parasites. A chained dog can't escape from neighborhood kids intent on cruelty or loose, aggressive dogs (attacks on chained dogs happen all the time--visit our News section for more.)


Notice how packed the dirt is from constant pacing. No grass survives to provide a bit of softness.


Bear was imprisoned by a 5-pound chain, which was cutting into his neck. Bear was rescued by Read this story to see a picture of how Bear looks now! He is pictured with one of his rescuers, Tina Ealy.   


Warning: Explicit Photos

The following images will stay with you for a long time. As hard as the photos are to look at--the dogs actually had to live through the abuse.

Learn how you can help chained and neglected dogs!



This dog slipped from the area where he was chained, and died an agonizing death.



Many times people put a collar or chain on a dog but fail to enlarge it as the dog grows. Then the collar cuts into the dog's neck causing infectious wounds.  


This poor dog was found chained and dead by Beebee, Arkansas Humane Society. This dog was chained in full view of the front door of the house. What kind of person could walk past a dying dog every day and do nothing?


This dog was also found by Jaxie Heppner with Beebee, Arkansas Humane Society. This dog died of starvation and was partially eaten by other starving dogs. The abuser, Pamela Smith, was found guilty of animal cruelty and sentenced to jail (a rare event in Arkansas.)

I have so much respect for Jaxie and other humane advocates around the country who face humanity at its worst every day and keep on going.



One problem with chaining is that dogs will sometimes jump the fence or off a deck, hanging themselves. What a terrible way to die.


A tight collar was removed from this chained dog’s neck. The too-tight collar left the dog with a painful and bloody injury.

I know, this photo hurts to look at. It hurts the dogs more to live it. This dog's collar grew into her neck, causing massive injury and infection.

This dog's owner received a lifetime ban on owning more dogs in New Zealand.

This dog was starved by his owner, an animal control officer.

The Humane Society of Pulaski County, AR, rescued two dogs with embedded chains in their necks.


Thank you for educating yourself about the plight of chained dogs. Please take a look at the rest of the site to learn how you can make a difference for chained dogs in your community.

We greatly appreciate donations toward our efforts to help chained dogs.

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