Among the 40,000 new laws that go into effect today is the new Tethering Law that takes effect in Illinois. While some people see this kind of legislation as a win for the dogs; I see it as one more area of life where common sense is no longer necessary as the govt. steps in to regulate our relationships with our pets.
I don’t see how this law will really help dogs. Responsible dog owners already know that tethering or chaining is a dangerous practice to be avoided whenever possible. No amount of legislation will help uncaring or negligent dog owners to see the light. This law simply legitimizes a hazardous and neglectful practice. The new law regulates the length and weight of the chain or tether. It’s kind of like having rules for how hard you can beat your dog.
Have I ever tethered a dog before? Yes. Often, while camping, I have placed a dog on a tether to be sure he or she didn’t run off into the woods while I was cooking or attending to other chores that took my attention away from the dog. Obviously, this is a different situation than the person who leaves a dog on a chain all day while they are at work. The use of a chain or tether as a primary means of containment for a dog is an outmoded and dangerous practice. Statistics show that chained dogs are responsible for an inordinate number of dog bites. All things being equal, a dog is far more likely to bite or exhibit other aggressive behavior if he is left on a chain. Tethering, over time, can lead to behavioral changes and psychological damage to the dog. At its worst, chaining also causes terrible physical damage to the captive dog.
So perhaps we should entirely outlaw the use of chains and tethers? Nope. That won’t work either. The legislation of commonsense does nothing for animals, but worsens their plight by shifting the burden of common sense from the dog’s guardian to the government. Do we really want to rely on government to dictate what is and is not “common sense”?
If we allow our government to decide how long a tether should be, how long will it take before we allow our govt. to decide that it is illegal to leave a dog in a car? Wait a sec… that’s already illegal in some places. So now, I am unable to take Fido with me to the store if I live in one of those places. My dogs LOVE to ride with me in the truck, even if it means waiting for a half hour while I shop or do an errand. Would I leave them in a hot vehicle on a hot day? Of course not! Fortunately I am blessed with enough common sense to make good decisions about my dogs.
It seems to me that people who support government control of every aspect of our lives simply don’t believe that they or their peers have as much common sense as the govt. It boggles my mind that they can maintain this kind of blind faith in our corrupt, bloated, controlling nanny state.
Before you write me off as just another wild eyed, anti-government whack job, I challenge you to name one aspect of your life that is not already controlled or regulated by govt. in some way.
How’s that working out for us as a nation?
Slack Leads, People!