Pet ohana: Neighbor concerned about chained dog
My neighbor chains his dog in his back yard. I am on good terms with him; what can I do to help the dog without causing tension between our families?
Answer: Your neighbor probably has good intentions but might not understand the effects that a life at the end of a chain can have. Consider getting involved personally in a nonthreatening way.
If you have a dog, you might ask your neighbor for help in socializing your animal and see if you can arrange an introduction to build the owner's confidence that his canine is better with company than alone. Start slow, with a meeting on neutral territory such as a sidewalk. And gradually ease into play dates in his yard and yours. The Humane Society can provide tips on creating a successful canine introduction.
If you don't have a dog, you could tell your neighbor that you love dogs, wish you could have one and occasionally crave some canine companionship. See if your neighbor would allow you to spend time with his dog. It could be playtime in their yard, a walk and eventually a trip to your nearest off-leash dog park, when you've developed a rapport and command of the animal.
Q: What if I'd rather not get involved?
A: You can file a confidential complaint with the Hawaiian Humane Society. It's important to leave your contact information and the nature of your concern so an investigator can follow up with you.
Humane Society investigators are skilled educators and will visit the pet owner. They have been trained in educating owners about what dogs need to be healthy -- physically and psychologically.
Investigators respond to more than 1,200 cruelty complaints yearly.
Q: Does Hawaii have an anti-chaining law?
A: Unfortunately, Hawaii does not have a law against chaining a dog.
Lawmakers, behaviorists and others in animal welfare know that a dog most likely to attack is an un-neutered male dog who lives his life at the end of a chain. Such an existence breeds aggression and is psychologically damaging.
The Hawaiian Humane Society welcomes questions by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org
. Indicate "Pet Ohana" in the subject line. Or, write "Pet Ohana," Hawaiian Humane Society, 2700 Waialae Ave., Honolulu 96826.