With the constant barrage of stories about dog abuse, it is easy to forget the many good people that work tirelessly on behalf of society’s canine companions.
Coalition to Unchain Dogs is a unique, non-profit organization that was formed back in 2006 in Durham, NC. Troubled by the many dogs which were chained, or otherwise tethered, within their area, the volunteers with the organization banded together to make a direct change in their own community.
The Coalition to Unchain Dogs organization is unique in its approach. Rather than working against dog owners that utilize a chain or tether, the group establishes a rapport with them – educating about the benefits of housing dogs in a fenced yard vs. life on a chain.
Lucky recipients of the Coalition’s efforts not only receive a fence, free of charge, but all of the dogs at the property receive a wellness exam, vaccinations and perhaps most importantly, are spayed or neutered.
This one of a kind approach was the brain child of Amanda and Casey Arrington. Amanda had worked within under-served neighborhoods in and around Durham as a Community Outreach Coordinator for Independent Animal Rescue – educating owners about the importance of spaying and neutering their pets.
During her time in the community, Amanda encountered a tremendous number of owners that chained their dogs. Amanda witnessed, firsthand, the detrimental effects that dogs suffered from being tethered; from the behavior issues, such as increased aggression or abject depression, to the physical detriments including injuries, and even death. The sad truth is that life on a chain can completely ruin an otherwise good dog.
Amanda and her husband decided that they needed to make a change in the community. With determination, passion and a gift for leadership, Amanda was able to start a grassroots movement to pass a city ordinance in Durham to ban the use of tethers for dogs that are unattended.
The Arringtons knew that the community would be more accepting of a ban on the chaining of dogs if owners could be provided with assistance for fencing. Hence the non-profit, Coalition to Unchain Dogs.
Currently, the organization is enjoying support from the community, an ever-increasing number of volunteers, and the passage of the ordinance to ban unattended tethering. Residents in the community are expected to comply with the new ordinance by July, 2010.
The ingenious method by which this organization functions has inspired other communities across the country to follow suit. Volunteers, inspired by the instant gratification that comes from seeing the unbridled joy on the face of a newly unchained dog, are eager to expand their efforts.
Just this month, the Coalition to Unchain Dogs hosted a Fence-A-Thon. Over 50 lucky dogs received the ultimate gift – the gift of freedom. Please enjoy the photos in the slideshow. The smiles on the dogs’ faces say more than words are able to.
Those interested in learning more about the Coalition to Unchain Dogs can visit their Facebook Fan page. Inspired by their efforts? Visit their website contact page and inquire about how you can make a change within your own community.
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