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Tethering Your Dog: When, Where, Why or Howl!

Animals Posted Nov 23, 2020
Do you know the dangers associated with leaving your pet tied up?

Dogs just love company, so when they’re home alone we tend to worry about their safety, and of course, their potential for mischief and escape. There are many ways we can train and kindly contain our lively animals without a tether, but when the need arises, tethering safely, humanely and no more than necessary, is key.

There will always be valid instances to safely tether your pets — shopping pit-stops for puppuccinos, holidays in unfamiliar hang-outs, and trips to free-range and unfenced spaces. In these situations, tethering is a safe, short-term restraint for your companion and appropriate when visiting an environment of unknowns. But, there are many dangers when leaving a pet tied up in your backyard. Read more here.

Unfortunately, cases of unlawful and inhumane tethering are still occurring. This year we’ve seen two finalised Inspectorate cases relating to dogs being left tied up and dying as a result.

Moo Moo's story

Moo Moo is a survivor, another dog Lily, wasn’t so lucky and died as a result of being left tethered in a backyard. Moo Moo was found like this.

Moo moo found tethered to a cage

 Luckily she has now gone on to find a loving, new family.

Moo moo looking happy

Moo Moo’s owner was heavily fined, sentenced to a period of 18 months probation, and prohibited from owning animals for 5 years.

Bronx's Story

**Warning. Some viewers may find imagery in the following story distressing **

In a shockingly similar case, two dogs were left tethered in a backyard in full sun. The temperature at 9am that day was 29 degrees. By 10:35am it was too late. Bronx was dead.

Bronx had suffered heat stroke and died in his owner’s backyard tethered to a clothesline. No dog should have to suffer like he did. Another dog on the property was also tethered, but luckily survived. She was seized by our Inspectorate.

The offender in Bronx’s case had a conviction recorded and was sentenced to 2 months’ imprisonment to be suspended for 12 months. He was ordered to pay $99.55 in summons costs, $14,705.53 in vet and boarding costs for the seized dog, legal costs of $1,500 and prohibited from owning animals for 4 years.

dog laying still tethered to clothesline

Bronx did not deserve to suffer painfully and die the way he did. His death was easily preventable.

If you think heat stroke happens over a long period of time, think again. A dog can suffer and die within a matter of minutes. It’s just not worth the risk!

Life's better untethered

When your dog is safely confined on your property with the freedom to roam as they wish, they’ll thank you for it. Providing unrestricted movement and access to food, clean water, shade and shelter is always the leading option for optimal well-being. Every space is different, so planning for your pet’s size, temperament and health needs in the design of their area dramatically reduces the need to consider tethering.

As for hightailing Houdini’s who still manage to worry us with their great escapes — GPS pet trackers are a great peace-of-mind accessory for the fretful dog owner. Don’t forget to microchip your pet and ensure their details are up to date. Read more here.

Enhance your pet’s experience of solitude with brain training activities, interactive fetch and treat games, chew toys and treat treasure hunts — this does wonders for occupying restless jaws and paws! RSPCA World for Pets supply plenty of safe and stimulating boredom-blockers for sensory play that will keep them engaged. You can also do-it-yourself… check out some of our DIY dog toys here.

For more information about tethering animals, please visit our RSPCA Knowledge Base.

Rebecca Kahler

Rebecca Kahler
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