Have you ever seen a dog sitting alone at the end of a chain, or barking madly inside a small pen at the back of someone’s yard? Have you ever wondered how long they have been there, or if they have ever been on a walk? Have you asked yourself if they have clean water and food? A way to get out of the sun, rain, or snow? Or, perhaps if they have ever been inside to sleep on a comfortable surface, and have someone to pet them?
Dogs Deserve Better has become widely known even to people who may have not asked themselves these questions before, thanks to their efforts to purchase the home of NFL player Michael Vick, where dogs were abused and killed. But, the founder of this non-profit began making a difference for the many dogs silently suffering alone on the end of chains and in pens in 2002, and over the years DDB has grown and continued to fight for the rights of these dogs.
DDB has empowered those who do care by providing assistance, legislative information, promoting state laws, and even general materials for people to make a difference in their communities, among many other things. On their website there is a Wall of Shame for states, featuring animals waiting to be helped. In Virginia, as in other states, you find sad photos of dogs in need. And, on a lighter side of promoting awareness, you will find them included in America’s Charity Wine Shop.
But, what makes the most difference are the many, many volunteers who join and do their part. Today DDB has over 150 area representatives in 38 states, including Canada. Those who choose to become Area Representatives may have the most difficult job. This involves total dedication to the work of saving chained and penned dogs, and serving the communities they live in. Volunteers are such a vital part of this process that areas of DDB have their own websites, such as DDB Northern VA/DC Metro.
Compassion, action and education are critical in helping these dogs who cannot help themselves. It can be as easy as hanging a DDB Doorhanger to begin the process. It can also be as easy as asking yourself those very questions as you walk by a dog on a chain, or in a pen.
Here are a few other sites and information:
Unchain Your Dog
Parents Against Dog Chaining