‘Raise the Woof’ and help unchain dogs

The second annual fundraiser will be held 2-8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, at the Thirsty Beaver, 1225 Central Ave., Charlotte.

10/29/2012 11:37 AM

10/29/2012 11:39 AM

Correspondent

Unchaining dogs is the mission of a local animal welfare group that helps Charlotte dog owners who have dogs chained outside their homes.

The Charlotte Chapter of the Coalition to Unchain Dogs, a 501(c)(3) organization builds fences and provides spay and neutering services to help untether dogs and allow them to run freely around their homes.

“We plan to unchain our 200th dog in November,” said Neya Warren, co-director of the volunteer group. “Raise the Woof will help provide the funds we need to continue our work.”

The second annual fundraiser will be held 2-8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, at the Thirsty Beaver, 1225 Central Ave., Charlotte. The event, to be held rain or shine, will feature bluegrass and country bands on an outdoor stage. The public – and pet dogs – are invited.

The suggested donation is $5.

The group hopes to raise $5,000. While its services are free to pet owners, each fence costs about $500 and each spay/neuter operation costs around $100, said Warren.

The Charlotte chapter, said Warren, started in 2009 and is part of a statewide organization.

Dog owners receive fences built to create an outdoor space for dogs to run free.

Unchained dogs have an improved quality of life, and are happier, healthier and more energetic, she said.

“Many pet owners are not aware of the potential harm to dogs that are kept chained,” said Warren.

“A chained dog can be seriously injured or even die. Dogs can get embedded collar where skin grows around the collar. Dogs can get tracheal injuries from being tangled up in the chain and tether or even lose legs from entrapment.”

Warren said chained dogs often become very protective of their small area and can be vicious to people. Dogs that break off chains can be aggressive, she said.

Chained dogs are 2.8 times more likely to bite than non-chained dogs and 5.4 times more likely to bite children under the age of 12, according to a recent Centers for Disease Control study, said Warren.

Through community outreach, the group contacts dog owners who have dogs chained outside. If the owner is interested – and agrees to have the dog(s) spayed or neutered, paid for by the group, a fence build will be scheduled. Volunteers provide the materials and build the fence, and provide a doghouse. “We are nonjudgmental, but we need to be open and honest with dog owners,” said Warren. “Chained dogs outside contribute to the overpopulation.”

The chapter works with the Humane Society of Charlotte, the county Animal Care and Control office and Carolinas Veterinarian Hospital to provide low-cost spay and neuter services.

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