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Motion 2008-0347, Prohibiting Dog Chaining in King County

Imagine being chained to a tree year after year. You watch the door, hoping someone will come out to play. No one ever does. You long to run, but you can only pace. You shiver in winter and pant in summer. Loose dogs come to beat you up, and you can’t run away. Children taunt you and, again, you can’t run away.

King County Council (Washington State) is looking into the feasibility of implementing legislation to prohibit chaining dogs. Deliberations about whether they should look into it end October 20th, so please contact the council asap.

[See the Legislative File for Motion 0347, including the full text.]

King County, WA has a motion proposed by Julia Patterson to link into legislation that would make it illegal to chain or tether a dog outside. I (Grisha) am in support of this legislation, because continuous chaining has many bad effects, from increased aggression to unwanted pregnancies.

A study by the Centers for Disease Control, “Which Dogs Bite?” found that chained dogs are 2.8 times more likely to bite. The dogs most likely to bite are male, unneutered, and chained.

Making Chaining illegal is consistent with the American Veterinary Medical Associations message, “Never tether or chain your dog because this can contribute to aggressive behavior.”

The overwhelming number of adults and children that are mauled or bitten by dogs are attacked because the dog is continuously chained in his small territory. See for more information on statistics regarding injury and deaths caused by chained dogs.

Also visit for more information on why chaining dogs is inhumane. Note that this is different from having a dog tethered while you are there to supervise, protect, and interact with the dog.

“You don’t have to be from King County, just cut and paste the email addresses of the Council Members below BEFORE OCT. 20 into a polite message and tell them this law is needed for of the above reasons. Please cite “Motion 2008-0347, Dog Tethering bill” in your subject line. We are close – they are behind it but want to hear from the community! ”

UPDATE 10/16/08:

King County Council will be going over Motion 2008-0347, Continuous Chaining, on October 20th, 2008.

King County Council Committee of the Whole
Monday, October 20, 9:30 am
Council Chambers, King County Courthouse, 10th floor
516 Third Avenue
Seattle, WA  98104

The Council’s meeting agenda is available online. (look for the 10/20 9:30 meeting).

The meeting will be broadcast live online, and then posted for later viewing in the archive.

Click to view archived King County Council meetings.  Click on “Committee of the Whole” and then “10/20/08”.  It may take a few days for the archived video to be posted online.

UPDATE 10/20/08:

They did it! The motion to consider the ban on long-term chaining has been passed unanimously by the King County Council.

Here’s what I got from Councilmember Larry Gossett:

“On Monday October 20, 2008 the King County Council unanimously passed a motion requesting Executive Ron Sims to study the feasibility of implementing a ban on continuous dog chaining and tethering.  The Council has requested the report with findings and recommendations by February 28, 2009 so that the Council can develop legislation.”:

“Furthermore, the motion requests that the Executive receive input from a variety of sources including the King County Sheriff’s office, King County Animal Control Officers Guild, National Animal Control Association, King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and community members.  The motion also requests other elements including humane standards and expectations in King County, costs of implementation of recommendations, public education and awareness and experiences of jurisdictions that have implemented chaining and tethering be contacted and interviewed.”

“I look forward to receiving a recommendation from the Executive for whether or not he believes we should move forward with tethering legislation.”

CALL TO ACTION: If you have data that would help King County make this a feasible, enforcable law – for example, if your county has anti-chaining laws, please contact Councilmember Julia Patterson, who introduced the motion to look into a bill banning continuous chaining.