North Carolina group builds fences, breaks chains

Dogtime salutes North Carolina’s Coalition to Unchain Dogs.

How did your organization get started?
About four years ago I moved from Texas to Durham, N.C. I had been involved in animal rescue work for years and through volunteering, when I moved to Durham, saw how prevalent chaining was. I met a couple of dogs who needed help and identified some neighborhoods where there were a lot of chained dogs and decided to see if people would be open to having fences built. My husband and I build the first one by ourselves and the rest is history…

Nepitita, finally unchained

What is your mission?
Our three-tiered mission:

  • Raise money and build fences for chained dogs in the community
  • Provide support to and educate the community as to why chaining is not ideal — and ultimately dangerous — and raise awareness of the physical, mental, and emotional needs of dogs
  • Advocate for the passing of laws that disallow or severely restrict the chaining of dogs

How do you find the dogs (or they, you)?
In the beginning it was all door to door meeting people but now we do that in conjunction with getting third party referrals and most people contacting us asking for help!

How do you go about educating the humans responsible for their care?
We are very adamant about non-judgement. We talk to people respectfully and genuinely. Many times we simply show them by example and give them permission for the first time to care about their dogs. Often, the people are just as changed as the dogs are when a fence is built.

Tell us about a particularly compelling animal or inspiring rescue.
Last fall, we built multiple fences for dogs on the same street in Durham. As we got to know each of the dogs and learn their stories, we learned that they all came from the same chained dog living at the end of the street. Once we realized where all the dogs were coming from we set out find her. Trapped at the end of her chain, Nepitita became pregnant every time she came into heat during her seven years. She was so sway-backed and broken from caring for litter after litter while chained, she walked slowly and with much labor. After being spayed and having a few months to heal without being pregnant or giving birth for the first time in her life, we built her a fence and the sense of releif and happiness she felt was palpable. You can watch Nepitita’s video.