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Should You Tie Up Your Dog While You Go Into A Shop?

Some people say you should never tie up your dog outside a shop while you go in to buy something. They think it’s way too risky. And I’ve got to say that I agree.

The fact is that in all probability your dog will remain perfectly safe if left tied up for a minute or two outside a shop. But it only takes one selfish, thoughtless person to put your dog’s life in danger, so I don’t think it’s worth taking the chance, even if the risk is minimal.

A Terrible Outcome

I vividly recall a story from a show called Bondi Vet. A man walked up to a dog who’d been left tied up and casually took the lead, thereby letting the dog loose. The little dog then ran onto the road, got hit by a car, and was severely injured.

There was nothing the vets could do for the dog besides give her painkillers - she was simply too badly damaged. Her back was broken, one of her eyeballs was hanging out of its socket, and she had heavy internal haemorrhaging.

The dog’s owner came to see her in the hospital. (Note that I use the awful word “owner” rather than the preferred “guardian”, because I think “guardian” is too strong a term for a man who leaves his dog outside a pub to go and get drunk.) I’ll never forget how happy the poor little dog was to see her owner and how, despite her pain, she desperately tried to go to him and to wag her tail. The man spent a bit of time with her, said his goodbyes, and the vet put the little dog to sleep.

When I’ve told people this story they often ask how long the dog had been left on her own. The segment didn’t offer this information, but time ultimately wasn’t a factor in what happened because the man who stole the lead did it in mere seconds. What did matter was that the dog was left tied up on her own and at the mercy of whoever was passing by. Unfortunately for this little dog, someone passed by who had no qualms about putting her life in danger just so that he could save a couple of dollars on a lead.

No Justice

Amazingly, the whole incident was caught on camera and the man’s face could be seen very clearly. Now, you might find this heartening - you might think this unhappy story at least has something of a just ending. But it doesn’t. Nothing of the sort.

There was no investigation, so the culprit was never caught, let alone punished. And you might, quite rightly, wonder why this was the case. The reason for it is very clear if you take into account the lenient laws (all over the world, not just here in Australia) regarding the treatment of animals. Looking at these laws, it becomes painfully obvious that society doesn't hold the life of a non-humans to be particularly important.

So there will never be justice for that precious little dog. The only thing to hope for is that her story will make someone think twice before leaving their dog tied up anywhere. And that’s my hope. I hope that in reading this sad tale, you make the firm decision to never leave you dog tied up while you go into a shop even for a minute. I hope you see that it’s just not worth the risk.

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Adopt a homeless animal instead - they all deserve a second chance

It's estimated that 130,000 dogs and 60,000 cats are killed every year in Australia because there are not enough homes for them all. And the global numbers amount to millions upon millions every single year.

Puppy mills are a major contributor to the terrible problem of overpopulation. Puppy mills are essentially 'dog factories' where dogs are forced to churn out litter after litter, with no thought for the welfare of the dogs and all thought for profit. The dogs live in appallingly dirty, cramped conditions all their lives, and when they no longer serve their purpose they're killed, dumped or sold to vivisection laboratories.

Petshops fit into the picture because puppy mills are generally where petshops get their animals from. Furthermore, having animals in shop windows encourages impulse purchases, and adding an animal to your family should be a conscious, careful decision - NOT one to be made while shoe shopping.

Breeders contribute enormously to the tragic statistics above too. And it doesn't matter whether they're professional breeders or backyard breeders, and whether they breed for profit or not, because while there are homeless animals sitting on death row in shelters, any and all animal breeding is utterly irresponsible.

Now, here's where you come in. You can either be part of the problem or part of the solution. You can either buy animals from puppy mills, petshops or breeders and be part of the problem. Or you can adopt from a shelter or rescue organisation and be part of the solution.

If I haven't convinced you, visit your local shelter to see the homeless animals. Let their innocent faces convince you that adopting is the only responsible choice to make.

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