Friday, February 25, 2011

Bitchin' about Hitchin'

I've been meaning to write about this ever since I presented at the ASPCA's Spay Neuter Summit in New York way back in September. The day after my talk I had time to tool around town and visit a friend. On my way over I came upon this poor gal and of course waited awhile to see if her person showed up, and they didn't. So I took a couple photos with the idea of raising the topic of tying dogs out when I got back.


I'm quite certain this dog's owner is fond of their girl - she looks healthy, clean, and obviously is out on a walk...sort of. She likely perked up and tail-wagged when mom or dad finally came out, looking no worse for wear and who knows, maybe even went to the park afterwards and had a great time. But it doesn't take a pit whisperer to see how miserable this poor gal is in this situation. Sure, she's cold, but will warm up once she's moving again. Those pitiful ears are more telling though - all the way back and her head held low - trying to disappear since she's in a vulnerable position with no flight option should a bigass scary dog come along and pick a fight with her. Or for that matter, a littleass scary dog - you know, the kind who yaps and charges and yaps and charges. With nowhere to go our tied dog just might charge back and do considerable damage to said little dog. Or worse yet, break the flexi lead by running into the street away from a dog to be hit by a Yellow Cab.



Really, I've never been an alarmist and probably err on the side of not worrying about things when maybe I should, but when it comes to dogs in this situation I become concerned. This particular dog wouldn't even warm up to me and I've been known to win the favor of a dog or two. I immediately let her be though so she wouldn't feel worse, but then there are those who won't take no for an answer and might even insist on petting her to make her feel better, right before the fear bite breaks skin. Now the owner has a scared dog and a potential lawsuit on their hands. Then there is the person who does win the dog's favor and walks off with her because they don't like that she was left like that and now our girl has a new owner - maybe it's a nice owner, or maybe it's a person who wants a dog to guard their junkyard.

Please tell your friends not to tie their dogs to parking meters and walk away. It's so wrong for so many obvious reasons, most of which are spelled out right in these photos. - Tim

68 comments:

who wouda thunk it?? said...

yeah, That would have frosted me over, too. How can people be so naive? I wont even leave my boy in the yard if I run to the store a few blocks away. Even if you wait, and meet them and try to explain the depth of issues that COULD have occurred, they think you are the nutjob

Monica said...

I live in Ontario Canada - the land of BSL. Pretty much any dog with a square head is considered a pit bull here. We recently had an incident in my town where a large black dog was tied up outside a store. She became aggressive - apparently barking & lunging at passerbys - who knows what set her off - maybe another dog or perhaps someone tried to approach her. Someone called Animal control & the dog was seized. They held her for about a month & a hearing was scheduled to deal with the aggression issue - thankfully she was released and the owner was ordered to spay & license her & use a muzzle when out in public. However, A.C. has determined she is an illegal pit bull & another hearing has been scheduled in a couple of weeks to deal with that issue. An official from the Canadian Kennel Club has stated she is a boxer/bulldog cross. Leaving any animal tied up alone in public is dangerous - in this case it could be fatal.

Debi said...

Great message Tim. I remember when I was naive and left Buddy the first time I went in to get coffee. The sound I heard after I was out of his site made me think someone was beating him. I ran back out and those eyes broke my heart. I believe he thought he was going to be abandoned. Buddy was found wandering the streets of Richmond. That moment, I decided to adopt him instead of helping my friend look for a home for him. I couldn't let him go through that again. I had him 3 weeks and he was in a new home after being with my friend about a year.

After learning more about dog behavior and worrying about the "pit bull" reputation I never left the love of my life (RIP Buddy boo) out of my site without someone who knows him watching him, if I couldn't see him. After all, I owed it to him to protect him from himself (his natural doggie behaviors, i.e, urge to kick a dominant doggie butt.) And, God forbid another dog owner get in the mix and get accidentally bit.

I'm also shocked YOU of all people, the pit bull whisperer, didn't win this dog over. Again, another wonderful, educational and a much needed message from the BAD RAP crew.

Bethany said...

Thanks for writing about this. I got so angry when I went out to have dinner with some friends and a family had tied their dog up. She was sweet and friendly but with no water and tons of people passing by. Her "family" didn't notice when I put out water or left to check on her every 10 min (there was a large window). After 40 min I was about ready to make a loud announcement asking who the dog belonged to when a table got up and went out to her. They completely ignored large groups of kids walking up to her and petting. It ate me up that I had no idea what to do to change things.

Adrienne said...

That dog looks so sad. :(

However I think this poor dog's situation is an extreme. Every once in a while I tie my dog up and duck in a store to get coffee. I make sure I can see her / she can see me through a window, and I don't do it on busy streets. I go back outside if I see another dog approaching. If the person is responsibly monitoring the dog and it's not done in a crowded place, it seems like it's not such a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

I'd be afraid someone would steal Petey. he's so friendly and handsome. And yes, I too live in the land of BSL called Onscario (Ontario) and I am well aware of Roxy's case. Don't tie your dog up EVER, especially alone. I see it all the time. If I saw this dog I might think it's abandoned and take it myself, ;)

marketbette said...

I am a pit bull owner and I am guilty of tying my dogs up outside but only for a few minutes while I run into a store. My dogs sit at attention and wait for me. They are very friendly and normally ignore other dogs anyway. Most people stay away since they look like gargoyles. My biggest fear is that someone will realize how friendly they are and snatch them.. I hope their big mugs will deter this.
But one of my girls won't go anywhere with anyone anyway. She throws herself on the floor on her back if someone takes her too far from her mommy.

Likewise, she was abandoned and abused by the previous owner. They tied her to my fence and she was terrified and mistrustful of humans, with reason. I think she was beat by a man because she would avoid men in the beginning and forget it if they had something in their hand, like a stick or a hose... she would cower and growl.. poor baby. I've had her now 5 years and she is the biggest slut in the park going up to any man (human or otherwise) and wiggling her butt like she's on the clock... she sets the allotted time I am allowed in the store, If I take too long, she starts crying in a very pathetic, demeaning manner that would make other dogs sneer at her. but she doesn't care about that...

I guess my point is that my dogs are well adjusted and trained. So, I feel comfortable and confident leaving them for a short while. I understand that there are outside forces like vicious squeak toys with Napoleon syndrome... but my dogs do not demean themselves to engage in that behavior.

So, ultimately, it depends on the owner. As it always does.

Donna said...

You are so right to worry that someone may steal your dogs, marketbette. It's actually quite common (and maybe we'll hear from someone in these posts who's experienced the horror of that). Unfortunately the best training in the world can't do a thing about the behavior of other people and dogs who encounter unattended pets.

Donna said...

Monica - Your story is gut wrenching. Good lord! Is there any sort of campaign going on in your province to educate dog owners not to tie their dogs out?

bellalouise said...

This situation gets under my skin. I will never forget one cold San Francisco night when my now husband and I went to dinner at Mel's Diner. We were positioned at a table by the window, and right outside our window there was a tiny white dog with beautiful long white hair. She looked like a little Princess dog wearing some sparkly sweater, but she had been left tied up by herself, in the cold, in not the best neighborhood to be, late on a Friday night. My husband and I spent our entire meal watching her out the window. She dominated our conversation. When a homeless person began to harass her, we sprang from our seats prepared to take action. There was no one else in that restaurant that evening that even cast a glance out that window to check on their little girl. No one else whose dinner seemed to be ruined by an overwhelming sense of worry about that poor little creature tied up outside vulnerable and alone, a little purse dog who could easily have fallen into the wrong hands.
I wish we had stood up and made an announcement that night, sought out the owners and called them out. Instead we took on the task of being her guardians for the evening, and when their meals were done, a couple went and claimed her as their own, strolling down the street with her. They have likely continued this practice. We failed that little dog that night by not calling out her people out on the dangers of what they were doing.

Kristina said...

I was in Boston and watched a woman walk up to a cafe, tie her dog to a parking meter and walk into the cafe where I was. I said to my party..."that's not a good idea, any dog can be scared into bad behavior in that situation". Sure enough moments later a car pulled up and as the driver, a man, tried to add money and read the meter leaning over the dog several times...the dog snapped and blew into a tizzy! Oh the commotion that ensued. The owner came running out and cafe manager came running out the dog was scared to death and driver was pissed. The owner said, "This has never happened", the cafe owner said, "she always ties the dog there?". The driver said "that dog is vicious". It's so simple...the people aren't thinking and had that dog bit that man as he repeatedly loomed over the dog w\o it's owner present...something bad could have resulted.

thenutfantastic said...

Well said! I wouldn't dream or even think about leaving any of my 4 legged babies tied up, even in front of my house. I don't even leave them in my backyard unattended as too much bad can happen in under 5min! I will share this with as many people as possible!

Rochelle B. said...

Poor thing! I don't even leave my pup tied up in my OWN yard by herself! If my hubby and I take her for a walk or car ride and have to run in somewhere, one of us always stays behind with her. It's not that we don't trust her, it's we don't trust anyone else!!

Donna said...

@ Kristina. Classic.

We had a man in Pit Ed class whose dog was court ordered to take our training because he bit a child when tied up to a bike post. Actually both his dogs were tied up and the child said one of them bit him but didn't seem to know which one. Of course, it was the pit bull that landed the dangerous dog label (although I had to wonder if it wasn't the other, more nervous dog of the pair that did the deed). I wonder if that guy still has that dog. Life gets impossible when your dog's been given a DD label.

Cindy Steinle said...

Heh I have been known to wait over an hour for an owner to show up. The longer I wait the worse I unleash. There was a repeat offender at the one grocery store, and I actually grabbed the pooches and sat 30 feet away in my truck waiting for him to come out. Funny, after he saw how easy it was for me to "steal the dogs" Even tho he padlocked their leashes to the bike rack, he never did it again. Guess he didnt think people traveled with spare leashes. He also figured most people wouldnt approach a "Pit Bull".

Anonymous said...

I would have never done this with my Pits but did however do this once ONCE with my Boston and never would again. I was so worried and knew it was stupid, couldn't even get through my 2 min max purchase without checking on her. I've also seen a pup left outside off lead. He was bouncing up and down at the door for his person and I was mortified. Hate to say it but I would rather see a dog tied out than in a hot car though.

Many drive threws will serve walking customers, that would be a better option if you want to stop while out walking. That way you don't have to leave your dog. At least around here your dog will get a treat too.

Rosco's Person said...

I live in Newport Beach, CA- pretty docile low crime place. I'm more in the camp of "marketbette" above - I do tie Rosco (my AmStaff) for short periods during the course of our daily multiple walks. Of course never on a busy street and certainly not to a parking meter, and most of the time I can see him or am at least within ear shot. I agree it might be risky for some dogs, and it's a case by case situation - as far as someone stealing my baby boy - fat chance! unless I physically hand off the leash to someone else and tell him it's ok, he won't budge or go with anyone-- even if he knows them!

Cattledog Mom said...

I loved living in England and visiting France, dogs are welcome in pubs and restaurants as long as they're quiet and well-behaved. So you don't have to tie them out!
Used to be a lovely outdoor cafe in Lakewood, Ohio, where everyone would bring their dogs...big, small, didn't matter.

gjwriter said...

I was guilty of tying my Lab up outside when I walked to the store. He tried to bite someone, so I stopped. When Callie came into my life, everything changed. Never having a Pibble before I did extensive research and what I found has led me to be way overprotective of her and all Pit reputations. She has made me a better person. I may swing too far the other way, but I think she has some good freedom. I wouldn't tie her out, mostly because I'd be terrified someone would steal and use her for something nefarious. I work in a grocery store and have had dogs bite people. Being responsible pet owners is not hard work, but it does require that we think about them, rather than what's convenient for us. I appreciate you sharing that story. It is good to remember we owe our pets by being responsible people. If we aren't it could cost them their life, as Monica demonstrated above.

Audball said...

Thankfully the dog is at least tied to a meter. Regardless, strangers will come up to the dog with their dog and get a false sense of security and get in trouble.

I HAVE TO TELL YOU ALL ABOUT SOMETHING THAT HAPPENED AT STARBUCKS DOWN THE STREET!!!

Last month this douchebag owner tied her big baby to a CHAIR at starbucks. The owner was yappin on her cell phone and went in to order her non fat skim milk no steam latte with two cups three extra shots carmel blah blah blah. The dog was outside and every time he moved the chair scooted and everytime the chair scooted he ran from it, the more he ran from it the more it chased him and the more it scared him, the more it scared him the more it ran. The dog ran out in 3 lanes of traffic while tied to the chair with the chair chasing him and he was hit and killed and caused a very serious car wreck. The lady ......still yapin on her cell phone in starbucks yelling at the baristas because they didnt get her order right.... They told her to look out the window and get off the phone and she did and she went crazy....this is a horrible true story and it all happened so fast by the time people started jumping to save the dog from going into the street it was too late.

Donna said...

Where did this happen Audball?

heartsong said...

I'm with the BR folks on this as a "never do it", regardless of how trained, how friendly, only a couple minutes excuses. It's just a bad idea for all the reasons mentioned.
If you're running errands (or getting a cup of coffee), you don't need to take the dog. If the dog needs a walk, take the dog for a walk.

I am my dog's guardian and protector, he depends on me and doing this is not protecting him/her.

Just sounds selfish to me.

Kelli said...

Almost the same thing happened at a Cafe' where i worked in Seattle. The guy (also on his phone) tied (I think) a Shepherd mix to a wooden chair and came in. About a week before (when I wasn't there) a Boston Terrier had drug the same chair all around the parking lot. I was explaining that we could not allow dogs to be tied to the chairs when his dog took of into 5 lanes of traffic. Amazingly he was not hit and no one was hurt. But for me the worst was when people would tie thier dogs to the DOOR. If it was summer and the door was propped open, there would always be some ass-hat who would try tying thier dog to the door handle.

Bama Griz said...

More evidence of how much SMARTER Pibble owners have to be. This is a disaster waiting to happen. There is always hope though. I never did anything like this but I have sure learned a thing or two over the years, unfortunately sometimes the hard way. The "care and feeding" of our beloved breed is best not left to the faint of heart.

Donna said...

@ Bama Griz. We tend to be pit bull myopic because of our mission, but this message is really meant for all dog owners. No breed-type is safe tied to a post. The little girl in the photo is miserable, but imagine if she was 5 pounds and looked like a small nervous squirrel. Seeing toy dogs tied to posts turns me inside out.

Siobhan said...

Not to mention the dog could be STOLEN and used as a bait dog to train fighting dogs! That is one of the worst fears I have as a pit owner. If you love your dog, you must know it is safe and secure at all times!

Stuart said...

Totally agree, and this goes for all dogs. As responsible owners and good caretakers of any breed, it is our responsibility to ensure their success in the world, not set them up for failure, and that is exactly what this does.

Tim said...

Big or little - it's a calculated risk. We watched outside a store window once while a husky got his foot stepped on by a guy with big feet, and bigger boots. Bad enough, but stepping on a toy breed can snap a leg like a twig.

Of course running in and out of a shop on a less busy street for sixty seconds where you can see your dog through glass is much less of a risk, but a stray dog can pick a fight in seconds.

Donna said...

Fortunately Siohan, the "bait dog" scare tends to be way overblown and not something we would call out as a realistic risk to pit bull owners, in the SF bay area especially.

nick_price said...

From the pictures and Tim's account it seems that this dog should not have been left out. Too cold, or left for too long of a period of time

But I side with marketbelle and rosco's person on this one. I have a rescued pitbull who I have no problem leaving outside while I go into a store or getting food to go at a restaurant. She's a great dog, calm, not dog reactive, does not bark when left. If this was not the case I would not leave her. but she can handle this just fine. As for the idea that she could be stolen, I think this is just preposterous.

I guess I have to agree that it is a calculated risk, but to say that no dog can handle being left is absurd. It also seems strange to me those of you who say you cannot leave you dog in the yard. Locking the gates and making sure the yard is secure and some good separation weening should be sufficient.

Also this clip is hilarious.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8GPMg3NpE0

Donna said...

The AKC has been tracking dog thefts and is reporting an increase, unfortunately.

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/dognapping-rise-pets-safe/story?id=9398273

It doesn't help anyone to be paranoid, but if it happened to my dog I'd have a hard time forgiving myself for taking a known risk.

AyuHime said...

Good post. You bring up many good points other than "it's just not nice!" I will spread this post around to as many people as I can!

Anonymous said...

This always pisses me off. If you are going to leave your dog outside while you go get your coffee or whatever, peak out of the window and see - how is the dog doing. Uh, clearly they don't like it. It does not take a genuis to figure it out. How can animals be so sensistive and people be so insensitive. Makes me crazy! www.beyondbarking.com

Mauigirl said...

Completely agree. Once in a blue moon I'll tie our girl outside by the expressmart while I run in, literally, to drop $3 on the counter and grab my two newspapers but she is only there for 30 seconds, tops, and I look all around beforehand to make sure there is no one in walking distance. If there is, then I wait till there isn't. I would never leave her tied out there for any longer than that.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me like a fair number people are not really getting it. I don't think it matters how well behaved your dog is, how calm, how friendly, etc. Would you leave your child outside while you went in a store, even for just a minute and you could see them through the window? It's just not a nice, or very smart thing to do...

Great post, thank for sharing it!

dottie said...

Sorry - but the danger might not be your dog, but everything and everyone else. Not worth the chance. I do hope that the pup in the photo was okay and that the owner doesn't do that again. What a beautiful dog!

Brenda said...

I hate to see any animal abused or neglected, but what I hate more? Stupid owners! I hope this owner wises up and takes better care of her companion, pits are wonderful dogs, who are loyal, eager to please, as well as being protective.
As far a biting ,ANY dog NOT just certain breeds will bite given the right set of circumstances! People should NOT get any type of dog before they have completely researched the breed they are interested in. IMHO Pet ownership is a privilege not a right.
Thanks for letting me up on my soapbox.

citydog said...

Great post.

Even if the dog is brilliantly well-behaved, trained, socialized and "bombproof", there is *always* a risk, and it's never worth it, in my opinion.

And there are many people who aren't as well-behaved as our dogs. There are those who aren't dog savvy, there are those who are willfully cruel (they'll walk by, football-kick the random, unlucky dog) and there are those who are unbalanced and who will harm dogs. I came out of a restaurant once to find one of the local homeless, mentally ill guys beating a small-ish white dog that had been left tied to a meter. I charged the guy and drove him off (an instinctive and probably stupid move--adrenaline is a powerful thing) while my terrified friends called for police.

Dogs left tied unattended are largely defenseless, and if they *do* attempt to defend themselves it still isn't going to end well for them.

It's not worth the risk. Don't do it.

Dogfather said...

Flexi lead on a Pit Bull is just a bad idea all around. And so close to the street. I hate to see this as much as I do seeing dogs left in cars. About 8 years ago, a friend had her Pit Bull taken from her car. She needed medication and sadly, she was never seen again. Spice was your typical loving Pit Bull.

Riley & Jet said...

The town I live in seems to have the opposite problem. It's not a small town, it's quite large with some 300,000 people calling it home and people take their dogs everywhere without leashes and leave them alone outside stores unleashed.

The grocery store I frequent has another customer who walks to the store with her gorgeous female pittie who sits perfectly and patiently intently waiting as her owner comes back out of the store. The dog completely ignores anyone and anything that comes by, but what happens if one day she doesn't? What happens if a dog runs up to her and it attacks her? Now their are two dogs that are in trouble. What happens if she gets spooked and heads back home crossing the busy street between the store and home alone? What if somebody sees this amazing perfectly trained dog and takes her home? Or worse some dunce sees a meek square headed pitbull and takes her home to practice sparring with his dogs?

It only takes once and this perfect dog is gone and it's all the owner's fault.

Jenny Chun said...

Thank you for bringing people's attention to this. I'm an NYC resident, a pittie owner, as well as a dog trainer and it really makes me angry to see this day in and day out. No dog should ever be tied outside. This little girl seems scared out of her mind, but there are so many others that show subtle stress signals when tied out and their owners are convinced they're fine when really they're not. So many things can go wrong and even if they don't, it's so unpleasant for the dog to have to go through this. I've seen dogs tied outside of restaurants while their owners dined. I even once saw a dog tied outside of a bar while his owner drank!

ForPetsSake said...

I couldn't agree with you more. To leave a dog vulnerable like that is just asking for trouble - and most likely, trouble for that poor dog. I've never understood taking your dog somewhere - walking or driving - where you'd have to make a stop and they aren't welcome to go inside with you. It doesn't make any sense. Frankly, it seems selfish. I know I wouldn't want to take a walk with someone and be told to wait outside while they did ______. That person wouldn't be much of a friend in my opinion.

Gabby said...

So many things wrong with this picture... flexi-lead, no tags/collar, and tied up with her easy-leader harness (do you know how easy it is for a dog to slip out of one of those things?).

And if your dog is alone outside for long enough for a stranger to have a photo shoot with it, then it's alone outside long enough for a lot of bad stuff to happen.

Anonymous said...

I actually got into an argument the summer before last because an owner had left his poor dog tethered to his truck hitch while he was in a grocery store. That dog was there for quite a while because I first noticed her when I went into a sandwich shop, waited in line, waited for the sandwich, then when I came out she was still tied up. I went over to check on her because every time a car or person went past she fearfully ran for cover under the truck. To do this with an animal anywhere is cruel and irresponsible but to do it in Vegas in the middle of summer is beyond cruel and stupid. Had the owner taken much longer or the dog been less fearful I probably would have "rescued" her from this idiot and brought her home to spoil with my pets. I was so angered and frustrated by that moron that I was almost shaking by the time I got home.

Two Pitties in the City said...

Thank you for posting and making people more aware of this. On one hand, we have issues walking our dogs in our neighborhood because so many people do tie their dogs up and it's difficult for us to walk by without their dogs lunging and barking at us. On the other hand, so many people don't understand how easily their dogs could be stolen. Just going on our walks we meet so many people who are negatively interested in our dogs: kids offering $50 cash to buy them on the spot, cars pulling over asking us to breed with them, etc. I could never imagine leaving our dogs unattended for even a minute. One time a man tied up his beautiful gray pit bull outside to run inside Starbucks, and while I was keeping an eye on the dog I decided to let the guy know about some thefts and the type of negative attention pit bulls get in our neighborhood so he might think twice about tying up his dog again. He was not very receptive, so I'm not sure if I would say something again. Is it rude to try and give people this type of warning?

Cathy said...

Ugh, I *Might* leave my little JRT mix tied up while I run in and nab a coffee, but then again...probably not. He's too sweet, and he'd happily go home with anyone who offered him an ear rub. NOT WORTH THE RISK!

christina said...

I'm so glad you posted this!! I live In West Hollywood, and a few days ago I was walking to Whole Foods, and a cute smallish dog went running out of the parking lot and across a busy street. Several people were chasing after him, including his owner and I joined in. He ended up running a few more blocks, across another busy street, and then ended up at his home. Miraculously, he remembered where it was, and did not get hit by a car!! It turns out his owner had tied him to a pole outside of Whole Foods and ran in to get something. I guess the dog got really scared, somehow wriggled out of his harness, and ran off! He was also a rescue dog, which probably explains why he was so freaked out. His owner was a nice enough guy, but just didn't realize the dangers of leaving a dog tied up. I don't think most people are aware of how easily or quickly things can go wrong. So thanks again for your great advice! : )

Tim said...

Hey Nick - I actually appreciated the Portlandia video and hope to never lose my sense of humor about all things. I'd also agree that there are many dogs who *can handle it just fine, but as many here have pointed out, it's not just the tied dog we have to be concerned about.

But I strongly disagree with theft being a preposterous notion as it happens not infrequently. BAD RAP alum dog Buzz - a big, beautiful, blue dog was alone in a car when two guys were overheard talking about how friendly he was and discussing best techniques for getting him out. Freeing a dog from a post is a much easier task.

Pat said...

I've done it exactly once. I was a wreck the whole time, I went into t a store to get coffee, I could see him the whole time. He's a huge Pit/Am Bull cross, but I still worried someone would take him, he's super friendly, with people and dogs, I will NEVER do it again.

willeyfromtroy said...

Great discussion - thanks for posting this! This is not only a city problem but a rural one as well, and I have come across pit bulls tied up outside post offices, etc. in my very small community. I can think of one very nervous dog in particular who was super spooked by every souped up pick up that roared by. I waited for this dog's guy. He was a very nice young man who cared about his block headed boy very much, but he was oblivious to how nervous his dog was ... ears back, crouching, the whole "I just want to disappear" package.

I fall into the camp of "no way, never". People and other animals are way too unpredictable for me to trust every stranger to behave reasonably and rationally around my unattended/tied dog. It's not worth the risk to my dogs lives and I would never forgive myself if something happened.

Every time an owner ties their dog up and nothing happens, their behavior gets reinforced. Nothing might happen 199 out of 200 times, but it just takes one person or one loose nasty dog to change things for you and your dog forever. It takes seconds, not minutes. Nope, not worth it.

Laura said...

I WANT someone to take her...IF they'll treat her better than THIS person will! Problem is, you don't know if someone worse will come along. Wish I had wondered past her. :-( Poor, baby.

Lauren said...

Thanks for writing this, Tim! I see this all too often every time I visit the outdoor shopping/restaurant district, The Country Club Plaza, when I go back home to Kansas City.

I feel that this is nearly a guaranteed way to get your dog stolen or injured. :-/

Thanks! Have a wonderful week :-D

Shiba said...

Thanks for raising this question. There is so much of this happening all around. If you would never leave your small child out waiting like this, how can someone leave the dog?

Sarah said...

I would never tie my dog out somewhere and leave him. Sure, I'd tie him to a nearby pole or tree so I can eat my lunch while we're taking a break hiking, but I'd never let him out of sight.

I live on a college campus, and someone was stupid enough to tie his husky outside on the busiest street with tons of people walking by. This was the middle of the hot midwest summer, and the dog had no water. The poor thing looked miserable.

rap said...

I would never tether my dog to anything but me.

Jen in IN said...

Thanks, Tim, for the post. Just a note to Nick who said that the idea of a dog being stolen is preposterous. I have always been on the cautious side with our resident and foster pit bulls, even though we live in an upper middle class neighborhoold in Indiana where I never really thought anyone would steal a dog. I was wrong - About 6 months ago, a thief broke into yard with a 6 foot privacy fence and padlocked gate to steal a neighbor family's beloved American Bulldog. The dog was never found. Then, a month later, someone stole a boxer from a different person in the same neighborhood. In this case, the dog was stolen from a fenced yard (another 6 ft privacy fence) when the family was HOME. Again, the dog was never recovered. If it can happen here, it can happen ANYWHERE. I am convinced of it.

I've seen the heartbreak that these families have experienced. These families THOUGHT that they were being vigilent and, by most accounts, they were doing all of the right things. Tying your dog to a post or leaving them unattended in any yard, that is NOT even TRYING to be vigilent. Why take the risk? The potential consequences are horrible and the way to avoid those consquences is so so so easy.

Leslie-Ukiah said...

Every news story you hear, the common theme.."I just looked away for a second and....." It's not worth it ever. When you a bring a dog into your home you are making a commitment to care for and keep that dog safe. That doesn't mean except for the 2 minutes that you run into the store when they're on their own and you take a "calculated risk." I am not willing to jeopardize my dog for one second for any reason. There is no coffee that tastes that good. I'm the one that has to live without her if something happens and that would not be bearable to me. Calculated risk, hell no, not me, not ever.

Dianne said...

Dog being stolen is preposterous?!!

One little Ivan was dog-napped from the Washington Humane Society last November. The thieves were caught on the shelter's security system. Eventually the pup was returned unharmed. Last I heard he is still available.

http://washhumane.typepad.com/blog/2010/11/puppy-stolen-from-adoption-center-whs-offers-1000-reward.html

Heather Cherry said...

Amen, Tim!

Tai said...

Just to chime in about dog thefts: I am a volunteer at Oakland Animal Services. About 75% of the people who came in looking for their "lost" dogs say their dog was snatched out of their front yard or right off the porch: this happens most to chi's, sure, but often to pit mixes and once to my knowledge, a Rottweiler.

Tim and Donna, that poor tied-up girl just kills me. How about developing a card we can leave at such situations...perhaps modeled after this card I leave on windshields when I see a dog left in a hot car. Educational but also somewhat lighthearted, so the people who do this won't get too defensive.

Anonymous said...

How are we to change people's perception of pit bulls when we do not act as responsible pet owners...so many variables could have gone terribly wrong in this situation and anyone of them ending in a dog bite! Do you think that anyone will take into consideration the dogs fear at the time? NO! It will just be another instance of a vicious pit bull gone mad and the media will run with it, adding to the overall ignorance of the public. It is up to us as owners to protect our dogs from any situation which can turn on a dime....would you tie your child up and leave them unattended for two seconds? I think not...then don't do it to your pet!! Not worth the risk!

Brooke said...

It's completely nuts to take the risk of tying a dog to anything and not being literally right there. It's a risk I would not take, period, with any of my dogs, because it only takes ONE time, ONE CHANCE, for bad things to occur. It's not MY dog's behaviour I'm particularly worried about, it's OTHER dogs and PEOPLE that worry me.

Maybe, if I found a dog stray, and had my dogs with me, so I couldn't just load it in my vehicle to take home and find its people, etc., I *might* possibly, then, leash and tie it to something. MAYBE. Other than that, it's too much of a risk to even contemplate.

Just my .02.

Anonymous said...

Many years ago, in a nice NJ suburb I took my sweet, docile,rescued Irish Setter, Ryan, for a walk to the local supermarket to get milk. I tied him to a railing and went in the store for a few minutes. When I came out - no Ryan. A woman standing near the railing looked at my face, saw my panic, and asked if I was looking for my dog. I said yes and she told me that an "odd" man had just untied him, moments before, and was walking away with him. She said when the man saw her approaching he dropped the leash and she pointed to Ryan who was standing about 15 feet away in the parking lot very confused saying she was going to go get him for fear he'd get hit by a car. Never, never -- even for a moment, even if you can see the dog -- leave 'em tied outside. I thought I was doing him a favor by walking to the store and bringing him along for an outing. I've always thought that my pits were even more vulnerable to theft. I now realize it's no fun for the dogs to be left outside waiting either.

Donna said...

So glad the stranger intervened for you, anon.

I wonder if the thief was wearing a Britney Spears tattoo? ;-) .....

http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Pink-Clad-Pet-Stolen-from-Gay-Bar-by-Man-With-Britney-Tattoo-53934187.html

Anonymous said...

I'm a shop owner. Whenever someone ties their dog to the bike rack outside my shop to come in my store, I ask them to please untie their dog and bring the dog in. I can't stand to see dogs tied up like that!

Abby said...

That poor girl looks so miserable there. I always hate to see a dog tied up outside a store. I yelled at my husband when I found out he'd been doing that with our beagle (back when we lived in east boston) and told him we're lucky we didn't lose our dog to a thief!
(Though I can't imagine who would want to steal our goofy looking beagle...)

akgvizslainspiration said...

Yep, that's just sad and un called for. Good points brought up about another dog coming in on her and her not having any options due to being tied up. As well as strangers ignoring her signs of "leave me alone please." Good points. I was training a dog in town once and people had their little terrier terror tied up on the sidewalk. I happened to be training a dog that was with us due to dog aggression. As we approached the little dog starting doing his usual (I had run into him before) flip out, and we had to literally walk in the busy street to pass the dog due to not having any room on the sidewalk. Bad situation all around that luckily did not end in anything worse. Sometimes I just don't get people.
Thanks for posting
Anna
www.akginspiration.com

Lindsay said...

I am always surprised to see dogs tied out like this when I visit San Francisco. I would never do this. I would be so worried someone would steal or harm my dog. That poor dog looks so scared :(