The Horror of Chaining Dogs
Right after starting the campaign "Life on a Chain isn't Life" with members of the band Picksiebner, volunteers of the animal protection organization Friends of Animals and Nature from Cakovec sent a letter and photographs to the Ministry of Agriculture:
Dear Sir or Madam,
We are writing to you from a Cakovec animal protection organization. We are volunteers who face the reality of abandoned animals in the field every day. We share our stories with them and we try to help them as much as we can.
Therefore we ask that you take our letter and the possibility of including a regulation to ban chaining dogs in the Animal Protection Act into consideration.
The worst and most stressful moments for us volunteers are horrific situations when we are faced with chained dogs. We apologize if we have shocked you with the attached photographs, but we wanted to vividly show you all the horror we face in the field, which could be ended so easily - by introducing a regulation into the Animal Protection Act.
These are stories of four dogs, each from different parts of Croatia - Floki near Cakovec, Zuco from Daruvar, Medo from Zagreb, and Lesi also from a village near Daruvar. Their stories are almost all the same... One day they were someone's faithful friends, and then those same people were tired of them, so they chained them and forgot about them.
Medo was in Sestine, Zagreb, closed in a house's backyard where a large family lived. He did not have a house, he slept by the old barn, and after the neighbors who fed him went on vacation, he ate green apples from a nearby tree. For months, he lived without food and a roof over his head. Death would not come because sometimes someone threw a piece of bread over the fence, out of pity. And then the neighbors went away and he was left all alone, with no possibility of saving himself from the chain and look for food on his own. When he was almost completely feeble, another neighbor noticed him, called volunteers from Zagreb organizations and eventually ours, so we saved him from the chain, but not even with the best care and after several months' struggle for his life we were not able to help him. He was full of worms and was just skin and bones, completely feeble.
Our only consolation today is that at the end of his life he felt at least some love and care that every living being deserves. But is that enough for a living being craving life, freedom, and love?
Floki is from Cakovec. He should have grown into a large German pointer, but he did not. He was left with his short rickety legs, a caricature of a dog because he spent his whole childhood on a chain, more often hungry and thirsty than well fed. We found him accidentally while we were picking plums in the orchard nearby. He was not even tied on a chain, but a rusty wire which had cut deep into his neck. He weighed 9 kilos, had hundreds of ticks on him, and was full of parasites.
We managed to save his life with long therapy, but Floki still digs in the ground looking for worms, because they were the only food he could find in his meter and a half of rusty wire.
Lesi's guardian died, and the family did not want him, so they left him alone and tied to a chain in a rusty dog house to die of thirst and starvation. He was lucky, many were not. He was found, operated on and saved. Many dogs like him were not so fortunate. Do you know what is one of the worst deaths for a living being? Starvation. Slow, but obtainable. Chains are so firm that nobody can free himself. One regulation in the Animal Protection Act could change that cruel reality.
Zuco suffered wounds and pain many have never felt in the slightest degree. He was also left tied to a chain which was completely embedded into his neck.
Dear Sir or Madam, in your hands now lies the power to prevent further casualties of chained dogs... It will not be easy as there are many dogs on chains, but it is the first step. With a regulation against chaining dogs you will be doing so much for these wonderful animals who often pay for their faithfulness with severe neglect and very often death by starvation because a dog tied on a chain has no way to help himself.
You will also help us not to face these horrific images almost weekly, not to fall ill some day from all the horror we often witness in the field, and you will help us illuminate our country in a more beautiful light by providing more humane treatment to animals.
One regulation to save many lives.
Please, do all that is in your power to ban keeping dogs on chains.
Volonteers of the Cakovec animal protection organization Friends of Animals and Nature