Blogs and Stories

March, 2020
Dawn Morton


Animals are a human’s best friend, no matter how badly they have been treated. They love unconditionally. Some people even consider pets their children. Children require food in their bellies and a roof over their heads. Why should that not be the same for your pets? A pet is a companion FOR LIFE!

Flagler Humane oversees County Animal Services and I am the primary officer. We see things that most cannot handle. We reunite lost animals with owners. We help injured wildlife. We care for animals when their owners are unable to care for them. Those are just some of the services we offer our community. It goes deeper and darker than that though. We see animals being dumped when they are no longer wanted. We see them left behind when an owner moves because they aren’t important. We see dog’s living on chains because people don’t want dog hair in their house. No animal should ever feel unloved. Living on a chain? What kind of life it that? Ordinances vary from city to city in Florida. Many say that chains must be certain lengths, sizes and weight. Some state a dog can only be tethered for a certain amount of time, during specific hours of the day. Officers are unable to patrol all hours of the day. Most people with dogs on chains don’t allow us to get near the animals. They scream and yell at us to get off of their properties. So what makes you think an owner is going to let me measure the chains?

I recently pulled 4 dogs off of chains in unincorporated area of the county. These animals were left behind by an owner who did not care about them. These animals had wounds on them from the chains rubbing their necks raw. Their collars were cutting into the skin. The chains were catching on the tree roots and trash that surrounded them. Not one of these dogs had clean water or food. The two male dogs were skinny but their sisters were literally bags of bones! No dog should have to die from starving on a chain because the owners are too busy or just don’t care.

Who would like to live like that? Have somebody just tie you up to a tree and forget about you? Nobody to play with, drinking nasty algae ridden water, eating whatever trash you can find because you’re starving?

It is difficult for officers to enforce restrictive ordinances. Tethering a dog is inhumane. Why have an animal if they can’t come in the house and live like a family member? If you don’t like the hair then stick to stuffed animals. If you don’t want them on the couch then become a more educated owner and train your animals. We need to ban unattended tethering. No animal should die thinking he wasn’t good enough, when in reality it’s the owner that wasn’t good enough for animal!