The Backyard Dog

 

You see one in every community, a dog tied day after day to a back porch or fence, lying lonely on a pad of bare, packed dirt.  The water bowl, if there is one, is usually empty or just out of reach.  Abandoned, but chained up, backyard dogs cannot move to comfort, shelter, or companionship.  In winter, they shiver, in summer, they languish...year round they suffer.

Of course, dogs can be forced to live outside, alone and away from their human companionship, but to force this kind of life on a dog is one of the worst things you can do.  Being alone goes against the dog's most basic instinct.  If you doubt this, think of all the whining, barking, clawing dogs you have seen tied alone outside.  These dogs are trying desperately to get the attention of their human families.

People who keep their dogs constantly tied outside rationalize it, saying that they do spend time with them.  But even the most well-meaning among them do not spend significant time with their animal companions.  Under the best of circumstances, the backyard dog gets a bowl of food and water, a quick pat on the head and maybe a few minutes of contact with another living being each day.

Dogs can offer people the gifts of steadfast devotion, abiding love and joyful companionship.  Unless people accept these offerings and take the time to return them in kind, it would be best to not get a dog.  A sad, lonely, bewildered dog tied out back only suffers, and what sort of person wants to maintain suffering?

Cats Inside vs. Outside

Outside Cats

  • Have a life span of only 1-5 years

  • Will be exposed to leukemia, kitty AIDS, parasites, etc.

  • Will fight - causing expensive vet bills

  • Are maimed or killed by dogs and predators

  • Can get caught in leghold traps

  • Do suffer from frost bite

  • Are hit by cars and injured or killed

  • Do stray from home and get lost

  • Can die from starvation

  • Are abused by strangers

  • Are exposed to toxic lawn antifreeze

  • Are stolen

  • Breed, if not neutered or spayed, and add to pet overpopulation

 

 

 

Inside Cats

  • Have a life span of 12-20 years

  • Are not exposed to disease

  • Will not get abscesses from fighting neighborhood strays

  • Will not be threatened by dogs or wildlife

  • Will not suffer injury or amputation from leghold traps

  • Will not suffer from frost bite

  • Will not be hit by cars

  • Will not get lost

  • Will never go hungry

  • Cannot be abused by strangers

  • Are safe from chemicals and fertilizers

  • Cannot be stolen

  • Are happy living indoors

THE CHOICE IS OBVIOUS
Cats can safely enjoy the outdoors with your help:
  • Put an elastic or breakaway collar with I.D. tag on your cat
  • Attend your cat on a harness and leash
  • Provide a sheltered, outdoor enclosed area with fresh air