Off the Chain

The Gulf Coast Humane Society’s new program helps keep dogs with families.

By: Kaitlin Calk

When driving around Corpus Christi, you may notice a trend in peoples’ yards: dogs on chains.

The demonization of the pet parents who do this often happens almost instantly; some jump to the conclusion that the dog is neglected, unloved or used only to scare off would-be solicitors. While this may be true in some cases, this assumption should not be applied to all pet parents who have their dog on a chain or otherwise tethered to their property.

A lack of money does not equal a lack of love, and all many families of tethered dogs are lacking is the money for a proper fence. Although it is ideal for all dogs to be kept inside the home with the family, certain circumstances prevent this from being a possibility, so the dog must be kept outside. These families love their fur kids and take good care of them, but they do not have the means to repair or build a fence. Sometimes that chain or tether is the only tool these families have to keep their dog at home, and it is often their last resort.

Some well-meaning people may call to have these dogs removed from the home. Anything has to be better than being outside on a chain, right? What they may not realize is that these dogs will be placed in a shelter where they run the risk of being euthanized, or they will wait for months or even years to be adopted. Both outcomes cause heartbreak and distress not only for the dog, but for the family, as well.

Instead of allowing a knee-jerk reaction to cause all of that stress and trauma, why not simply ask, “How can I help?” The Gulf Coast Humane Society (GCHS) is addressing this question with the new Off the Chain Program. This program is geared toward getting these dogs off of a chain and into a properly fenced-in yard, all while keeping them with their beloved families. We will be helping families who love their dogs and give them proper medical care, but cannot afford the huge cost of repairing or building a fence.

With donations and volunteer laborers, we plan to build and repair fences, and if that is not possible for a specific situation, purchase a trolley system. If needed, we also plan to help those families purchase and build doghouses and other forms of shelter. As of now, this program is in its infancy; we are just beginning to raise funds and spread the word.

Our first major fundraiser for the Off the Chain Program is the Adopt-A-Thon on June 19, which will take place at GCHS. There will be reduced adoption fees for our hundreds of adoptable animals, free samples of the new grain-free dog food Heritage Ranch by H-E-B, a volunteer information booth, basic command training for previous adopters, as well as a donation table specifically for the Off the Chain Program.

C101’s Rock Your Tail Off benefit for GCHS is also taking place that day, and they will be live onsite from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. This new program is just beginning, but we have high hopes that it will have a big impact on the loving families and their dogs right here in the Coastal Bend.

 

If you would like to donate your time, fencing materials or money to the Off the Chain Program at the Gulf Coast Humane Society, please give us a call at 361-225-0845 or stop by 3118 Cabaniss Parkway in Corpus Christi, Texas.

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