Break the Chain

The Coalition to UnChain Dogs is saving pups across the city
Chris Edwards
If an owner agrees to get rid of the chain, the Coalition to UnChain Dogs will donate and build a fence. The group freed fifty-three dogs in 2010 alone.

Buttercup was a scared and nervous mutt locked to a thousand-pound logging chain when a group of volunteers found her. Now her tail wags as she roams free inside a fence built by the Charlotte chapter of the Coalition to UnChain Dogs. The all-volunteer group, which has freed fifty-three dogs since its inception just more than a year ago, educates pet owners about the pain a dog endures when tethered and builds fences for homeowners with chained pets. The group also successfully lobbied Charlotte City Council to pass an ordinance limiting how and where you can tether a dog. (The law forbids dogs under four months from being tethered and prohibits the use of heavy chains.) It’s a small victory, says volunteer founder Stacey Havens, as the group continues to push for banning tethering entirely (Durham; Austin, Texas; and Denver, Colorado, have such a law in place). As for Buttercup, she’s thriving. “I just saw her a few weeks ago,” says Havens, “and she was running around her [now fenced-in] backyard.”

For more information on the Coalition to UnChain Dogs, visit

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