A dog tethered in the garden of a North London home died after accidentally hanging himself over wall, prompting calls to never leave dogs tethered and unsupervised.
RSPCA animal welfare officer (AWO) Nicola Thomas was called to the property on Sunday 1 July. She said, “When I arrived at the property I spoke to the dog’s owner who was extremely upset. He explained to me that the dog had been tethered in the garden and had jumped over a small, 3ft-high wall hanging itself in the process.
“The dog, a mastiff type, had effectively choked itself to death. This is an absolutely tragic case and just goes to show how dangerous it can be to tether dogs outside without keeping a close eye on them.
“This case extremely sad case is an example of why we urge dog owners not to keep their pets tethered or chained up for substantial periods of time.”
Keeping a dog tethered outside the home is legal in England an Wales, but the RSPCA has serious concerns over the practice.
“While it isn’t illegal to tether your dog in the garden there are lots of welfare concerns and risks associated with doing so,” RSPCA dog welfare expert Dr Samantha Gaines said.
“We strongly believe that dogs should not be tethered or chained outside as restraining a dog in this way can lead to injuries. It also restricts normal behaviour, which can be very damaging to the dog’s wellbeing.
It’s so easy for a dog to follow their instincts and try to jump on top of something or over something to follow a scent or chase another animal
“It’s so tragic to hear what happened to this poor dog. But, sadly, this is a very real risk of tethering your dog so we hope that some good can come from this heartbreaking case and that other owners will consider other, safer options for their pets.”
According to AWO Thomas, tethered dogs are a common sight in cities, as “many people think it’s the best way to ensure their dog is contained”.
“But it really worries me to think how many of these dogs could seriously injure themselves as a result of this practice,” she added. “It’s so easy for a dog to follow their instincts and try to jump on top of something or over something to follow a scent or chase another animal. And, tragically, that could lead to serious injury or even death, like in this case.”
Images by Becky Murray/RSPCA.