Stop Ignoring Ongoing Dog Abuse


Target: Representative Sannie Overly

Goal: Create more effective laws against dog-chaining

Kentucky’s animal abuse laws are consistently reported as the worst in the country. Stronger legislation is desperately needed to enforce any meaningful punishment.

Several US states including Kentucky have laws banning or regulating dog chaining. Unfortunately, initial penalties are often as small as “warnings” or $50 fines. In some locations, there is no indication that the animal will be taken away from the abuser once the abuse is discovered. These shortcomings greatly reduce the intended purpose of the legislation, which is to remove dogs from harm and prevent future abuses.

Chaining often creates dangerous and unnecessary restrictions that prevent a dog from caring for itself. A lack of food, water, shelter, and mobility are all common problems that infringe on an animal’s freedom. Furthermore, dogs are referred to as “pack animals,” meaning that they need contact with other dogs or people so as not to be distressed. Chaining an animal to a post for the majority of its life is senseless neglect.

Please sign and share this petition to create widespread awareness of this unacceptable crime and the lack of legislation in place to prevent it. By calling on the worst state in the country, we can encourage a standard for the entire nation.


Dear Representative Sannie Overly,

The Animal Legal Defense Fund named Kentucky the worst state for animal welfare in the country 7 years in a row. In 2012, abuse was still not considered a felony in your state. Abusers are not forced to give up their animals, and they are allowed to own animals again.

A Kentucky woman named Patricia Ritz had been “charged” for animal cruelty throughout her entire life, and only stopped when she passed away. Local shelter workers expressed disgust at continuously being unable to help the Huskies she owned. Ritz openly lived as an animal abuser for decades without any meaningful punishment.

As you many know, many forms of animal neglect are ignored. Dogs are chained in severe temperatures without food, while the owner may simply wait for it to die. We are asking that you bring this issue to the attention of other representatives, as you were one of the few that expressed concern for animal rights in a 2012 interview.

While it is true that laws are meaningless without enforcement, Kentucky laws themselves are still extremely weak. Thus legislative changes are needed first, before enforcement can be blamed. Please enforce much stricter laws against dog chaining.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Chmee2 via Wikimedia

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  1. Kentucky sounds pretty bad, but I’ve seen horrible examples of chained dogs here in Texas too. Such people should not be allowed to “own” dogs.

  2. Those that abuse animals will abuse others that are defenseless or not taught to defend themselves.

  3. Sheila Jefferson says:

    Stricter laws, all states should
    BAN dog chaining!

  4. The Federal Government should pass a law for all the states and not allow states to have their own laws and their interpretation thereof, the laws on cruelty to animals domestic or otherwise must be enforced to the max, it must be a uniform law to all abusers and should have heavy penalties, law enforcement agencies must use the law to the max abusers will stop when they realise that they will face heavier fines and jail time.

    • Michael Lynn says:

      Yes. This is exactly right. Stationing a dog with chain (or any other device) is wholly against the design of their creation and nature of their being, and shamefully inhuman for any man, woman, city or country to hold up or have any ordnance contrary to justice and abuse these creatures by depriving them of the common freedom that their creator has given them, and the responsibility of their owners which are due. They are now suffering under unreasonable laws and injustice.

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