Q13 Fox reported Friday that a dog in Arlington which has been tethered in its yard has ignited a debate about the weak animal cruelty laws in Washington.
The dog at the center of the debate is Blaze, a black Labrador Retriever which people have seen tethered to a tree in its back yard and wearing a cone for the last 5 years.
Although “dozens” of people have called 911 to report Blaze’s condition, the city of Arlington has done nothing because “no laws have been broken.”
Unfortunately, that statement is absolutely correct.
City of Arlington representative Kristen Banfield explained to Q13 Fox that Arlington law states that animals must have “access to food and water, access to shelter, and room to be able to maneuver around so it doesn’t cause them any injury. And that’s what we have in this case.”
While many people, including myself, don’t think that just because a dog has access to food and water and can maneuver around doesn’t mean it’s owner is not neglecting it. Personally, I think it’s incredibly cruel.
Banfield said Blaze’s owner said he isn’t tethered 24/7 and “provided officers documentation from a vet ordering he wear that cone, which protects him from scratching himself when his skin allergy flares up.”
Blaze’s plight is another example of Washington’s weak animal cruelty laws, which are just a weak as those in Arlington (RCW 16.52.205 and RCW 16.52.207).
The story noted that Arlington “is researching tethering laws in other cities and states in the hope of narrowing the current law.” While I hope that’s the case and Arlington strengthens it’s animal protection, it won’t help neglected dogs in any other Washington county.
Until the Washington Legislature passes meaningful animal cruelty laws that redefine the standards for animal neglect, dogs throughout the state will continue to suffer at the end of chains.
Click here to see a petition in support of Blaze started by the woman who reported his condition to Arlington city officials.
Could someone please get me some more info on this dog? I’d like to try and get him. I’m willing to pay for him or whatever it might take. I’m 10 minutes away from Arlington!
Could someone please post the address, or PM it to me on facebook?
I don’t live in Arlington, but if I did, I think the following (from animalsmatter) has really good advice for caring people that do.
The laws for animal cruelty, in Arlington, Washington do not cover this kind of unlawful tethering or neglect of said animal.
Therein lies the predicament this poor dog faces day in and day out.
1. Take the information you know about Blaze to a community/town meeting.
2. Present this case to the council members.
3. Suggest that there should be an emendation to the current laws in place – state why.
Emendation to unlawful tethering to include the following:
Prohibit the owner from keeping a dog outside and unattended by use of restraint that would; Unreasonably limit the dogs movement, between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am.
Or where extreme weather conditions are present. This law should also require that said dogs have the appropriate type of collar and tether length and tether type. Prohibit the owner from using a truck chain, horse chain or any metal chain baring down weight were it injures the dogs neck or body.
Prohibiting the owner from keeping the dog in question outside “24/7” without interaction.
Here in our state the tether length is 15 to 20 feet. In addition, is not allowed to be tied to a “tree” nor is it allowed to be a “chain”.
Animal Cruelty laws – should be emended as well. Being that while looking at the “so-called” evidence of adequate water, we see a less than adequate metal bowl lying next to the “dog house”.
This type of metal bowl is less than adequate for the following reasons- easily spilled, needs refilling after an hour and a half. In addition, on hot days can easily heat up the water.
A plastic bowl would be more adequate – specifically a 5 to 10 gallon one would do precisely for an “outdoor” dog.
The news mentioned that Blaze has allergies, yet did not mention the type. When it concerns dogs or cats with skin allergies, there are several types.
1. Highly allergic to fleas – if this is the case than Blaze should not be an “outdoor” dog. As fleas, tend to live on wild animals such as squirrels, birds, raccoons and other. With this said the fleas tend to hop off, onto the grass than onto their next “host”. – Baths are necessary and so are flea treatments.
2. Staphylococcus bacteria, which is an IgA deficiency; Dogs with IgA deficiency are prone to recurrent infections and the development of allergies (eg. atopy or food allergies) or immune-mediated diseases.
Dogs with IgA deficiency usually have problems from a young age. They may have recurring skin, respiratory, gastrointestinal or urinary tract infections. The treatment for this sort of IgA deficiency varies with the severity, usually with boosting immunisation shots.
Again, if Blaze has this, it is not recommended for him to be outside – since the outdoors may trigger this issue. IgA deficiency also causes in some cases, allergic reactions to foods. – Cone is applied to prevent scratching/biting at the hot spots.
Our source of information is from our local veterinarians and even they agree Blaze should not be tied out like this, as any one of these conditions can be triggered by an outside toxic agent, food particle or type of mite, parasite/flea.
Animal Cruelty Law Emendation:
Owner knowingly leaves said companion, livestock etc. outside with a serious illness (which should include allergies, or autoimmune disorder), shall face fines for first offense, second offence maximum sentencing of jail time under a Class A Offence. Which is paying up to $4,000 in fine and or imprisonment up to 1 year, third offence 5 years without the ability to own another companion animal again.
This is a common structure for emending an ordinance or penal code section of law.
If we all actually had our way those who abuse an animal in any way, would not be allowed to obtain or “own” an animal again and would face a harsher sentencing with 20 years to life imprisonment.
Seattle DogSpot says
Thanks so much for this information. It’s a great blueprint on how to promote/pass animal cruelty laws.
Seattle DogSpot says
No problem, thanks for the correction.
What ever happened to blaze? I have a neighbor who leaves their dog tied up outside too and u want to do something. It just breaks my heart.
Jeanne LaCasse says
Please help him!
Rene kippols says
Just because no laws have been broken does not make this right or even ok. If your dog isn’t going to be family, and treated well, don’t get one.
Janine Metrician says
He might not be breaking a law as of yet, but why have a dog if his life is going to be tied to a tree? It’ sad and morally wrong. Find the dog a home where he can run. Be played with. Have fun. I’m sure there are a ton of people who would give this baby a fun loving home. Stories like this break my heart. Tethering a dog needs to be outlawed.It’s a out dated law. Our dogs are our loved ones, not property.
Seattle DogSpot says
I couldn’t agree more.
Nancy Pruitt says
This type of treatment is completely unacceptable… It is out in the open & it is being allowed… No telling what goes on behind closed doors to these animals… Nancy Pruitt
Pat Sharkey says
No dog should live his life CHAINED up all day and on top of it he has a cone around his head – why have a dog is he has to live like this.
Jacquie Dougan says
Your laws are pathetic. …. UK Animal Welfare Act 2007 covers, you can be prosecuted if you knowingly allow your pet to suffer and do not seek vet help. As well as the dog should be able to exhibit natural behaviour. …… both of these laws have been broken in this case. CHANGE YOUR LAWS to help stop animal cruelty!
Seattle DogSpot says
Pam Burton says
Washington….and another Animal Abuse/Cruelty case…..NOT SURPRISING!!!!….The laws in this state are an abomination….and an INSULT to LAW!!…That any animal can be “tethered” 24/7 is animal abuse-neglect-cruelty…..Arlington….you are right up there with Forks and The OAS scandal….I’m not sure which of these cities is worse…..but BOTH give this State a VERY BAD ODOR!!!!
Please everyone sign and share the petition!! We’re trying to get the city/state to get the laws stated more clearly. There is a lot of gray area. What we see as cruelty/neglect/abide the city and animal control say aren’t. One bowl is not adequate food and water. Being chained to a tree with a bone for 5 years is cruel. And what happens if Blaze wraps himself around the tree? He can’t fit in his dog house cuz of the cone. He’s burrowed out a spot to lay by the house for warmth. And a cone is not treatment nor does it save him from his allergies. Please spread the word.
Shannon Oquist says
I started this petition for Blaze. Thank you for sharing this! The owner has NOT shown vet records, and laws are being broken, the city lied. Thank you for helping.
Thanks for starting it. How do you know the owner didn’t show vet records, and what laws are being broken?
Cindy W says
This is utterly ridiculous! It may be all well & good that the vet (I’d like to know who this vet is??) says the cone is necessary because of allergies. My sons dog has allergies, they give him a Benadryl and he’s fine.
Not once have I seen or heard that the dogs allergies require him to be chained up?? What is the necessity there??? Maybe chain & cone the owner and see how he likes it. Any vets out there that can affirm this disgusting treatment?
I don’t think she gave a reason why he’s chained up. The cone is for the allergies.
We do not know if the dog has allergies as the owner refuses to give out the information. He dog was supposed to have a full vet check-up recently, with the owner’s consent, but no one knows if this has been done or what the results are.
Both the owner and the veterinarian should be held accountable for neglect. Putting a cone on a dog’s head for life is neglect, when they aren’t trying to get to the root of this poor dog’s allergy problems. How would they like it if they had an itch and couldn’t scratch it? That’s an awful feeling. This veterinarian is a poor excuse of a vet and to think that people pay him for his advice and professional services is ridiculous.
With that cone on his head would not allow him to eat or drink. It would have to be off of him to allow that. I feel as though a pet owner that does not make a fur baby part of the family, don’t have one. This is peer neglect
Martha Hall says
Let’s do something about our state’s humane laws. Maybe a law on
tethering and another to strengthen the existing laws. I have time
and some money to spend on this. I also have some good
state legislators in my district who might sponsor a bill if we asked.
Is there an existing organization who will take the lead on getting
this organized????? I hope we don’t have to start a new group.
Let’s get started.
Seattle DogSpot says
Good suggestions. People have tried to pass an anti-tethering bill in the past but it is always blocked by rural legislators, the majority of whom have constituents that keep dogs tethered outside. I know the FB group Save Washington Pets worked on it.
Is there any more activity? Has anyone been able to try to have to owner give up Blaze? Please don’t let this poor animal continue to live this way
Seattle DogSpot says
Thanks for your concern. Lots of people are still trying.
Lance manion says
LETS PUT THE HEAT ON THIS SORRY EXCUSE FOR A DOG OWNER.
POST THE ADDRESS !!!! IT LOOKS LIKE A PUBLIC STREET BORDERS PROPERTY . COME ON PEOPLE LETS ORGANIZE A PROTEST OF THIS
INHUMANE CARE OF THIS DOG OUTSIDE OF THIS RESIDECE ALL WEARING CONES AROUND OUR HEADS. INFORM THE MEDIA.
SIMPLE ! DONE ! OWNER WILL CAVE IN TO THE PRESSURE
Jenna B says
GREAT NEWS!! http://q13fox.com/2015/09/21/amid-outcry-over-blaze-the-dog-arlington-city-council-adopts-new-tethering-restrictions/
” . . . The new laws, which will go into effect no later than October 1, include regulations on the size of a tether, the length of a tether, and the types of collars and harnesses that can be used when a dog is tethered.
The new law also restricts tethering of animals between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. and requires that the animal have access to clean water and adequate shelter while tethered. The shelter and water vessel must be constructed or attached in such a way that the animal cannot knock over the shelter or water vessel.”
After I first read this article, I wrote to the mayor of Arlington. She had let me know the latest in the situation and recommended I write to my state senator and representatives regarding changing the tethering laws. I have written to all of them in the hopes the law can be changed. I’ve read in other related articles the jerk who owns him will be running for public office in 2018 and thinks this is all some liberal ploy to deter him. Would love to say “No a-hole it’s because you are abusing your dog. This has nothing to do with your political views.”
I’m glad to see the update from Jenna B so thank you for the good news. 🙂 Keeping my fingers crossed.
P.S. Dogs can eat and drink with the Elizabethan collar on. I noticed the above comments concerning this. It’s not the most fun thing in the world for them, but they can certainly manage. My dog went several rounds with mast cell tumors so I speak from too much experience.
P.S. I’m not saying it’s right that the dog has the E-collar on all the time. I’d like to see what the vet has to say about this. Some dogs do have chronic issues that would make an e-collar more necessary until the issue can be resolved, but is the dog being treated is the question. Just wanted to clarify…
Julie Fedor says
What is the latest news on Blaze?
Seattle DogSpot says
I haven’t heard anything in awhile. I’ll check and let you know if I find out anything.