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'Good fences make good neighbors': help Blackie get his fence

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Blackie is an 8-year-old pit bull living in Oconee County who is in serious need of assistance. This dog has lived on a chain for his entire life; 8 years on a chain is difficult to fathom.

Living outdoors on a chain is just not good for dogs. They rarely get enough human companionship, and tend to bark more than an unchained dog. In addition, a tethered dog is more likely to show aggression and guard his or her territory.

City ordinance prohibits tethering dogs inside the Anderson city limits, but the ordinance does not apply to dogs out in the county. Anderson and Oconee County, SC dogs who are chained are fortunate to have an organization called "Freedom Fences" whose express purpose is to build fences for families who cannot otherwise afford them, enabling the dogs to run free in the confined space of their yard.

Blackie is a good example of what can happen to a dog who is chained. Their movement is restricted by the length of the tether; that means unless their human has provided them with a dog house within reach, they are subject to the whims of the weather.

A tethered dog cannot escape a predator, whether it be of the two-legged or four-legged variety.

In Blackie's case, a neighbor got angry because Blackie barked too much. So the neighbor duct taped Blackie's mouth closed and beat him.

Blackie recovered from this and is safe now, but Freedom Fences in Oconee County is working to build a fence for Blackie, so that he can have the freedom of movement he has never known. They have raised $175 of the $360 they need to do this. They are asking for help - tax deductible donations can be made at the FreedomFences website. Please specific "Blackie" on donations.

To paraphrase Robert Frost, "Good fences make happier dogs". It's great to see an organization such as Freedom Fences working to reduce dog tethering in a constructive manner, but offering solutions to the problem for individuals, families, and their dogs.

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