(KCBS) – KCBS’ Jeff Bell talks to Dr. Jack Aldridge, Director of Veterinary Services at The San Francisco SPCA, about tethering your dog.

You may see many dogs tethered outside coffee shops and grocery stores waiting for their owners to come back. Not only is this unsafe, it’s against the law in San Francisco, which only allows tethering when the dog is attached to a retractable pulley system, a minimum of 10 feet long, with access to food, water, shelter but free of obstacles. When a dog is tethered, without means of escape, it may feel trapped when approached by a perceived threat, like another dog or a small child. In addition, your dog is in constant danger of being stolen by someone nasty, or even “rescued,” by a well-meaning dog lover, while you’re not watching.

There are a few signs to look for to see if a dog feels uncomfortable when confined on a leash. The most common behavior to watch for is avoidance. If the dog is avoiding your interaction, then he may not want to be greeted. If your dog wants to interact with a tethered dog, cross the street to avoid having the two dogs greet one another on leash. Greetings on leash can create a lot of tension between two unknown dogs. The tethered dog may be stressed by the confinement in addition to the fact that her owner is not present.

The “take home” message is don’t tie up your dogs outside of stores. There’s no way to legally tether your dog on a short leash in the city and the risks of injury or worse are just too high.

Animal Update airs on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM on Sundays at 1:35 p.m., 3:35 p.m., and 9:21 p.m.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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