Activist chains herself to dog house outside Statehouse

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Tamira Thayne is on a nationwide crusade to make life better for dogs that are abused and abandoned.  It’s a story that has a link to Michael Vick, the NFL quarterback who went to prison for staging dog fights.

Thayne heads an organization that now owns Vick’s former home.

On Wednesday, she was pleading her case to passersby at the Statehouse. She chained herself to a dog house for seven hours to increase awareness about how some dogs are treated.

“Chained dogs are three times as likely to be aggressive because they’ve never been socialized with humans,” she said.

On the website for her organization, Dogs Deserve Better, you can learn how chained dogs are affected and how the organization rehabilitates them.  It’s done in the house where Vick kept fighting dogs and staged dog fights before he was arrested and sent to prison.

At the Statehouse, she gets people to listen to her message even if some, including Margaret May, question the chain around her neck.

“Yeah, well, maybe that makes her point, may be a little extreme,” May said.

But a state lawmaker questioned Thayne’s cause.

“I mean, obviously you want to make sure they’re not in any danger, that they have an opportunity to get shade and water and everything else, but I don’t think you want dogs running around everywhere,” said Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis).

That won’t stop Thayne.

“I can rescue only so many dogs but if I can change laws I can help millions of dogs,” she said.

Indiana is the 12th state she has visited and she’ll get to four more on this trip seeking laws that say a dog can only be chained for a short period of time.

For the record, Indiana law prohibits the use of a dog chain less three times the length of the dog and it must permit the dog to move freely and avoid chocking. There is no time limit.

Indianapolis has an ordinance that prohibits the chaining of a dog from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.

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