Attack on Phila. girl spurs anti-chaining activist

A toddler was attacked by a dog who broke free from his chain in Philadelphia's Olney section Monday evening. The two-year-old girl was rushed to the hospital with multiple bite wounds after a German Shepherd attacked her grandmother as she carried her across the street to try to avoid the dog. 

The attack came just as Altoona-based anti-chaining activist Tamira Ci Thayne was finishing day six of her protest at the Capitol.

Thayne, founder of the national anti-chaining group Dogs Deserve Better, has tethered herself to a dog house and is camped out on the Capitol steps in an effort to win passage of a bill banning round-the-clock chaining. (Image at left shows a chained dog in Montgomery County). Bills that would limit chaining have been introduced in both the House and Senate, but have seen no movement during this legislative session which ends in December.

Thayne said the Philadelphia incident "underlines the seriousness of our bid for a law limiting chaining."

"According to the Center for Disease Control, chained, unneutered male dogs top the list of dogs most likely to attack," said Thayne in an email on Tuesday. "A chained dog can be aggressive, territorial, and unsocialized with humans. This is a very bad combination for a small child or toddler, who doesn't understand the danger and is not capable of fighting off an attacking dog. This little girl is lucky to be alive, and only pushes me forward more to win this law on behalf of our dogs and our children."

Thayne is chronicling her protest on the website Operation Fido's Freedom.