An anti-tethering activist in central Pennsylvania was charged with trespassing after bringing straw to help two rib-thin chained dogs in a snow storm.
Tamira Ci Thayne, founder of the Altoona-based Dogs Deserve Better, said after finding two skinny dogs chained in the snow in sub-freezing temperatures with no food or water and inadequate bedding, she decided to return with straw, food and water.
She said she made attempts to contact the owner to no avail and then got a call from the Pennsylvania State Police saying she would be charged with trespassing for allegedly ignoring a second warning to leave the property.
Thayne said she responded because she believed the law was being broken and Cambria County humane officers failed to charge the dogs' owner. The state's animal cruelty law states that animals must have access to food and water and that shelter must be adequate to preserve body heat.
A hearing is scheduled in Cambria County district court on Feb. 16.
Thayne said the incident underscores the need for passage of legislation banning round-the-clock chaining that has stalled in the state House.
Thayne, who each year sends thousands of Valentine's Day cards to owners of chained or penned dogs with notes urging them to bring their dogs inside or surrender them, said she will be mailing 2,000 cards this year to Pennsylvania addresses. She estimates the number of chained or penned dogs statewide to be twenty times that amount.