5 min read

She Spends Her Days On A Chain In A Box, And It's Perfectly Legal

The entire existence of one dog in Ohio technically meets the standards of a life worth living, but only just.

She has food. She has water. But she spends all her days on a chain, staring out at the world from the box she calls home.

And in Champaign County, where there is no tethering law, this is perfectly legal.

The Backyard Dog Project

The Backyard Dog Project

The haunting image of a dog named Fanny was posted to Facebook on February 4 by The Backyard Dog Project, an organization dedicated to keeping dogs from, well, pretty much exactly what Fanny is going through.

The group, whose mission is to improve the lives of outdoor dogs, can't seem to do anything to ease the sorrowful state of this 5-year-old Australian shepherd. She has spent years on a chain, cowering inside a flimsy shed.

"In Ohio, the laws state as long as [dogs] have some type of shelter and fresh water, there's nothing we can do," Kristin Crankshaw of The Backyard Dog Project told The Dodo.

"The dog warden's been called out there multiple times and if he won't do anything, our hands are tied as well," she says.

Fanny's owner, she says, has rejected several offers from the group to at least make her life a little more livable.

"We offered [the owner] some straw to put down and he's just not having it," Crankshaw says. "People have called and called the dog warden on him."

"Legally, I don't know what to do."

In Champaign County, where Fanny ekes out an existence, anti-tethering legislation might at least limit the time Fanny spends outside on a chain.

(Despite calls from The Dodo, local dog warden Tony Sells could not be reached for comment.)

The Backyard Dog Project

The Backyard Dog Project

And so, Fanny stares out a window, a stark reminder of how the absence of law can constitute animal cruelty in itself.

"She's not potty trained. She never sees the inside of a house," Crankshaw says. "That's her life ... in a little circle of mud."

But it doesn't have to be like that. It shouldn't be like that.

What to do if you spot a dog like Fanny? The Backyard Dog Project says people can call and ask Champlain County Animal Control for a wellness check to give a dog, who's precariously close to becoming invisible, a vital voice.

And, on a larger scale, you can lend your support to the Humane Society of the United States , which is attempting to bring anti-tethering legislation to every city across the country.