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Chain Off 2008 • Unchain our World!
Chicago Main Event

Details from the Chicago Chain Off

All Locations

Last year we tackled Atlanta and Seattle as main event venues, this year we met in the middle of the country and took on Chicago! Or did Chicago take us on?

storm clouds

hail doghouse

At least we now know why it's called The Windy City!
We could also add the Stormy City...and the City from Hail...

13 dog advocates lived chained for 24 hours, from 11:15 a.m. June 28 through 11:15 a.m. June 29, 2008, suffering through extremes of the elements from wind to rain, and even hail! Watch the video, below, or scroll down for articles about the event:

Dogs Deserve Better
Chain-Off 2008: Unchain Our World!
Dupage County Fairgrounds
June 28-29, 2008

Chain Off Committee

Opening Ceremonies kicked off at 11:00 a.m.; DDB Founder Tammy Grimes led the 6th Annual Chain Off Campaign, offering special thanks to the Chain Off committee, chaired by Susan Hartland (also Master of Ceremonies), with Cynthia Drobitsch (our booth queen, gathering 60 exhibitors for the event); instrumental were Cara Wilson, Aden Ryan (graphics, not pictured) and Monica Schreiber (not pictured), our PR goddess. Tammy then read Gordon's poem, introduced the 13 Chainees, and the 24 hours began!


dog agility

doghouses chain off

Dog advocates who lived chained in Chicago:
(click here for ALL Chain Off locations)

Tammy Grimes

1. Tammy Grimes, founder of Dogs Deserve Better
from Tipton, Pennsylvania. Phone 814.941.7447
Click Here to Sponsor TammyRead Tammy's Page

Dawn Ashby

2. Dawn Ashby, DDB Public Liaison and Rescue Coordinator
from Litchfield, Illinois. Phone 217.324.5250
Click Here to Sponsor Dawn Read Dawn's Page

Rhonda Sims

3. Rhonda Sims
from Anderson, South Carolina. Phone 864.934.8496
Click Here to Sponsor Rhonda Read Rhonda's Page

Brittany Ashby

4. Brittany Ashby
from Litchfield, Illinois. Phone 217.324.5250
Click Here to Sponsor BrittanyRead Brittany's Page

Marla Dakes

5. Marla Dakes
from Copley, Ohio. Phone 330.903.0039
Click Here to Sponsor Marla Read Marla's Page

Kristin Hubbard

6. Kristin Hubbard
from Concord, North Carolina. Phone 717.379.8395
Click Here to Sponsor KristinRead Kristin's Page

Kim Jayne

7. Kim Jayne
from Aurora, Illinois. E-mail wom546@hotmail.com
Click Here to Sponsor Chainees Read Kim's Page

chain off signage

8. Cory Ferguson
from Martinsburg, West Virginia. Phone 304.264.9291
Click Here to Sponsor CoryRead Cory/Julie/Sammy's Page

Julie Ferguson

9. Julie Ferguson
from Martinsburg, West Virginia. Phone 304.261.2617
Click Here to Sponsor JulieRead Cory/Julie/Sammy's Page

Sam's doghouse

10. Samantha (Sammy) Ahlman
from Naperville, Illinois. E-mail samanimaladorer@yahoo.com
Click Here to Sponsor Sammy Read Cory/Julie/Sammy's Page

Gordon Bakalar

11. Gordon Bakalar
from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Phone 717.395.0624
Click Here to Sponsor Chainees Read Gordon's Page

Jenny Lawson

12. Jenny Lawson
from South Bend, Indiana. Phone 574.288.3954
Click Here to Sponsor Jenny Read Jenny's Page

Rocky Shepheard

13. Rocky Shepheard
from Macedonia, Ohio. Email Rocky@stopaeta.org
Click Here to Sponsor Chainees Read Rocky's Page

2008 Campaign Bronze Sponsor

hsus logo

Protest aims to put 'chainers' in doghouse
Advocates against animal abuse tether themselves for 24 hours

June 29, 2008, By Paige Winfield pwinfield@scn1.com http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/napervillesun

Metal chains hung from the necks of 10-year-old Samantha Ahlman of Naperville and her aunt, Julie Ferguson, as they sat cross-legged in front of a large doghouse Saturday afternoon.

The shelter to which they were tethered was just one of about a dozen doghouses clustered together on the DuPage County Fairgrounds. Along with 15 other dog lovers, the two were "chaining" - spending 24 hours tied to doghouses to protest using the practice with dogs.

"Just like the dogs that get chained outside with nothing, we're going to go au naturale," said Ferguson, who traveled with her husband, Cory, from their home in West Virginia to participate in the event.

About 25 feet away from Ferguson sat a similar doghouse and its occupant, Tammy Grimes. Grimes is the founder of Dogs Deserve Better - a nonprofit organization that has organized the annual protest for six years. The group remonstrates chaining dogs and helps owners pay for fences or dog care instead.

Grimes, 44, started DDB after observing a dog tethered for six years by her neighbor in Tipton, Penn. She says that chaining dogs for extended periods of time constitutes abuse, regardless of whether they are given food, water and shelter.

"Anytime you leave a dog on a chain its entire life, that's abuse," Grimes said. "I feel like this is a forgotten cause. Just because dogs technically have a place to live, that's not necessarily a home."

Grimes and fellow DDB activists say it's inhumane to isolate dogs by tethering them because of their social nature. Leaving dogs chained for hours or days leaves them unhappy and often aggressive, said Susan Hartland, a Seattle resident who also flew out for the event.

"Chaining is just not a good alternative because they do become neglected ... they don't get the interaction they need," Hartland said.

Hartland, 40, helped Naperville resident Cynthia Drobitsch, 29, organize the event, which was held in Atlanta last year. Drobitsch became involved in DDB just this year when she was searching for volunteer opportunities.

Drobitsch came face-to-face with dog abuse when she had to give her Siberian Husky to an adoptive family during college. When she heard the father of the family had been arrested, she went to their house and found her dog chained to a tree, 20 pounds lighter and barely able to move.

"We really just brought her back to life," Drobitsch said. "She was on her deathbed, she didn't lift her head."

Now the owner of a Shiba Inu - a small Japanese breed - Drobitsch works through DDB to advocate for laws that prohibit chaining dogs for longer than three hours at a time. While Illinois currently has no such ordinances, California and Texas recently passed statewide laws that put specific time limits on chaining and Pennsylvania and South Carolina are considering similar legislation.

As she worked to organize the event, Drobitsch decided to incorporate for the first time information booths from rescue groups, pet food vendors and other businesses and organizations that provide services for dogs. Rows of several dozen tent-covered tables stood next to the group of doghouses where the protesters sat.

Most of the doghouses were actually lived in by dogs who were rescued from abusive situations. But Samantha, who attends Mill Street Elementary School, built her own doghouse with the help of her father. She said she was excited to participate when her aunt suggested the idea.

"I'm just going to think of it as camping," she said.


List of Chicago Exhibitors:

The Childrens Museum of Oak Lawn www.cmoaklawn.org/
The Bellyrub Klub
Evanger's Dog & Cat Food Company www.evangersdogfood.com/
Forever Stay Canine Consulting and Flint River Ranch Food, www.flintriver.com
Natura Pet Products, Inc. www.naturapet.com/
Animal Rescue Foundation IL www.arf-il.org/
Small Paws Rescue (Bichon Frise) www.smallpawsrescue.org/
A Caring Place Humane Society www.acaringplacehs.org
ARFhouse Chicago www.arfchicago.org
True Hearts of Rottweiler Rescue www.thorr.org/
Internet Miniature Pinscher Service (IMPS) www.minpinrescue.org
Best Friends Animal Society www.bestfriends.org
Just 4 Paws
Paramount Fence Inc. www.paramountfence.com/
Naperville Animal Hospital www.napervilleanimalhospital.com
4-Paws Heavenly Treats www.4pawsheavenlytreats.com/
Rainbow Animal Assisted Therapy http://rainbowaat.org/
All Saints Saint Bernard Rescue www.allsaintsrescue.com
Shure Pets www.JoAnne.shopshurepets.com
Central Indiana Labrador Rescue & Adoption (CILRA) www.cilra.org/
Allison's All Natural www.allisonsallnatural.com/
Barks and Bones www.barksandbones.com
LuLu's Canine Cuisine, Inc. www.luluscaninecuisine.com/
Pet Threads www.petthreads.net and Animal Communicator Debbie Henkes www.debbiehenkes.com
Puppy Palate Pleasers
Doggie Delivery Inc. www.doggiedeliveryonline.com/
Dog Food Deli, Inc. http://www.doggydelifood.com/
Chicagoland Tails Magazine http://www.tailsinc.com/
Chicago Pets Directory www.chicagopetsdir.com/
PetsNPatients www.petsnpatients.com
New World Wellness www.newworldwellness.com/

4Paws 4U 4Ever www.4paws4ever.com
R.A.I.N. (Recycling Animals In Need) www.rainshelter.org

Bark Avenue Daycamp http://barkavenuedaycamp.com/
Great Lakes Lab Rescue www.greatlakeslabrescue.org/
Transpet Services
2 Dogs 8 Paws http://www.geocities.com/twodogs8paws/
Midwest Shiba Inu Rescue www.shibarescue.org/
REGAP (Greyhound Adoption & Rescue) http://regapgreyhounds.org/
Anderson Animal Shelter www.andersonanimalshelter.org/

Rodbar's Houndsong Rescue www.houndsong.com
N.A.W.S. www.nawsus.org/
Mary Kay Cosmetics www.marykay.com/pgoswami
PETA www.peta.org
Hands on Paws
A.D.O.P.T. www.adoptpetshelter.org
Shorewood Cocker Rescue www.cockerrescue.net
The Pooper Scoopers www.thepooperscoopers.net
Gentle Touch Pet Massage
Australian Shepherd Rescue Helpline www.aussierescue.org/
Western Great Lakes Akita Rescue www.wglar.org/
Dog Day Art Photography http://www.dogdayart.com/photography

Merrick www.merrickpetcare.com
Chicago Bears www.chicagobears.com
FlexiUSA www.flexiusa.com
Me4Kidz www.me4kidz.com
Evanger's Dog & Cat Food www.evangersdogfood.com
Wiggles, Wags & Whiskers www.wiggleswags.com
Purrfect Play www.purrfectplay.com
Pet Pals Market www.petpalsmarket.com

Handicapped Pets www.handicappedpets.com
Peggy Krause, AuthorHouse, www.AuthorHouse.com

Nylabone http://www.nylabone.com/
Sutton Studios www.suttonstudios.com
Animal Companion Touch and Therapies www.companionanimaltouchtherapies.com
Barkology www.barkology.com
Ethical Planet www.ethicalplanet.com
US Bones www.usbones.com/

Ian's Bead Company www.iansbeadcompany.com
Poopbags.com www.poopbags.com
Petfinder www.petfinder.com

Dean Pappas, Yor Design Group www.yordesigngroup.com
Aden Ryan, graphics@richochetmedia.com


Read the Chain Off 2008 Preliminary Press Release in .pdf format

If you'd like to donate via regular USPS mail, send to P.O. Box 23, Tipton, PA 16684

or you may call 1.877.636.1408 to use Visa/Mastercard/AmEx

Dogs Deserve Better is a 501c3 nonprofit education/legislation/rescue organization. Your donations are tax-deductible according to IRS guidelines.