WAN Exclusive: Unique Nonprofit C.H.A.I.N.E.D. Inc. Helps Free Chained Dogs In Detroit

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It is National Unchain Your Dog Month but there is no question that dogs should never be chained and left by themselves anytime of the year.

Yet, many dogs throughout the country remain prisoners of the chains placed on them by humans, leaving the poor defenseless animals vulnerable to a wide range of threatening issues, including severe weather conditions.

As unfathomable as it is to most responsible pet owners, dogs of all shapes and sizes were even found chained during the recent “polar vortex.”

WAN talked exclusively with Gina Freemon, Founder of C.H.A.I.N.E.D. Inc. (Continue Helping Animals in Need and Educating Dog owners), an extraordinary nonprofit that has boots on the ground helping chained dogs in Southwest Detroit.

Chained dogs were something new to Freemon, who was born and raised in San Diego, California, and relocated to Detroit, Michigan, with her family in 2010. It was there that, for the first time, she witnessed a dog chained in terrible conditions.

From that moment on, Freemon was hooked on saving chained dogs in the area from such a dismal existence.

“When dogs are chained, they are stripped of their freedom,” Freemon told WAN, calling it the worse type of animal abuse other than being starved.

After months of driving up and down alleys, writing addresses down where dogs were chained, knocking on doors to urge the homeowners to bring their pets inside, and self-financing the efforts along with her husband Jim, Freemon decided to grow C.H.A.I.N.E.D. Inc. in 2011 when it became a nonprofit organization.

Pulling from her more than 12 years of home nursing experience, Freemon created an initial assessment process where they figure out what they are able to do in that moment to enhance a particular dog’s life.

While C.H.A.I.N.E.D. generally conducts outreach once a month in December, January, and February, Freemon said it takes months to prepare in advance. Remarkably, she and her team of 40 volunteers help an estimated 200 dogs a day.

Most recently, C.H.A.I.N.E.D. received a $3,500 grant from the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) to help provide free life-enhancing supplies and services to low-income dog owners in Southwest Detroit and the Downriver communities.

The generous grant enabled the unique nonprofit to provide straw, insulated dog houses, dog house heaters, and heated water bowls to dogs in the community, as well as provide dog treats, toys, heartworm prevention, and other much needed supplies.

“In the past few weeks it has been below zero, but sometimes it gets below 16 degrees,” Freemon told WAN, explaining that dogs remaining on chains in those conditions would not be able to survive.

How is it possible that people chain their dogs in the first place?

“Sadly, most people around here don’t care about the dog. Some even refer to dogs as their doorbells,” said Freemon. “While there are some people in the communities of Southwest Detroit that do care about their pets, unfortunately most cannot afford to properly care for them.”

C.H.A.I.N.E.D. now collaborates with many groups and has been responsible for facilitating 15 anti-tethering laws in cities throughout Metro Detroit.

The organization has also rescued more than 800 adult dogs, puppies, and seniors, while working with partner organizations.

“It’s emotional witnessing a dog become “unchained” for the first time,” said Freemon. “They become happy, new dogs.”

“Correcting the problem where it originates, decreases neglected and homeless dog populations,” the organization, which is dedicated to enhancing the lives of chained dogs in the area by providing life altering supplies and services, which also include spay and neuter assistance and owner education on its website. “Every dog is worth saving and this is our way of saving them!”

WAN applauds Freemon and her team for their tireless efforts to rescue, save, and enhance the lives of these animals in need.

To date, the organization has assisted more than 2,889 dogs in Michigan by providing much-needed supplies, as well as veterinary care. C.H.A.I.N.E.D has placed 875 igloo dog houses in the field, paid for 643 spay/neuters, rescued 335 dogs (plus lots of liters of puppies), and built 68 freedom fences.

Learn more about this remarkable organization and donate to help C.H.A.I.N.E.D. Inc. continue their important work HERE!

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