Chained Dog Assistance Program

Rescued from a life on a chain December 30, 2009

Sofia Vitelli Loren in her furever home.

It is an unfortunate reality that many dogs in our area and beyond spend the majority of their lives chained in their owner's yards. These dogs are forced to endure harsh weather conditions, limited mobility and a great deal of isolation. MHF's Chained Dog Assistance Program was developed to improve the quality of life for these dogs and to help educate the families on the duties of dog ownership.


Many people feel these chained dogs should be taken from their owners. Virginia law requires adequate food, water, shelter and the length of the chain to be a minimum of three times the length of the dog's body from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail. If the animals are simply taken from the owners, MHF has found that it is only a matter of time before another puppy is doomed to the same tethered life. Therefore we feel it is more productive to work to improve the care and in turn, educate the family.


MHF goes to the home of each dog in the program, taking donated food and supplies and checks on the animal’s overall condition and living environment. The dogs are vaccinated and dewormed; they are also spayed or neutered, whenever possible. Improperly fitted collars and chains are replaced. Dog houses are donated to the family, when needed and straw is taken in the winter to assure warm living conditions for each dog. When available, plastic coated cable tie-outs are given to the families so that the dog, although chained, can get adequate exercise without the risk of entanglement which many times leads to a knotted chain and possible strangulation. Along with the donated supplies and education in basic dog care, the families are given MHF’s phone number should an emergency arise and are encouraged to contact MHF concerning any animal-related issues.


Most families, although defensive at first, become very appreciative of this program. MHF is overjoyed to see improvement in the care of most of the dogs in this program, which encompasses Fauquier, Loudoun and Culpeper Counties.




Contact Us


Middleburg Humane Foundation

P.O. Box 1238

Middleburg, VA 20118


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Appointment Hours:


Monday: Closed

Tues - Sat: 11am-5:30pm,

Sunday- Closed


All visits to the shelter are by appointment only, please.

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