Friday, August 20, 2010
For more than three weeks, a lone protester has chained herself to a doghouse on the state Capitol steps in an effort to bring attention to legislation that would prevent dog owners from doing the same to their animals. Tamira Thayne has stood in the blistering sun and in the pouring rain. She's been chained to a doghouse for ten hours a day since August 2nd, and vows to keep at it for at least another month, even though she stopped generating news headlines after her first week of protests. “If I was only doing this for the media attention, I would have packed up on day three,” says Thayne, “I'm doing this for the dogs. I'm here for the dogs. I'm here for their law. And I'm not going away, no matter how boring it is. And let me tell you - it's very boring.” Thayne doesn't let herself read or take part in any other leisure activities. She says she wants to mirror the conditions of the dogs she's fighting for. The bill would bar tethering dogs between 10 PM and 6 am, and make it illegal to keep dogs outside when it's below freezing or above 90 degrees. Legislators have only given Thayne token responses, saying they'll "take a look" at the bill this fall. She says she's prepared to keep waiting, “There's power to doing something that no one else would do. There's power to doing something for these dogs that no one else is going to do. And no matter what happens with regards to the law, I know I'm doing what I have to do for them.” Thayne says the worst moment was a heavy rainstorm that flooded most of downtown Harrisburg, “it was coming down the steps, and it was - you could see it in the footage blowing in the road. There was stuff blowing all through the air. And it was just crazy. And then I found out the next day half the city flooded out, and I was just standing in that deluge. So that was probably the craziest half-hour that I've spent out here. “ The measure is stalled in a Senate Committee.