By: Cassidy White
Break the Chain Kennel Kru is a nonprofit organization in the Triad that goes into underserved communities to help dogs that are chained up outside. Since their opening three years ago, BTCKennelKru has built two kennels a month on weekends. Sylvia Mayon, the organization’s founder, said the significance of the organization stems from her childhood.
“When I was growing up, I never had a pet because my parents abandoned me,” Mayon said.
When Mayon got married to her husband, Andrew, the couple adopted an abandoned puppy, Kona, and Mayon grew attached. After reflecting on her abusive childhood, she wanted to help animals in need, particularly the ones who were tied up outdoors.
BTCKennelKru receives tips from neighbors and animal control for those who need assistance with their tethered outdoor dog. Mayon said most families that are referred are families that have disabled owners, no car, or who are elderly. Families that receive BTCKennelKru’s assistance must meet specific requirements: all dogs must be spayed/neutered, the owner must receive government assistance, the owner must agree to follow-up visits, and a family member is asked to pay to help BTCKennelKru build another’s kennel. Mayon said she conducts a phone interview with the family, and then sets up a home visit. During the home visit, Mayon and her team can get to know the family and see the space that is available for a kennel, which are 10 feet by 20 feet.
The family is put on a waiting list for a kennel for their dog. “Just because you chain a dog does not mean you are a bad person,” Mayon said. “[Some people] do not have the education or resources to know any different.”
Each kennel built is decked out with tarps, straw, cedar, new toys, bowls, a dog house, a new collar, treats and food. After a kennel is built for a family, Mayon and her team conduct home visits about every five to six weeks to follow up.
“Home visits also allow us to build a relationship with the family and deepen the relationship with the dog,” Mayon said.
BTCKennelKru has teamed up with Dr. Oliver from Benessere Animal Hospital to assist with any appointments or check-ins that a dog might need. Together, Mayon said, this partnership has allowed for the family to receive a discount for services. Mayon noted that the family pays as much as they can to get their dog the medications and treatments needed, and BTCKennelKru will cover the rest of the cost. As a result of this partnership, 25-30 dogs have had the opportunity to be treated for heartworms, Mayon said.
BTCKennelKru also has a partnership with Project Bark, which helps with spaying and neutering as well as educating families about it. “When a family qualifies for Project Bark, they automatically qualify for our program,” Mayon said.
When bad weather hits such as snow, extreme heat, frigid temperatures or rain, all outside dogs can be boarded.
“We have different partners such as Camp Bow Wow in Greensboro and Fur Babies that help us with this task,” Mayon said.
A few months ago, Mayon said that BTCKennelKru met a family with four boys that had lost their husband/father. The family had a high-energy dog chained to the porch because the dog had not been trained. Mayon said that BTCKennelKru was able to give the dog a kennel and was able to pay for a dog trainer so that he could live inside the house. “This is the extent we will go to better the lives of dogs and their families.”
On Oct. 6, BTCKennelKru will hold its seventh annual Spooktacular fundraising event at Northwood Animal Hospital from noon to 4 p.m. with music, pet contests and food vendors. Entry is free, but donations of pet food, supplies or cash are encouraged.
For more information, visit the Northwood Animal Hospital website.