BEND, Ore. - Buddy, the yellow lab, is one happy pup.
"You can see it in the dogs face, they're happy they get to run around..you can see that smile on their face," said La Donna Sullivan, Fences for Fido director in Central Oregon.
But a few months ago, in the front yard of his home just south of Sunriver, Buddy lived life a little differently, chained to a tree.
"They can't defend themselves, or they could get stuck on their chain or get severely hurt," Sullivan said.
Now, for the first time in his life, 1-year-old Buddy is free from his chain, thanks to Fences for Fido, a non-profit offering to build fences for free for dogs confined on chains.
"I have experienced many, many times a dog being released from a chain, and it's so rewarding. It's doing the right thing," Sullivan said.
The group started in Portland and has since unchained more than 600 dogs. The Central Oregon crew is just getting started.
"We have freed 11 dogs in Central Oregon so far," Sullivan said. "We hope to unchain as many dogs as we possibly can."
Starting Jan. 1, a new anti-tethering law takes effect. House Bill 2783 was signed into law this week by Gov. John Kitzhaber.
It will make it a Class B violation to tether a dog with a tether that is not a reasonable length, given the size of the animal and the space, in a manner that the animal could become entangled and risk its health and safety, with a collar that pinches or chokes the animal when pulled, or leave it tied up for more than 10 hours in a 24-hour period.
"This gives our community a huge resource," said Lynne Ouchida, community outreach coordinator with the Humane Society of Central Oregon.
The Humane Society knows just how important a fence can be for a dog.
"For concerned citizens, they have a place to make a report of that that can be looked into. And then also this is a huge benefit and resource for those wanting to free their dog from the end of a chain," Ouchida said.
A chain dogs like Buddy can say goodbye to, for good.
"Buddy is a very happy dog now, and he'll be happy for a long time and live a very healthy life," Sullivan said.
With a goal to unchain every dog in Central Oregon, Fences for Fido needs your help. There's a volunteer round-up Saturday at the Humane Society of Central Oregon from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
For more volunteer info, or to report a chained dog, visit fencesforfido.org.