Tethering a dog means to tie it to a stationary object. Many states and counties have rules against keeping a pet on a chain, some state how long the tether must be, or for how long the pet can be tethered. Some states have no rules about this. This year's harsh winter might change that in many places.
California, for instance, prohibits tethering a dog to any stationary object for longer than it takes for the owner to complete a temporary task. That is, it's okay to tie the dog up outside the store when hurrying in for milk, but not okay to tie the dog up in the yard and leave it there.
Connecticut has specific rules for how a tether must look to be allowed, and persons breaking the law can be fined up to $500. Many states classify breaking the tethering laws as a misdemeanor, and D.C. threatens with imprisonment for up to 180 days along with fines.
Gwinnet County is now considering a ban on leaving an animal tethered without supervision. The current law allows tethering up to one hour, but if the change goes through it will be illegal to leave the pet.
Duchess County is considering a law making it illegal to tether puppies outdoor, and any dog in temperatures below 32 degrees or above 80 degrees. The law will also prohibit tethering during thunderstorms, snow storms, high winds, or any other extreme weather. Tethered dogs must have access to an enclosed dog house with a slanted, waterproof roof of appropriate size, clean bedding, and water.
There are still dog owners who think dogs are supposed to be tethered, because that's the way they've always seen dogs. Some believe dogs aren't affected by heat or cold, and that they can't get frostbite. It's great to see an increasing number of lawmakers make decisions to protect the weakest in our society.
~ Maria Sadowski ~