HB 1238 Act 10 of 2017 Limited The Continuous Tethering of Dogs in Pennsylvania
Why is Tethering Inhumane?
Dogs are naturally social animals who thrive on interaction with people and other animals. A dog kept continuously chained suffers immense psychological damage. An otherwise friendly and docile dog, if rarely take off a chain, becomes neurotic, anxious and often aggressive.
In many cases, the necks of chained dogs become raw and covered with sores from improperly fitted collars, pulling, yanking, and straining to escape confinement. Some dogs have even been found with embedded collars in their necks.
Who says tethering is inhumane?
The Humane Society of the United States, the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association and an increasing number of state and federal agencies have positions against chronic chaining.
The legislation places reasonable limitations on tethering/chaining by:
Banning tethering a dog outside without providing for its basic needs as defined under Section 5532.
Create a rebuttable presumption the dog has not been neglected as defined in section 5532 if:
The dog is not a victim of cruelty under another section of the animal cruelty code.
The dog is tethered for no more than 9 cumulative hours within a 24 hours period.
The tether is secure to a well-fitting collar with a swivel and by a tether of no less than 10 feet or three times the length of the dog.
The dog has access to water and an area of shade.
The dog is not tethered for longer than 30 minutes when the temperature is over 90 degrees or under 32 degrees.
All of the factors above must be met in order for the presumption that a dog has not been neglected to apply. The dog is not tethered in a manner that satisfied these requirements, a law enforcement office may file neglect charges.
The law create a rebuttable presumption that the dog has been neglected if any of the following are present:
Excessive waste in the tethered area.
Open sores or wounds on the dog’s body.
The use of a tow, choke, or log chain, pinch, prong, or chain collar.
This legislation is a step in the right direction for dogs kept outside. Animals must have access to sanitary shelter which preserves body heat and keeps it dry. Levels of offense are based o the extend of bodily injury to the animal.
For more information on reporting animal cruelty, call:
The Humane Society of the United States
Pennsylvania State Director
PVMA (Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association
Director of Marketing and Communications
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