Tethering bill passes to full House

From the Humane Society of the United States:

The Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s largest animal protection organization, applauds the work of the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee for passing H.B. 1065 to the full House. This bill goes a long way towards protecting dogs who are tethered outside for any length of time.

H.B. 1065 prohibits tethering of dogs between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. as well as the use of a choke, chain, pinch or prong-type collar and requires that the chain used to tether a dog be at least six feet long or five times the length of the dog, whichever is longer. The bill also requires food, shelter and water be accessible to the tethered dog.

The Humane Society of the United States now urges the Pennsylvania House to quickly pass H.B. 1065. When H.B. 1065 passes both chambers and is sent to Governor Edward G. Rendell, Pennsylvania will be the fourth state in 2007 to enact tethering protections for dogs.


“The passage of this bill by the house judiciary committee is a great first step towards protecting dogs in Pennsylvania from the inherent cruelties of chaining,” said Adam Goldfarb, issues specialist for the Companion Animal Section of The Humane Society of the United States. “Because tethered dogs are at a greater risk to bite, this bill protects people as well. The states of Texas, Maryland and Tennessee have already recognized the problems with the practice of chaining and passed state tethering laws earlier this year. Pennsylvania would do well to follow suit, protecting its communities and promoting the humane treatment of man’s best friend.”

Mary Jo McClain from Pennsylvania Legislative Animal Network, states that “after a four year battle, it is time to limit dog tethering in Pennsylvania. The state legislature obviously recognizes that dogs should not be habitually tethered.”

Facts:

A dog kept chained in one spot for hours, days, months, or even years suffers immense psychological damage. An otherwise friendly and docile dog, when kept continuously chained, becomes neurotic, unhappy, anxious, and often aggressive.

Numerous attacks on people by tethered dogs have been documented. The September 15, 2000, issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association reported that 17 percent of dogs involved in fatal attacks on humans between 1979 and 1998 were restrained on their owners’ property at the time of the attack.

In 2007, five children have already been killed by tethered dogs.

Maryland, Tennessee and Texas also enacted tethering laws in 2007.

For more facts on tethered dogs, visit www.hsus.org/acf/cruelty/publiced/the_facts_about_chaining_or_tethering_dogs.html .

Timeline:

H.B. 1065 passed the House Judiciary Committee on September 25, with a vote of 24 – 4 in favor. For the bill’s full language, visit www.legis.state.pa.us.

H. B. 1065 was introduced by Representative Mario Scavello (R, 176) on April 18, 2007, and co-sponsored by 24 fellow Representatives.

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