A bill is advancing in the Pennsylvania Senate that would amend the state’s cruelty laws to create specific, one-size-fits all requirements for tethering dogs.
Senate Bill 373 proposes prohibiting a dog from being tethered outside for more than 30 minutes if the temperature is below 32 degrees. This could directly impact winter dog sports, sledding and other winter activities as well as field trials.
While no dog should ever be kept in a situation that endangers its health, wellbeing, or safety, there are many dog breeds that thrive in cold temperatures. Breeds like Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies are happy to be kept outside in cold weather, even unattended. Keeping them humanely tethered outside does not harm them in any way. In fact, humane tethering allows some dogs the best opportunity for exercise, socialization and acclimatization, especially if they are working dogs. In addition, training for American Kennel Club field trials, search and rescue, and other activities may also require a dog to be temporarily and humanely tethered outside in cold temperatures.
The bill also creates some specific standards for shelter and bedding for dogs kept outdoors. Dog owners in Pennsylvania should read the entire bill and AKC’s legislative alert to see if this will impact your outdoor activities with your dogs or how you shelter your dogs.
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