Maryland House Bill 153 Could Impact Field Trials, Outdoor Dog Events

The Maryland House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to consider a bill on Thursday, February 19, that would amend...

The Maryland House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to consider a bill on Thursday, February 19, that would amend the state’s tethering laws and ban dogs from being left tethered outdoors in extreme hot or cold conditions.  However, like a Senate bill recently considered, this bill as introduced prohibits any dog from being tethered outside unattended for an hour when the temperature falls below 32 degrees.

Those who reside or participate in outdoor dog events in Maryland are strongly encouraged to contact the committee and express your concerns with how this will impact safe, humane dog events. Scroll down for committee contact information.

Summary:

The AKC strongly believes that no dog should ever be kept in a situation that endangers its health, wellbeing, or safety. 

House Bill 153, however, could directly impact field trials, sledding or other winter dog sports, and other winter activities in which dogs can be routinely tethered outside for an hour unattended when the temperature is below 32 degrees.  It is also unclear if this would apply if the dog is provided proper protection from the elements. 

Many breeds thrive in cold temperatures, and keeping them humanely tethered outside, does not harm the animal.  The AKC recommends that this measure be clarified to state instead that a dog should not be left outdoors in conditions where the health and safety of the dog is in immediate danger.

The bill would also prohibit tethering outside for 15 minutes during a hazardous weather warning issued by the National Weather Service, or when the temperature is above 100 degrees. 

What You Can Do:
 

  • Attend the House Judiciary Committee hearing and express your concerns with House Bill 153 as introduced and request clarifications.  The hearing details are as follows:

    Maryland House Judiciary Committee
    Thursday, February 19, 2015
    1:00 pm
    Room 100, House Office Building
    Annapolis, Maryland
    **If you plan to testify, please note that you must sign the witness register before 12:45 pm.  If you wish to provide written testimony, you must submit 35 copies for distribution by noon. 
  • Contact the bill sponsor and respectfully express your concerns with House Bill 153 as introduced and request clarifications to protect humane tethering:

    Delegate Dana Stein (District 11)
    Phone: 410-841-3527 or 301-858-3527
    Toll-free in MD: 1-800-492-7122 ext. 3527
    Contact Online or send email to: dana.stein@house.state.md.us