Pennsylvania Bill Impacts Outdoor Field Trials, Dog Activities, and Outdoor Dog Shelters

A bill is advancing in the Pennsylvania Senate that would amend the state’s cruelty laws to regulate tethering and sheltering for dogs kept outdoors.

Pennsylvania Bill Impacts Outdoor Field Trials, Dog Activities, and Outdoor Dog Shelters

May 12, 2015

A bill is advancing in the Pennsylvania Senate that would amend the state’s cruelty laws to regulate tethering and sheltering for dogs kept outdoors.

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

Senate Bill 373, however, could directly impact field trials, sledding or other winter dog sports, and other winter activities, as the bill prohibits a dog from being tethered outside for more than 30 minutes if the temperature is below 32 degrees. 

Many breeds thrive in cold temperatures, and keeping them humanely tethered outside, even unattended, does not harm the animal.  Certain training for field trials, search and rescue, and other activities may also require a dog to be temporarily and humanely tethered outside in cold temperatures.

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 also sets specific standards for shelter and bedding for dogs kept outdoors.  Dog owners are encouraged to review the bill in its entirety to see how it would impact your kennels and outdoor dog shelters.

What You Can Do:

The bill has passed committee and will likely be considered by the Pennsylvania Senate soon.  Use the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s “Find My Legislator” page to find the name and contact information for your State Senator and express any comments or concerns you have with SB 373.