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The Truth About Tethering

The American Kennel Club Government Relations (AKC GR) department has noticed a recent uptick in anti-dog policies on the local level. One of the most prevalent issues being considered in communities throughout the United States is the regulation of tethering.

Supporters of such proposals often recycle appalling photos of neglected dogs that would horrify any dog lover.  However, many of the tethering proposals being considered would not address cruelty but would impact responsible and humane tethering.

Proposed anti-tethering laws are problematic for responsible owners who utilize humane tethering. Consider the following: With these proposed laws, owners who hike and camp with their dogs, live in residential developments with architectural and fencing restrictions, who are disabled and blind, who own working, herding, hunting, field trial, and sled dogs, and owners of escape-artist dogs would all face penalties and even confiscation of their beloved pets.

In most cases, local negligence and cruelty laws do a better job of getting at negligence and cruelty associated with tethering than specific, arbitrary tethering laws that cannot take into account the wide variety of circumstances that accompany why, when, where, how, or the duration for which a person may humanely tether a dog. The AKC GR has already dealt with a plethora of cases regarding tethering this year. Please contact the GR team, and we can work with your legislators to come up with a better solution.

AKC GR has some great resources to share with your network or when speaking to legislators.

They include:

Sassy’s Story and the Question of Tethering
Canine Legislation Position Statement: Tethering