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House Bill 403 seeks to define outside confinement requirements and limit tethering for dogs.  As written, this bill could criminalize owners who utilize appropriate and humane kenneling and turn-out options for their dogs.

HB 403 has been placed on the agenda for the next meeting of the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 6, 2016. Dog owners who wish to express their concerns with HB 403 are encouraged to contact committee members.  Please scroll down for contact information.

Provisions of HB 403 include:

  • Section 3 seeks to specify that dogs allowed to be outside must be confined by one of 3 methods.  This fails to recognize that owners frequently utilize more than one type of enclosure to provide appropriate confinement and exercise opportunities for dogs. 
     
  • Section 3(a)(1) would make it a violation for a person to confine a dog in an outdoor kennel run if that enclosure does not also provide “space for exercise”.  This would criminalize countless good dog owners who utilize appropriately-sized outdoor kennel runs to keep their dogs secure and sheltered, and who also give their dogs regular exercise and playtime by providing access to a turn-out area, an indoor play area, leash walking, games of fetch, visits to dog parks or dog daycare facilities, participation in training and events, and numerous other humane and accepted care and enclosure options.
     
  • HB403 would make it a violation for a person to allow an unleashed dog to be outside and not within a fence or enclosure, even if the dog never leaves the boundaries of the owner’s property.
     
  • Section (4) would require that all outdoor enclosures must be equipped with dog houses or shelters, including outdoor turn-out areas that are used specifically to provide play time and exercise for dogs. This requirement would apply even when outdoor turn-out areas are used in conjunction with outdoor kennel runs that are equipped with appropriate shelters or with indoor enclosures (Exemptions are provided for herding and working farm dogs).
     
  • Section 4(b)(2) would outlaw the use of “igloo” style dog houses that do not have four walls. 
     
  • Section 4(b)(6) would limit tethering in emergency circumstances to a period not to exceed three hours. This provides no useful exemption for a person who must tether a dog for its safety and well-being in response to a disaster situation wherein a safe enclosure may not be available for a longer time period. 

HB 403 would make any tethering violation a Class B misdemeanor subject to a fine of up to $3,000 and imprisonment for up to six months.

What you can do:

Dog owners who are concerned by the requirements and limitations that would be established under HB 403 are encouraged to contact members of the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee prior to their meeting at 9:00 on April 6. Click here for contact information. 

For additional information, please contact pvs@akc.org or call 919-816-3645.

House Bill 403 seeks to define outside confinement requirements and limit tethering for dogs. As written, this bill could criminalize owners who utilize appropriate and humane kenneling and turn-out options for their dogs.

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