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The Connecticut Joint Planning and Development Committee has scheduled a Friday, February 25, 2022, public hearing.  The committee’s agenda includes numerous bills, including newly-introduced HB 5170.  The bill would amend the state’s current cruelty law to ban tethering a dog:

  1. In a manner that places it at adverse risk of injury by another animal,
  2. For more than fifteen minutes without providing the dog continuous access to sanitary drinking water in a liquid state, or
  3. For more than fifteen minutes when a weather advisory or warning is issued or outdoor environmental conditions pose an adverse risk to the health or safety of a dog based on such dog’s breed, size, age, thickness of coat, or physical condition.

Further, under HB 5170, no one shall fail to provide a dog “adequate shelter” for a duration of more than fifteen minutes, unless the person is in the presence of the dog and outdoors during a weather advisory or warning or exposed to the same outdoor environmental conditions.

“Adequate shelter” would mean a structure that (1) provides natural or artificial light during daylight hours; (2) offers space adequate for a dog to sit, lie down, and turn; (3) is soundly constructed, maintained in good repair, and free from accumulated animal waste, debris, precipitation, and moisture; (4) contains sanitary drinking water in a liquid state; (5) during extreme heat, provides shade and ventilation sufficient to permit a dog to maintain normal body temperature; (6) does not contain a space heater or wood or fuel burning equipment utilized for space heating; (7) is not located under exterior stairs or underneath or inside a motor vehicle; and (8) if constructed using wire or metal chain links, the links be appropriately sized so that a dog’s paws will not become caught in them.

Additionally, during cold outdoor environmental conditions, the shelter must (1) be enclosed and insulated to an extent sufficient to permit a dog to maintain normal body temperature; (2) feature a solid roof, solid walls, and wind-protected opening for entry and exit; (3) be raised off the ground; and (4) contain dry bedding.

Dogs should never be tethered in a manner that could cause harm to them.  The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes that tethering is a practical and humane method for training and restraining dogs in a variety of circumstances.  AKC opposes arbitrary restrictions on tethering, which can undermine the wellbeing of dogs, responsible dog ownership, and safe training and recreational activities.

For more information, read Sassy’s Story and the Question of Tethering.


  1. Anyone wishing to speak regarding HB 5170 at the Planning and Development Committee’s public Zoom hearing, which is scheduled to start at 11AM on Friday, February 25, 2022, must complete this form before Thursday, February 24 at 3PM.
  2. Interested residents are encouraged to email written testimony in MS Word or PDF format to the Committee members directly at  Please include the bill number, HB 5170, in the subject line and include your position and name in the body of your email.

AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) will provide additional information as developments warrant.  For more information, contact AKC GR at