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The Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee is scheduled to consider a bill on Wednesday, February 4, that would amend the state’s tethering laws and ban dogs from being left tethered outdoors in extreme cold and winter conditions. However, as introduced it 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 winter 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.

Senate Bill 26, 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.

Many breeds thrive in cold temperatures, and keeping them humanely tethered outside, even unattended, does not harm the animal. The bill is also unclear if this would apply if the dog is provided proper protection from the elements.

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.

What You Can Do:
 

  • Attend the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and express your concerns with Senate Bill 26 as introduced and request clarifications. The hearing details are as follows:

    Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee
     

    Wednesday, February 4, 2015
    2:00 pm
    2 East Miller Senate Building
    11 Bladen Avenue
    Annapolis, Maryland
    **If you plan to testify, please note that you must sign the witness register before 12:30 pm. If you wish to provide written testimony, you must submit 20 copies for distribution by noon.

  • Contact the bill sponsor and respectfully express your concerns with Senate Bill 26 as introduced and request clarifications to protect humane tethering:

    Sen. Ronald N. Young (District 3, Frederick County)
    Phone: 410-841-3575 or 301-858-3575
    Toll-free in MD: 1-800-492-7122 ext. 3575
    Contact Online or send email to: ronald.young@senate.state.md.us

The Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee is scheduled to consider a bill…

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