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March 14, 2019

The Maryland House Environment and Transportation Committee has voted to not approve HB 501, a bill that as introduced would have amended the state’s tethering laws and ban dogs from being left tethered outdoors unattended for more than 30 minutes when the temperature is below 32 or above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

The AKC offered amendments to the bill as introduced, noting that HB 501 did not take into account that certain breeds thrive outside these temperatures, nor did it consider that some breeds require a more moderate climate and even 30 minutes in temperatures permitted under this proposal could jeopardize the dog’s health. The AKC recommended 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.

Ultimately, the committee gave the bill an unfavorable report, meaning the bill will not advance this year.

AKC thanks the Maryland dog owners who reached out to legislators and the committee on this bill and communicated how it would impact your dogs. AKC and our local clubs look forward to working with the sponsor and General Assembly on positive solutions to address their concerns and protect dogs in Maryland.

For more information on this bill, please view our previous alert. For questions, contact AKC Government Relations at