On Monday, March 6 the New Mexico Senate Health and Public Affairs will consider a bill that prohibits tethering a dog outside for more than three hours regardless of weather conditions. The hearing will be held at 1:30pm in Room 311.
Senate Bill 429 does include exemptions for:
- Accepted veterinary practices
- Activities related to acceptable research
- Conduct that is related to agriculture including herding livestock and cultivation of agricultural products.
How to Help
Concerned dog owners should contact the committee and respectfully urge them to oppose the bill as currently written. Express to the committee how this bill will negatively impact your ability to properly train and care for your dogs. The contact information for the committee can be found below:
Chair Gerald Ortiz y Pino
Senator Gregg Schmedes
Senator David Gallegos
Senator Martin Hickey
Senator Stuart Ingle
Senator Antonio Maestas
Senator Brenda McKenna (sponosor)
Senator Antoinette Sedillo Lopez
AKC is concerned that arbitrary anti-tethering laws may undermine positive canine activities such as dog training, grooming, field trials, conformation dog shows, use of service dogs and other examinations that are part of responsible dog ownership.
It should be noted that tethering provides more space than a similarly measured kennel: A 10×10 kennel run gives a dog 100 square feet of space, but a 10-foot tether provides a dog 314 square feet of space. A Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine study on sled dogs concluded that “our findings provide no evidence that tethering was any more or less detrimental to dog welfare than being housed in pens” and urged additional controlled studies.
A better and more effective way to protect dogs from mistreatment is to ensure enforcement of cruelty and negligence laws, regardless of the method of confinement an owner chooses.
AKC GR continues to monitor bills impacting dog owners in New Mexico and will provide updates as necessary. For questions or more information, contact AKC GR at firstname.lastname@example.org.