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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: December 22, 2014 04:17 PM
From: Senator Richard L. Alloway, II
To: All Senate members
Subject: Anti-Tethering Legislation
In the near future, I plan on reintroducing legislation regarding the tethering of dogs in Pennsylvania.

This legislation will be similar to SB522 which I introduced last session and will amend Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) further providing for the offense of cruelty to animals.

In addition to strengthening the tethering laws throughout the Commonwealth, the legislation will add a provision regarding shelter for dogs a cats to ensure that they are protected against inclement weather, keep them dry and allows them to preserve a normal body temperature.

Tethering of dogs is cruel and inhumane. Dogs are highly social pack animals who thrive on human and animal interaction and companionship. To a dog, being constantly tethered is like solitary confinement is to a human being. An otherwise friendly dog, when kept tethered becomes unhappy, anxious, and often aggressive and develops neurotic behaviors such as incessant barking, digging and chewing.

Perpetually tethered dogs lead miserable lives! They live, eat, and sleep on their own tiny patch of packed down dirt, often fouled with excrement which in many cases, is rarely cleaned. They are tormented by fleas, ticks, and other insects from which they cannot escape, and suffer from diseases which can kill them. Tethered dogs rarely receive proper care.

Currently, over 120 cities, counties, and towns in over 30 states have legislation prohibiting or restricting the perpetual tethering of dogs and more are quickly following suit. California and Texas have state-wide laws restricting the tethering of dogs for no more than three hours a day. Many other states currently have anti-tethering bills pending in their legislature.

This legislation will provide for a summary offense if a person violates the tethering and shelter provisions, second and subsequent offenses shall be a misdemeanor of the third degree.

In addition, this legislation provides for a misdemeanor of the third degree if an individual violates any offense of cruelty to animals in conjunction with the tethering of dogs or shelter provisions.

If you are interested in joining us in protecting dogs from perpetual tethering please become a co-sponsor of this legislation.

Introduced as SB373