Connecticut Considers Bill on Dog Tethering

Anyone who tethers or confines a dog in an "unreasonable manner” would face a fine.

Dog on gravel roadAny person who confines or tethers a dog in an “unreasonable manner” would be subject to a fine under a state bill recently introduced by Connecticut lawmakers. A hearing on the measure is scheduled for March 8 before the Joint Environment Committee.

Under Senate Bill 274, a person who confines or tethers a dog in an “unreasonable manner” would face a fine of $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second offense and between $250 and $500 for a subsequent offense. Each day that a dog is confined or tethered in an unreasonable manner constitutes a separate offense.

If approved, S.B. 274 would amend a current statute that prohibits a person from confining or tethering a dog for an “unreasonable period of time.”

As written, S.B. 274 defines confinement of a dog in an “unreasonable manner” as:

  • Placing the dog in an enclosure of less than 100 square feet that is the primary location where the dog eats, drinks, sleeps and eliminates waste
  • Placing two dogs in an enclosure that is less than 150 square feet and less than 50 additional feet for each additional dog

Space requirements do not apply to a commercial pet shop, kennel, training facility or grooming facility; to enclosures used to confine a dog 6 months old or younger; to a licensed kennel; to a facility used for temporary boarding of a dog in need of a new owner; or to a pound.

The bill defines a person as tethering a dog in an “unreasonable manner” as attaching an unattended dog to a stationary object, including a tree, dog house or fence, or movable device, such as a pulley or trolley, by any other means than a properly fitted collar and leash, harness or lightweight cable in a manner that:

  • Obstructs the dog’s access to food, water or shelter
  • Prevents the dog from lying, sitting or standing without the collar and leash, harness or lightweight cable from becoming taut
  • Results, or reasonably could result, in injury, strangulation or entanglement

A dog is considered “unattended” if it is not within the visual range of the owner or person responsible for the dog or if the owner or responsible person is not on the premises.

If approved, the bill would become effective Oct. 1, 2010.

For more information on S.B. 274, click here.

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