OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5844 (as amended by House “A”)*

AN ACT CONCERNING THE OVERNIGHT TETHERING OF DOGS OUTDOORS AND THE TETHERING OF DOGS OUTDOORS UNDER CERTAIN WEATHER CONDITIONS.

SUMMARY:

This bill expands prohibitions on tethering dogs outdoors. Specifically, it prohibits tethering a dog outdoors to a stationary object or mobile device, such as a trolley or pulley, when (1) local, state, or federal authorities issue a weather advisory or warning or (2) weather (e.g., extreme heat, cold, wind, rain, snow, or hail) poses an adverse risk to the dog's health or safety based on its breed, age, or physical condition. But it allows a person to tether a dog outdoors in these conditions if the tethering lasts no longer than 15 minutes. It subjects violators to a fine of (1) $100 for a first offense, (2) $200 for a second offense, and (3) between $250 and $500 for subsequent offenses.

The bill also makes miscellaneous changes to the existing tethering prohibition. Unless the dog's owner or keeper is on the premises, current law prohibits attaching a dog to a tether that allows the dog to reach an object (e.g., a window sill, pool edge, fence, porch, or terrace railing) if the dog has a substantial risk of being injured or strangled if it jumps over the object. The bill also prohibits attaching a dog to a tether that allows the dog to reach a hazard, including a public road or highway into which the dog could walk. It prohibits tethering a dog near an object or hazard that poses any risk, instead of substantial risk, of injuring or strangling the dog if it jumps over or walks into the object or hazard. Lastly, it provides for an exception to these prohibitions if anyone is in the dog's presence, instead of the dog's keeper or owner being on the premises.

*House Amendment “A” replaces the underlying file, which (1) prohibited tethering dogs outdoors overnight or in extreme heat or cold and (2) made miscellaneous changes to the current tethering prohibition.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2013

COMMITTEE ACTION

Environment Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

27

Nay

1

(03/27/2013)