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Senate Bill Impacting Field Trials, Winter Dog Events Advancing

The Pennsylvania Senate has given tentative approval to a bill that amends the state's cruelty laws to regulate tethering and sheltering for dogs kept outdoors.

The AKC strongly believes that no dog should ever be kept in a situation that endangers its health, wellbeing, or safety. 

Senate Bill 373, however, could directly impact field trials, sledding or other humane winter dog sports and winter activities, as the bill prohibits a dog from being tethered outside for more than 30 minutes if the temperature is below 32 degrees. 

The bill also sets specific standards for shelter and bedding for dogs kept outdoors.  Dog owners are encouraged to review the bill in its entirety to see how it would impact your kennels and outdoor dog shelters.

Talking Points:

Many breeds thrive in cold temperatures, and keeping them humanely tethered outside, even unattended, does not harm the animal.  Certain training for field trials, search and rescue, and other activities may also require a dog to be temporarily and humanely tethered outside in cold temperatures.

The AKC recommends 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.

What You Can Do:

The bill could be scheduled for a vote in the Senate at any time.  Pennsylvania residents are encouraged to contact their State Senator TODAY and express your concerns with Senate Bill 373 as currently written.  Visit the Legislative AKC Action Center and type in your address to find the name and contact information for your State Senator.


By Nancy Molburg