In New York state where frigid temperatures also mean suffering for chained dogs, there is a bill pending as well that could change that.
New York's proposed tethering restrictions, AB 6046, has been in the Agriculture Committee since February, 2009. The bill was introduced by Assembly Members William Magee and Joan L. Millman. Mr. Magee is the Chair of the Agriculture Committee.
This bill would limit chaining of dogs, including use of a running cable or trolley, to no more than 6 hours a day.
The bill also requires any tether to be at least 15 feet long that must be attached to prevent injury or strangulation or entanglement with other objects. There have been incidents, for example, of dogs climbing a fence while chained and hanging themselves. The bill, AB 6046, would ban the use of choke type or prong collars for chaining and require any tether or chain to be attached to a properly fitted collar, harness or like device made for that purpose.
In the introduction to the bill, it is stated, "We should be doing everything we can to decrease the number of aggressive, non-socialized dogs. That will most certainly translate into fewer dog bites, healthier children (as they are most often the ones bitten).... [A] large part of that is ensuring that our dogs are not unduly and unnecessarily chained for long periods of time thus providing them with the exercise and social outlet that they want and need."
So, it's time to move this bill out of committee and onto votes by the Assembly and Senate.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and United States Dept of Agriculture (USDA) also oppose chaining dogs.
The Center for Disease Control has said chained dogs are 2.8 times more likely to bite adults. Chained dogs are nearly 5 times more likely to bite children. The National Canine Research Council reports that almost 30% of all fatal dog attacks involve chained or penned dogs. The ASPCA reports 81% of fatal dog attacks involve dogs that are isolated.
Nicholas Dodman, DVM, Professor, Tufts University, says, "Chaining dogs makes them more aggressive. They are natural social animals and [chaining] induces 'isolation-induced aggression' and creates a 'junkyard' dog effect. They basically go mad."
Dogs are social animals. Dogs that are chained 24/7 out in the yard not only present a danger especially to children, but they tend to be neglected and during this very cold winter, many are suffering terribly.
It's time to pass AB 6046 to stop the cruelty and make our communities safer for our families and pets!