"Good News" Magazine Sept. '17 PP issue to publish online - Page 18

Tethers, Weather, and Pennsylvania's New Humane Law by Kevin Cierpilowski Humane Society Police Officer /Clinton County SPCA Pennsylvania’s new animal cruelty law, known as “Libre’s Law,” is now in effect. Stiffer penalties, mandatory animal forfeiture, and civil immunity for veterinarians are just some of the significant changes. This article will focus on another important change - the tethering of dogs. First, understand that “tethering” means tying or chaining a dog outside. The dog is considered “tethered” even if it has access to a dog house. A dog may not be tethered outside for more than nine hours in a 24 hour period. For example: three hours in the morning, three hours in the afternoon, then three hours in the evening (nine hours total) will be acceptable. Any longer than that is a violation. TETHERS: The length of the tether must be 10 feet long or three times the length of the dog - measured from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail – whichever is longer. For most dogs, 10 feet will be okay. Tethers may have to be longer for larger dogs. Dogs must be attached to the tether by a collar or harness with a swivel or latch, which will prevent the dog from becoming tangled. The dog may not be attached to the tether with a choke collar, pinch collar, prong collar, or chain collar. (Note: These types of collars are still legal when walking or training your dog, but not for tethering.) Tow chains or log chains may not be used as tethers. A tethered dog must have drinkable water AT ALL TIMES and access to shade so that it can get out of the sun. If you own a dog that tends to spill the water bowl, you will have to find a solution (see below). WEATHER:  If the temperature is above 90 degrees or below 32 degrees, the dog may only be tethered outside for 30 minutes at a time. The dog may not have open sores or wounds, and there must not be excessive waste or excre- ment where the dog is tethered. What do you do if you own a dog that lives outside tethered to a dog house?  One solution is to find a way that your dog can live inside your house. Another solution is to build a fenced-in dog pen with a proper shelter (dog house) inside the enclosure. The following is from the new law: “The shelter must be sufficient to permit the animal to retain body heat and keep the animal dry.”  If you have questions regarding the new law, you can email me at kevinccspca@gmail.com.  Also, email me if you have a dog that spills the water bowl. There are inexpensive solutions for that problem. To read the entire law, Google: PA Title 18 Chapter 55 Subchapter B. Find: CHAPTER 55 RIOT, DISORDERLY CONDUCT AND RELATED OFFENSES. You have to scroll down - the new law begins at section 5531. 16 Pawsitively Pets -- September