Connecticut Considers Bill on Dog Tethering

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

Posted: March 5, 2010, 2 a.m. EST

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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Craig   Indianapolis, IN

9/1/2010 9:51:53 AM

I support any law that takes into consideration the safety of the pet--in this case, dogs. However, I feel the State of CT (and all other states) should institute a pet restraint law for vehicles that would mandate the use of pet car seats / booster seats and/or restraint harnesses that utilize existing rear seat-belts to keep pets from "free-ranging" in the car while it is in motion. We buckle up ourselves, our children and other passengers. Why do we assume it's safe to leave a pet to roam and distract a drivers attention? Driver distraction, by pets, is one of the leading causes of accidents, injuries and death on the road. Even during a quick emergency stop a loose pet can be thrown through the windshield, into a child or passenger, or even beneath the brake pedal. Loose pets are dangerous to themselves, to passengers and to innocent others, on the road, who might become directly involved in an accident when a loose pet is thrown from the vehicle. Please encourage your state legislators to pass pet restraint laws, to help keep everyone safe on the road, and save lives.

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Ray   litchfield, CT

3/24/2010 6:08:25 AM

the bill as written has serious flaws. it treats all dogs as if they are the same size and having the same are also putting another burden on animal control officers who are few and far between.We already have laws on the books in CT which are rarely enforced due to no one to enforce them. If you see a mistreated animal start making noise until someone listens.Do not ask for more laws which look great on paper and accomplish little.

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Cheryl   Kansas City, KS

3/8/2010 6:06:08 PM

I hope that this bill passes and every other state has bills like it.

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Melissa   Farmington, NM

3/8/2010 9:19:15 AM

Please pass this bill all over the US! If you need to tether your dog maybe you shouldn't have one!

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