Illinois House Advances Bill to Restrict Dog Tethering

Life can be bleak at the end of the rope: chained dogs are often deprived of social contact and adequate shelter from the elements. - Photo by Erik/FlickrThe Illinois legislature has taken steps to protect animal welfare and public safety by advancing HB 83, a bill that would restrict the tethering of dogs throughout Illinois. Tethered dogs spend their lives tied up outdoors with rope, chain or other restraint; they are often denied socialization, adequate shelter, and veterinary care. These dogs can be severely injured and even strangled by their restraints. Moreover, because tethering increases dogs’ territoriality and aggression, it is a significant public safety concern.

To address this problem, Illinois Rep. Daniel Burke introduced HB 83 in the Illinois House of Representatives. The bill requires that tethers be at least 10 feet in length and that tethered dogs be given adequate shelter and protection from the weather. It also prohibits the tethering of dogs in such close proximity that they might become entangled, and forbids the use of chains of excessive weight and size.

In February, AWI’s Rosalyn Morrison testified before the Illinois House Executive Committee, which approved the measure by a unanimous 11-0 vote. On April 15, the Illinois House approved the bill by a vote of 78-38. It now goes to the Senate for consideration.