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ALERT UPDATE: SB 675/ AB 760 -- STANDARDS FOR CARE, TETHERING, AND SHELTER OF DOGS

Updated 1/31/20
 

 pawprint bullet point   AB 760/ SB 675 Bill Text   pawprint bullet point   Bill History   pawprint bullet point   AB 760/ SB 675 Summary   pawprint bullet point

 pawprint bullet point  TAKE ACTION    pawprint bullet point   Talking Points   pawprint bullet point

 pawprint bullet point   What To Expect At A Public Hearing   pawprint bullet point   Find your WI State Representatives   pawprint bullet point


PLEASE NOTE: the time limit on tethering, unintentionally omitted in the circulated draft, WAS added to the bill as introduced: "With regard to tethering dogs, the bill provides that dogs may not be tethered outside during extreme weather or in unsafe or unsanitary conditions, for such an unreasonable amount of time that it affects the dog's well-being, or for more than ten hours in a 24-hour period..."

Brutus, a "Free To Good Home" dog, ended up tied to a tree.     We've all seen them, dogs emaciated and miserable, tethered outside, in all weather, on short chains attached to trees, ramshackle dog houses, or even cinder blocks. Law enforcement officers get complaints but are often unable to take necessary action because shelter and tethering regulations for dogs are inadequately described under current law.

     On January 9, 2020, Senators Smith, Hansen, Carpenter, Risser and Larson introduced SB 675, "Relating to: standards for care and shelter of animals and providing a penalty" into the WI State Senate. SB 675 sets tethering, shelter, and transportation standards for dogs. The bill is cosponsored by Representatives L. Myers, Steffen, Sinicki, Subeck, Emerson, Anderson, Vruwink, C. Taylor, Zamarripa, Bowen, Stuck and Stubbs.

     SB 675 has been referred to the WI Senate Committee on Agriculture, Revenue and Financial Institutions.

     On January 21, 2020, Representatives L. Myers, Steffen, Sinicki, Subeck, Emerson, Anderson, Vruwink, C. Taylor, Zamarripa, Bowen, Stuck and Stubbs introduced the Assembly companion bill, AB 760. Senators Smith, Hansen, Carpenter, Risser and Larson cosponsored the bill.

     AB 760 has been referred to the WI Assembly Committee on Regulatory Licensing Reform.

     Chained or tethered dogs are at a high risk for anti-social and aggressive behavior, entanglement, dehydration, starvation, heatstroke, frostbite, attacks from other animals, trauma, disease and death. Current livestock laws regulate tethering and shelter for farm animals. Even WI commercial breeders who tether dogs outside are held to stringent regulations. It is time we extended these protections to family pets!

     This bill sets tethering and shelter standards for dogs, including limiting the allowable time that a dog may be tethered outside to no more than ten hours in a 24-hour period, greatly reducing the likelihood of aggressive behavior and injury or death of the animals. Similarly, the bill sets standards for dogs being transported in the back of pickup trucks, and for dogs left unattended in parked cars. Establishing uniform, reasonable, and humane standards will aid law enforcement in responding decisively and consistently to chronic complaints about these issues while protecting animals from suffering.

     SB 675 strengthens animal protections and increases public safety by:

  • Prohibiting owners from tethering their dogs during extreme weather or under other unsafe conditions.

  • Prohibiting owners from tethering their dogs for more than 10 hours in a 24-hour period.

  • Regulating the use of treadmills and training devices.

  • Requiring shelters to be of proper size and construction while shielding the dogs from adverse weather conditions, providing for access to shade and requiring reasonable cleanliness.

  • Prohibiting owners from leaving dogs unattended in a motor vehicle under life-threatening circumstances.

  • Requiring owners to crate or restrain an animal being transported in the bed of a truck so that the dog cannot fall or jump off or be strangled.

     Though this sounds like a no-brainer to the majority of Wisconsin citizens, we are expecting stiff opposition. SB 675 MUST have strong BIPARTISAN support to pass. Scroll down for the Bill Summary and Talkng Points!

 pawprint bullet point   Find your WI State Representatives   pawprint bullet point   AB 760/SB 675 Bill Text   pawprint bullet point

 

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Bill Summary (by the Legislative Reference Bureau):

Tethered dog peering out of inadequate dog shelter.     "This bill creates standards for the shelter, tethering, and transportation of animals. Specifically, with regard to shelter for dogs, the bill provides that dog houses must rest on a flat, solid floor that is at least four inches high, must provide enough room for the dog to stand, sit, turn around, or lie flat, must be windproof, must be shaded from direct sunlight, and must be surrounded by a reasonably dry and clean area. With regard to tethering dogs, the bill provides that dogs may not be tethered outside during extreme weather or in unsafe or unsanitary conditions, for such an unreasonable amount of time that it affects the dog's well-being, or for more than ten hours in a 24-hour period; a person must be on or near a property where a dog is tethered; a tether may not weigh more than 15 percent of the dog's weight, the tether must be the longer of 12 feet or four times the length of the dog, and the collar used may not be improperly fitted nor a prong, pinch, or choke collar; and a vicious, dangerous, or sick, pregnant, or nursing dog, or a dog that is under the age of five months, may not be tethered. With regard to the transportation of animals, the bill requires a person to crate or restrain an animal being transported in the bed of a truck on public roads or lands in a manner that ensures the animal cannot fall or jump or be strangled.

     "The penalty for violating a standard created in the bill is the same penalty for violating a current law standard of proper shelter for an animal. A person who violates a standard is subject to a forfeiture of up to $500 except that, if a person violates the standard within three years after receiving an abatement order from a humane officer regarding that standard, that person is subject to a forfeiture of up to $10,000 and except that a person who intentionally or negligently violates a standard is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. The penalty for a Class A misdemeanor is a fine of up to $10,000 or imprisonment for up to nine months, or both."

 

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WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Tethered dog with no visible shelter in a snowstorm.     General guidelines for contacting your representatives: Try to keep your message brief, and be sure to give your name, address, and phone number. Let your representative know that you are a constituent. Please, ALWAYS be polite and respectful. Name-calling, and rude or abusive letters or emails will hurt, rather than help, our cause.

  • If you are in the districts represented by Senators Smith, Hansen, Carpenter, Risser and Larson, and Representatives L. Myers, Steffen, Sinicki, Subeck, Emerson, Anderson, Vruwink, C. Taylor, Zamarripa, Bowen, Stuck and Stubbs., you might phone or email them THANKING THEM for authoring/cosponsoring AB 760/SB 675.

  • Soon, we will be asking you to contact your WI State Senators and Representatives, requesting them to SUPPORT AB 760/SB 675 so that we can get it passed into law this legislative sesson!

  • If you want to give reasons for your position, please read the SB 675 Summary, above, and see our Talking Points below!

  • Also, please post your requests on your Representative's and Senator's Facebook pages!

 pawprint bullet point   Find your WI State Representatives   pawprint bullet point

 

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Talking Points:

  • A tethered dog at the end of his chain.Chained or tethered dogs are at a high risk for anti-social and aggressive behavior, entanglement, dehydration, starvation, heatstroke, frostbite, attacks from other animals, trauma, disease and death. Current livestock laws regulate tethering and shelter for farm animals. Even Wisconsin commercial breeders ("puppy millers") who tether dogs outside are held to stringent regulations. It is time we extended these protections to family pets.

  • SB 675 sets tethering and shelter standards for dogs, greatly reducing the likelihood of aggressive behavior and injury or death of the animals. Similarly, the bill sets standards for dogs being transported in the back of pickup trucks, and for dogs left unattended in parked cars. Establishing uniform, reasonable, and humane standards will aid law enforcement in responding decisively and consistently to chronic complaints about these issues while protecting animals from suffering.

  •      SB 675 strengthens animal protections and increases public safety by:

    • Prohibiting owners from tethering their dogs during extreme weather or under other unsafe conditions.

    • Prohibiting owners from tethering their dogs for more than 10 hours in a 24-hour period.

    • Regulating the use of treadmills and training devices.

    • Requiring shelters to be of proper size and construction while shielding the dogs from adverse weather conditions, providing for access to shade and requiring reasonable cleanliness.

    • Prohibiting owners from leaving dogs unattended in a motor vehicle under life-threatening circumstances.

    • Requiring owners to crate or restrain an animal being transported in the bed of a truck so that the dog cannot fall or jump off or be strangled.

  • Dogs are social animals. Living a life on a chain is a cruel and miserable existence for them. Dogs being transported unsecured in the back of a pickup truck is dangerous to the dog and the travelling public. SB 675 provides for increased public safety and gives dogs healthier, happier living conditions.

  • Please see: There's No Such Thing As An 'Outdoor Dog', an article in The DODO. It is from 2015, but is as true today as it was when written.

Tethered dog with plastic drum for shelter.


 pawprint bullet point   AB 760/ SB 675 Bill Text   pawprint bullet point   Bill History   pawprint bullet point   AB 760/ SB 675 Summary   pawprint bullet point

 pawprint bullet point  TAKE ACTION    pawprint bullet point   Talking Points   pawprint bullet point

 pawprint bullet point   What To Expect At A Public Hearing   pawprint bullet point   Find your WI State Representatives   pawprint bullet point

 pawprint bullet point   Reporting Animal Cruelty   pawprint bullet point

 

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