Illinois Senate Committee Unanimously Advances Bill to Address Tethering Abuses

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Springfield, Illinois—The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) is pleased to report that HB 83, a bill before the Illinois State Senate that would put restrictions on the tethering of dogs, was approved by the Executive Committee by a unanimous 15-0 vote. Approved by the Illinois House of Representatives in February, the bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

AWI's Rosalyn Morrison was on hand in Springfield to meet with the committee members and testify in favor of the bill. Sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Linda Holmes (D), HB 83 would amend the Humane Care for Animals Act and provide that certain requirements—designed to protect both dogs and people—are met in order to lawfully tether a dog outdoors.

HB 83 requires a proper harness or collar (as opposed to collars that choke, pinch, or poke the animal), and that the tether be at least 10 feet in length so as to ensure room to exercise and to eat and eliminate in different areas. It prohibits chains of excessive weight and size, and the tethering of dogs in such close proximity that they might become entangled. To protect the public, the bill requires that a dog not be tethered in a way that will allow him or her to reach someone else's property, a public walkway, or a road. HB 83 also allows exemptions for brief or temporary periods of tethering (for both sport and working dogs).

"We are grateful for the committed leadership of Sen. Holmes and very pleased with the unanimous support of this important bill by the members of the Executive Committee," said Morrison. "If enacted, HB 83 will protect countless dogs across the state of Illinois from some of the most inhumane practices associated with tethering and chaining. We hope this bill will move quickly through the Senate."

AWI will continue to work with legislators towards passage of the bill.