Illinois House Votes to Clean Up Cruel Dog Tethering Practices

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Springfield, IL  – The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) is pleased to announce that HB 83, a bill that would prevent some of the most inhumane forms of tethering, passed out of the Illinois House of Representatives by a vote of 78-38. We commend the leadership and compassion of Chairman Daniel J. Burke, the sponsor of HB 83, for advancing this important bill.

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 for an owner to lawfully tether a dog outdoors. HB 83 will not establish an outright ban on tethering—it would only limit certain inhumane practices that increase harm to people and pets. Exemptions would be allowed for brief or temporary periods of tethering for work and sport activities.

Chairman Burke said, "I was delighted to sponsor legislation in the current General Assembly that would afford proper care in regards to the well-being of dogs. It is particularly important in view of the current General Assembly's unfortunate fiscal crisis, that we were able to touch the hearts and spirits not only of those who loved dogs, but also those who know that if we can't take care of the least of God’s creatures, how can we attend to the needs of our fellow human beings?"

The bill provides that dogs must have adequate shelter and protection from the weather, in addition to a proper harness or collar (as opposed to collars that choke, pinch, or poke the animal). It also provides that the tether be at least 10 feet in length so as to ensure room to exercise, 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.

“We are honored to work with Chairman Burke on the passage of this much needed bill,” said AWI’s Rosalyn Morrison. “If passed, this bill will protect dogs across the state of Illinois from being subjected to some of the worst forms of tethering.”

HB 83 now makes its way to the Illinois Senate, where AWI looks forward to working with Senator Holmes on moving this bill swiftly through the Senate, and finally to Governor Quinn for his signature.

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For More Information:
Rosalyn Morrison, rosalyn@awionline.org, (202) 446-2126