The weekend went pretty well for domestic animals in Massachusetts and Delaware, as the states’ governors signed into law new protections for pets.
In Massachusetts on Thursday, Governor Deval Patrick signed “An Act Further Regulating Animal Control” into law. The legislation sets up a fund for homeless animals, institutes new rules that allow pets to be included in domestic protection orders, bans euthanasia in gas chambers, prohibits discrimination against any dog breed, increases fines for animal cruelty and more.
Over in Delaware, Gov. Jack Markell signed a bill into law that will designate tethering as animal cruelty, specifically tethering a dog for 18 or more hours in any 24-hour period.
In Delaware, the state’s Senate has voted to ban the practice of tethering dogs for for 18 hours or more within any 24-hour period. If passed, the would also prohibit tethering for dogs under 4 months old for any period of time and would ban the practice for nursing moms in the presence of their puppies.
The Republic article from Wednesday notes opponents of the bill believe it will lead to ‘further restrictions on dog owners,’ such as bans on animals housed in enclosed kennels all day. It’s the old slippery-sloop argument. So we can’t enact any more laws against anything, because it might lead to some really extreme additional laws?
Ooooh – If your city reduces the speed limit near a new school from 55 to 45 that could lead to the speed limit dropping to 15 miles per hour all over the city. Oooooh – If important laws are passed to protect kids from on-line predators, then laws will soon follow that will require all kids remain inside a plastic bubble 24 hours per day until they are 14 years old.
But where the slippery-sloop, pro-tethering folks go in the case above doesn’t really seem too extreme at all, does it? Shouldn’t we not want dogs caged 24 hours per day?
AND – A man accused of operating a puppy mill out of his home in Indianapolis, Ind. has been ordered by a judge to pay for the care of the 51 dogs seized in the case.
Good for that judge. This needs to happen in far more cases.
Important quote from Wayne Pacelle: I found a letter by HSUS president Wayne Pacelle posted on MLive.com.
The final paragraph led with this: “The animal welfare movement is strong and growing. It represents mainstream values. Although there is no official registry, an estimated 20,000 organizations are engaged in the important work of safeguarding animals, …”
A lot of good new in those two sentences. The animal-welfare movement is growing and getting stronger. I really believe that. And it is great to know that about 20,000 organizations all over the country are working to make life better for animals.
And why are we seeing this growth in animal-welfare organizations over the last two decades and why are we seeing the movement grow overall? – Because it does represent mainstream values.
ONE – Every time I go into a pet-supply store and see guinea pigs, rabbits or ferrets, I wonder about the supplier of those animals. Do any of these facilities compare to puppy mills?
Well … predictably, I don’t have good news in this area. The Associated Press is reporting on a ferret breeding facility in Pennsylvania, where “an undercover investigator found hundreds of ill, injured and neglected animals living in inhumane and unsanitary conditions.”
Fox 8 out of the Triad area of North Carolina offers this report on the discussion concerning a proposed anti-tethering ordinance that took place at a recent county commission meeting in Forsyth County, NC.
Thankfully, more communities across the country are considering regulations on the tethering of dogs. Many, such as my home county, regulate the number of hours each day a dog can be tethered – and under supervision by a guardian.
The only problem is the progress has been slow. We need states to step in for state-wide regulations.
Florida’s Palm Beach County gets a Pack of Compassion Award for enacting an anti-tethering ordinance and for regulating the size of outdoor enclosures for dogs. The new regulations went into effect Friday.
Dogs can only be tethered when supervised and at shows. Cages must be at least 80 square feet and the temperatures inside the housing should not exceed 85 degrees. Fines can be as much as $500 for a third offense.