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Board Passes Law to Protect Dogs by Restricting Outdoor Tethering

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White Plains, NY — By a bi-partisan vote of 16-1, the Westchester County Board of Legislators on Monday passed a measure to protect pets by restricting how and when dogs can be tethered outdoors.


Under the new legislation, dogs in Westchester no longer will be allowed to be tethered outdoors overnight or during a weather alert. Also, tethering to a stationary object is banned for dogs less than six months old, sick or injured dogs, or nursing mothers whose offspring are present. The new measure requires someone to be home when a dog is tethered outdoors, and defines what types of tethers are safe and acceptable, and requires tethered dogs to have adequate access to food, water, dry ground, and sufficient space, among other conditions to ensure safe and humane treatment

Co-sponsor Kitley Covill (D - Bedford, Lewisboro, Mount Kisco, North Salem, Pound Ridge, Somers), chair of the Board's Legislation Committee said, "This is a clear, specific, focused piece of legislation that not only will protect the safety of animals, but also gives animal control officers unambiguous guidelines to enforce, making their jobs easier."

Co-sponsor Margaret Cunzio (C - Mount Pleasant, North Castle, Pleasantville), chair of the Board's Public Safety Committee, said, “This legislation helps codify proper care, treatment and maintenance of dogs and will be a tool for animal control and law enforcement officers, Chaining or tethering a dog and leaving her or him out in extreme weather with little or no shelter is an inhumane practice. I am proud to have worked on this legislation and I look at this as a starting point to examine other issues involving the care of animals.”

Dogs who are left tethered outdoors are at risk from extreme weather conditions. Often they lack access to food, water and shelter. Dogs tied up outside can strangle or injure themselves on their tethers. And tethering can increase the threat to humans. According to a study from the Centers for Disease Control, chained dogs are nearly 3 times more likely to bite someone than unchained dogs.


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