Delaware Bill Puts More Restrictions on Tethering

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Legislation prohibiting the tethering of a dog for more than two consecutive hours, regardless of temperature or time of year, has been introduced and sent to a Delaware Senate Judicial Committee. State Senator John Walsh’s Senate Bill 139 would also make it illegal to tether a dog more than 9 hours over a 24-hour period or to keep a dog outside for more than 15 minutes when a severe weather advisory is in effect.


Take Action Today! Delaware sportsmen should call their state senator and ask them to vote NO on SB 139. Members can find their senator’s phone number by using the Sportsmen’s Alliance Legislative Center.


Many sportsmen use tethers to help train, acclimate their dogs to the climate or to prevent dogs from straying off where they might be at risk or a nuisance to neighbors. Violators of the 9-hour tethering restriction would be charged under the state’s animal cruelty laws and face up to one year in jail and/ or a $2,300 fine, and could even be forced to forfeit the dog. Current law allows for tethering of a dog for 18 hours in a 24-hour period.

“There are already sufficient animal cruelty and neglect laws on the books in Delaware,” said Luke Houghton associate director of state government for Sportsmen’s Alliance. “SB 139 applies a standard that is not connected to the actual health or welfare of the dog, but instead relies on a stopwatch to determine whether a violation has occurred. This will result in the prosecution of people whose dogs show no signs of distress or injury. These are arbitrary standards with no basis in veterinary science.” 

About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research.  Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: OnlineFacebookTwitter and Instagram.