Washington State Senate Passes New Legislation Restricting Tethering Pets

Washington State legislators pass a new bill that prevents dog owners from ‘tying up’ or ‘tethering’ their pets with certain types of restraints.

The state of Washington’s Senate just passed a bill that renegotiates current animal cruelty laws, and regulates how dogs can be restrained and for how long. Senate Bill 5356, which was sponsored by Senator Joe Fain, was unanimously accepted and will now move on the the state House of Representatives in its quest to become state law.

The bill requires that pet owners must provide adequate food, water and shelter for their pet, should they decide to leave their pet outside. It also requires sufficient space for the animal to move around freely and without worry of entanglement. Additionally, the law would give animal control officers the option of issuing civil infractions to pet owners who tether or ‘tie up’ their animals in an inhumane manner.

More specifically, the law would ban certain types of animal restraints, like ‘choke’ collars when tethering animals. Senator Fain said that the goal was to keep dogs healthy and happy. Senator Fain was named the Humane Society’s Legislator of the year in 2015, and said the legislation would create guidelines to ensure pet safety and humane treatment. Senator Fain says this law will also empower animal control officers to assess each individual situation to see if there is simple restraint while an owner is gone, or abuse and/or neglect.

He hopes the plan will give owners some common-sense guidelines for caring for their pets, when they are together as well as when they are left alone. More, the bill would provide protection for dogs against tethering restraints that would impede a dog’s movement, like a choke, halter or pinch collar.

If the House approves the measure, Washington state would join 21 other states and the District of Columbia in passing similar animal tethering laws.

Lori Ennis

Lori Ennis is a wife, mama and friend to all animals. A self-confessed “Hot Mess,” she lives wherever the Marine Corps takes her husband. Currently, that’s Maryland with her very spoiled Labrador Retriever-mix rescue pups and a ton of saltwater fish just tanking around. Lori’s family has fostered dogs for years, mostly Golden Retrievers, and knows no home is complete without an animal buddy (or seven)!

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