Connecticut Legislature Strengthens Anti-Chaining Law

chained dog

Update May 7, 2010: The Connecticut legislature has passed S.B. 274 which improves on the state’s current law making it illegal to chain a dog for an "unreasonable period of time." Ct. Stat. 22-350a

Under the Senate’s amended version adopted by the House, there are no limits on the number of hours a dog can be chained or tethered.

There are, however, restrictions on the manner of chaining. Dogs must be able to walk at least 8 feet in any one direction. (The length of the dog’s body except for the tail is excluded from the calculation.) The chain must have swivels on each end unless the owner is outside in the presence of the dog. No weights can be attached to the chain, and chains cannot be more than 1/4 inch thick. No prong or choke collars can be used, and the collar used be "specifically designed" and "properly fitted" as a restraint. must Also, dogs cannot be chained anywhere there is a "substantial risk of injury or strangulation" if the dog jumps over an object, unless the owner is "on the premises".   

There are exceptions for dogs participating in shows or contests, hunts, training for hunting, or who are under the care of a veterinarian or groomer, or at a campsite or recreational area.

Violations can mean fines up to $100 for a first offense, $200-$250 for a second offense, and $250-$500 for a third or subsequent offense. 

Connecticut’s current law was the nation’s first statewide anti-chaining law, but it is considered too vague.

Go here for information about why tethering or chaining dogs is cruel and dangerous and the trend to ban all unattended chaining in many counties and cities. Read about other pending bills and efforts to limit chaining in Louisiana, South Carolina, Maryland, and Illinois.