Bill that limits animal tethering passes Oregon House

Bill that limits animal tethering passes Oregon House
Animal control officers say dogs in Corbett, one shown here, were kept chained constantly.

SALEM, Ore. – Legislation that would make it illegal to tether a dog or other domestic animal for long periods of time passed the Oregon House on Wednesday. The proposed law would also hold owners accountable if their pet is injured while tethered.

Supporters of the bill say tethering or chaining up domestic animals for long periods is inhumane and can cause physical and behavioral problems for animals. They also say the tethers can get tangled and prevent animals from reaching food and water.

The bill that passed the House makes it a crime to do the following things to a domestic animal like a family dog:

  • Use a tether that is not a reasonable length for the size of the animal or that could risk the health of the animal
  • Use a collar that pinches or chokes the animal when pulled
  • Tether an animal for more than 10 hours in any 24-hour period
  • Tether for more than 15 hours in any 24-hour period if attached to a pulley, running line or trolley system.

People convicted of violating the law would face a $1,000 fine.

During a previous hearing on the bill, Mike Oswald, the director of Multnomah County Animal Services, testified that his agency has had more than 100 abuse cases involving tethering in the past year. He said this law would protect animals and pet owners.

The proposed law creates exceptions when the owner is around, when you’re in a campground, using the animal for herding or protecting livestock, when hunting, or when transporting an animal.

After passing the House on Wednesday, HB 2783 now moves to the Senate.