Connecticut Dog Tethering Bill Remains a Problem for Sportsmen

By Geoffrey English • April 30th, 2010

Despite an amendment, a dog confinement bill in Connecticut would still cause severe problems for sporting dog owners.

Senate Bill 274, a bill restricting how dog owners can confine or tether their dogs, was recently amended and could be voted on at any time in the state Senate. Details of the bill’s confinement and tethering restrictions can be read by clicking here. Although the amendment may have good intentions, the new language simply does not go far enough in providing protection for sportsmen and sporting dog owners.

The amendment only exempts sporting dog owners from complying with the new restrictions while they are actively hunting, at a field trial, or training for such events. It does not exempt them when traveling to these events or while at home. Instead of totally exempting sporting dog owners, it creates an “affirmative defense” for dog owners during transportation and while at home.

“The use of an ‘affirmative defense,’ as opposed to an outright exemption, means that sporting dog owners could be charged with a violation of the housing and tethering provisions but would have a defense in court” said Jeremy Rine, USSA associate director of state services. “Basically, owners would have to spend their own time and money proving in court that they ‘regularly take their dogs out’ for hunting or training.”

In addition, the bill gives no insight on how often law abiding sporting dog owners must utilize their dogs for them to fall within this affirmative defense.

Take Action! Connecticut sportsmen and sporting dog owners should contact their state senators today to urge them to oppose this bill. Tell them that SB 274 doesn’t go far enough to protect sporting dog owners.

To find your state senator’s contact information, visit the Legislative Action Center at www.ussportsmen.org/lac.

For more information regarding the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alert Network, call 614-888-4868, or email Greg R. Lawson, director of communications at glawson@ussportsmen.org or Sharon Hayden, assistant director of communications at shayden@ussportsmen.org.

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