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Oklahoma Is Advocating for Tethered Dogs

February 18, 2021

Paws Up!

To Oklahoma Representative Micky Dollens for introducing House Bill 1580 to help tethered dogs.

February is helping to raise awareness about the dangers of continuously chaining dogs during Unchain a Dog Month. Many dogs throughout the United States are suffering at the end of a chain from the lack of socialization, food, clean water, appropriate shelter, and medical treatment. Thankfully, many local and state lawmakers are advocating to create a more humane world for these canine companions by passing laws (1) specifying how long they can be tethered, (2) restricting tethering during extreme weather conditions, and (3) giving requirements for appropriate shelter and the types of tethers that can be used.

Wellington was rescued from living the rest of his life on a chain
by NHES’ flagship animal care facility, The Briggs Animal Adoption Center.

Last year, Oklahoma Representative Micky Dollens became aware of the lack of laws protecting chained dogs after being contacted by a concerned citizen about a dog named Lucky. Lucky had a huge chain padlocked around her neck where a collar should have been. Lucky had a happy ending, but many dogs in her situation do not.

According to a recent news article, Oklahoma Representative Micky Dollens (D-District 93) is advocating to protect dogs who live tethered 24/7 with House Bill 1580. This bill states that dog owners would not be allowed to leave their dogs outside for more than fifteen minutes during weather advisories, watches, warnings, or other extreme weather conditions. H.B. 1580 also restricts the amount of time a dog can be tethered in twenty-four hours, describes an adequate shelter (as having three sides, a roof, and a solid floor), and gives additional requirements to keep a dog warm.

Many chained dogs suffer from exposure to the elements, attacks from wild animals or other roaming dogs, and various forms of neglect. H.B. 1580 states that any individual who allows a dog to live in “filthy and dirty confinement conditions…that could cause harm to a dog’s physical or emotional health” is practicing “inhumane chaining.” Anyone found guilty of violating H.B. 1580 may face varying degrees of punishment from a warning up to a $500 fine. The severity of the penalty depends on whether it is a first, second, or third offense. Repeat offenders may even have to give up their dogs. If passed, the law will go into effect on November 1, 2021.

Take Action: Oklahoma residents, YOU can help improve the lives of chained dogs in your state. Please show your support for H.B. 1580 by contacting your representative today!

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