Rhode Island House Bill 7663, introduced by Representative John J. DeSimone (D-Providence), would arbitrarily ban many common dog confinement practices used by sporting and other dog owners.

The bill would prohibit keeping a dog in a pen, cage, or other shelter for more than 14 total hours in a 24-hour period regardless of the size of the pen or shelter.  This bill would virtually eliminate the commonly accepted practice of keeping dogs in outdoor kennels, regardless of the size of the kennel.  In addition, the bill would prohibit tethering a dog for more than 10 total hours in a 24-hour period.

While the bill includes an exemption for sporting dog owners, it does not provide sufficient protection as it only applies to a dog that is actively engaged in hunting, training, field trialing, or while being transported to or from these activities.  The exemption does not provide any protection to sporting dog owners while they are at home.

House Bill 7663 has passed the Rhode Island House.  It now moves to the Senate who is already considering a similar bill, Senate Bill 2035.  Sportsmen and dog owners in Rhode Island need to contact their state senators today or risk losing their rights.  Visit USSA’s Legislative Action Center to find your state senator’s contact information.

Delaware Senate Bill 211, sponsored by Senator Patricia M. Blevins (D- Elsmere), would add commonly used dog tethering practices to the state’s definition of animal cruelty.  Animal cruelty is a Class A misdemeanor in Delaware.  The bill would:

  • Prohibit tethering a dog for more than 18 total hours in a 24-hour period;
  • Completely prohibit tethering a dog under the age of four months for any amount of time; and
  • Ban tethering a nursing female dog if any of its offspring are “present.”

Senate Bill 211 passed the Delaware Senate.  It now moves to the House.  Sportsmen and dog owners in Delaware need to contact their state representatives today or risk losing their rights.  Visit USSA’s Legislative Action Center to find your state representative.

“Both bills could cripple sporting dog owners in these states,” said Jeremy Rine, USSA’s associate director of state services.  “The unjustified time limits in these bills will criminalize law abiding sporting dog owners and will do nothing to stop dog owners who are abusing dogs.  Both states have animal cruelty laws that already punish owners who are not properly caring for their dogs.”

photo: U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance

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5 thoughts on “Two Anti-Sporting Dog Bills on the Move

  1. People are losing sight of the fact that hunting dogs are also working dogs accustomed to being out in the elements. All dogs are being overly humanized with “purse” dogs, clothing lines for dogs, etc. As long as the dogs are in good health, protected from the elements, and generally well cared for, there should not be an issue with keeping dogs in kennels or on tethers. We forget that dogs are pack animals, meaning there are alpha males and females that cannot always be kept in the same enclosure or house together. We also forget that just because a dog isn’t a house dog, that doesn’t mean that animal isn’t loved or cared for by its owner. I grew up with beagles and coon hounds and never once did any of those animals live in our house, nor were they mistreated in any way shape or form. There are far more important issues in this nation to worry about. Perhaps if all branches of our government spent as much time on the real issues as they do on more trivial matters, i.e., confinement of hunting dogs, our nation wouldn’t be in the state it’s in now. What about the cost to of maintaining a well cared for dog? What about the additional cost that owners would incur to alter how and where the dogs are kept? What happens to these animals when their owners can no longer afford to keep them because of these types of bills? Do we euthanize them? Do we give them away to a family that can abide by the new laws only to have the animal become an obese house animal that used to be a magnificent, vibrant hunter and pet? I know this is somewhat of a rant, but come on!

  2. All I got to say is how could such MORONS like Rep. DeSimone an Senator Blevines ever get elected to such a high office ???? When they come up with such stupid laws like these I really don’t want them making decisions about our economy.

  3. Wow. As the owner of THREE sporting dogs currently, and many others in the past, I see NO problem with the law…I support it wholeheartedly. I see NO excuse for keeping a dog tethered, nor for throwing one in an outdoor kennel as if it were a lawn ornament. My opinion: If you’re too lazy to PROPERLY care for your sporting dog, just don’t own one. Dogs that live outdoors are a nuisance, especially ones that live on a chain. They are problem barkers (bored out of their minds, lonely, underexercised and understimulated), they are much more likely to be biters (because they are not as socialized as dogs that live with their family), and they are more likely to be exposed to illness carried by wild critters and insects. The law does not appear to require that the dog live in the owners’ homes (but why own a pack animal that you don’t have living with your pack?), but that they are not chained up (which can literally make a dog go crazy), and that they have adequate kennel facilities if the owner or breeder chooses not to have them indoors with them. The article states that it doesn’t address abuse of dogs…anyone who thinks that a dog living on a chain isn’t abused is in need of education…dogs that live like that are MISERABLE. An outdoor kennel in the upper Midwest, where temps regularly are well below zero is NOT adequate housing for ANY dog, no matter how accustomed to the elements a sporting dog may be. I’ve heard that these dogs are “too big”, have “too much energy” to be indoors. No such thing. The people who claim this are TOO LAZY to be dog owners. Period. My three get their exercise, live indoors with us (where we vacuum daily), and are great hunters. They are big shedders-no big deal, we brush them and clean up after them. They DO have a lot of energy, so we train them and exercise them. Too big? BWAHAHA. Sporting dogs that live indoors with their owners are better behaved in the field and more eager to please than those that are left on their own outdoors. There is no reason, no excuse not to care for them properly.

    1. Sled dogs are kept tethered but good mushers work them everyday. Those dogs are happy and healthy and live outdoors. Since it would deny dogs being confined in pens no matter how large, how would that affect shelters and dog pounds. It appears that another law by well meaning but ignorant people with no understanding about how much this could hurt, rather than help dogs. I have friends who have 2 German short hair pointers who live in their house. However, when they are not home during the day, they are in outdoor kennels (with shelter). They cannot be kept together without supervision as they will fight (these particular dogs). They are safe, and cannot harm themselves or other animals when thye are confined to the kennel.

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