Governor Pat Quinn signed a new law to help ensure that all dogs in Illinois are treated humanely when tethered outside.
“One of the joys and privileges of being a dog owner is the unconditional love and comfort these animals bring to our lives,” Governor Quinn said. “This new law will crack down on the mistreatment of animals in Illinois and make sure our pets receive the same love and care they give us.”
The law requires that dog owners use leashes to tether a dog that is at least 10 feet long and must not exceed one-eighth of the dog’s body weight. A person must also make sure the dog does not suffer from a condition that could get worse by tethering, and they are prohibited from tethering their dog with tow or log chains.
The owner must also make sure that the dog is not tethered in a manner in which the dog could reach others property, a public walkway or a road. The animal must also be tethered in a manner that will prevent it from becoming entangled with other tethered dogs.
The law goes beyond the leash as well. The new law also states that an owner will be subject to up to six months of imprisonment if they fail to provide sufficient food and water, adequate shelter, veterinary care, and humane care and treatment. A second violation will lead to up to three years in prison
Local dog owner, Judy Kunkel says she chooses to keep her dog, Otto on a long leash to make sure he is as comfortable as possible as well as protected.
“It gives him more freedom to move around and if he happens to get in the sun then he can get in the shade and be more comfortable,” Kunkel says.
Kunkel says she is happy to see a law like this in place to protect dogs from inhumane owners.
The law is effective January 1, 2014.