The Oregon legislature is nearly done enacting a new law on tethering dogs and other domestic animals. The Senate on Tuesday passed, 25-4, House Bill 2783, which now is back in the House for concurrence with amendments.
Some people have grumped whether lawmakers don't have more important things to worry about. They do, but that doesn't mean they can't also try to help animals suffering from abuse.
The bill calls for a fine of up to $1,000 for unlawful tethering. That means trying up an animal in such a way that it's likely to get entangled or choke, or that it can't get out of the weather or its own excrement. Also, animals are not to be tethered for more than 10 hours in a 24-hour period, or 15 hours if the tether is on an overhead line with a pulley.
All this may be difficult to enforce, But if you've seen dogs chained in terrible conditions for weeks or months at a time, you will agree that trying to do something about that is worth a try. Jim Dohr of the Albany police testified for the bill on behalf of the Oregon Animal Control Council, pointing out that it would not affect any routine confining of dogs during transport or other activities such as hunting..
By preventing or punishing cruelty to animals, the bill may well do some good once it is law. (hh)