Darien, Connecticut — Friends of Animals strongly denounces the most recent attempt to amend the state anti-cruelty law: now by a provision that would prohibit chaining a dog for 22 consecutive hours or more.

FoA president Priscilla Feral called for Connecticut’s anti-cruelty law to be updated with input from Acting Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Agriculture together with animal advocacy groups across the state.

Priscilla Feral explains: “Connecticut law already requires the “humane” treatment of animals. Although this is an elastic standard, several dog owners have already been sanctioned, under existing law, for tethering dogs. The new proposal would invite dog owners to tether dogs on a leash or chain as short as they wish. It allows an owner to confine a dog in a container, or on the shortest of tethers, for 22 of 24 hours of a day.”

The State Department of Agriculture’s Acting Commissioner Bruce Gresczyk applauded Friends of Animals for taking a stand against the proposed bill, which is unenforceable and ties the hands of the Department’s canine control officers. In order to assist confined or chained dogs, canine control officers must be able to make individual decisions when they confront each case.

Legally permitting the chaining or caging of dogs for up to 22 hours a day does not help officers to protect animals. It may, in fact, protect their dogs’ abusers, thus setting a negative precedent for state laws. Friends of Animals fully supports Connecticut Governor John G. Rowland’s veto of an earlier version of this bill in May 2002.