prefix="og:" Protect Chained Dogs in Extreme Weather | Maryland Votes for Animals

You are hereProtect Chained Dogs in Extreme Weather

Protect Chained Dogs in Extreme Weather

Tell Them We Are Suffering

UPDATE 3/18/15: The Judiciary Committee has voted UNFAVORABLY on HB153, the Extreme Weather Protection bill for chained dogs.  This is extremely disappointing.  This bill, which had widespread support, would have eased the suffering of dogs across Maryland. We are regrouping and will begin work on next steps to help these dogs and puppies left on the end of a chain - Please stay tuned. This is an issue that needs to be addressed!


1. Make sure you, your friends, family, and co-workers sign up for MVFA action alerts. We must all work to increase the number of people involved who can help provide a voice to Maryland's voiceless and protect animals and people who care!  This is the best way to have a powerful impact! Strength in numbers!  We send you an alert when something needs to be done, you choose whether to do it. It's easy, it's simple, and it makes a huge difference! Legislators want to hear from their constituents - it helps them to know how their voters want them to vote on an issue.

2. When you see a chained dog (or any animal) suffering or in distress, contact your local animal control office asap and give them the details and location of the animal. They have a large area to cover, and cannot see everything that you and I might be able to see. They want to know about these animals who are suffering so terribly. If you could then let us know ( and send us any pictures you might have regarding the incident. We cannot respond to the inquiry, only animal control is allowed to do that, but we can track the incident. Thank you.

3. Please send stories, videos, or photos to - sadly there are some who do not understand the seriousness of the problem and suffering of chained dogs in Maryland. 

Prior Alerts:

URGENT 3/15/15: This critical bill needs action and needs to be voted favorably out of committee this week! Time is of the essence for chained and tethered dogs across Maryland. SEND YOUR EMAIL today.

UPDATE 2/20/15: The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the Extreme Weather Protection bill (HB153). ACT NOW to support this bill!

Del. Dana Stein, the bill's lead sponsor, introduced the bill and testified before the Committee, followed by the testimony of State, Local and National animal advocacy organizations, including Maryland Votes For Animals, HSUS, and ASPCA. Several Animal Control representatives from both rural and urban areas across the state presented important testimony and fielded questions from Committee members.

It is extremely important, to send your Delegate a letter NOW before the committee votes!
The committee could vote at any time without further notice!

On the day this bill was heard, Maryland dogs chained and tethered outside suffered through a night of near zero degree weather, and no one could do a thing. Why? Because the current law lacks enforceable standards that define unsafe weather conditions for chained dogs.

Testimony included information that animal control divisions across the state receive a significant number of complaints associated with chained dogs left outside in extreme weather.  The impact on these suffering dogs is devastating in extreme weather, and it is clear the problem is significant and widespread.

Testimony showed that enforcement is severely hampered because the current laws are vague as to weather, and lack enforceable standards. Animal Control supports HB153 because it provides standards and specificity that will help the public comply with the law and help law enforcement protect animals from cruelty with more certainty.

It was interesting to learn that a majority of animal control efforts take place, by necessity, on front porches and in conversations with people, not in lengthy courtroom proceedings. This underscored the need for a law that is consistent and can be easily understood and relied on by the public.

If a law is unclear on an issue, people will provide their own subjective interpretations and opinions. This bill provides the clear standards that everyone can understand thereby removing the uncertainty that has hampered enforcement efforts.  

Animal control witnesses testified they would expect that with the adoption of this bill, there will be a significant increase in compliance through education and enforcement efforts, and a substantially fewer number of dogs cruelly chained in extreme weather.

If your Delegate sits on the House Judiciary Committee PLEASE ACT to send them a letter NOW before the committee votes! The committee can vote at any time without notice.



*If your Delegate sits on the House Judiciary Committee, please Send a Letter of Support NOW!

A hearing is scheduled this Thursday in the Judiciary Committee which will decide the fate of The Extreme Weather Protection bill in the House.  The hearing is THIS THURSDAY February 19th at 1:00 pm. in the House Office Building, Annapolis. If your Delegate is a member of the Judiciary Committee, the animals need you to ACT TODAY - It is extremely important to send a letter now! It is critical to make sure this important legislation does not stall in the House and meet the same fate as a similar bill did in the Senate.

Maryland dogs need protection THIS WINTER from cruel and inhumane chaining.  Speak for Maryland's dogs.


UPDATE (2/14): Disappointment as legislation hits snag in the Senate. 

Senate bill, SB26, which would provide protection for chained dogs in extreme weather, failed to progress in the Senate yesterday. In order for the bill to move forward, the Senate Judicial Proceedings committee must first vote favorably to do so. SB26 fell short of the votes needed to pass out of committee to the full Senate.
Maryland Votes For Animals is deeply disappointed this straightforward bill, which had broad coalition support, did not progress in the Senate. The bill provided law enforcement with the tool it needs to intervene before a dog is in physical distress, and it provided clear and consistent standards for the public and animal control to rely on.  

While these are disappointing results, MVFA is working with legislators and coalition partners to find a way forward to protect these animals.  A similar bill, HB153, is scheduled for hearing this week on the House side. Stay tuned! Annapolis can be bumpy, but we're here with you and the animals for the long haul.

It is important and helpful to send a message so your Senator knows how you feel about their vote on this issue. You can send them a note of thanks or disappointment on their vote,  HERE.  Please be polite and to the point for the greatest impact. We are continuing to work on this issue with legislators to help these dogs.
The State of Maryland maintains its Bottom-tier rank in the nation on the strength of its animal protection laws. The adoption of clear and consistent standards will have an immediate impact on chained dogs across Maryland while also improving Maryland's abysmal national ranking

Without clear and consistent standards that the public can understand and animal control can rely on, this serious problem will continue.


Prior postings on this bill:

The Senate Judicial Proceedings committee will be deciding the fate of the Extreme Weather Protection bill. If your Senator sits on the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, you can ACT NOW and send an email HERE to tell them you care about the chained and tethered dogs suffering in this frigid weather.  Ask your Senator to vote in favor of the Extreme Weather Protection bill!

Update 2/5: The hearing was this Wednesday, 2/4/2015. This bill will provide Animal Control enforcement with a tool they need in their effort to protect dogs who are particularly vulnerable due to being tethered and chained. Committee members were receptive and we are talking to legislators about the critical need for this law. The animals need you to send a letter if your Senator sits on the Judicial Proceedings committee.


Not sure if your Senator sits on this committee? Click the alert and find out quickly based on your address and zip. It’s easy to do and your action could directly impact the lives of these puppies and dogs today. If you are already signed up for MVFA alerts, you may have already received an alert regarding this critical bill. We will keep you up to date as this important legislation progresses.

Maryland dogs need protection THIS WINTER from cruel and inhumane chaining while exposed to dangerous weather. From the neglected puppy who suffers painful and debilitating frostbite while tied-out to a pole, to the abused dog left frozen to the ground at the end of a heavy chain, tethered and chained dogs are suffering terribly while left outdoors in extreme weather.

Send your letter NOW and speak out for Maryland’s chained and tethered dogs. Let your Senator know they are suffering and that you care.

The American Veterinarian Medical Association (AVMA) position is clear: “Like people, cats and dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia and should be kept inside….no pet should be left outside for long periods of time in below-freezing weather.” The AVMA has likewise warned about heat risks and explained pets are more susceptible to heat stroke than we are.

This bill, with amendment, will amend the animal cruelty tethering law to provide specifics on the length of time a dog can be left chained outside and unattended during temperature extremes and hazardous weather warnings. More details on the bill can be found here.

Print the Fact Sheet

This is no way for a dog to live.

Dog tethered in extreme weather

Tell-Them-We-r-suffering-47.jpg98.94 KB

Share this

Please Help!

Make a difference for Animals, Join MVFA

Join Our Community

Friend MVFA at FacebookFind MVFA on Twitter