Quincy Humane Society discusses tethering

The tethering bill is effective as of January 1

The state of Illinois has a fairly new bill in place to protect pets, effective January first.

Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation last summer that regulates how a dog can be tethered to a still object outside.

One section states an owner must ensure a lead cannot exceed one-eighth of the dog's weight.

The lead must also measure when rounded to the nearest foot, at least 10 feet in length.

When not chained properly, a dog can become aggressive says Quincy Humane Society Executive Director Sally Westerhoff.

"Chaining is probably the most effective way to make a dog dangerous," Westerhoff said. "I can sight several examples where children have been killed by chain dogs. Children, especially young children see an animal and they just want to pet it or love it. Unfortunately, several in this area have lost their lives because they've approached a chained dog."

A dog must also have a properly fitting collar or harness, as well as one that isn't a pinch, prong, or choke-type collar.

When it comes to deciding if the collar is right for your dog, Westerhoff shared this piece of advice.

"When I look at items that I would use on my pet, I think about whether I would put that on my child or my grandchild," Westerhoff said. "And if I wouldn't even think about doing that to a child, I wouldn't think about doing that to an animal either."

The bill also states that adequate shelter and protection, as well as veterinary care must be provided. This strikes home especially in light of recent heavy snowfall.

For a full view of the bill, click here.