Dog tethering limited to 12 hours under draft legislation

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Colwell to introduce tougher legislation

Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell is introducing tougher animal protection legislation.

Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell is introducing tougher animal protection legislation. The move comes after a public outcry about Buddy the Dog and another dog in Preston left tethered outside for several months.

AMHERST – Dogs will no longer be allowed to be tethered for more than 12 hours at a time under draft standards of care released Thursday by Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell.

Through regulations, standards of care aim to prevent distress and cruelty and to strengthen the protection of companion animals in Nova Scotia. They also include regulation of companion animal restraints, outdoor care, shelters, companion animal pens and enclosures, abandonment of companion animals as well as the transportation and sale of companion animals.

"I know animal protection is as important to Nova Scotians as it is to me," said  Colwell. "I am committed to doing all I can as minister to make sure that we have the proper regulations in place so that animals in this province are properly cared for and protected."

Colwell and department officials have met with various animal protection groups since last fall. These consultations followed online feedback from Nova Scotians last summer. As a result, the draft standards of care were expanded to cover cats.

Part of the proposed changes are to add Animal Protection Act infractions to the list of summary offence tickets. This would allow the SPCA and other enforcement officials, including bylaw officers in municipalities, to issue tickets for certain infractions including tethering a dog for longer than 12 hours a day.

During the next month, the department will seek public input into the draft standards of care. Interested Nova Scotians are asked to fill out a feedback questionnaire on the department's website and either e-mail or mail their response no later than March 31.

"We look forward to further input and feedback from Nova Scotians," said Colwell. "The standards of care are at the draft stage, but we are confident we are getting close where our new regulations need to be."

Geographic location: Nova Scotians, Nova Scotia

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Recent comments

  • Rachel
    September 09, 2014 - 07:59

    At least they are trying. These rules might discourage future bad dog owners to not get a dog. Because WE are watching!!! Oh yes we are!!

  • Gary
    February 28, 2014 - 15:56

    When we first got our dog .I got a dog pen it was small so I purchased a kit to make it longer. Seeing that it still was not long enough .I went an got another.when the dog was in the pen he barked an the kids didn't play with him .When I took him for a walk all he did was pull on the leash. now that he is tied in front of the house .the kids play with him an feed him.their are bones in the ground every where .He has a dog house that is high an dry an he can sit on our pouch which has a roof an he is next to the front door where the kids feed him sometimes more than they eat No one walks by with out touching the dog. the dog has shade in summer. an the winter he will not stay in the house .He is a husky an likes it out side .When you put your hand in it's fur he is always warm. The chain I have him on is over 20 feet long he can run an chase kids.A lot more room than the pen Now when I take him for walks he don"t pull he just wants to smell every thing an he don't pull a bit.He is part of our family An I won't lock him in a pen.

    • Joe
      March 01, 2014 - 07:41

      Gary, you shouldn't own a dog, try a fish, preferably purchase it at a supermarket - they can be found in the frozen food department. After reading your posted account, I suspect even a live goldfish would be at risk opf abuse in your "care".

  • conserned citizen
    February 27, 2014 - 17:52

    This law makes no sense,leaving a dog tied up for twelve hours,does this mean owners can tie their dog outside in the freezing cold?

    • Animal Lover
      February 28, 2014 - 06:42

      There has to be adequate shelter provided so if a dog is tied out without shelter then the 12hr rule wouldn't matter.

    • Dogsbody
      February 28, 2014 - 10:04

      Yes, amazingly, not enough people were leaving their dogs tied up outside unendlingly in all conditions, so the government introduced legislation to make sure more people will now do so.

  • Doug P.
    February 27, 2014 - 13:55

    So who is going to steak out the premisses for 12 hours and observe and document that the lawful requirement is met to seize an animal? What if the owner simply hides the dog from view? And if the owner takes the dog in at the 11:59 mark because he sees snoops around his property? These kinds of laws are less than useless. The animal abusers will simply lock their animals away in a basement, garage or an area blocked off from view. The lost costs of implementing such "laws" should be billed directly to those who lobbied for it. Spare the rest of us your foolishness.

    • Dogsbody
      February 28, 2014 - 10:06

      By all means, if you see a dog chained up for 11 hours and 59 minutes or so, toss a steak out to him, he'll likely be ravenous by that point.. ;>)