On Monday, March 6, the New Mexico Senate Health and Public Affairs Committee considered a bill that prohibits tethering a dog outside for more than three hours regardless of weather conditions. Senate Bill 429 was substituted during hearing but it still includes similarly concerning language. AKC expects the bill may receiver further consideration in the Senate Judiciary Committee as early as tomorrow, March 10.
AKC appreciates that the bill was amended to exempt tethering for “conduct that is directly related to the activity of legal dog sports” and at “legal public events such as picnics, adoption fairs and group training classes” but these exemptions fail to account for all the times a responsible dog owner may need to humanely tether a dog.
SB 429 has additional exemptions for:
Accepted veterinary practices
Activities related to acceptable research
Conduct that is related to agriculture including herding livestock and cultivation of agricultural products.
How to Help:
Concerned dog owners should contact Senate Judiciary Committee TODAY and respectfully urge them to oppose the bill as currently written. Express to the committee how this bill will negatively impact your ability to properly train and care for your dogs. Further, encourage the committee to consider AKC recommended amendments to the bill (see below).
Comments must be under 300 words and can be submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee by emailing SJC.Zoom@nmlegis.gov.
AKC is concerned that arbitrary anti-tethering laws may undermine positive canine activities such as dog training, grooming, field trials, conformation dog shows, use of service dogs and other examinations that are part of responsible dog ownership. Additionally, the arbitrary 3-hour tethering time limit may create an affirmative defense for someone who is inhumanely tethering a dog in inappropriate conditions.
AKC recommends that the bill be amended and simplified to read: “No person shall tether or restrain a dog in manner that threatens the health and well-being of the dog based on its breed, age and ability to withstand the environment.”
AKC GR continues to monitor bills impacting dog owners in New Mexico and will provide updates as necessary. For questions or more information, contact AKC GR at email@example.com.